I recently came across this news article (please take a look at it), which discusses the use of polls by the Canadian government. The government launched an investigation into the polling practices of the previous government in order to discover wrong-doing, only to have their appointed independent investigator criticize their own polling practices. The article notes that "the government spent $31.2 million on opinion research in the last year -- more than any previous year and almost twice the $18 million spent on average during the [previous] Liberal years."
What are your thoughts on government usage of public polling? Is it a worthwhile expense to gauge the mood of the populous? Is it a waste of money due to the limitations of public polling? Does it contribute to a horse race mentality when discussing public policy?
I appreciate your responses.
edit. typo in topic.
[Edited 2008-01-07 21:57:03]