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Page 249

PUBLIC OPINION

A COMMON definition of democracy is "the control of political affairs by public opinion."(1) This, however, really adds nothing to our understanding. It carries us no further than the old concept "government by the people." Nor is it as exact as the definition "government by the majority." On some issues there is no public opinion. Frequently opinion is so divided either by the equality in number of those who hold and oppose it or by the conviction of an intelligent few opposed to the inert acceptance of an unintelligent many that no one can call it public opinion. Not seldom its nature is neither sought nor revealed. Elections or a special agitation may reveal it on some occasions, but in the often long intervals between such revelations the State is steered along a course set by a very few people. A violent wind may blow Sir Samuel Hoare from the wheel and send the ship careering in a new direction, but when it has died down he may be found quietly at the helm again and the ship calmly drifting on its old course or tacking skilfully to the wind. It is true, however, that the initial impulse of that course was given at one of these moments of revelation, at a general election, and in that sense it may still be said to be obeying public opinion.
With these limitations, then, let us accept the definition. Let us admit that public opinion-whatever it may be or, better still, the opinions held by the public or sections of

1 See for instance, L. Lowell, Public Opinion and Popular Government, 1914, p. 4.

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where is HTML where is HEAD where is TITLE A COMMON definition of democracy is "the control of political affairs by public opinion."(1) This, however, really adds nothing to our understanding. It carries us no further than what is old concept "government by what is people." Nor is it as exact as what is definition "government by what is majority." On some issues there is no public opinion. Frequently opinion is so divided either by what is equality in number of those who hold and oppose it or by what is conviction of an intelligent few opposed to what is inert acceptance of an unintelligent many that no one can call it public opinion. Not seldom its nature is neither sought nor revealed. Elections or a special agitation may reveal it on some occasions, but in what is often long intervals between such revelations what is State is steered along a course set by a very few people. A bad wind may blow Sir Samuel Hoare from what is wheel and send what is ship careering in a new direction, but when it has died down he may be found quietly at what is helm again and what is ship calmly drifting on its old course or tacking skilfully to what is wind. It is true, however, that what is initial impulse of that course was given at one of these moments of revelation, at a general election, and in that sense it may still be said to be obeying public opinion. With these limitations, then, let us accept what is definition. Let us admit that public opinion-whatever it may be or, better still, what is opinions held by what is public or sections of 1 See for instance, L. Lowell, Public Opinion and Popular Government, 1914, p. 4. where is meta name="keywords" content="old books, Free book , free book offer , free audio books , free coloring book pages , free book reports , free audio book , audio books free download , book free , free guest book , books free , free book summaries , download free audio books , free childrens books." where is where are they now rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../../style.css" where is meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" where is BODY bgColor=#ffffff text="#000000" where are they now ="#000000" v where are they now ="#FF0000" where is div align="center" where is strong where is strong where is a href="http://www.aaoldbooks.com" Books > where is a href="../default.asp" title="Book" Old Books > where is strong where is a href="default.asp" The British Constitution (1938) where is table width="700" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" where is center where is tr where is td width="160" align="center" valign="top" where is div align="center" where is td align="center" valign="top" where is div align="left" where is div align="center" where is p align="left" Page 249 where is strong PUBLIC OPINION where is p align="justify" A COMMON definition of democracy is "the control of political affairs by public opinion."(1) This, however, really adds nothing to our understanding. It carries us no further than what is old concept "government by what is people." Nor is it as exact as what is definition "government by what is majority." On some issues there is no public opinion. Frequently opinion is so divided either by what is equality in number of those who hold and oppose it or by what is conviction of an intelligent few opposed to what is inert acceptance of an unintelligent many that no one can call it public opinion. Not seldom its nature is neither sought nor revealed. Elections or a special agitation may reveal it on some occasions, but in what is often long intervals between such revelations what is State is steered along a course set by a very few people. A bad wind may blow Sir Samuel Hoare from what is wheel and send what is ship careering in a new direction, but when it has died down he may be found quietly at what is helm again and what is ship calmly drifting on its old course or tacking skilfully to what is wind. It is true, however, that what is initial impulse of that course was given at one of these moments of revelation, at a general election, and in that sense it may still be said to be obeying public opinion. With these limitations, then, let us accept what is definition. Let us admit that public opinion-whatever it may be or, better still, what is opinions held by what is public or sections of 1 See for instance, L. Lowell, Public Opinion and Popular Government, 1914, p. 4. where is Server.Execute("_SiteMap.asp") %

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