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Why Debating and Public Speaking Matter

Canada is a representative democracy where every citizen has a right to voice their opinions. Parliamentary debate is its cornerstone.


Whether you are in the House of Commons, out on the stump, or speaking to a group of strangers, the ability to communicate effectively will ensure your voice is heard.

The Toronto Debating Society will help you to develop the skills and confidence to speak your mind, the use of logic to support your position, and the tools to become persuasive.

Debating Empowers People

The debating skills of five Canadian women, known as the 'Famous Five' (Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Emily Murphy) won the right for women to be recognized as 'persons' under the law and to serve in the Senate.

The Lincoln Douglas debates ultimately led to the abolition of slavery in the U.S.


The Norway Debate was a significant debate in the British House of Commons in May 1940. It immediately led to the formation of a widely-based coalition government led by Winston Churchill. Subsequently, Churchill's public speaking prowess motivated the British to keep a stiff upper lip and march towards victory. Britain defeated the Nazis and changed the course of WWII.

Debating & Democracy

Debate is not a forum for asserting absolute truths, but rather a means of making and evaluating arguments that allows debaters to better understand their own and others’ positions. This sense of a shared journey toward the truth brings debaters closer together, even when they represent opposing sides of an issue or come from vastly different cultures or social classes. In so doing, debate fosters the essential democratic values of free and open discussion.  Source:

Check out some global shakers and movers who swear by the power of debate.

Photo: CP

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