Learning for Democracy
In partnership with Democracy Matters
These are momentous times in global politics. The UK has begun its formal withdrawal from the European Union; in the USA, the advent of President Trump has polarised the American electorate in ways that have not been seen for decades. Elections loom across Europe.
Inevitably, democracy itself is under scrutiny.As the background paper suggests, just 21% of Britons trust politicians to tell the truth (Ipsos-Mori 2016). Only a third are satisfied with how Parliament works and think the system by which Britain is governed works well, with those furthest from Westminster most likely to be dissatisfied (Hansard Society 2016 Audit of Political Engagement). Only 13% of people feel they have any influence. On average, 40% of 18-24 year olds voted in the last four general elections, compared to over 60% in 1992. The UK’s youth turnout rate is the lowest in Western Europe, and half that of Sweden, for example.
How do we address such apathy? How might we educate our young people to become active participants in the democratic process? How might we use formal and informal education to help create a democracy that works for as many people as possible?