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The great politician trust charts - you get to rank them!

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:15 pm
Something someone posted in another thread made me curious. Satisfy my curiosity, and take part in this little game.

I'm going to list twenty politicians. My question is: who would you trust more?

I'm going to list them in random order. What I'd like you to do is to rank them in order of who you would trust soonest.

If you dont know enough about one or the other, just leave him out - but you dont have to have studied em or anything, just rank 'em on the impression you've got.


  1. Bush
  2. Chirac
  3. Zapatero
  4. Kofi Annan
  5. Merkel
  6. al-Sistani
  7. Hillary Clinton
  8. Chavez
  9. Lula
  10. Gadaffi
  11. Turkmenbashi
  12. Berlusconi
  13. Putin
  14. Blair
  15. McCain
  16. Kerry
  17. Hu Jintao
  18. Mandela
  19. Havel
  20. Obama
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 5,367 • Replies: 119
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:16 pm
Trust.



Trust to behave in a predictable manner?

I'll go with the crazies -- Gadaffi and Bush.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:24 pm
patiodog wrote:
Trust.

Trust to behave in a predictable manner?

I'll go with the crazies -- Gadaffi and Bush.

Ha.

No, I was thinking more: trust to tell the truth - or something as close to it as a politician might venture - and trust not to f*ck you over - or at least as little as you can expect a politician to do.

(And yes, I also know that al-Sistani is not, formally speaking, a politician..)
0 Replies
 
MarionT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:28 pm
Kofi Annan--Much maligned by the State Department's hate machine.

John Kerry- Should have been our President. We would not be in Iraq now.

Hillary Rodham Clinton-She will save our country in 2009!
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:32 pm
How would you rank some of the others, Marion?
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 03:35 pm
Quote:

(And yes, I also know that al-Sistani is not, formally speaking, a politician..)


yeah, sure, i was wondering about that. Wink
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 04:00 pm
Some of these choices are purely subjective, because I don't know as much as I should about the individuals.

Chirac 7

Zapatero 16

Kofi Annan 6

Merkel 12

al-Sistani 13

Hillary Clinton 2

Chavez 9

Lula 8

Gadaffi 17

Turkmenbashi 11

Berlusconi 10

Putin 18

Blair 15

McCain 14

Kerry 5

Hu Jintao19

Mandela 1

Havel 4

Obama 3

Bush 20
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 05:12 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Some of these choices are purely subjective, because I don't know as much as I should about the individuals.

Thanks for your list, Edgar!

I'm anal, so let me order them - like this?

Mandela 1
Hillary Clinton 2
Obama 3
Havel 4
Kerry 5
Kofi Annan 6
Chirac 7
Lula 8
Chavez 9
Berlusconi 10
Turkmenbashi 11
Merkel 12
al-Sistani 13
McCain 14
Blair 15
Zapatero 16
Gadaffi 17
Putin 18
Hu Jintao19
Bush 20
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 05:20 pm
· McCain
· Bush
· Blair
· Obama
· Kerry
· Merkel
· Kofi Annan
· Havel
· Putin
· Mandela
· Lula
· Chavez
· Berlusconi
· Hu Jintao
· Zapatero
· Chirac
· Hillary Clinton
· Turkmenbashi
· Gadaffi
· al-Sistani
0 Replies
 
najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 05:32 pm
I'd love to be able to give you a clear and concise ranking, but there are several problems for me. Those are :
a. I find I know entirely too little about even Balkenende to accurately judge how far they are untrustworthy individuals by themselves or forced into a particular course by (inter)national forces and situations pertaining the country or beliefsystem they represent.
b. I am unfortunately quite biased, since I have decided that there are no trustworthy politicians out there period.
c. Several of these people are, in extension to point a., almost completely unknown to me.
d. Even if I had obtained the information above, I'd still find it incredibly hard to make a list purely based on the quite vague idea of who to trust more.

Still, I'd put Bush quite low on the list, and Berlusconi and Putin not much higher. Given the premise, I'd put Al-sistani high on the list. Chirac somewhere in the middle, Merkel more to the top. Gadaffi would rank low.
Blair I'd put in the bottom half of the top ten. The others I know not at all or am not sure how to place.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 05:52 pm
Thanks for your list, Asherman!
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 06:13 pm
najmelliw wrote:
a. I find I know entirely too little about even Balkenende to accurately judge how far they are untrustworthy individuals by themselves or forced into a particular course by (inter)national forces and situations pertaining the country or beliefsystem they represent.

You are taking this far too existentially Naj Razz

I think that, when it comes to political professionals, there is obviously an extent calculated in for every one that they have to make compromises with the truth, or even voluntarily do so - it comes with the territory (with the possible exception of Vaclav "Living in Truth" Havel).

The assessment we face, in the end, is how far we think they will stray from the truth, or how far they will go in f*cking us over (which are two distinct things, I'll readily admit). Why they do so - because they are dishonest and unscrupulous of character, or because they are forced into it by those who they depend on, are pressured by, by the situation as they see it, etc - is arguably irrelevant for the political consumer... A consideration I'd suggest simply skipping for this little survey, anyway ;-).

Personally, for example, I'm quite confident that Tony Blair is, of himself, an honest enough man - that his stubborn belief in the Rightness of his Path, at least, is (unpleasantly) sincere. But the path that he has chosen, with the necessities of, inter alia, following Bush in everything and strongarming any opposition within his party (at least until he was no longer able to), has come with much spin, secrecy, intimidation and untrustworthiness. Ergo, regardless of his personal soul, in his political role, I cant much trust him.

