Political Traction: Opposition wins with budget votes

Jaime Watt takes a weekly look at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians on CBC's Power & Politics. This week: The budget marathon and Bob Rae's Liberal leadership surprise.
Political analyst Jaime Watt looks at the political issues that matter to Canadians 8:18

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

Political Traction with Navigator's Jamie Watt appears weekly on Power & Politics. (CBC)

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.

Last week's marathon budget votes led the coversation in Ottawa and across the rest of Canada as well. Pundits were largely supportive of the opposition's manoeuvring because it successfully brought attention to concerns over the government's omnibus bill.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May was the big winner as the budget battle showed her to be a serious player on the federal scene, but the opposition was successful overall in driving the conversation about accountability and democracy. The question is: will the tactics be enough, or will the long summer recess mean the issue is forgotten?

Liberal leadership

Bob Rae's surprise announcement that he wouldn't seek the permanent Liberal leadership caught the attention of Ottawa pundits and Canadians alike and spurred discussion of possible contenders.

The level of conversation suggests the Liberal brand isn't dead yet, but the Liberals will need to keep capturing Canadians' interest. With 15 per cent traction in the Liberal leadership conversation, Justin Trudeau appears to be the candidate who can keep that interest, though there is certainly room for competition.

The European economic crisis lost traction in both Ottawa and with Canadians, but it remains a challenging policy issue for the government. It is hard to get the attention of Canadians who are more attuned to the North-South economic relationship, but there is an opportunity for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to cement his economic leadership by showing how Europe's troubles relate to Canadians' pocketbooks.

View this week's Political Traction above and view the numbers for the week of June 9 to 15 below.