Local governments are now being questioned on how they handled public sentiment within their area of governance. There are arousing issues about the neglect of public sentiment in some cities that need to be taken care of immediately.
Other law enforcement is taking public sentiment for granted since they only have less knowledge about its importance, and they tend to think of only what the law teaches them. According to Charles Horton, an American sociologist, a brief discussion, public sentiment, is rather a method of mutual interchange of thoughts between the people and the government than a plain agreement of terms.(1)
V.O Key Jr, a Political Scientist, states that “public opinions are held by private persons which the government finds it prudent to heed.” (1) To elaborate the thought, he claimed that the government must carefully assess the attitude of every person that is influenced by their feelings and emotions.
As stated above, public sentiment is key to build a good relationship between the government and the people. This is also the reason why public sentiment must be improved. Stated below are five ways on how to enhance public sentiment.
- Give more knowledge through creating more compelling theories.
One way of improving public sentiment is to request more influential social scientists’ theories to provide more knowledge on the importance and benefits of having an excellent public sentiment.
As social scientists, it is one of their duties to connect the public and the government. By doing so, the government would have more successful policies considering that public sentiment shapes public policy.
Having politically active citizens can also improve public sentiment, resulting in a well-organized city that has established a strong relationship between the government and its people.
2. Impose better social policies
Social policies depend on public sentiment since they are in charge of creating policies that would give the people service. Ordering a law that’s not well-suited by the public will create a negative public sentiment. Thus, one way of improving public sentiment is to impose better social policies and to gather public feedback by means of surveys. Platforms such as Officer Survey allow community members to provide instant feedback following every interaction with the responding officer(s).
3. Public forum
Calling for a public forum will give drastic improvements to the public sentiment of a specific place. A public forum is a kind of set-up that allows the public to express their sentiment to their leaders freely. May it be their concerns, deal with a specific issue or anything in particular. By forum we do not mean social media. Most agencies should implement a simple forum on their websites that community members can access and log issues.
This will also enable law enforcement to understand why the people are expressing that attitude towards a particular issue. Giving the public a chance to voice their problems, issues, and concerns will improve public sentiment and make them more politically active.
4. Law enforcement should do more fieldworks
Allowing law enforcement to have a firsthand experience of what is happening in their city could be beneficial for public sentiment. Having to know their people’s lifestyle and experience their daily routines will lessen the bias that these law enforcers have when tackling an issue that involves the public.
Sometimes, when there are problems with the people, the enforcers tend to disregard the public’s side and react negatively to the public sentiment. Having to know their life would increase public sentiment and improve their service.
5. Improve accountability and transparency
Sometimes, public sentiment is condoned by other people because of the lack of trust that they have in the government. A community that lacks trust in its government and has less public sentiment is doomed to chaos. To prevent this from happening, the government must improve public sentiment by gaining the public’s trust. Using Officer Survey can help build trust between police and their communities.
Public sentiment is not something that you can disregard, and following these steps might help improve public sentiment in your area. For a city to run smoothly, both the government and the public must play their roles. The public must be more politically active, and the government must consider public sentiment.
- Davison, W. Phillips. “Public opinion”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 13 Nov. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/public-opinion. Accessed 24 March 2021.