Democracy and the Arab World Debate

Thursday evening, the Society gathered to debate a timely and pressing issue: “Resolved: Liberal democracy is incompatible with the modern Arab world.” The very capable Mr. Alex Henderson (COL ’12) and Mr. Richard Rinaldi (MSB ’12) provided the affirmation and negation keynotes, respectively.

Mr. Henderson’s argument rested on the definition of “modern,” insisting that while the seeds of democracy have been planted it will take more than one generation for the Arab world to build up democratic institutions. Mr. Rinaldi, whose study abroad status reads “evacuated,” admitted that huge obstacles to democratic reforms persist but that one need only believe in democracy as one possible outcome to negate.

Our very own Korean drama unfolded on the floor of the Philodemic as Mr. Park and Mr. Lim debated the usefulness of the South Korean experience to current events. (We were actually lucky enough to catch some of it on video!) Mr. Sassoon also brought his cultural heritage to bear on the question. To emphasize the importance of tribal ties, he recited his name in Arabic—his entire name. It’s almost as if he was born to be long-winded. Of course, this post would be incomplete without offering commendation to Mr. Bade for the most memorable speech of the semester thus far. Huzzah.

The resolution was negated by a vote of 18-17-2 and, in what may be a first for the Society, we adjourned early.

The following outstanding speakers were awarded Merrick Points:

  • Mr. Henderson—5
  • Mr. Tosetti—4
  • Mr. Sassoon—3
  • Mr. Cantirino—2
  • Chancellor Wagner—1

Which brings the totals to:

  • Mr. Cantirino—18
  • Mr. Henderson—17
  • Mr. Walker—14
  • Mr. Downes—12
  • Ms. Green—9
  • Chancellor Wagner—5
  • Ms. Wood—4
  • Mr. Tosetti—4
  • Mr. Sassoon—4
  • Mr. Desnick—3
  • Mr. Spagnuolo—1

Join us March 17 to debate, “Resolved: The IRA was justified.” Happy spring break!



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