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Take the test - The ISI Civic Literacy Test

By maxwell edison ·
ISI: Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Take the test, and compare your results to the average citizen AND to those who've held public office.

First, take the test:

Then compare your score:

No looking up the answers.

And don't look at anyone's reply before you take the quiz, because some people might comment on some of the questions.

And then, if you dare, share your results with us. (Even if you don't think you did that great, please share.)

Prediction: My esteemed TR peers will do better than the general public, at large.

Please, no ridicule of anyone brave enough to share their score.

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I scored a disappointing. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to Take the test - The ISI C ...

.....81.82 percent. I answered 27 correct out of 33 asked.

I missed (and the wrong answer I gave):

4 (C)
13 (C)
14 (C)
27 (D)
29 (A)
33 (A)

However, compared to the average citizen - and elected office holder - I suppose I did pretty well.

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Sorry, mind if I gloat?

by JamesRL In reply to I scored a disappointing. ...

I'm sure you do - I got 84.85.

We both missed 33 - I think they worded it ackwardly.


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I don't mind if you gloat

by maxwell edison In reply to Sorry, mind if I gloat?

My score was respectable, and if you look at my incorrect answers, well........ some of the questions are awkward, and I never read much of Socrates, Plato or Aristotle. And I didn?t miss any Constitutional questions.

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by JamesRL In reply to I don't mind if you gloat

I just squeeked past in reality, and I would accede to you the title of expert on the US Constitution without any debate.

I'm just happy to score well, considering the fact I have only had one high school class in American history, and one university class in comparative political systems, that spent alot of time comparing the Canadian/British Parliamentary system with the US system.

I was more teasing you than gloating. In truth there were a few questions I should have gotten correct if I had taken more time and care, thats not a boast but an admission that I was a little sloppy - my own darn fault.


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'Comparative political systems'

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Agreed.

That sounds absolutely fascinating. When I get over 60 and can start auditing classes at the local university for free, I hope I remember to look for something like that.

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Just cause I like ya....

by JamesRL In reply to 'Comparative political sy ...

...but not love, not BigHair love...

That was a good class. Ones I would avoid if I was taking it for interest sake - Public Administration. All about how governments work and how bureaucracies develop. Maybe it was my prof but it was deadly boring.

Probably the most interesting was a philosophy course called "The Philosophy of economic history" It focussed on the writers and thinkers who wrote about economics - from ancient times (Greece) to Marx, and encompassing Smith, Locke, Rousseau etc. I doubt you would find that exact course, but maybe something similar.


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I often wonder how a parlimentary system works

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Just cause I like ya....

but I haven't found a good concise link yet. I also wonder how elections are scheduled when a vote of no confidence ends a term before it's scheduled time, how a leader is chosen when no candidate or party wins a majority in an election, and why no other democratic country seems to require two years / half a term to choose a new leader.

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I will try to be concise.

by JamesRL In reply to Just cause I like ya....

Up until the current PM created fixed election dates last term, the Prime Minister could call the election at any time they chose - or in the case of a minority government, when they chose, or if parliament votes against them in a "confidence" bill. The bills that are deemed confidence bills are those that have to do with direct spending of the government in question. Budgets are always confidence bills, for example.

You might think that gives the government a lot of power, and it does. Traditionally an election is called every 4-5 years, and 5 full years is the maximum. Voters tend to punish governments who call early, or minority parties who force an election for no justifiable reason.
This past election, the Conservatives did call it before they had to, and before the period laid out in the legislation they passed. They thought they had conditions for victory. They were only partially successful, they increased their seats but no majority.

The Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the most seats. On rare occasions with minorities, the leaders of the two smaller parties will form a coalition and petition the Governor General (Queen's representative) that they be allowed to form the government. This happened once in my lifetime, in Ontario during the 80s. Generally the party with the most seats is the governing party.

Our party leaders are chosen by party members. Each party has a consitution which dictates how that is done. Most parties have a clause that says if the party loses the election, there will be a confidence motion at the party's next national convention.

The Governor General is pretty much a figurehead, but the PM goes to them to call an election, form a government, and swear in a cabinet. Once in history the GG had to actually make a decision about who should govern.


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James, thanks.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Just cause I like ya....

I wasn't expecting anything from you, just expressing my lack of knowledge. I appreciate your taking the time to put a synopsis together. Thanks.

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33 a trouble spot

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Sorry, mind if I gloat?

I notice it is one of the questions with the lowest success rate. I agree about the wording; I spent more time on it than any three others.

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