Munk Debates

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The Munk Debates are a semi-annual series of debates on major policy issues held in Toronto, Canada. They are run by the Aurea Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Peter Munk, founder of Barrick Gold, and his wife. The debate series was founded in 2008 by Munk and Rudyard Griffiths, who moderates most of the debates.

The event is held in Toronto, at steadily larger venues as it has proven popular. Tickets are sold to the general public, and sell out shortly after being made available.

At each debate a poll is taken of audience both before and after the debate. The winner of the debate is determined by how many people are persuaded to move from one side to the other.

Throughout its run the debates have been broadcast on CBC Radio's Ideas as well as CPAC. The more recent ones have also appeared on international broadcasters including BBC and C-SPAN.


Date Topic Pro Con Winner Swing Venue
May 26, 2008 The world is a safer place with a republican in the White House Charles Krauthammer and Niall Ferguson Samantha Power and Richard Holbrooke Pro 17% Royal Ontario Museum
Dec 1, 2008 If countries like Sudan, Somalia and Burma will not end their man-made humanitarian crises, the international community should Gareth Evans and Mia Farrow John Bolton and Rick Hillier Con 9% Royal Ontario Museum
June 1, 2009 Be it resolved foreign aid does more harm than good Hernando de Soto Polar and Dambisa Moyo Stephen Lewis and Paul Collier Pro 2% Royal Ontario Museum
Dec 1, 2009 Climate change is mankind's defining crisis, and demands a commensurate response George Monbiot and Elizabeth May Bjørn Lomborg and Nigel Lawson Con 8% The Royal Conservatory of Music
June 7, 2010 I would rather get sick in the United States than Canada Bill Frist and David Gratzer Howard Dean and Robert Bell Con 7% The Royal Conservatory of Music
Nov 26, 2010 Religion is a force for good in the world. Tony Blair Christopher Hitchens Con 13% Roy Thomson Hall
June 17, 2011 The 21st century will belong to China. Niall Ferguson and David Daokui Li Henry Kissinger and Fareed Zakaria Con 22% Roy Thomson Hall
Nov 14, 2011 North America faces a Japan-style era of high unemployment and slow growth. Paul Krugman and David Rosenberg Lawrence Summers and Ian Bremmer Con 19% Roy Thomson Hall
May 25, 2012 The European experiment has failed. Niall Ferguson and Josef Joffe Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Peter Mandelson Con 17% Roy Thomson Hall
November 26, 2012 The world cannot tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons capability... Amos Yadlin and Charles Krauthammer Fareed Zakaria and Vali Nasr Con 18% Roy Thomson Hall
May 30, 2013 Tax the rich (more) George Papandreou and Paul Krugman Newt Gingrich and Arthur Laffer Pro 12% Roy Thomson Hall
November 15, 2013 Be it resolved men are obsolete... Hanna Rosin and Maureen Dowd Caitlin Moran and Camille Paglia Pro 28% Roy Thomson Hall
May 2, 2014 Be it resolved state surveillance is a legitimate defence of our freedoms.... Michael Hayden and Alan Dershowitz Glenn Greenwald and Alexis Ohanian Con 13% Roy Thomson Hall
November 5, 2014 Be it resolved Obama’s foreign policy is emboldening our enemies and making the world a more dangerous place… Bret Stephens and Robert Kagan Anne-Marie Slaughter and Fareed Zakaria Con 11% Roy Thomson Hall
April 10, 2015 Be it resolved the West should engage not isolate Russia… Stephen F. Cohen and Vladimir Posner Anne Applebaum and Garry Kasparov Roy Thomson Hall

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