Thursday, August 09, 2007
Preparing a New Generation for Self-Government
By Annette Boyd Pitts
Most Americans do not understand our most basic constitutional principles and are disengaging from civic and political life. Voter turnout, especially among young voters, continues to reflect an indifference to the importance of participation in American democracy.
In December 2005, the Florida Bar conducted a poll of Floridians to determine public knowledge of basic democratic principles. The results reinforced a national poll conducted by the American Bar Association. Fewer than 60 percent of adults could identify the three branches of government, even in a multiple choice test; and less than half understood the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances.