A first for Soviet citizens -- filling out opinion poll

Readers of the Communist Party newspaper in the Soviet Union's southern republic of Georgia are guinea pigs in an experiment that represents a mini-revolution here -- a public opinion poll. ``Circle the number of the answer that corresponds to your opinion. If none of the alternatives given matches your opinion, then please write in your own. . . . No need to give your name and address,'' the instructions read.

For Soviet citizens, responding to a poll is a novel experience. The poll tries to gauge what Georgians, renowned for entrepreneurship, think of state measures to clamp down on private enterprise.

``How big a danger for our society do these tendencies toward private business represent? Big, significant, minor, none, hard to say?'' the newspaper asked.

``What is it that keeps some people away from such activities?'' The possible responses listed included high moral qualities, awareness of inevitable punishment, and lack of necessary business skills.

The poll, published in the newspaper Zarya Vostoka (Dawn of the East), is organized by the Georgian Communist Party Central Committee's Public Opinion Research Institute. The newspaper did not say when -- or even if -- the results would be published.

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