POLITICS

POLITICAL TRACTION | Changing landscape, Arab Spring and Bob Rae

01/04/2012 07:01 EST | Updated 03/05/2012 05:12 EST

Jaime Watt joins Power & Politics host Evan Solomon each week to look at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians.

Monitoring the House of Commons' question period, mainstream media and the conversation on social media, Watt and his team at Navigator Ltd. determine which issues gained the most attention in official Ottawa, and then measure how much traction those issues managed to find with Canadians outside the nation's capital.

This week's numbers — covering the period Dec. 17 to Jan. 2, when the Commons was not sitting — suggest Ottawa and the rest of Canada were talking about different things.

In Ottawa, the hot topics were a look back at the shifts in the political landscape in 2011, negotiations toward a new Health Accord — including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's surprise announcement of a funding formula through to 2022 — and Canada's economy. Across Canada, the conversation was more about the Arab Spring, the fate of the proposed Keystone XL pipepline and the performance of interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae.

These charts show how the top-three issues stacked up against each other in Ottawa and in Canada for the period Dec. 17, 2011, to Jan. 2, 2012.

Top three issues in Ottawa

Top three issues across Canada

(Difference may appear exaggerated due to differing chart baselines.)