Getting the message across : the Scottish National Party and the Bloc Quebecois
This thesis examines the political communications strategies of the Scottish National Party and the Bloc Quebecois during the 1997 national elections in the UK and Canada and how these two political parties have promoted their nationalist message, as well as their relationship with the journalists who deliver it. It challenges the consensus that the quality of a party's political communication is the main determinant of its electoral success, and looks at the role of other factors, such as historical, political, cultural and social conditions, and how such factors influence the role of journalists in promulgating nationalism. This is done through an examination of nationalism and cultural identity as well as political journalism in Britain, Scotland, Canada and Quebec; an analysis of the histories of the Scottish National Party and the Bloc Quebecois; data from interviews with journalists and party strategists; an analysis of the political communications strategies of the two parties before 1997; and case studies of the SNP and the Bloc during the 1997 elections in Canada and the UK, which include data from media coverage and party political documents. The author concludes that it is these other factors that have had more of an influence on the electoral outcomes of the Scottish National Party and the Bloc Quebecois rather than their political communication, and which have also determined the sometimes adversarial nature of the relationship that political journalists in Scotland and Quebec have had with these nationalist parties.