I've played this scenario and am currently prepping it for gen con. When our group played the gm had pages of materials printed out to help ease the mechanics of the debate. Even with the materials, we ended up scrapping most of the rules and used opposing skills checks. Which was fun with roleplay.
Now that I'm prepping this scenario I want to run my head through a brick wall. I'm more than likely going to spend 80-90% of my prep time just run the debate smoothly.
Paizo please add Ultimate Intrigue to your PRD if you plan on having more scenarios utilizing mechanics from the book. That way both the pcs and gm can have a sense of the rules before the scenario is played, instead of hitting the breaks mid-game to spend 30-45 minutes learning a brand new mechanic.
This mechanic does not affect my star rating as I believe this was an idea of the design team and not the authors