How do Canadian politicians on Twitter compare to other countries?
As some of you may know other countries have national Twitter sites like politwitter that connect politicians with people. Tweetcongress in the US, Tweetminister in the UK and TweetMP in Austrailia are the most notable. Since these sites all started before politwitter and in the case of Tweetcongress and Tweetminsiter have large followings and have received a fair amount of press, I expected that these countries would have a fairly high participation rate amongst politicians.
So I decided to check the numbers and see how Canada compares. None of the other sites display their totals out in the open like Politwitter does, but after contacting each of the sites I have the current totals and they surprised me. Canada is actually doing fairly well, we have the 3rd most MPs on twitter but we are 2nd for the percentage of MPs. Since each country has a different amount of elected representatives looking at the percentage is most useful I think. So we are not that far behind the US, and they just went through a big election and Tweetcongress recieved a lot of mainstream press.
MPs with Twitter
One of Politwitter's main goals is to get more MPs to start Twittering, and the site provides several tools to assist in this. Of course there is no way of measuring when an MP joins Twitter if Politwitter had any role in that. But since Politwitter launched 23 new MPs have joined Twitter. I have been active in contacting all the parties, each MP and Senator to encourage them to utilize Twitter. I think Canada can easily double the total number of MPs on Twitter. You can help by encouraging your Local MP to start Tweeting if he or she hasn't already. You can use the “MPs without Twitter” page to help find your MP and send emails to them.
One other related topic I wanted to mention is the participation of Canadians in political Twittering seems to be increasing, more people are Tweeting their MPs, using political hashtags and so on. Below is a chart showing the amount of people actively participating each month. The numbers are somewhat skewed since over this time span many new hashtags and MPs have been added increasing the ways someone can be counted as a participant. I will update this chart at the end of the year. (Note for someone to be counted they have to make at least 2 tweets that are indexed by politwitter in that month)