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

The Munk debates are held in Toronto, at steadily larger venues as they have proven popular. Tickets are sold to the general public, and sell out shortly after being made available.

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

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 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, I would rather get sick in the United States than Canada... Bill Frist and David Gratzer Howard Dean and Con 7% The Royal Conservatory of Music
Nov 26, 2010 Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world... Tony Blair Christopher Hitchens Con 13% Roy Thomson Hall
June 17, 2011 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, the European experiment has failed... Niall Ferguson and Josef Joffe Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Peter Mandelson Con 17% Roy Thomson Hall
November 26, 2012 Be it resolved, 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 Be it resolved, 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 Pozner Anne Applebaum and Garry Kasparov Con 10% Roy Thomson Hall
Sept 28, 2015 The Munk Debate on Canada’s Foreign Policy Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau Roy Thomson Hall
November 6, 2015 Be it resolved, humankind’s best days lie ahead... Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell Pro 2% Roy Thomson Hall
April 1, 2016 Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... Louise Arbour and Simon Schama Nigel Farage and Mark Steyn Con 22% Roy Thomson Hall
September 30, 2016 Be it resolved, Donald Trump can make America great again... Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham Robert Reich and Jennifer Granholm Pro 6% Roy Thomson Hall
April 28, 2017 Be it resolved, the liberal international order is over… Niall Ferguson Fareed Zakaria Con 5% Roy Thomson Hall
October 12, 2017 Be it resolved, American democracy is in its worst crisis in a generation and Donald J. Trump is to blame… Andrew Sullivan and E.J. Dionne Newt Gingrich and Kimberly Strassel Con 3% Roy Thomson Hall
May 18, 2018 Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress… Michael Eric Dyson and Michelle Goldberg Stephen Fry and Jordan Peterson Con 6% Roy Thomson Hall
November 2, 2018 Be it resolved, the future of western politics is populist not liberal... Steve Bannon David Frum Tie* 0% Roy Thomson Hall
May 9, 2019 Be it resolved, China is a threat to the liberal international order... H. R. McMaster and Michael Pillsbury Kishore Mahbubani and Wang Huiyao Con* 2% Roy Thomson Hall
December 4, 2019 Be it resolved, the capitalist system is broken. It's time to try something different... Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Yanis Varoufakis Arthur Brooks and David Brooks Con 2% Roy Thomson Hall

* Meaning there was initially a mistake made with the counting of the votes that was corrected later

Proposed debate

Munk Debates proposed a leaders debate on foreign policy during the 2019 Canadian election. Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May were invited. Singh, Scheer and May agreed to attend.[1][2] Maxime Bernier was not invited.[3]


  1. ^ Paas-Lang, Christian (August 8, 2019). "Munk Debates calls on federal leaders to sign up for foreign policy debate". CTV News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Munk Debates". Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Paas-Lang, Christian (August 8, 2019). "Munk Debates Pitches Another Foreign Policy Showdown During Federal Election". HuffPost. Retrieved August 19, 2019.

External links

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