The @ pack of Parliament Hill

Thumbs at the ready, this gang of MPs have tapped the awesome power of Twitter—140 characters at a time

Tyler Shute

1. Justin Trudeau, @JustinTrudeau: The young Trudeau was a popular online entity even before he announced his leadership candidacy. You could say it’s integrated into his routine. So, it was no surprise that his online properties were just as much a part of his announcement as the party in his home riding in Montreal. Expect digital to play an important role in his effort to build Liberal energy.

Read more about Justin Trudeau later today when The Maclean’s Power List goes online.

2. Tony Clement, @TonyclementCPC He made a name for himself on Twitter early on. His style and tone, sharing both updates on official duties and reflections on his life, earned him a bipartisan reputation as a relatable politician. His approach has allowed him to make mistakes and be (generally) forgiven by his online community. Expect dry humour.

3. Carolyn Bennett, @Carolyn_Bennett She’s among the most active MPs on Twitter. Combined with regular Facebook town halls, she’s built a strong following. Bennett is above average in her number of retweets, making her an effective amplifier of ideas and news she feels her community should know.

4. Elizabeth May, @ElizabethMay Largely shut out of debates in Parliament, the Green party leader makes up for it with Twitter, using it to oppose the omnibus budget. She has the most engaged Twitter community of any MP, and her 2,086 replies to tweets last summer led all MPs.

5. Jason Kenney, @kenneyjason He can be extraordinarily partisan on Twitter, but occasionally dials it back. He recently shared a photograph of his grandfather—one of the more relatable moments in his Twitter stream. Don’t expect much engagement. He views it as a broadcast channel.

6. Paul Dewar, @PaulDewar Though he doesn’t tweet as often as others, Dewar offers a balance of partisan tweets and those announcing events and activities. He’ll need to do even more in his capacity as a reliable member of the NDP front bench to help his party strengthen relations with Canadians.

7. Olivia Chow, @oliviachow It’s easy to say her online profile was elevated because of Jack. That would discredit her own efforts to efficiently build her online personality. The question is, will Toronto municipal politics lure her away from Parliament? Watch Twitter for the answer.

8. Marc Garneau, @MarcGarneau At one time, the Liberals’ industry critic was little engaged in digital culture. That’s changed. Garneau is among the more active and engaged tweeting MPs—two-thirds of his tweets are replies. If he joins the leadership race, Twitter will be central to his campaign.

9. James Moore, @JamesMoore_org Another early adopter, Moore is a lover of gadgets that let him stay connected. His tweets range from biting partisanship to recently bidding farewell to his dog Oakley, thanking him for a lifetime of companionship. He tweets and retweets a lot, but rarely replies.

10. Denis Coderre, @DenisCoderre Simply put, he’s a tweeting machine—an active tweeter and retweeter who also replies to tweets. A lot. His live-tweeting of Montreal Canadiens hockey games is legendary. Rumour is Coderre may leave Ottawa to run for mayor of Montreal. Expect to learn about it on Twitter first.

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist with Fullduplex.ca




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The @ pack of Parliament Hill

  1. James Moore blocked me on Twitter for some reason, I’m really not sure why. Because of the stupid way Twitter is set up, I’m not even allowed to subscribe to his feed.

    Why would James Moore block me? I really have no clue, it doesn’t seem like a very good strategy for a Twittering politician however.

  2. Very good list of MPs that actually have the courtesy to tweet themselves rather than have some staffer awkwardly throw in first person pronouns and attach a link to a press release. Another person I mights add would be Bob Rae, who, along with Elizabeth May, is the only party leader who personally tweets.

  3. Disagree vehemently With Clements inclusion on this list The man is a serial blocker who will block anyone who asks a question he doesn’t want to answer or who challenges his political views

  4. Dan Harris of the NDP is also on twitter under @danharrisNDP

  5. If you’re blocked by your MP does that make you unrepresented? I like the way @Justin and his staff have been communicating on Sm, but all of these folks deserve kudos. I respect politicians that are accessible and embrace modern communication strategies. #CdnPoli

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