The role of the media in electoral behaviour: A Canadian perspective

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This work, divided in four sections, is a critical assessment of Canadian perspectives on the role of the media in electoral behaviour, notably on the roles media play in setting or responding to the agenda in the heat of election campaigns. The first section of the article highlights important Canadian methodological and empirical contributions to behaviouralism. The second section of the article, on culture, ideology, and discourse, illustrates general patterns of contrast between the Canadian and American political cultures through an exploration of the comparative role of negative and attack advertisements in election campaigns. The third section of the article illustrates how facets of the Political Economy of Canada exert an impact on media/campaign interactions. The fourth and final section of the article undertakes the task of situating media/campaign interactions within the legal-institutional regulatory context of the Canadian state. Here, while the potential impact on media content is apparent, the critical approach to the role of the media incorporates both the unacknowledged conditions and the unanticipated outcomes of the regulatory apparatus. © 2009 Policy and Society Associates (APSS).




Nesbitt-Larking, P. W. (2010). The role of the media in electoral behaviour: A Canadian perspective. Policy and Society, 29(1), 53–64.

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