The following is an excerpt from today’s edition of the Digital Public Affairs newsletter, issued this morning. Subscribe for free to receive additional insight into digital public affairs, and a look at the role digital is playing in the Canadian political and public affairs landscape.
In theory, #cdnpoli Twitter traffic should have dropped this week. After all, it’s the first week of summer and Parliament isn’t sitting. Canada Day celebrations, festivals and BBQs should be dominating any online activity. Some would argue the nice weather and beginning of summer presupposes even the digerati should be “on the beach.”
This week proved theory and practice are two different things.
There was a 15% increase in #cdnpoli Twitter activity as 9,745 Twitter users (up 7% from last week’s 9,140) issued 45,264 tweets. The increase can be attributed to a number of significant political events, the dominant of which was Canada Day’s #DenounceHarper online rally when 5,125 Canadians expressed their frustrations and grievances with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They issued 21,660 tweets, 6,149 of which were also tagged with #cdnpoli (only 2,228 of which were issued on July 1). The criticisms were wide ranging and could be the subject of a long-form analysis.
Bev Oda was also a VERY hot topic of discussion. The announcement she’s stepping down was the catalyst for a significant amount of traffic. By all accounts, few Canadians will miss her (Conservatives included) though they will long remember her legacy of document modification and lavish spending. The installation of Julian Fantino as Ms. Oda’s replacement and Bernard Valcourt as his also inspired a significant amount of traffic. There was also speculation of a larger cabinet shuffle with tweets suggesting Peter MacKay, Tony Clement, Christian Paradis and Vic Toews may all be cabinet ministers on borrowed time.
Other prominently tweeted issues include:
- The Northern Gateway Pipeline
- Dean Del Mastro and the investigation into his election spending
- Bill C-38
- Changes to refugee health
On the “lower end” of issues, a handful of tweets noted a year-old government commitment to CCSVI treatment has yet to be acted on.
Analysis performed using Sysomos Heartbeat.