What are the positive and negative consequences of governing by public opinion?

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I would argue that there are certainly both positive and negative consequences to governing by public opinion. Governing by public opinion would demonstrate the influence of the public in policymaking. This would be a great example of democracy in action, truly letting the citizens decide the direction of the nation. Governing by public opinion, however, could cause problems in cases where citizens are not well informed on issues. The nation would likely suffer negative consequences when the opinions of uninformed citizens were deciding significant government action. Additionally, there are many workings of government. It would be difficult to govern strictly by public opinion, because it would require citizens to have opinions on an incredible amount of issues and topics. One of the benefits of a representative democracy is the fact that people have representatives whose responsibility it is to understand the views of their constituents and make decisions on these many issues in (theoretically at least) their name.

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