|Abstract: ||In the age of fragmented audience, fast-paced lives and six-second sound bites, mounting an
effective public education campaign can prove exceptionally difficult, particularly when
complex subject matter is involved. Prior to Ontario’s 2007 referendum on choosing an
electoral system, Elections Ontario embarked on such a campaign to teach the populace of
the choice it faced, but a number of factors stood in the way.
Using a qualitative approach of document analysis, this research paper compares the
political education drive of Elections Ontario to the public information campaign model
established by Weiss and Tschirhart, with supporting research from such scholars as
Coffman, Gastil and Hyman and Sheatsley. The campaign successes and failures are
analyzed, as is the reasoning behind why the effort is widely considered to have fallen short.
Finally, this paper considers the challenge of educating a disinterested or distracted public on
intricate issues such as electoral reform.|