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3 Television and Electoral Coverage: Changing Rules::• The Canadian Electoral Context Until the mid-1970s, North American political scientists paid little atten- tion to the role of the media in party politics. It was generally assumed that electoral politics and people's voting behaviour were determined by party identification and by socio-economic cleavages (Meisel, 1975). This focus was reinforced by American research, which had concluded that the media had a negligible effect on voting decisions (Klapper, 1960). According to Frederick Fletcher, these

had benefited from women's mobilization. However, why women were mobi- lized was still unclear to both Liberal and PQ operatives. Evidence pro- vided by Janine Brodie and Celia Chandler (1991) on changes in voting behaviour among North American women since the 1950s suggests that the strength of the Yvettes mobilization was not due mainly to 'emotional out- rage,' as Lise Bissonnette and the media claimed; rather, two other social processes were key factors . These were first, the fact that by the late 1970s women were slightly more likely to vote than men, and