Nexalogy analyzes the National Leaders Debate taking place tonight

Maclean’s will be hosting the National Leaders Debate featuring the leaders of Canada’s major party leaders tonight at 8PM ET.

This event is notable as it is the only English-language debate featuring the leaders of the Conservative, New Democratic, Liberal and Green parties. The Conservatives have stated Stephen Harper will not take part in the network consortium debates in October, and Thomas Mulclair (NDP) has responded that he will not participate in any debate without Harper. Although Canada’s major parties will be taking part in the Globe and Mail and Munk debates, the Green Party has not been invited to participate. The date of tonight’s debate was decided in June, before the start date of the election campaign was known, so the timing is quite serendipitous.

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All the questions for tonight’s debate will come from Maclean’s, and will not be shared with any the parties before the debate. Maclean’s has been inviting the audience to post questions they have for the party leaders on social media here.


Electoral contexts and new media

Nexalogy analyzes #macdebate

What has been the role of media in elections? How might televised debates influence campaign outcomes? In an interview with Maclean’s, Brian Mulroney credited his victory as Prime Minister to his performance in debates and thinks it continues to have an important influence, saying that Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley “made it to the premier’s position because of television debates. So I think that the      television debates in the next election may turn out to be the most important since 1984.”   (See Nexalogy’s analysis of the Alberta election here.)

Citizens and political parties are very active on digital  “new media” arenas such as blogs, online journalism, and social media, and this can shape the content of more established platforms, such as televised debates.

Nexalogy has began to analyze the concerns being voiced by the public on social media for tonight’s National Leader Debate (#macdebate) and have captured  “climate” as a prevailing theme.

Nexalogy's lexical map of #macdebate


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Distribution of hashtags which co­-occur with #macdebate between different topics suggests that climate is far and away the most important topic:

#climatechange  184

#vote4climate     161

#actonclimate      26

#environment        4

#vote4clim              3


Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois) is not participating in the debate tonight, and this may explain why Nexalogy has found that French ­language tweets associated with #macdebate number in the dozens rather than the hundreds, as opposed to English discussion which is already over 2000 tweets.


     English: 2873

French: 26


Analyzing the exchange between social media and televised debates

It will be interesting to see if debate moderator Paul Wells takes his cue from Facebook comments and steers the conversation more on climate, and green energy, or if he chooses to focus on different themes entirely. Social media data seems to suggest that this election will run primarily on environment and climate issues.

Nexalogy will be monitoring trends in the social media conversation for BuzzFeed. Specifically, we are keeping an eye on the relative importance of issues changes before, during, and after the debate, and how conversation around each leader and party progresses as a result of the debate.

Tonight’s debate will be broadcasted on City, OMNI 1 and OMNI 2, and CPAC and will be live streamed online on Rogers radio and television station websites,, Facebook and YouTube. The debate will be translated into Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi on OMNI and will air in English and French on CPAC.

We will post a link to the article tomorrow, stay tuned!

Want to analyze your own hashtag? Install the NexaSearch app on Hootsuite to do so for free.

[Update] Link to BuzzFeed article.


C2 Montréal 2015

C2 Montréal exceeded all expectations this year in  traffic and participation. The speakers were without a doubt a big draw, if the flurries of online conversation were anything to go by. The map of interactions on Twitter (below) is peppered with the speakers’ handles in red. Andre Agassi was the most referenced invitee, with 510 mentions. He is also the individual with the most Klout, with an impressive score of 86. In fact, he is only third in our C2 conversation after giants McGill University and Cirque du Soleil.

Interaction map - speakers

Surprise guest Kent Nagano, music director at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, further rounded out the event’s prestigious roster by appearing in amusing conversation with Alec Baldwin.

Baldwin’s chat with Nagano on music and conducting was part of the larger discussion on the importance of the arts and philanthropy.

Innovation was unsurprisingly a top theme in the conversation, since creativity and innovation are what draw C2′s thousands of attendees hungry for inspiration.

Lexical map - Innovation

Another topic apparently very dear to the hearts of C2 Montréal attendees this year was food. This is due to important reasons like speakers Caithrin Rintoul, Marije Vogelzang, and Kimbal Musk discussing food systems and technology, the power of food, and food safety.

It is possibly also a little bit due to the great spread (never let it be said C2 doesn’t feed people well):

So what hashtags trended at the event apart from #c2mtl?

  1. Social Mission (#socent): attendees demonstrated a marked interest and concern for social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

  2. Millennial Entrepreneurship Conference (#m2day): the conference’s hashtag co-occurred a fair bit with other hashtags concerning social entrepreneurship. Giving back seems to be an important goal for millennials.
  3. The Nest Project (#hellostranger): The Nest ritual gave complete strangers an opportunity to become fast friends, fast. An initiative undertaken with the Cirque du Soleil, it made a big splash.

  4. Movember (#movember): attendees flocked to hear Adam Garone discuss the origins of the movement – and the impact of mental illness on men.

  5. #food. There it is again.

Popular shared images included a solar-powered plane and a shot from Caithrin’s presentation. Another popular share was the social media dashboard keeping tabs on the Twitter conversation around the event. Ahem.



*C2 Montréal used NxAPI to build a real time dashboard that tracked the conference discussion and was projected on three screens on-site. Want to incorporate social media into your apps but don’t want to re-invent the wheel? Try NxAPI today.

Formula One Gets Racy

What could Catholic nuns and FEMEN protestors possibly agree on?

As it turns out, denouncing sex tourism at Montreal’s annual Grand Prix, though methods may vary.

It isn’t the first time the Grand Prix has been decried for the increase in sex work that accompanies it every year, nor that FEMEN stages a protest in Montreal around this issue. With the Grand Prix set to remain in Montreal for several years yet (not to mention Montreal’s reputation as the sex tourism capital of the True North Strong and Free), the issue isn’t likely to go away any time soon.  So how much impact did this year’s protest have – is the topic gaining any traction or public support?

A look at the timeline of Twitter activity around prostitution and sex trafficking issues at the Grand Prix shows two prominent peaks. The first, on June 4th, occurred due to the protests and arrests of FEMEN members on that day. The second spike happened after the police crackdown on prostitution on June 7th.


Top influencers of the conversation, apart from news sources and FEMEN-affiliated accounts, include a few advocates defending sex work (amiesdestella, cdnswalliance, harlotsp) and the political party Quebec Solidaire, which took a stance against sex work.


The handle @amiesdestella was retweeted several times by users such as @harlotsp. @amiesdestella attacked negative coverage of sex work during the Grand Prix, including a blogpost by Quebec Solidaire criticizing the explosion of prostitution around the event.

Plotting the attitude of advocacy groups, media, and individuals to see who supports protesting against sex tourism around the event and who doesn’t, reveals that the media seems to feel a bit negative towards sex work, while the general public and advocacy groups seem to be pretty evenly split between those who see nothing wrong with sex tourism around Formula One events and those who are against it.


To keep things in perspective though, here is a comparison of the overall volume of tweets and publishers during the week of June 1st concerning the Grand Prix, vs. those particularly concerned with sex trafficking during the event:

Nexalogy_PublisherRatio_f1 Nexalogy_TweetRatio_f1

It appears advocacy groups countering prostitution at the event have their work cut out for them raising awareness and engagement on the topic.