n Commonwealth Youth and Development - What we can learn from football about parliamentary argumentation




One could wonder why politicians keep arguing with each other in parliament, for they rarely succeed in convincing one another of anything. I attempt to clarify this problem by comparing political argument with football. Both activities can be viewed as games. Football is, of course, a game, but politicians arguing with each other in parliament are also playing a sort of game. What is the aim of this game? The aim of argumentation in general is to use logic to force someone to give up his opinion. However, politicians seldom accomplish this. By viewing argumentation as a game, such as football, our attention is directed to the rules of the game and its tactics. The aim of parliamentary argumentation can be deduced from its rules and Aristotle's account of the argumentation tactic called dialectic.


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