Help finding information about public opinion polling and the president
July 23, 2008 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm working on a project for a poli sci class and was looking for some helpful articles about public opinion polls, town hall meetings, press conferences, etc.

Basically I am looking for articles that might address problems with our current methods of informing the U.S. President about and holding him accountable to public opinion. Specifically, articles that address the inaccuracy of public opinion polls, the drawbacks to "going public", and any new and interesting methods of fixing these problems. I'm truly not asking anyone to do my homework, I just need help finding the right info to get started on figuring out my thesis.

One thing I was looking for in particular is that I have a recollection that the Prime Minister (UK) is required to have question and answer sessions with the people in sort of a town hall meeting style. If I'm wrong, I apologize, but I swear I remember hearing about this. If this is the case, then I'd like some info about how this is enforced, how effective it is, etc.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Raichle to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Here's wikipedia on the Prime Minister's Questions.
posted by scody at 5:55 PM on July 23, 2008

Thats wonderful, and something I didn't know about, Thanks! What I was referring to though was a meeting with question and answer session with regular people and Tony Blair that I saw once. I remember thinking how aggressively people were questioning him and how they really held his feet to the fire. From my recollection, the reporter covering it mentioned that these were frequent.
posted by Raichle at 6:17 PM on July 23, 2008

A search for "presidential responsiveness" on Google Scholar brings up a number of articles that look like they may address some of these topics. Searching for "presidential pandering" also brings up articles on the subject. You may also want to take a look at the book Who Leads Whom?, which is on this topic.
posted by capsizing at 9:01 PM on July 23, 2008

I'd imagine you saw an episode of Question Time, which I'm pretty sure ol' Tony was on at least a few times.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:13 AM on July 24, 2008

I found a bunch of interesting stuff, but one thing I can't find - short of buying a book - a reasonable argument AGAINST "going public" or alternatively, an argument for "staying private".
I found lots of things saying that going public rarely gains support for the president's policies, but nothing addressing the possibility that it could detract from it. For the purposes of argument, I'd like to hear the other side.
posted by Raichle at 7:24 AM on July 24, 2008

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