In all of human society, the collective will and desire of the majority of the people has been a powerful driving force in the development of civilizations. The course of any community, whether it is a small tribal group or a huge country, depends on the support of its citizens on things or issues that will benefit them. No leader, king or emperor reigned successfully without the support and mandate of the people they govern. This is why it is important to know what the people wants, their comments and suggestions. This advice coming from the people is called Public Opinon.
Importance of public opinion
Public opinion has the most importance in countries under democracies. The term “democracy” literally means “rule of the people.” In a democratic government, leaders base mainly their advocacy, plans and agenda from public opinion, which is best portrayed by the saying “What the public wants the public gets.” Only in countries where the people are allowed to voice their opinions, is public opinion important. Totalitarianism, Dictatorship and Fascism are examples of governments where public opinon has no power.
The sound public opinion
Though the concerns and opinions of the majority is commonly regarded as the ultimate truth, not all forms of public opinion are considered sound and accurate. There are certain criteria that are needed to be fulfilled in order to classify certain public opinions are sound and accurate. Sound public opinon is based on the following set of environments the public are immersed.
Proper education of the masses is an important thing to have in order to ensure that their public opinion is sound. Though sound public opinion can be taken from people with less education, taking advice from them in more complex issues becomes difficult. In order to extract or receive more public opinion which will be helpful for any decision, educating the public is important.
If poverty is the mother of revolutions and crime, poverty also reduces the ability of the majority for sound public opinion to grow. Resentment, anger, frustration and disappointment all affects the ability of a person to provide sound judgment and opinion. This is why if one wants to receive good and sound public opinions from the people, one must lessen poverty.
Influence of media
The media is currently the most powerful venue for displaying public opinion. This is why most totalitarian and dictatorships impose censorship on media companies. How the media is used and how it influences the people are also vital components in order for the public to generate sound public opinion.
Public opinon is an important product provided by the people in any group in society. This is why it is necessary to ensure an open venue for people to air their opinions and vent their grievances in order for any leader to accurately deal with his or her constituent’s concerns.