Federalism and the Individual Public Policy

Question 1 – Federalism and the Individual

How does federalism affect policy development?  

How then does policy development affect the rights of the individual?  

What is the overall effect?  

Why should we be concerned?  

Question 2 – Public Policy and Opinion Polls

It is difficult to assess the independent effect of public opinions on shaping public policy.  Public policy often differs from national opinion polls, and the Constitution contains no provision for national referenda on policy issues.  The public does not have opinions on many policy questions, public opinion is unstable, and decision makers can easily misinterpret as well as manipulate public opinion.  Public policy is more likely to conform to elite opinion than to mass opinion.  Discuss the impact of political processes on policy content in context of the preceding statements. 

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