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Layton, Harper Named 2011's Political Game Changers

Who made the biggest difference on the political scene this year? Who had the most profound impact on the direction of the country? Who was the biggest surprise or became one of the big players?

All week, Power & Politics with Evan Solomon counted down the Top 5 political game changers of 2011 as voted by Power & Politics viewers and listeners of CBC Radio's The House.

Based on those nominations, Power & Politics profiled Alberta Premier Alison Redford, Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, the Arab Spring and the Conservatives' majority election win.

Friday, Power & Politics revealed the number 1 political game changer.

It is former NDP leader Jack Layton.

Layton's widow Olivia Chow and son Mike Layton spoke with Evan Solomon about Jack Layton's lasting legacy. View that interview at the top of this page. The House aired an interview with Chow and Anne McGrath, chief of staff to Layton and to current NDP Interim Leader Nycole Turmel.

Here are the rest of the political game changers for 2011:

- Jim Flaherty on Stephen Harper's majority win: In an interview with Evan Solomon about the Conservatives' victory during a year of global upheaval, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty suggests that Canada would be willing to contribute to an IMF-led bailout for Europe. Also, watch what the Power Panel had to say about Harper's majority win.

- John Baird on the Arab Spring: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who travelled to Libya during the height of the uprising there, talks about the changes that swept the Middle East this year. Also: Senator Roméo Dallaire and expert Janice Stein discuss the West's role in Syria and what might be ahead for Arab countries in 2012.

- Bob Rae on the Liberal defeat:Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae talked to Evan Solomon about the party's historic defeat May 2, and his attempts to restore the party's strength.

- Alberta Premier Alison Redford: It was a big year for women in politics, with four women leading their provinces or territories in 2011. View Alison Redford's take on 2011, and the Power Panel weighs in on Redford's road ahead and other women game changers in 2011, including Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

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2011 By The Numbers

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