Public Opinion and Polling
In a world,
where a select few run the government
catered to the desires of the masses,
how do they know what the public wants?
is important to a successful democracy.
Polls facilitate the conversation.
Policy makers, politicians, use polls to understand the leanings of public opinion and better craft their arguments.
A vote with nonbinding results
Taken to determine opinion on some issue
Indicators of support among the most active members of the party
Used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners
Taken as people leave a polling place
Taken over a period of time
Help to identify trends in public opinion
Used by candidates to disseminate negative information about opponents
public policy doesn't always match what the public wants.
Why is this?
Oftentimes, the public doesn't really understand the complexities of the national issues.
So rather than going along with uninformed positions,
policy makers have to make the hard decisions
that take them away from the trends of public opinion.
Polls often only offer the public with the choice between
rather than taking into consideration the nuances of the complex issues....
People formulate their political opinions
with help from a few different factors:
The family has a monopoly on time and emotional commitment.
People are almost exclusively exposed to the biased opinions of their parents while learning about the political process.
Along with parents, mass media functions as a source of political information.
People learn much of what they know about government at school.
Strict political ideology plays only a minor role in political socialization.
is not as important to most people
as it is to the political elite.
People do have their own political ideologies,
but they are not organized so neatly.
It is the responsibility of policy makers
to keep themselves accountable to the public
and the responsibilty of the public
to become educated on and actively participate in the workings of the government
in order to ensure the protection of their rights
and of the rights of their children.