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Westminster Debates

Next Event:
Friday, December 1, 2017
Historic Whittemore House, Washington, D.C.
(As part of the PSO's Dupont Summit on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy)
The annual Westminster Debate was started because of the PSO's ongoing effort to promote civil discussion of current policy issues. It utilizes the tradition of parliamentary style debates as a method for discussion and provides an opportunity to develop communication skills. The room is set as the chamber of the House of Commons in London, with mace and Speaker's Throne. Those who attend are asked to sit either with the Government or opposition. The next debate is set to take place in October 2016, at the Historic Whittemore House in Washington, DC. Please contact PSO Executive Director Daniel Gutierrez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , for more information.
The Westminster Debates are co-sponsored by American Public University, in cooperation with the Director of Forensics at Texas State University, Dr. Wayne L. Kraemer. Recent debates took place on January 10, 2014, discussed the motion: "This house believes that American higher education ill-prepares students for professional life."

Be sure to check back for more information as the program develops.

 The Westminster Debates are not a new idea!

At Oxford University, a venerable organization, the Oxford Union since 1823 has done a tremendous work over many years in promoting the art of public discussion. Do look at their website.

University of Oxford, Oxford Union

We feel that anything that can be done to encourage the quality of public discourse will work for better solutions to problems.

Debate, Oxford Union

We think that everyone benefits from more knowledge of the parliamentary tradition, which is certainly as, or even more widespread than what is sometimes regarded as the only democratic approach, the bicameral legislature and president.

Westminster, British House of Commons

We believe that the ability to argue well is a neglected part of learning.
We think that issues like online education are issues that lend themselves to this style of discussion.