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.
Rob Ford's ouster as Toronto Mayor was getting the most traction in Canada last week.
"This is a bit like watching a car crash. Even though it's horrifying and you want to avert your eyes, you're just not able to do it," said Watt on Power & Politics.
Ford's support is eroding quickly, even among his core constituency, Watt said. Canadians aren't complaining that the judge went too far in the conflict-of-interest case against Ford.
Instead, the public feels the mayor simply broke the rules. Ford needs to start acting like a mayor if wants to keep his job, said Watt — Ford's current approach is not working.
"Forget about the coaching of football. Forget the losing the weight. All these other shenanigans have got to go by the wayside and he's actually got to get back to work for the people of Toronto."
Secrecy pays off
The government has it right on the Canada-EU trade deal, Watt said. The government has been keeping quiet on negotiations and their low-key approach is helping deflect criticism from the opposition. Even though the Canada-EU trade deal has traction in Ottawa, that's not the case beyond the nation's capital.
The NDP has been using question period to drive the issue, saying the government is sacrificing too much in the forthcoming trade agreement with the European Union. But because the government hasn't offered up many details on the deal, Canadians are losing interest before the agreement even comes to fruition.
"Secrecy is certainly paying off in this particular issue. By not giving people something to grab on to or get a hold of ... people just pass it by and go on to something else," Watt told host Evan Solomon.
Canadians unsure about Carney’s departure
Meanwhile, Mark Carney's announcement that he's leaving his job as Governor of the Bank of Canada to head up the Bank of England received more traction in Ottawa than across the country.
Overall, Ottawa is pleased that Carney will represent Canada on a larger, international stage. Canadians are more hesitant though about Carney's big move.
Canadians see Carney, along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, as part of a very powerful trio managing the economy.
"What if you break up one of the best lines in a hockey game? ... What if you take one of them out? What does that mean for the rest of the team and the rest of the game? That's what Canadians are thinking about," Watt said.
Here are the numbers for the week of Nov. 24-30:Suggest a correction