For the second year in a row, Google has released its list of the most-searched federal politicians in Canada, as part of the search engine’s annual Zeitgeist report. The list provides insight into which politicians Canadians are seeking more information about, especially when combined with information on timing, geography and related search terms. Google provides only relative measures of search traffic and not absolute numbers.
10. Thomas Mulcair
Search interest in Mr. Mulcair fell significantly in 2013, down from the massive spike in March, 2012, when he took over as Leader of the NDP. The party has taken to referring to him as “Tom” in English media and “Thomas” in French, but few Google searchers looked up the shorter name. Interest was mostly in Ontario, Quebec and B.C.
9. Jim Flaherty
The Finance Minister made his debut on the Google charts in 2013. Canadians searched Mr. Flaherty the most in late January, around the time The Globe disclosed he was battling a rare skin condition, and in March when the federal budget was released.
8. Jason Kenney
The federal Employment Minister is one of the most powerful cabinet ministers in Ottawa, but it was two spars with other public figures that got Canadians to look up Mr. Kenney: a war of words with David Suzuki in the summer and the minister’s call for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to resign in the fall.
7. Peter MacKay
The Defence Minister has had two big personal events keep him in Canadians’ minds (and computer screens) in the last two years: in 2012, it was his wedding to Nazanin Afshin-Jam, and in April, 2013, when the couple’s first child was born. Most of Mr. Mackay’s search traffic was generated from his native Nova Scotia.
6. John Baird
The Foreign Affairs Minister was searched a little more often than last year, particularly when there were big developments this year in Iran and Syria.
5. Marc Garneau
The Liberal MP and former astronaut blasted – or, at least, jumped – up in search volume this year during an unsuccessful run for the leadership of the Liberal Party.
4. Pamela Wallin
The former broadcaster is one of two senators (can you guess the other one?) to put members of the Red Chamber on the chart. She gained widespread attention after paying back hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable travel expenses – which ultimately caused her peers to suspend her from the Senate.
3. Mike Duffy
The other former broadcaster on this list also made news in 2013 as a senator with questionable expenses. The two senators were often searched together and had comparable search volume. Mr. Duffy attracted a lot of interest from his native Prince Edward Island.
2. Stephen Harper
Canada’s Prime Minister was knocked off the top spot this year, though Canadians remained as curious about him as ever. Unlike most other politicians on this list, whose popularity in Google searches waxes and wanes with the news, interest in Mr. Harper is strong and stable in the third year of his majority government.
1. Justin Trudeau
Mr. Trudeau kept pace in Google searches with Mr. Harper through most of the year, but it was Mr. Trudeau's election to Liberal Leader in April (and the massive spike in interest) that pushed him over the top. His related search terms include marijuana (no doubt after he admitted to using it at least once) and attack ads (which have been used to target him).