KAIPATIKI: What is the importance of having Civics classes in school?

Dr Grant Gillon, Member

Recent election low turnouts and democracy related controversies seem to indicate that people can best determine their voting preferences if they are provided with sufficient information. This information includes, of course, positions on policies. But it is also important for an understanding on the process as well. The Prime Minister-elect has also formed strong Executive relationships with there other parties: Act, Maori and United. One question I have been asked was why did he bother. We learnt the answer this week when we learnt that National had lost an MP, since election night, and so no longer has  a majority in the House. As a result, the Green Party gained an extra MP. Obviously, political watchers within the government understood the likelihood of this occurring and deliberately set out to ensure they still had a majority by forming coalition relationships.

So, understanding policies will help us form our vote and understanding process helps us understand who might become our next government regardless of who we voted for.

Who knows? Maybe civics will also increase voter turnout and have other benefits as well. But what is evident is that an educated population enhances democracy and ensures that we enjoy a robust, integral and vibrant democratic society.

No other answers have been submitted.

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