Well, the federal election Leader's debate on Thursday evening was in the end a rather disappointing affair. It was essentially a series of thrusts, parries and spins on taxation, housing, immigration, energy, etc...but left out in the entire debate was any fundamental recognition of what I think is a major issue facing the future prosperity of the Canadian economy. Given that trade contribute's 30 percent of our GDP, what is the vision for us to continue making our way in the world? Perhaps a coherent vision is too much to ask of politicians seeking to get re-elected. In any event, I thought the next day was a good time to update the leadership Twitter feeds I have been following - see here and here.
I'm not going to provide a pie showing the distribution of Twitter followers as it is essentially unchanged from what it looked like on August 29th. As of approximately 2:30 pm on September 18th, Stephen Harper still had the largest number of Twitter followers at 894,000 - up from 877,000 on August 29th. Next was Justin Trudeau at 746,000 - up from 724,000, followed by Elizabeth May at 186,000 - up from 172,000, then Tom Mulcair at 173,000 - up from 162,000 and finally Gilles Duceppe also up at 91,000 from 88,400. Figure 1 plots the followers for each leader on the three dates in which I've taken the numbers and all five leaders have seen an increase in followers.
Figure 2 plots the growth rates. All the leaders saw an increase in their growth rates for additional Twitter followers compared to the previous period but the second period was slightly longer. For the August 29th to September 18th period, May and Mulcair show the largest increase in Twitter followers in percentage terms at 8.1 and 6.8 percent respectively. Trudeau's growth rate was 3 percent followed by Harper at 1.9 percent. Duceppe saw a 2.9 percent increase in followers. Although not shown in a chart, when it comes to tweets, for the August 29th to September 18th period, Mulcair led with a 7.2 percent increase in tweets, followed by Trudeau at 3.8 percent, then May at 1.7 percent and finally Harper at 1 percent. Gilles Duceppe also seems to be tweeting an awful lot more - going up 5.2 percent.
In any event, those are the numbers as they stand at last count.