Worst MPs On Twitter: Our Totally Unscientific Take On Canadian Politicians Online

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Our totally unscientific survey of the worst MPs on Twitter targeted politicians who allow their accounts to lay dormant. (CP)
Our totally unscientific survey of the worst MPs on Twitter targeted politicians who allow their accounts to lay dormant. (CP)

Twitter has come to Canadian politics in a major way over the last few years.

Political news spreads quickly via the social network and the online antics of politicians themselves often make headlines.

On Tuesday, Stephen Harper's new spokesperson Andrew MacDougall made news after posting a clever wisecrack in response to some digital heckling. MacDougall was widely lauded for his comeback and undoubtedly picked up some followers as a result.

That got us thinking about which Canadian politicians are failing or succeeding at using Twitter.

Check out our totally unscientific list of the 11 worst MPs on Twitter below and tell us who you think the best and worst MPs online are in the comments below. Don't forget to check back with HuffPost's Canada Politics page for our best MPs on Twitter list later this week.

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1. Stephen Harper
https://twitter.com/#!/pmharper

With such a large staff, you would expect the prime minister to be a little more consistent with his use of Twitter. Stephen Harper's account has sent out just 12 tweets so far in 2012, many of them linking to press releases. With nearly 220,000 followers, the PM is missing out on an excellent opportunity to sell himself and the Conservative brand. Harper should take a page out of Barack Obama's playbook. At the time of writing, the U.S. president had posted 14 tweets in just the last 24 hours. Obama even signs tweets that come directly from him. Come on Stephen, we don't need the Americans to be better than us at anything else.

2. Thomas Mulcair
https://twitter.com/#!/thomasmulcair

We at HuffPost have regularly been checking NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's Twitter account in the hope that he'll actually start using it. Since winning the leadership back in March, the account has gone completely silent. Previous to that it was extremely active. What gives?

3. Daniel Paillé
https://twitter.com/#!/danielpaille

The Leader of the Bloc Québécois Daniel Paillé has sent out just 89 tweets since joining in October of 2011. Despite being a federal leader not one of those 89 has been in English.

4. Tony Clement -
https://twitter.com/#!/tonyclementcpc

This is the controversial one. Treasury Board President Tony Clement is notorious in Ottawa and beyond for his regular use of Twitter. So why does the poster child for Canadian politicians on social networks make the list? It goes back to an incident last year in which Clement called a teen a jackass in a tweet after being corrected on a spelling mistake. Clement apologized and ever since his account just hasn't quite been the same. The humour which once made the account one to watch seems to be gone.

5. Nycole Turmel
https://twitter.com/#!/nycole_turmel

"Thomas Mulcair just gave an inspirational speech at the Economic Club of Canada luncheon!" This is what you can come to expect from the former interim leader of the NDP Nycole Turmel on Twitter. Her stream is dominated by posts about appearances and press releases. She rarely interacts with other users and seems to be slowing down her usage since the NDP leadership race ended and she was replaced by Thomas Mulcair.

6. Charlie Angus
https://twitter.com/#!/charlieangusmp

NDP MP Charlie Angus was one of the most active MPs on Twitter. That is until he got sick of all the negativity and publicly announced he was leaving the social network. His account is still online, so it's still possible he'll make a comeback.

7. Peter MacKay
https://twitter.com/#!/mackaycpc

Defence Minister Peter MacKay hasn't tweeted anything to his more than 3,000 followers since May of last year.

8. Vic Toews
https://twitter.com/#!/toewsvic

Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews is actually relatively active on Twitter compared to his cabinet colleagues. Toews makes the list due to his role in promoting the government's online spying legislation, a role which earned the minister heaps of scorn on the social network and sparked the #TellVicEverything and #DontToewsMeBro hashtags.

9. Dean Del Mastro
https://twitter.com/#!/DeanDelMastro

The parliamentary secretary to the prime minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dean Del Mastro has a classic ghost-town account: Five tweets back in 2009 and then silence.

10. Peter Kent
https://twitter.com/#!/mpPeterKent

The Minister of the Environment Peter Kent last tweeted back in January, despite the flurry of coverage regarding his portfolio in recent months. On the plus side, he has posted plenty of photos, although most are of the MP smiling with constituents variety.

11. Christian Paradis
https://twitter.com/#!/christianparad

In more than a year on Twitter, the Minister of Industry Christian Paradis has posted just 35 tweets and no photos.

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