The new session of Parliament is set to begin, tomorrow. The 2014 year-end analysis of political programs and media coverage is done. Pundits have already exhausted discussion of their top issues picks from the year.

Which means, it’s also time for us to parse through a year’s worth of #cdnpoli tweets.

Data collection and analysis was conducted using Sysomos Heartbeat and Full Duplex’s proprietary Compass tool. All tweets analyzed include the #cdnpoli hashtag. Issue/theme ranking is determined by matching keyword-relevant criteria in each tweet and are based on keyword groupings covering 90 key themes observed in the captured content.

High-level findings

In all, 4,027,515 #cdnpoli tweets were issued from 277,280 unique Twitter handles in 2014. That’s a 10% increase in volume and a 3% increase in participants over 2013.

The table, below, identifies the top 10 most-discussed issues/themes along with the associated number of tweets and unique participating Twitter handles. The table is sorted by volume of activity.

Issue/themeNumber of tweets
(% overall)
Number of participants
(% overall)
Oil, gas and pipelines294,844 (7.2%)44,007 (15.2%)
Employment194,677 (4.7%)34,686 (12.0%)
Canadian forces, personnel and veterans176,091 (4.3%)31,629 (11.0%)
Elections and byelections151,804 (3.7%)25,619 (8.9%)
Crime121,954 (3.0%)29,007 (10.0%)
Environment109,833 (2.7%)23,423 (8.1%)
First nations108,580 (2.6%)24,759 (8.6%)
Economy94,608 (2.3%)22,974 (8.0%)
Health81,406 (2.0%)22,207 (7.7%)
Taxes81,275 (2.0%)18,042 (6.2%)

2013/2014 issues/themes comparison

In 2013, the top three issues mentioned within #cdnpoli chatter were:

  1. the Senate expenses scandal
  2. oil, gas and pipelines
  3. Idle No More and First Nations

Things have shifted since. Among domestic issues, the Senate fell to number 13, First Nations (including Idle No More) to number 7. Meanwhile, and oil, gas and pipelines took over the number 1 spot. Rounding out the top three for 2014 are employment (2) and Canadian Forces, forces personnel and veterans (3).

Among international issues, the middle east (as a whole) takes this year’s the number 1 spot (number 3 overall), followed by the Israel-Hamas conflict (7 overall) and the Ukraine (11 overall).

More to come

Watch for more coming analysis of MP use of Twitter in 2014.

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