Government SS1 Second Term

Week 7

Topic: PUBLIC OPINION

Contents:

  1. Characteristics of Public Opinion
  2. Formation of Public Opinion
  3. Measure of Public Opinion
  4. Functions of Public Opinion
  5. Demerits of Public Opinion

PUBLIC OPINION

This  is an aggregate of the individual views, attitudes, and beliefs about a particular topic, expressed by a significant proportion of a community. This is a belief, values and attitudes which are commonly held and expressed by majority of the people by giving of public issues.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLIC OPINION

  1. It involves public issues
  2. It is an expression of a person’s private opinion or point of view
  3. The role of communication is effective
  4. It is dynamic and changes from time to time

FORMATION OF PUBLIC OPINION

  1. Through election
  2. Through mass media
  3. Through pressure group and political parties
  4. Symposium and lecture
  5. Individual influence

MEASURE OF PUBLIC OPINION

  1. Through an opinion pool
  2. Through mass media
  3. Demonstration by member of the public
  4. Through referendum which involves people voting yes/no on an issue
  5. During a general election

FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC OPINION

  1. It can bring about the removal of a minister or his movement to other department
  2. The people’s problems, needs and desires are known to the government

DEMERITS OF PUBLIC OPINION

  1. It can be manipulated by few influential leaders
  2. It may not represent general opinion
  3. It is not reliable and therefore not advisable for government to rely on it
  4. It can be manipulated by a few individuals

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