21% of a sample of 717 persons chosen to represent the population of Malta, mostly young males, don't know that Malta has a constitution.
This was one of the results gathered by a survey recently published by the Committee on the Awareness of the Maltese Constitution, headed by Dr Franco Debono, entitled 'Awareness of the Constitution Among the Maltese: A Study'.
Rev. Professor Saviour Chircop gave a presentation at a press conference yesterday highlighting the findings of the survey after the 566 people who knew Malta had a constitution were further questioned. About 54% of the sample professed an average, at best, knowledge of the Constitution and 47% directly associated the word 'Constitution' with the idea of 'Law'.
When asked if they had ever actually researched the constitution, only 88 people answered yes, of which 66% had only done so due to work or school. This being said, when asked whether they consider information about the Constitution important, 75% of the 566 respondents agreed.
It turned out, however, that when prompted with various statements and asked whether they were part of the constitution or not, an overwhelming majority actually know that the statements were true, but they simply did not know that they were in the constitution. This implies that, although knowledge of the constitution itself is seemingly lacking, the public do actually have knowledge of particular laws and clauses within the constitution.
Prof Chircop also explained the way the survey's sample was randomly chosen and according to quotas to fully represent the Maltese population before going into the findings themselves. Numbers were selected based on age group, region, as well as education level.
Dr Franco Debono announced the official website, www.kostituzzjoni.com, which not only has information all about the constitution itself, but also invited the general public to make their own suggestions in terms of constitutional reform offering a forum for the public to have their voices heard.