New Public Management (NPM) recently has been compared and contrasted with public governance (PG) to illustrate shifts in conceptions of public administrations and in reform agendas. The authors develop measures to capture the relevance of NPM and PG in textual discourse and investigate the extent to which they have entered the political debate. Content analysis of electoral programs for the 2005 Italian regional elections reveals that even in this legalistic country, considerable attention was paid to both NPM and PG issues. An important explanatory variable in preference for NPM or PG is party ideology, highlighting often-ignored within-country dynamics. Furthermore, the authors show how a methodological approach adapted from mainly political science and business research can be exploited in the field of public administration.