Freedom of speech and democracy guarantee the existence of politically-driven public opinion polls (almost exclusively govermental party sponsored...the parties being the "government" from the shadows who could potentially manitpulate their puppet rulers by obtaining for them their politcal ticket (through contacts, fundraising and accepting special interest lobby money).
In practice, this could mean that the opinions generated by the polls could be used to inform the ruling party of how they should rule (because rulers who do not perform well in public opinion must maintain their position by force with militia...and one would have to question if the secret service are a form of militia) or the rulers are quickly replaced for a new government. The methodolgy used for the mudslinging involved in evoking a civilized coup d'etat (ie impeachment and resignation) and tribunal proceedings could of course be questionable. Also, the evidence presented could be less than authentic or out of context at best.
However, the information generated from the polls is necessarily intended to be manipulated, by virtue of the initiation of its collection, in order for the political party to act in consistency with its own agendas (regardless of intent...ideally the agendas of the people), providing that it has majority approval of the people. As we all know, you cannot please everyone all of the time, just as long as you can please most (not necessarily > 50%) of the people all of the time, by the essence of democracy.
Also, in doing so, the practice of obtaining a poll could allow the taker of the poll to distinguish who is supporter of the political party's agenda, and who is not a supporter. The poll taker is guaranteed this information by virtue of freedom of speech. Practically, if there is a chance that your opinion will fall with the majority (which does not always mean > 50 %, but rather the largest fraction of 100% divided by the number of opininions for the suject), then you will voice the truth in your heart.
In this way, a political party could take a poll in order to find out how much they could get away with (good or bad), and make a list of their opponents. So, by giving the constituents freedom of speech, the political party could potentially gain more control (and hence a larger share of the approval pie) if there were a way to target dissendents and remain in public favor. Especially if what the dissidents were proposing could be interpreted as, (mis)presented for and/or associated with something bad/evil. This could potentially target many innocent people by association...who would all be labeled guilty and treated as such by the ruling party with the "hard facts" of the association. This may or may not apply to the voices of any persecuted group that has been oppressed by a ruling party.
Thus, a party ruler in a free, democratic society can represent its own agenda, as long as it can please more than half of those interested in the politics. However, the potential problem has nothing to do with democracy. It has to do with the choices of the men who lead, and viable choices for a successful rule require polls. Thus, it seems a conflict of interest for any poll to be associated with the government.
Web Author: Anonymous