Het publiek in de tribune : vormen van politieke informatie

Res Publica 17 (4):457-470 (1975)
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Abstract

This contribution should be seen as an attempt to retrieve information from restcategories, such as «does not know» and «no answer». From these, and from other data as well, we constructed 10, mostly summating, indexes of political ignorance. Among them is an index of objective ignorance, that is about political events, persons and situations. The others aim at more subjective dimensions. Does the respondent feel informed about the political process : about government and party performance, partisan congeniality, modalities of voting, local politics social problems, political issues?There seems to be some evidence in favor of the following hypotheses.1. The indexes tend to compensate each other: respondents who score low on one index, do not necessarily score low on the next one.2. I t is difficult to ascertain the validity of an index of objective ignorance. Moreover it does by no means express all the dimensions of political information.3. A mong indexes of subjective ignorance one should distinguish between «policy» and «political» information ; the latter seems to refer to a situation where strictly political rules of the game, a.o. those of political conflict, prevail.4. Of all indexes the «political issues» index showed the most discriminating power, as well as the most expected associations.

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