STDs, the Brazman and 'Just watch me': The top political tweets of 2013

Twitter has become such an important communications tool for politicians throughout the country.

This year, for example, the social media website was used by Stephen Harper to tell us about who is on his new cabinet; it was used by Mayor Naheed Nenshi during the Alberta floods and it was utilized by many politicos to offer condolences after the deaths of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.

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None of those communiques are on our list of most notable tweets of 2013, but these are.

1) Liberal MP Gerry Byrne slams Pamela Anderson with STD tweet:

One of the most unfortunate tweets of the year is also one of the most recent.

Earlier this week, as explained by CBC News, Liberal MP Gerry Byrne chided Canadian-born actress Pamela Anderson for protesting the seal hunt and offering $1 million to sealers in St. John's to stop the practice.

Gerry Byrne - Twitter

To his credit, Byrne deleted the offending tweets, retracted his comments and wrote a long apology letter on his website.

2) Justin Trudeau writes 'Just watch me' when asked if he can beat Stephen Harper:

For the most part, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has avoided evoking his father's memory.

During a a short flight in March, however, Trudeau did just that.

Michael Kydd (aka @kydder), had an encounter with Justin on a Porter Airline flight on Tuesday evening.

At one point, Kydder passed a written note to the Liberal front runner asking him: "Can you really beat Harper?"

Trudeau replied with: "Just watch me."

"Just watch me" of course was the famous — or infamous depending on your point of view — line Pierre Trudeau used in October 1970 during the FLQ crisis in Quebec. When asked how far he would go with reducing civil liberties as part of his invocation of the War Measures Act, the senior Trudeau said: "Just watch me."

3) Patrick Brazeau plays April Fools joke on the Canadian public:

On April Fools Day, the embattled senator took to Twitter with a series of peculiar tweets.

I will step down from my position!

— SenPatrickBrazeau (@TheBrazman) April 1, 2013

Official annoucement tomorrow at 10am.

— SenPatrickBrazeau (@TheBrazman) April 1, 2013

Several of Brazeau's followers questioned the sincerity of the tweets especially considering it was April 1st.

But would Brazeau do something so distasteful?

At about 11 p.m. (EST) that evening we had our answer.

Happy April's Fool's Day!

— SenPatrickBrazeau (@TheBrazman)

Brazeau apologized the next day and deleted the tweets.

4) Jason Kenney goes after David Suzuki:

During a Canada Day interview, published in French newsmagazine L’Express, envrionmentalist David Suzuki lauded Canada's multicultural harmony but also said that our immigration policy is "crazy." He said Canada is "full."

Suzuki's comments angered then-immigration minister Jason Kenney.

He took to Twitter to voice his displeasure:

And then, Kenney took a shot at the media.

5) Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi asks Sun News Ezra Levant when he stopped beating his wife:

This had to have been one of the most epic Twitter battles — politics or otherwise — in 2013.

The impetus of the verbal barbs was an Ezra Levant article published in Sun News, titled "Calgary's Naheed Nenshi continues to abuse his city's taxpayers."

In the article, Levant reported that the City of Calgary — with the support of Nenshi — gave $340,000 to "an anti-oilsands lobby group called the Pembina Institute."

Things got a little nasty between the two former classmates:

The term "when did you stop beating your wife" is, of course, often used as a retort when one asks a loaded question with a false presumption.

Levant, however, didn't like that reference.

6) Justin Trudeau apologizes for comparing politicians to used car salesmen:

In September, Justin Trudeau was making the case for more political transparency when he said that politicians "now ranked below used car salesmen and journalists on the list of trust of professions."

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Warren N. Barnard, of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario, took umbrage to Trudeau's comments and penned this open letter to him.

Trudeau apologized on Twitter:

7) PM's office evacuated because of suspicious package, NDP MP tweets joke about it:

It was a tense morning in October when RCMP evacuated the Langevin Block, — which houses the offices of the Privy Council and Prime Minister Stephen Harper — because of a suspicious package.

NDP MP Don Davis, however, wasn't concerned. He tweeted this:

Davis later apologized.

8.) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird laughs-off his "school girl" shriek:

In October, Postmedia News' Glen McGregor posted this video of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird screaming at an off-camera loud noise during a press conference.

Baird took to Twitter to laugh off the...ahem..controversy.

9.) Picture of Thomas Mulcair laughing at Stephen Harper during QP goes viral:

This tweet wasn't from a politician but was re-tweeted by several NDP MPs.

The picture perfectly encapsulated the mood of Question Period over the past year.

The NDP leader has — for the most part — been scoring points, getting the better of Harper grilling him with short poignant questions about the ongoing Senate expense scandal that has engulfed the government.

10.) Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau takes to Twitter to look for a job:

Not having a salary or entitled to a pension, suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau took to Twitter in November, to look for a new job.

Lo and behold, it worked. "Pat Brazeau" is now a journalist for Frank Magazine.

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