Debating at The Literific


  • There will be a reading of the Minutes, President’s Questions and Private Members Business before the debate begins.
  • Private Members’ Business is a chance for members to bring forward concerns or ideas they have. Additionally, it can be used to mention topical events that the audience would like to have a ‘mini-debate’ on before the main business of the evening. Private Members’ Business should ideally be emailed in advance to
  • The Literific follow the classic style of debating seen in The Irish Times Debate, among others and resembles British Parliament. There is a minimum of two people on proposition and opposition, often six speakers in total.
  • The first speaker for prop. speaks first, generall outlining the motion and presenting the case for the proposition. They are followed by the first opposition who can choose to accept the definition of the motion or reject it and redefine. Second prop/opp expand on their arguments and add details and evidence to the case. Third proposition and opposition have the role of concluding the case for each site with closing statements and a summary of the arguments. Rebuttal should be present in all arguments, apart from first proposition.
There is a rule against obscenity so swearing or general abuse may result in being fined a bottle of port. Standing order of the society can be requested in writing to
  • Each speech is seven minutes in length. The first minute and last minute of each speech is signified by a bell ringing, points may not be made during the first or last minute. However, for the central five minutes the audience are encouraged to make points by standing and saying ‘On that point’ or ‘Point of Information’.

N.B. It is up to that current speaker whether or not they will take the point. Speakers have the right to wave away points of information by saying ‘No thanks’ or otherwise signalling No. It is customary to take at least one point from the floor.

  • Points should be made brief (a maximum of 10 seconds) and there is to be no back and forth between the speaker and member.
  • After everyone has spoken a floor debate commences: audience members can stand and address individual speakers or speak, For, On or Against the motion. The speakers may reply accordingly.
  • The motion will be brought to a vote and after the motion is passed or denied, everyone will retire to the bar where there will be wine for speakers kindly provided by The House Bar, Stranmillis Rd.

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