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09 JULY, 2017 (MAINS)

TODAYS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM GS-II

 

Q1. The success of democracy depends on how effective public opinion is. Discuss. (150Words)

 

Please write the answer in comments section

  • Osho Korde

    In modern society, the voice of the people forms the crux of any legislation or policy in the land. While this facet of societal feedback is prevalent in all societies regardless of the degree of authoritarianism, it is especially true for democratic societies of the world.]
    But it is important to first realise and understand what public opinion really is. The term ‘public opinion’ was coined by philosopher John Locke in the 17th century. Today, public opinion is defined in the following way: collective evaluations expressed by people on political issues, policies, institutions and individuals.
    Public opinion is important in a democracy because the people are the ultimate source of political power. In theory, a government official has to take public opinion into account whilst deciding on a future course of action. This is not to say that politicians always do what people want.
    It is important to understand the factors that shape public opinion as a whole. These include social class, education, region, age, gender and ethnic group. Society is not a homogeneous whole. It is made up of components. Each component faces different challenges in its functioning, therefore, members of each component view the world differently.
    A state is built upon the consent of the members of society. A constitution is drafted by the collective will of the people. Just as the state and the constitution are vital organic constructs, so is the primary method of informing them: public opinion.