April 29, 2002

Polling and democracy…

The Cato Institute will hold a public forum tomorrow at noon (EDT) on the topic “Does Polling Hurt Democracy”? The promotional blurb for the program states:

“Polling of public opinion has come to dominate our political life. Presidents and members of Congress consult their pollsters just as ancient politicians queried the Oracle of Delphi. Defenders of polling say it improves our democracy by providing the views of the public to policymakers thereby controlling elites. Critics ask whether polling undermines constitutional government in favor of the “will of the people” as discerned by continual surveys.”

The speakers will be Matthew Robinson, author of “Mobocracy: How the Media

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