Here’s an example on how a debating society can help improve the quality of public debate. For five years now, the Estonian Debating Society has co-operated with Postimees (Estonia’s largest daily newspaper) in holding online debates. These debates put politicians’ and public figures’ argumentation quality to the test – often by opposing a debate team. The debate is later evaluated by an experienced debate adjudicator, who will scrutinize the arguments and decide the winner. The very first English-language online debate is underway right now, the verdict will be delivered in the evening.
The Estonian Debating Society (EDS) organised a wide variety of activities between September 15 and 22 surrounding Democracy Day (September 15). The Democracy Days activities took place in 76 different schools spread over 30 different locations in Estonia. A total of 5885 high school and university students participated in lectures given by well-known public figures such as politicians, actors and business leaders or members of the EDS presenting debates about democracy-related topics.