Do you know what filibustering is? Most British millennials think it’s a sex act
Shout Out UK, a youth news platform, issued 5,267 randomly selected members of the British public with 10 questions aimed at testing their political knowledge.
The survey asked respondents to define a series of technical political terms, selecting the correct answer from a three-part multiple choice list. Respondents were not told the terms in question related to politics.
Two-thirds of people aged 18-25 said they thought filibustering was “slang for a sex act.” Filibustering, while far less common in Westminster than it is in Washington, is still a recognized part of the UK’s political process.
More than half of those polled thought the Speaker was a villain in a video game. Just 23 percent correctly said the Speaker chairs parliamentary debates.
Other questions included “What do psephology students study?” with the possible answers “Physical education,” “Voting and voting patterns,” and “Animal faeces,” as well as “What are writs?” with the options “Legal documents,” and “Fruit native to Africa,” and “A skin condition that causes blisters.”
According to Matteo Bergamini, founder of Shout Out UK, the site had not anticipated the survey’s results.
“We commissioned the survey just to get an idea of what people’s knowledge is on political terms, we didn’t expect to get such funny results,” he said in a statement.
“Although it is funny that most young people think filibustering is a slang sex term, I think it reveals a deeper problem that most 18-25 year olds aren’t engaged or educated in politics enough.”
The survey questioned people in categories aged 18-25, 26-40 and 41 and over.
Among all age groups, only 10 percent of people answered all the questions correctly, and half of respondents failed to give three or more correct answers.
The results showed that male respondents knew more of the terms than women did.
“People just expect that when they turn 18, a light bulb moment turns on and they will suddenly know all about politics. The results from older respondents show that this isn’t the case and that poor political education can affect people for a lifetime,” Bergamini said.