We will conclude our unit on political participation this week with a focus on factors, forces and groups that shape government decisions. Gallup.com is one of the most well-known and respected groups that measures public opinion. Why does public opinion matter? Well, in a democratic republic like ours, when the will of the majority is ignored by a public official, the results usually are felt in the next election, which is happening on April 30th! If government officials truly are "representatives," people expect them to follow their demands. So, here is what I would like you to do this week. Click on the link below. Pick one of the listed topics & study the charts and article associated with that topic. Then, answer all of the following questions:
1. What question did Gallup ask to measure opinion about the topic you chose?
2. Do you agree or disagree with the majority in the poll? Compare your view with the majority!
3. What makes your topic controversial or devisive?
4. What public policy should the government pursue about your issue?
If you cannot answer all of the above parts or have to answer "I don't know" or "I don't care" then you need to pick another topic!