On the Nature of Polls

Charles Bernstein

What seems to be discouraged in American politics is any active participation in the designation and description of public policy issues — a ceding of authority that politicians, journalists, and the public are forced to accept if they are to play the political roles to which they seem to have been assigned. The poll remains the most conspicuous example of this disenfranchising process, for polls elicit binary reactions to always-already articulated policies — a stark contrast to proactive political participation that entails involvement in formulating these policies — including formulating the way they are represented.
A Poetics (Harvard University Press, 1992)

And so for day 1815