OTTAWA – Health care and the issue of getting out the youth vote turned front and centre over the past six days of election talk on Twitter, according to MediaMiser’s most recent Issues Index.
The issue of students and young people, in particular, rose over the past few days thanks to media coverage of an unauthorized ballot-casting exercise at the University of Guelph. Fueled by this event and the frenzy of interest that ensued, mentions of keywords related to the issue spiked 214.5 per cent from April 12 to April 15.
By late April 18, however, chatter on the issue had decreased nearly 60 per cent on Twitter. But it was still the second most-popular issue tweeted during the past week as of 11 p.m. Monday evening.
Health care, the public’s number-one issue in this Issues Index, also received a recent boost in Twitter interest – most likely due to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s pledge on Sunday to hold a national health care summit if elected.
Interest in health care on Twitter has trended quickly upward since then, with popularity surging 52.3 per cent since late Saturday.
The top two issues of the April 14 Issues Index, ethics/accountability and the economy, stayed strong and among the top five issues of Canadians tweeting about the election but did lose some steam.
As of the end of April 18, ethics and accountability had dropped 84.8 per cent from its April 11 high at the time of the leaked Auditor-General’s report of G8 spending. The issue of the economy and jobs, as well, dropped to middling status, sinking 25 per cent in popularity since Saturday.
The issue of democracy and democratic values, as well, has dropped by more than 44 per cent in the past two days. The issue had received a spike in popularity thanks to the related news item of the University of Guelph polling station and the right of such unauthorized polling stations to collect ballots.
Other issues such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, crime and prisons, campaign advertising, the coalition and the environment had trended out of the top five as of 11 p.m. on Monday.
The MediaMiser analysis was conducted using the company’s patented media monitoring and analysis software, and comprised of a sample of Canadian federal election-related tweets as defined by keywords, and the hashtags #elxn41 and #cdnpoli.
Issues trend meter
HOT: Student voting, health care
NOT: Crime and prisons, environment
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