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ESHS wins debate against VI Youth Parliament on Citizenship by Investment

- ESHS proposed the idea that investors to the territory should be granted residency
The debating team of Elmore Stoutt High School prevailed over the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament today March 23, 2016 in the Ministry of Education and Culture debating competition. At left is Jada Angus and right, Chasidy Leonard. Photo: VINO
Chasidy Leonard for the proposing team Elmore Stoutt High School. Photo: VINO
Chasidy Leonard for the proposing team Elmore Stoutt High School. Photo: VINO
Sonniel O. Pickering for the opposing Virgin Islands Youth Parliament team. Photo: VINO
Sonniel O. Pickering for the opposing Virgin Islands Youth Parliament team. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience at the debate competition today March 23, 2016. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience at the debate competition today March 23, 2016. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The debating team of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) prevailed over the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament today March 23, 2016 in the Ministry of Education and Culture debating competition.

The debate took place in the Breezeway of the Central Administration Complex in Wickham’s Cay and saw the support of many persons who came to observe.

Persons who came to the Complex to do business could not help but to stop for a few moments to listen and watch the articulate arguments from the young people.

The moot was an interesting and thought provoking one – A foreign investor should be given citizenship based on major investments made in the Territory. 

On the proposing team was the Elmore Stoutt High School whose members Chasidy Leonard and Jada Angus did a good job of putting forward the moot and supporting the granting of residency to persons who come to the territory to invest and in so doing create jobs for local persons.

In his opposition to the moot, Sonniel O. Pickering said the granting of citizenship based on investments made by foreign investors cannot and will not stand. Rea Vanterpool was the other member of the opposing team.

Money will not stay in the territory

Pickering refuted the point that the proposing team made saying that the investments will create jobs, illustrating his point by saying people continue to line up at money transfer agencies to send money overseas.

“They are speaking of infrastructural development. But if the money is not staying in the territory how can there be such development?” he asked.

Pickering also attempted to deride the proposing team for not sticking rigidly to the moot and said they they did not speak to the moot of the debate.

Further, he said the investors who would want the citizenship through investment would not necessarily want to live in the territory but just the benefit of having the passport.

He argued too that the programme would lead to an erosion of the Virgin Islands history and legacy. “Our history and legacy directly identifies you and I as Virgin Islanders,” he said.

At the end of their opening remarks, the speaker for the opposing team quoted some of the words from the Territorial Song O Beautiful Virgin Islands, to the delight of the audience.

Speaking for the proposing team, Chasidy Leonard justified the change of the word citizenship to residency in the moot and said the facts are the facts and this states that the Virgin Islands cannot grant citizenship.

She strongly held her team's support for the moot and said the territory must take the next logical steps but not without ensuring that the right safeguards are put in place. “We young people want to enjoy that bright and enjoyable future,” she said.

Picking up where the opposing team left off by quoting words of the Territorial Song, she said, “To preserve the future we devised a plan...that plan is the Citizenship by Investment Programme...a plan that I am 100 percent sure will not fail us.”

Acknowledging that the programme can be opened to abuse, Leonard said that it is up to the territory to put the necessary checks and balances in place to avoid abuse.

She said too that without foreign investors, many of the resorts and facilities would not have been in existence.

Teams were 'impressive'

The Best Speaker prize went to Jada Angus of Elmore Stoutt High School.

At the end of the debate, the panel of judges said the teams did an impressive job both in presenting their arguments and rebutting their competitors opening statements.

According to the judges, save for a few mispronunciations and about one or so factual error, the teams made excellent presentations, employing the use of voice pitch and volume for emphasis, the use of poetic language, references to the Territorial Song and other literary devices.

The judges also applauded the consistency of the Elmore Stoutt High School team who not only changed the moot to reflect that the Virgin Islands on its own cannot grant citizenship but also remained consistent in their reference to the adapted moot throughout the debate.

By no means a novel idea, Citizenship By Investment has been in place in a number of countries including Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis. In the latter country it has been the subject of controversy as it was determined that persons from known terrorist countries were acquiring St Kitts and Nevis passports with a view to entering the United States and Canada. As a result of investigations, Canada rescinded visa free access to citizens of St Kitts and Nevis.

13 Responses to “ESHS wins debate against VI Youth Parliament on Citizenship by Investment”

  • Proud BVIslander (23/03/2016, 15:39) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
  • pat (23/03/2016, 16:12) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
    You mean the want to be politicians allowed a little high school team beat them? smh
    • Wise Ninja (23/03/2016, 18:05) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      Parliamentary debates and the debates between the highschools are quite different. Furthermore, both teams did exceedingly well. You probably weren't even at the debate but have a nerve to comment and imply that the Youth Parlimentarians are not capable. Sthu. Virgin Islands people and their ever proven ability to be small minded sickens me.
    • Youth (23/03/2016, 18:47) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      The VIYP is not for future politicians @pat. Research before you start assuming.
      • facts (24/03/2016, 07:34) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        great as I hope not as I have not seen none yet that could get elected
  • Me (23/03/2016, 16:55) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    It truly bothers me that no one turns out for any academic venture. Had it been cheerleading, talent show or some form of pageantry there would be a massive crowd. Mind you, I am not saying there is anything wrong with pageants, but these activities also need support.
    • woah (23/03/2016, 20:12) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who knew? I never heard or saw one single adveritisement....maybe I live under a rock.
  • ypmbr (23/03/2016, 18:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The two styles of debate make it hard for the win but the next one we going be rdy
  • teach (23/03/2016, 19:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congrats to both teams.. They did an excellent job.
    Let me also congratulate ESHS coach ~Ms Abednego ~ an excellent teacher of English.
  • spread love (23/03/2016, 19:41) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let encourage and applaud our youth when they have done exceeding well.
  • Tiff (24/03/2016, 10:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I find it very funny that some of you all think that the youth parliament debates differ from this one..a debate is a debate...point blank...debating is a doesnt depend on the format ...if the youth parliament were able to bring good points ..and rebut the proposition...they would have won...but unfortunately they failed to do so...thats why they lost..lets not make any excuses
  • Proud Teacher (24/03/2016, 10:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Both teams did well...actually it was really really close...those high school girls are really really good for their age...and with a little more guidance and practice...they will be unstoppable
  • Jen-Jen (23/04/2016, 09:09) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    How does this debate affect young people in the Virgin Islands and why should this issue matter to young people ?

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