Connecting Citizens to Government
Political participation and public opinion polls both measure the ‘’will of the people’’, but one does not outweigh the other because each of them have positives and negatives that affect public opinion.
Public opinions and participation, in the book ‘’The Promise and Performance of American Democracy’’ can be described as the process of turning an opinion into a direct contribution to the process of determining who gets what. This can be a positive thing in numerous ways. People are active, involved, and educated. They proactively make their opinion heard, and are also informed on current issues and pay attention to political issues. With this comes denial. Even though people are active and involved, voices that are heard may only be a small, and not a diverse population. Secondly, opinions and stances focus on personal gain as opposed to well-being of general population.
For public opinion polls there is also advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages of this are that people are able to participate more than they would have previously, and these polls can also get opinions that otherwise might not have been heard. some cons for public polls are, even the though there is more participation, not everyone cares or is interested,and not everyone is informed on the issue. Organizations also can decide where or who to poll, which is also known as a biased sample. They can also manipulate the polling process and questions to get answers or the ‘’support’’ they want.
Both Political participation and public opinion polls both have their own implications and also similar ones. The implications that are made for political participation are that policy makers are paying attention to voters and the people who make their voice heard. Elite opinions such as lobbyists are tended to looked down upon. When politicians use these opinions to make decisions, people sometimes infer that they are...