Essay about The Five Models Reflecting Public Opinion in Politics

650 Words 3 Pages
A belief shared by most people, the voice of the people. The opinion of the public is the popular view. Opinions bring public beliefs to the attention of decision/policy makers. Public opinion is that opinion which government must heed to. Public opinion is reflected by public policy through five models according to Norman Luttbeg.

The Rational-Activist Model in which voters use elections as a policy expression. Individual citizens are expected to be informed politically, involved, rational, and above all, active (pg 19). This model puts a burden on citizens who are expected to be informed and vote accordingly.

The Political Parties Model in which politicians diverge ideologically to provide a cue of party affiliation, allowing
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The Interest Groups Model in which politicians respond to public opinion and when they respond to articulated interest group opinion. Politicians pay extra attention to group activity due to the power of numbers and resources. The group process results in some opinion carrying more weight than others.

The Delegate Model in which politicians are sufficiently fearful of public opinion and they follow public opinion in their policies in advance of the next election. Elite responsiveness to the mass preference is conditional on electoral timing. Democratic senators, whose personal beliefs are generally more liberal than those of their statewide constituencies, would act less liberal as their term progresses, but then return to more liberal positions once reelected. When presidents in their first term get closer to reelection, the more their stands are consistent with public opinion. If they succeed to a second term and thus become ineligible for any more terms, the election cycle no longer governs a president’s behavior. Politicians move in the direction of their constituents when Election Day approaches, but if they plan to retire or become ineligible for reelection, they can be away from their constituency.

The Sharing Model representation is when politicians are drawn from the same culture as their constituents. The linkage is the simple sharing of common opinions by followers
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