Opinião Pública – Vol. 03, Nº 3 1995
Articles in this issue
The author discusses the nature of party identification and concludes that its characterization as a running tally of short-term forces that influences it’s formation and change profoundly underestimate the stability of party identification. The argument is that the period from the early 1960’s to the mid-1980’s has produced generation effects that have altered the basic parameters of the American National politics. The author studies the influence of the events of the past three decades on the political involvement of the younger generation and the finds that the post-New Deal generation contributed to the diminishing of the partisanship in the electorate, to the national decline in turnout and to a realignment of the social foundations of Democratic and Republican parties.
The authors discuss some critics about the problem on conceptualizing the public opinion, and they make a conceptual proposal which covers the following four aspects: the first one is the process of formation, which is the public debate; the second one is about its shape, or the public opinion expression of the opinion; the third one is the specific issue of the opinion, which refers to the relevance to create the public debate. Finally, the fourth aspect is the agent of the opinion defined by its collective aspect.
This article uses the measure of the Electoral Volatility by Pedersen in the period between 1950 and 1978. The author analyses the electoral movement for the country and for each state of the federation and he finds a behavior oriented to non-conservative parties.