As Canada heads towards an election, we break down a list of 20 most influential voices in Canadian politics.
This list includes politicians, commentators and journalists.
This list was created by looking at key voices in Canadian politics and evaluating their followers and social media reach on Twitter. Although Facebook generates more traffic, Twitter is more widely used by people in politics.
This is due to the ease of pushing messaging directly to the media.
In order to retrieve the information from Twitter, we used BuzzSumo and Social Blade.
The following graph shows the total number of followers each person has.
While followers are important, we remove those which were inactive, ghost, or fake, to show only real or active followers.
The following graph highlights the total number of followers once inactive or ghost accounts are removed.
Many political leaders have a high number of ghost followers because they are swarmed by bots, or have hired PR firms to bloat their follower count, or may have long-inactive followers due to leaving their role.
While followers are important, the active use of the platform is also an important part of impacting social discourse.
In order to gauge this we calculated the overall monthly engagement of each person on the list.
In order to get a more complete image, we combined the results of both real users and engagement to get a total impact score. For each category we used the top performer as the bar.
The top performer in each category received 50 points, with everyone else receiving a fraction of 50 based on how close they were to the first place holder. The final score combines each person’s score from both categories.
20. Jagmeet Singh, NDP leader: 2 points
141.8k total followers
Jagmeet Singh, once just an average MPP in Ontario, quickly rose to fame after being elected as NDP’s leader in the first round of voting in 2017. Since then, his progressive and social-democratic voice has resonated with thousands of Canadians and landed him the Burnaby South seat in the recent by-elections.
19. Evan Solomon, TV host: 2 points
173k total followers
One of Canada’s most prominent journalists, Evan Solomon also hosts his show, The Evan Solomon Show. He also hosts host of CTV’s national political news program Question Period and is a leading voice in Canadian politics.
18. Chantal Hébert, columnist: 2 points
212.2k total followers
Chantal is a veteran when it comes to journalism, and her opinions and voice are known to millions across Canada. Her bilingual appeal reaches both anglophones and francophones and has amassed her an extensive presence on her social media platforms.
17. Kathleen Wynne, former Liberal Premier of Ontario: 3 points
250.4k total followers
Former Premier of Ontario, hailing from the Liberal party, Kathleen Wynne has a name that rings true with many liberals across the country. Her policies transformed Ontario into a strong welfare province, albeit with ballooning debt.
Followed by her fans and critics alike, this political veteran has a lot of clout.
16. Tom Mulcair, former NDP leader: 3 points
289.8k total followers
Tom Mulcair was made the leader of the NDP following the death of Jack Layton, the most popular leader in the New Democrat’s history. Although public support for his party tanked in 2015, he managed to hold Quebec and continued to stand as a progressive bastion on issues such as environmentalism.
Having resigned from his Outremont seat, Mulcair now gives lectures nationwide and teaches at UdeM. His voice is one of the most important for Canada’s ecological debate.
15. Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs: 4 points
137.8k total followers
Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, hailing from the Liberal party as the MP for University-Rosedale. Being one of the most trusted confidants of Trudeau, along with her social media outreach, puts her on this list.
14. Rosemary Barton, journalist: 4 points
187.9k total followers
Co-host of CBC’s The National, Barton bags the #14 spot. Her diligent reporting on Canadian politics, along with an active social media presence, ranks her as one of the most important voices in Canada.
13. Peter Mansbridge, retired journalist: 4 points
329.3k total followers
A documentary filmmaker, Mansbridge is also a Canadian politics maven. His foreign policy takes are regarded as some of the most respected in the nation. With his strong journalistic career with the CBC, and his vast following, he nabs #13.
12. Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary: 5 points
388.3k total followers
Naheed Nenshi, the first Muslim of a large North-American city, is one of the most prominent online voices for politics in the country. With close to 400 thousand followers, his progressive voice resonates with numerous Calgarians and Canadians.
11. Andrew Scheer, Conservative leader: 6 points
147.3k total followers
Andrew Scheer makes it to the #11 spot after his fiery speeches and bold policy proposals. Spearheading the SNC-Lavalin case against Trudeau in parliament, he saw vast growth in his outreach. His Conservative Party is currently projected to win the next election.
10. Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta: 6 points
184.2k total followers
As the newly elected Premier of Alberta, hailing from the United Conservative Party, Kenney has enormous political clout.
He managed to unite the right-wing parties and take back Alberta from the New Democrats, further strengthening what has been described as a nation-wide “blue wave.”
9. Elizabeth May, Green Party leader: 8 points
313k total followers
Leader of the Green Party, May’s popularity has been on the rise after scientists released a shocking report on global climate.
Many see her as a better alternative to the hypocritical Liberals and the NDP, and her polling numbers seem to be surging. Recent by-election wins by her party prove she is a prominent voice to look out for, and May thus bags the #9 spot.
8. Naomi Klein, anti-Capitalism activist: 13 points
522.9k total followers
Klein is an author, social activist, and filmmaker who is known for her strong pro-feminist and anti-capitalist stances.
Her new book, The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal will be out September 2019, and is expected to be a national bestseller.
7. Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada: 14 points
1.2 million total followers
Conservatives see the former Canadian Prime Minister as a reliable and robust leader. He currently runs a consulting firm and has written his famous book Right Here, Right Now.
Stephen Harper comes in 7th with his undeniable political clout. A loud voice for the Canadian right, his opinions and support could help the Conservatives if he were to aid their campaign in the upcoming elections.
6. Rick Mercer, former TV host: 18 points
1.8 million total followers
Canada’s most prominent political satirist, Rick Mercer bags the #6 spot.
Followed by leaders on the left and the right, his hosting of CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes garnered national acclaim. Currently, he writes books and works with charities such as Hope Air, which provides free non-emergency medical flights for frugal patients.
His humorous takes on Canada’s political environment will be influential in the coming elections.
5. Ezra Levant, host at The Rebel Media: 23 points
174.8k total followers
One of Canada’s most famous right-wing journalists, Levant and his outlet The Rebel Media are internationally known and often reviled. His focus on “telling the other side of the story” has made him a prominent voice in Canadian politics.
4. Lauren Southern, political commentator: 29 points
422k total followers
Lauren is described as a far right-wing political commentator and was part of Ezra Levant’s The Rebel Media until 2017. She is followed by numerous political bigshots and has amassed a massive fan following.
3. Jordan Peterson, academic and writer: 31 points
1.2 million total followers
Jordan Peterson is one of the most prominent commentators on anti-PC culture and free speech. His book 12 Rules for Life has gained him swaths of ideological adherents.
His views began being considered by the left when he debated Slavoj Žižek and earned additional attention from the other side of the political aisle. His opinions will be critical to look out for come election time.
2. Tarek Fatah, columnist: 56 points
500k total followers
An avid voice for the South Asian community worldwide, Tarek Fatah is one of Canada’s most prominent names in journalism. His opinion columns in the Toronto Sun are read by thousands nationwide, and his appeal resonates with millions worldwide.
His vocal disapproval of Trudeau, as well as consistent tweeting, has garnered him mass attention.
1. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada: 92 points
4.5 million total followers
Trudeau, unsurprisingly, takes the #1 spot. Being the Prime Minister, he’s had his fair share of ups and downs. Seen as a crony capitalist by the left, a beacon of hope by centrists, and out-of-touch by the right.
Trudeau will try to use all the weapons in his arsenal to try to sway the Canadian public to grant him a second victory in 2019.
What do you think of this list? Who are your top voices? Let us know in the comments below!