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Chapter 5 Notes

Chapter 5 Notes - Public Opinion I Definition The collected...

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Public Opinion I. Definition : The collected attitudes of citizens on a given issue or question II. Why is it important to understand public opinion? Why does it matter? Because in a democracy there must be some link between what the public thinks, and what the government does. The nature of that link can vary greatly. Should the public just periodically elect representatives, or should they actively engage n the policy making process? It’s the delegate vs. trustee distinction we made earlier There is also the question of whether the public is capable of governing. Surveys show that people -are not very interested in politics -are ignorant of much that goes on politically -Rely heavily on cues and shortcuts rather than informed issue positions Another way to answer this question is to consider who is most interested in Public Opinion. Elected Officials – PO may influence government decision making. Academics – Seek to understand why people behave the way they do.
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The People
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