The Presidential Candidate Debate

Five years have passed and here we are in the situation of having to choose, who shall be the next representative of our country. Many people have their opinion already set and many have already voted. But what about our younger students, who still do not have the right to vote? Usually, there is no reason for students to truly maintain their focus on politics since they have no way of being part of it. Our school has organized an activity, aimed at bringing politics a bit closer to high school students. The goal was also to allow students to test their argumentation skills and improve their ability to present in front of large audiences. Moreover, the students faced the challenge of having to pretend to „be someone else” and put forward opinions that they do not even agree with. Each class of second-grade students drew lots for one presidential candidate and then selected one student, that would represent the candidate at a press conference. 

            The first candidate was Pavel Fischer, the role was played by Josef Holáň from class 2A. His delivery was convincing, confident, and factual. He managed his time well, which was greatly appreciated. He emphasized traditional values, for instance, he expressed a disagreement with same-sex marriage. He also mentioned his willingness to help those in need and overall improve the living conditions of all social groups. 

            After this wonderful presentation, it was time for Danuše Nerudová, the second contender, to rise and introduce herself. Mrs. Nerudová was acted out by Bára Miarková from P2A class. Her speech was mostly about recounting her past, for example where she went to school. Aside from that, the spotlight was cast on some of her previous controversies. „Mrs. Nerudová“ attempted to explain all of her blunders by telling us about her history. 

It was time for the third candidate to take the microphone and introduce himself. Petr Pavel, played by Dominik Halfar from class 2B, was the recipient of this metaphorical microphone. His discourse was devoted to his previous experiences. He also discussed his agenda, which for instance included the concept of legalizing euthanasia. He had to face some tough questions, such as whether he wanted to continue assisting Ukraine in the war, and if so, how? 

After this tense but informative discussion, all eyes were on our fourth candidate, Andrej Babiš, presented by Matěj Šmerda.  Because this candidate was charged with tax fraud and more that day, the discussion took on a rather satirical tone. He was being questioned about whether it is conceivable for a president to lead a country out of incarceration and, if so, how he would like to proceed. To conclude his highly motivating speech, he declared that all these claims are just fabricated lies. 

Last, but not least, Ondřej Hlavica from class sexta8 represented the candidate Marek Hilšer. His delivery differed somewhat from the other remarks given that day. The rest of the applicants had prepared a presentation on their lives. But this is where „Mr. Hilšer“ stood out. There was no presentation or anything. The applicant talked entirely from memory, and to be honest, he spoke as eloquently as other candidates who had prepared presentations. 

After the debate was over, we asked a few of the representatives what the toughest thing about this debate was. Most of them said it was the small stage fright of talking in front of a great number of people or even laughing, but after they finished talking, they felt proud of themselves that they successfully achieved their task.