Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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This paper is a report of a pilot study of how candidates argue when they are running for political office. The election studied was the provincial election in Ontario, Canada, in the fall of 2011. Having collected about 250 arguments given during the election from newspaper media, we sought answers to the following questions, among others: (i) which argumentation schemes have the greatest currency in political elections? (ii) Is a list of the best known argumentation schemes sufficient to classify the arguments given in elections? (iii) What schemes should be added to the familiar list to make it more adequate for studying elections? (iv) Is it useful to classify arguments as being used for positive, policy-critical, person-critical and defensive purposes? (v) Can political parties be usefully characterized by noting their preferred kinds of arguments and their most frequent uses of arguments? (vi) What lessons can be learned from this study to better design future studies of the same kind?


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