ACM's lonely struggle
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 24 June 2012

It seems our concern about education in civics is justified. As is ACM's  decision - almost alone among organisations - to do something serious about civics education. 

This conclusion came from the results of the 2012 Lowiy Institute Poll.

In 2011, the Institute had conducted opinion polls in Indonesia and Fiji, which included questions on democracy and human rights. To see how views in these countries compare with those in Australia, the Institute repeated some of the questions in the 2012 Lowy Institute Poll.

[ The Late Senator Neville Bonner ]

The Institute concludes some Australians are surprisingly  blasé about democracy.

Presented with three statements about democracy and asked to say ‘which one of the three statements comes closest to your own personal views about democracy’, just 60% of Australians say ‘democracy is preferable to any other kind of government’. A quarter (23%) of Australians say ‘in some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable’, more than Indonesians (16%) but a similar proportion as in Fiji (25%).

Fifteen per cent of Australians say ‘for someone like me, it doesn’t matter what kind of government we have’, with a quarter (23%) of 18 to 29 year olds holding this view.

Readers will recall that this is similar to the number who support our constitutional monarchy.  

But disturbingly, only 39% of Australians 18 to 29 years old hold this view, with support increasing with age to 74% for those 60 years and older.

...ACM  alone...

Does this reflect on how we are educating the young?

ACM's concerns in this area have led to our educational activities in this area, first with the now independent Constitutional Education Fund- Australia and now  with  the  resource, including the Neville Bonner Prize. 

Only CEF-A and ACM are seriously active in this area, and only ACM stressing in an outreach programme into the schools the advantages of our constitutional monarchy .