Polling and its impact on public policy

An interesting piece on the impact of polling on public policy in the US from my colleague Jeff Weintraub on our Public Affairs blog that is worth checking out here.

In contrast, I am not sure we need an online poll to establish whether polling has a big impact on the outcomes of public policy decisions at an EU level. I’ve discussed the fact it isn’t used more in previous posts.

In any case, it is an interesting debate in an EU context. Should advocates and policymakers in this town be making more use of polling both in advocacy and in making their policy decisions?

I’d be interested in your views and indeed examples of where it has proved valuable/not valuable.


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mathew lowry
October 21, 2009 | 1:37 PM

Good question. I'm reminded of the Lisbon Council's <a href="http://innovation.blogactiv.eu/2009/10/07/a-new-dawn-10-recommendations-for-the-new-european-commission/" rel="nofollow">ten recommendations</a> for the EC, as two of the 10 recommendations covered communications in one way or another. One was socialmedia-oriented, pointing out that <i>"surveys can give the European Commission an important mandate for action... surveys have demonstrated that citizens want strong EU leadership on climate change and the environment. And when telecommunications companies were up in arms over the Commission’s plans to reign in roaming charges, it helped to prove that it had the support of 70% of the population."</i> So there are a couple of examples, which seem to indicate that polls, as perhaps part of a wider social media strategy, should play a larger role than is currently the case. Mathew PS. I blogged about the communications dimension of the 10 recommendations <a href="http://mathew.blogactiv.eu/2009/10/13/recommendation-watch-1-lisbon-council/" rel="nofollow">here</a>)