Political Education Campaigns on Electoral Reform: Evaluating the Ontario Experience

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Title: Political Education Campaigns on Electoral Reform: Evaluating the Ontario Experience
Authors: Johnson, Mark
Date: 2013-06-27
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.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24260
CollectionCommunication - Mémoires // Communication - Research Papers
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