Political Traction: Robocalls and Republicans

Jaime Watt takes a weekly look at how Ottawa's issues resonate with Canadians on CBC's Power & Politics. This week: Super Tuesday takes some attention away from the robocalls controversy.
Navigator Limited's Jaime Watt takes his weekly look on CBC's Power & Politics at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians 6:37

Jaime Watt joins Power & Politics guest host Rosemary Barton to look at the issues making waves in Ottawa and how they 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.

In the week ending March 9, robocalls continued to be the hot topic in official Ottawa. But with the opposition and media seemingly unable to answer two key questions — "so what?" and "what now?" — the controversy faded somewhat across the rest of Canada. That could change if the identify of Pierre Poutine is revealed or other allegations come to light.

By contrast, U.S. politics grabbed Canadians' interest during the week, with the battle among the final four Republican candidates heating up around the Super Tuesday votes.

And Air Canada also grabbed a share of the conversation late in the week, with discussion centring around the collision of two competing rights: the right of workers to withdraw their labour and the right of Canadians to their March Break. In Ottawa, there was also a question emerging over whether there is something wrong with labour relations at Air Canada.

Here's a look the numbers for last week:

And a look at the robocalls controversy over the past three weeks — the longest period so far that an issue has remained number one in Political Traction: