Particularly in democratic systems, public opinion has the power to mold or influence public policy through its exertion of pressure on elected or appointed officials, and those seeking to be elected to office. In extreme situations, public opinion results in people being placed or removed from positions of power and influence.
In democratic systems, most public officials are placed in their positions through votes supplied by various national, state and local constituencies. Because elected officials are bound to these constituencies for support and re-election, they have a vested interest in supporting legislation or other public policy initiatives that represent the majority opinions of those voters.
Public opinion and its ability to influence political decision-making can be bolstered by a number of outside agents also frequently present in democratic systems. Reasonably free journalism is one example, where government misconduct can be brought before public scrutiny through a variety of different media, including newspapers, television and the Internet. Additionally, non-governmental organizations, interest groups and even government protection agencies can inform the citizenry and provide vehicles for direct action in correcting political wrongs.
The field of public opinion provides further opportunities for people with different interests and identities to find voice and collaboration in political spheres. For instance, people can unite under specific banners, such as family rights, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Frequently, the opinions of such groups are measured in surveys that are then consulted by elected officials when making policy.Learn More
In both the House and Senate votes for the Affordable Care Act in 2009, no Republicans voted in support of the bill. Arlen Specter, originally a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, switched to the Democratic Party to support the bill, due to arguments over the contents.Full Answer >
Political obligation refers to an individual's moral duty to abide by the laws of their state or country. Although there is close to total agreement among philosophers and political thinkers regarding this premise, there exists a lengthy history of attempts to explain the manner in which an individual acquires the obligation, what people have actually done to acquire it and whether political obligation is more of an issue of being rather than doing. Some of the more well-known attempts to define political obligation have been made by Socrates, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and David Hume.Full Answer >
A governor acts as the chief executive officer for the state government, implementing state laws while overseeing the operation of the state executive branch. The abilities and functions of governors vary from state to state.Full Answer >
New Jersey governor Chris Christie is 5 feet, 11 inches tall. The Republican governor, born on Sept. 6, 1962, has garnered much national attention for his ability to work with legislators of both parties, causing his name to be mentioned for national office.Full Answer >