DISCUSSION TOPICS – POLITICS

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Let's talk about politics today as it is one of the topic areas of the STANAG 6001 level 3 speaking exam.
First, I would like to show you some examples of exam questions in this topic area and then I will focus on one of them and present some sample arguments that could be used in an exam TASK 2 discussion.
If you need more information about this TASK here are some useful links:
STANAG 6001 LEVEL 3 DISCUSSION
DISCUSSION USEFUL PHRASES
SAMPLE DISCUSSION
DISCUSSION TOPICS TOURISM
DISCUSSION TOPICS - CITY VERSUS COUNTRY

TOPICS

Politics
There are different forms of political protest. Look at the list below. Discuss their advantages and disadvantages and decide which is the most and the least radical. Justify your choice.

      embargo            coup d'état           boycott

a. Peaceful methods of expressing social discontent are much more effective
than the radical ones. Do you agree?
b. What might be the negative consequences of street demonstrations?
c. How can voters make politicians accountable for the pre-election promises?

Elections
There are different methods politicians use to encourage people to vote for them in elections. Look at the list below. Discuss their advantages and disadvantages and decide which of them is the most and the least effective. Justify your choice.

     social media      political promises      slandering opponents

a. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of election silence?
b. Some people say that electoral campaigns cost too much money. Do you agree?
c. What do you think of celebrities who become or want to become politicians?

POSSIBLE ARGUMENTS

Let us now have a look at some sample arguments for the following topic:
We can focus on pluses and minuses of each of the three options in terms of their effectiveness. 

 

 

ELECTIONS

PLUSES
  • general right of all citizens 
  • peaceful
  • direct
MINUSES
  • only periodically available
  • not all people are interested in participating as some don't believe their vote counts
  • in the proportional system one cannot really vote for the chosen candidate

REFERENDUM

PLUSES 
  • citizens decide directly about important matters they are affected by
  • reengages citizens bored with politics
  • gives the authority a mandate to carry out significant reforms
 
MINUSES
  • it divides the society
  • decisions often based on emotions/ fears, not on factual knowledge/education
  • the authority announcing the referendum in fact controls it by asking particular questions, controlling the timing

 

DEMONSTRATIONS

PLUSES 
  • allow people to directly express their discontent or support for an idea/activity
  • are a peaceful way of expressing discontent by the masses
  •  can be used as a form of pressure exerted by the people on the authorities
MINUSES
  • can lead to the breaking of the law, violence and hooliganism
  • may not be very effective
  • may disorganise city life, block traffic
What pluses and minus would you add? Care to leave a comment?