A new major national poll regarding Americans’ trust in government finds that favorable opinions of seven federal agencies have dropped
significantly since the last time the survey was conducted in the late

The poll, “Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor,” by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press surveyed more than 2,000 Americans from mid-March to April about their opinions of government and major institutions.

Pollsters asked about 13 federal agencies, including the military and U.S. Postal Service. Compared with the last time the survey was conducted in 1997 and 1998, the Education Department‘s favorability rating dropped the most, by 21 percentage points to 40 percent.

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Stephen Peteritas

This isn’t surprising. It’ll be interesting to see what type of impact the Open Government Initiative has when they poll these numbers again in a few years.

The positive in me says the numbers should go up as people see exactly what agencies are doing but the negative tells me people will always find something to shake their heads at.

What do you guys think can Open Gov restore faith in agencies and government as a whole?

Patrick Quinn

“Open Government” won’t move these numbers without a substantial citizen-participation element. Government has to stop thinking “Gov 2.0 = Open Government.” Transparency is essential but insufficient.

There is shockingly little attention paid to modifying government operations to include interactive citizen participation. I suspect the participatory element must eventually be externally imposed. I used to think that was a bad thing; now I’m not so sure.