I will admit there's another problem with the phrasing of my question. Where to put a politician whom you consider to be both speaking and acting truthfully and scrupulously, but whose political views veer sharply away from yours? He will end up "f*cking you over" - say, by limiting your abortion rights, or your right to gay marriage or civil union - but he might be very straightforward and honest about it. Can you trust him to tell the truth? Yes. Can you trust him to do right - or at least not to f*ck you over too much? No. Compare a politician like that with one who is personally a sleazeball but whose political convictions are such that you can trust him with keeping your interests and freedoms safe, and the ranking gets tough.

Then again, any such ranking is just going to be rather instinctual, an expression of general preference (that may be slightly different again the next day) - it wasnt meant anything quite as serious as ^^^ ;-)

najmelliw wrote:
c. Several of these people are, in extension to point a., almost completely unknown to me.

Thaz OK, just skip em!

najmelliw wrote:
Still, I'd put Bush quite low on the list, and Berlusconi and Putin not much higher. Given the premise, I'd put Al-sistani high on the list. Chirac somewhere in the middle, Merkel more to the top. Gadaffi would rank low.
Blair I'd put in the bottom half of the top ten. The others I know not at all or am not sure how to place.

So for now it would be this?

1 Al-Sistani
2 Merkel
3 Chirac
4 Blair
5 Berlusconi, Putin
6 Bush
7 Gadaffi
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 08:26 pm
The criteria I used was my first impression about whether I believe they believe what they are saying is true. I broke ties by the person I like the most. Sistani ranks fairly high because I think he means what he says even though I don't like what he means.

People I trust:
Mandela
Annan
Jimmy Carter (not on the list, but should be)
Obama
Havel
Al-Sistani
Kerry

People I kind of trust:

McCain (Points for having the balls to stand up against torture, demerits
cozying up to some the ugly right)
Lula (I don't know too much about him
Merkel
Chirac

People I don't trust:
Blair
Berlesconi

People I wouldn't trust if my life depended on it:
Putin
Chavez
Hillary
Bush


I am surprised that anyone has Hillary near the top of their list.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 08:51 pm
Interesting, eBrown, I agree with you on much, perhaps the most from among those who've posted so far.
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 09:51 pm
1 MANDELA
2 LULA
3 ZAPATERO
4 OBAMA
5 CHAVEZ
6 KERRY
7 MCCAIN
8 CHIRAC
9 AL-SISTANI
10 KOFI ANNAN
11 HILLARY
12 BERLUSCONI
13 PUTIN
14 BUSH
15 BLAIR
16 GADAFFI
17 HU JINTAO
0 Replies
 
MarionT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 10:47 pm
Well, eBrown, you are going to have a tough time after 2008 since Hillary Rodham Clinton will be president and Barack Obama Vice President. Count on it!
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2006 11:29 pm
Re: The great politician trust charts - you get to rank them
I thought about this and made a puzzle of it... I picked 2 names and decided of the 2 who i trusted more and then started a list from there.

I noticed that I trust American politicians more then foriegn with some minor differences and allied politicians more then non-allied.


McCain
Bush
Obama
Mandala
Blair
Annan
Merkel
al- Sistani
H. Clinton
Kerry
Berlusconi
Zapatero
Lula
Chirac
Putin
Chavez
Turkmenbashi
Hu Jintao
Havel
Gadaffi
0 Replies
 
najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 06:00 am
nimh wrote:

You are taking this far too existentially Naj Razz

That is a recurring problem with me. So bear with it Smile

nimh wrote:

I think that, when it comes to political professionals, there is obviously an extent calculated in for every one that they have to make compromises with the truth, or even voluntarily do so - it comes with the territory (with the possible exception of Vaclav "Living in Truth" Havel).

Trust me to forget about Mr. Havel. He, of course, ranks high as well. The reason I ranked Sistani high is for the same grounds ehbeth ranked him high... I think he is honest in what he stands for and as such, is trustworthy.

nimh wrote:

The assessment we face, in the end, is how far we think they will stray from the truth, or how far they will go in f*cking us over (which are two distinct things, I'll readily admit). Why they do so - because they are dishonest and unscrupulous of character, or because they are forced into it by those who they depend on, are pressured by, by the situation as they see it, etc - is arguably irrelevant for the political consumer... A consideration I'd suggest simply skipping for this little survey, anyway ;-).

Personally, for example, I'm quite confident that Tony Blair is, of himself, an honest enough man - that his stubborn belief in the Rightness of his Path, at least, is (unpleasantly) sincere. But the path that he has chosen, with the necessities of, inter alia, following Bush in everything and strongarming any opposition within his party (at least until he was no longer able to), has come with much spin, secrecy, intimidation and untrustworthiness. Ergo, regardless of his personal soul, in his political role, I cant much trust him.

It's my belief that most politicians are too cynical or too realistic (which you prefer depends on your worldview, really) to play dirty because of the believes they advocate. In other words, I think the outward facade and standpointsregarding difficult issues is more a means to an end rahter then the main drive. I fear most are driven by ambition to gain power. Since I can't tell their facade from their true nature, at best I can guess.

nimh wrote:

I will admit there's another problem with the phrasing of my question. Where to put a politician whom you consider to be both speaking and acting truthfully and scrupulously, but whose political views veer sharply away from yours? He will end up "f*cking you over" - say, by limiting your abortion rights, or your right to gay marriage or civil union - but he might be very straightforward and honest about it. