Saturday, August 7, 2010


When I was at school I wasn’t overly keen on debating but now the idea is appealing to me more and more. I think it is something about having the opportunity to fully flesh out an idea and then crush your opponent with logic.

It’s quite disappointing that arguments with your partner are not structured in the same way as a school debate. You should get a gull three minutes to say your piece without interruption; then take notes while they make their argument and then have an opportunity for rebuttal. Of course, there should also be an independent adjudicator to decide upon a winner. To avoid having the same arguments over and over, once a topic has been debated once it would never have to be debated ever again.

The problem with arguments in a relationship is that people tend to debate dirty and logic gets thrown out the window. A suggestion that an argument is stupid can often get reinterpreted as a suggestion that the other party is stupid. Some people raise their voices, some get defensive and some walk out of the room. In extreme cases some can resort to crying and then no quantity of reasoning is ever going to win.

Having proper debates between couples could actually work really well as a TV show. Essentially the best TV is about conflict and what better conflict is there than that that has been going on between the same people for twenty years? I’d start the show with a brief behind the scenes look at Bob and Thelma and a review of the issues they have been fighting about. There would then be a mini debate between each ad break. For debate 1 the topic might be “Thelma spends too much time at the bowlo drinking and playing pokies”. Debate 2 might be “Bob’s obsessive interest in toy trains is unhealthy”. The final debate may be “We should just put down Greta the Irish Setter rather than paying for the operation”. Tell me that wouldn’t be compelling?

I’d also have the worm like in the election coverage. To rake in extra bucks people would be able to vote by premium SMS.

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