Political Traction: Trudeau's comments make big waves

Jaime Watt joins Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics, each week to look at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians. This week: Politicians in hot water.
Navigator's Jaime Watt takes his weekly look at how issues making waves in Ottawa resonate with Canadians, on CBC's Power & Politics 9:25

Jaime Watt joins Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics, 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, the Liberal leadership race got the most traction in Ottawa, and that traction was centered on one person: Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau started the week on a high note, by declaring he would support China's $15.1 billion bid for the Canadian oil company Nexen. Watt believes Canadians are taking a second look at the proposed deal because of Trudeau's approval of the foreign takeover.

Ford or Carney: Who has the most traction?

Two top stories that dominated headlines Monday demonstrate a major traction divide.

Ottawa was tuning into Mark Carney's bombshell announcement that he'll step down as Governor of the Bank of Canada to head the Bank of England. But Carney's stunning move, which Jaime Watt calls a quintessential Ottawa story, didn't pick up steam across the country.

The other man of the hour, Rob Ford, was catching the attention of Canadians. The Toronto Mayor's ouster over violating conflict of interest rules was getting five times more traction Monday than the ongoing Charboneau inquiry in Quebec, which led to the resignation of Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

But by the end of the week, comments that he made about Alberta two years ago had the leadership hopeful on the defensive. Trudeau hasn't proven yet if he's put out this early campaign fire.

As for other Liberal candidates, there's still a glimmer of hope for MP Marc Garneau, who's expected to step into the leadership ring this week. Watt says that Garneau is driving more traction than any of Trudeau's other competitors.

Israel-Gaza conflict gains traction

Israeli and Hamas officials were in Egypt Monday talking over details of a cease-fire deal. For the past week, the Israel-Gaza conflict has topped the traction radar amongst Canadians coast to coast.

It's not often that foreign affairs issues grab the attention of Canadians. But the prospect of an all-out war in the Middle East was enough to spark traction beyond the nation's capital.

According to Watt, Canada's interest in the Israel-Gaza conflict reflects the federal government's strategy on foreign policy.

"It gives us a little bit of insight to one of the reasons the prime minister advances the middle east policy that he does. He understands that this is something that Canadians pay attention to."

Here are this week's numbers:



  • The chart in this story has been edited from an earlier version to correctly label the bars as Ottawa and Canada.
    Nov 27, 2012 11:42 PM ET