Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, and the Dalai Lama came on top as the most admired world leaders in the latest Angus Reid Strategies world leader poll of 20 countries. Brazil’s Lula ranked 11 and Bush, 16, behind Venezuela’s Chavez who ended up in 15th place.
Angus Reid Strategies is a Canadian public opinion and market research firm. Respondents to the poll ranked South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela number 1 and software billionaire and noted philanthropist Bill Gates ranked number 2.
Other leaders ranked in the top tier include U2 lead singer and poverty activist Bono, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
At the bottom of the Admiration Index, U.S. President George W. Bush received the fourth-lowest rating of the 19 leaders measured by the poll.
Moreover, he shares the bottom tier of the ranking alongside leaders that his administration has identified as enemies or threats to his country: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
"Politicians fare less well than activists in the rankings because they are in the business of trying to be all things to all people, whereas humanitarians can champion one noble cause with far less compromise thrust upon them," says Craig Worden, Vice President of Public Affairs at Angus Reid Strategies.
"Regardless, President Bush’s poor showing is noteworthy because he is ranked similarly to the very leaders that he has sought out international assistance to oppose."
The United States was cited as the country that poses the greatest threat to global stability in 13 of the 20 countries surveyed. In a majority of the countries surveyed, the United States is viewed as a greater threat to global stability than Iran, China, and North Korea.
Furthermore, American foreign policy and international terrorism are seen as the two issues that present the greatest threat to global stability, receiving more mentions around the world than Islamic extremism, poverty, global warming, and fundamentalist governments.
"Much of the world now sees the United States as a broken super-power," says Craig Worden, Vice President of Public Affairs at Angus Reid Strategies. "This negative view of the country’s influence in international affairs appears to be primarily driven by the current administration’s foreign policy."
The survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on behalf of Maclean’s Magazine. Data for this study were captured between September 22 and October 6 via 5,800 online surveys among a random sample of the online population of 20 countries: Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, Britain, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Two hundred interviews where administered in each country except for Canada, the United States and Lebanon where sample sizes were 1,200, 1,000, and 125 respectively.
Once the data was captured, samples were balanced and validated through demographic and voting data provided by national statistics and electoral results.
In the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and the five European countries samples can be considered representative of the views of the general population.
In the other countries, samples are somewhat biased towards the more urban, educated and affluent segments of the population. Surveys were conducted in domestic languages except for South Africa and India where English was the only language surveyed.
The total sample size has an associated margin of error of 1.3%, 19 times out of 20. In those countries where sample sizes reached 200, results can be considered accurate (19 times out of 20) to within +/- 7% had the overall population responded. In Canada and the United States, the margin of error is +/- 2.8% and +/- 3.1% respectively. In Lebanon, it is +/- 9%.
The Survey Results:
1. THE WORLD LEADER ADMIRATION INDEX
(Average Score on a scale of 1-10, where 1 represents not admired at all and 10 represents admired very much. Note: Mean average.)
Nelson Mandela 7.0
Bill Gates 6.9
The Dalai Lama 6.3
Bill Clinton (USA) 5.5
Kofi Annan (UN) 5.5
Stephen Harper (Canada) 5.2
Jimmy Carter (USA) 5.1
Angela Merkel (Germany) 5.0
Junichiro Koizumi (Japan) 4.8
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil) 4.6
Tony Blair (UK) 4.5
Pope Benedict XVI 4.5
Condoleezza Rice (USA) 4.3
Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) 4.1
George W. Bush (USA) 3.3
Mahmoud Ahmedinejad (Iran) 3.2
Hassan Nasrallah (Lebanon) 3.1
Kim Jong Il (N. Korea) 3.1
2. COUNTRY THAT IS GREATEST THREAT TO GLOBAL SECURITY
United States 33%
North Korea 9%
Other Country 5%
3. ISSUE THAT IS GREATEST THREAT TO GLOBAL SECURITY
American Foreign Policy 26%
International Terrorism 25%
Islamic Extremism 18%
Global warming 6%
Fundamentalist governments 4%
Rise of China 3%
Israeli foreign policy 3%
Iranian foreign policy 2%