Survey Says Most Young British People Think "Filibustering" Is a Sex Act

House of Commons in London
The House of Commons in London. A survey has tested Britons' political knowledge. Public Domain

Two thirds of British young people surveyed by a political website think "filibustering" is a sexual act.

Shout Out U.K., 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 that the terms in question related to politics.

Two thirds of people aged 18-25 answered the question "what does filibustering mean?" by picking the option "slang for a sex act," over the correct answer, "deliberately wasting time during a debate." Filibustering, while far less common in Britain's parliament then it is in the U.S. Senate, is still a recognized part of the U.K. political process.

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 is a caucus?" with the options "Scottish sausage," "Abnormally large cactus," and "Informal meeting."

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 also showed that male respondents knew more of the terms than women did; two-thirds (65 percent) of men answered five or more questions correctly.

Matteo Bergamini, founder of Shout Out U.K. said: "We commissioned the survey just to get an idea of what people's knowledge is on political terms... 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 to 25-year-olds aren't engaged or educated in politics enough.

"People just expect that when they turn 18, a lightbulb moment turns on and they will suddenly know all about politics. The results from older respondents show this isn't the case and that poor political education can affect people for a lifetime."