Common throughout the United States, Canada and most of the English-speaking world, parliamentary debate is the most popular form of intercollegiate debate in the world and it is growing quickly even in non-English-speaking environments. The format employs some of the stylistic conventions of the British House of Commons, however, as practiced in the United States (NPDA-style) parliamentary debate much more resembles high school and collegiate policy debate. The most notable differences between the two genres are the lack of evidence ("cards") and the general lack of speed in delivery. Argument by example and from common knowledge becomes the primary vehicle for demonstrating proof in this environment.
Topics are different in every round and students receive the topic 15-30 minutes before the debate begins. In essence, parliamentary debate merges some characteristics of policy debate and extemporaneous speaking, as arguments in parliamentary debate are developed with relatively limited preparation.
The debate is formatted as follows:
7 Minute Prime Minister's Constructive
8 Minute Leader of the Opposition's Constructive
8 Minute Member of Government's Constructive
8 Minute Member of Opposition's Constructive
4 Minute Leader of Opposition's Rebuttal
5 Minute Prime Minister's Rebuttal