Opinion-Policy Nexus

One of the central themes of this U.S. election year is the widespread desire for change in the political system.

Public opinion polls suggest that some 70 per cent of Americans support this view, and it helps to explain the rise in the unconventional candidacies of both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who tried to win the Democrats' presidential nomination.

However disdain for the status quo, and the concept of change is a substitute generic term, is ambiguous and can mean profoundly different things to different people, as illustrated by the differences between Trump's and Sanders' appeal.

Americans are quite justified to be unhappy with a dysfunctional political system that seems permanently paralyzed in gridlock.

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Monday, August 8, 2016 - 09:12

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