“Investigating Media as a Deliberative Space: Newspaper Opinions about Voting Systems in the 2007 Ontario Provincial Referendum”

Dennis Pilon


This paper seeks to contribute to discussions of deliberative democracy by developing tools to measure the deliberative quality of the media handling of the Ontario referendum debate. To that end, the paper will examine elite media discourse over voting systems in the major daily broadsheets in Ontario throughout the referendum campaign period. This will involve examining both the balance of views presented as well as assessing the rhetorical strategies employed in the debate. As will be demonstrated, the results tend to confirm previous negative assessments of media’s deliberative performance in referendum contexts, though in this case with more detailed evidence about the specifically deliberative failures.


Deliberative Democracy

Full Text:


@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125