A group of Langley teenagers has won an international internet debate competition.
The students from the Debate On club represented Canada at the World Online Debating championship, taking on 32 high school teams from other countries.
In the final round on Oct. 7, coach Josue Anderson and Langley students Loretta Lee, Alice Kim, Ryan Song, Christina Seong, Ally Jung and May Lim, along with Abbotsford resident Danny Choo and Surrey resident Christina Jean went up against the South Korean team.
The topic they were assigned to research and argue against, in writing, online, was whether “deregulation and tax cuts should be embraced to lead the world out of economic crisis.”
Each team had just 24 hours to research and post responses.
Because of the different time zones, some of the Canadian team had to stay up all night to post responses.
Among their winning points (still viewable online at http://www.debatewise.org/debates/3595), the Canadians argued that government intervention in the economy was necessary for the protection of workers and citizens.
“Especially with the current economic crisis, people have constant fear of being unemployed,” the team wrote.
“This fear of unemployment results in hesitance in their consumer spending, thus harms the economy by limiting the amount of money being circulated.”
One judge cited the Canadian team for “a better use of evidence and a clearer understanding that assertion is one thing but argument is another.”
Another said the Canadian “critique of the behavior of corporations was made consistently and with evidence.”
It was the first time in the three-year history of the online debate championship that a non-European country took the win.
Debate On club director David Jung said the victory by the Canadian team was even more of a feat because each of the participants have learned English as a second language.
“While most students in their hometown of Langley were focused on the excitement of starting school in September, Debate On club members were researching, writing and posting arguments,” Jung said.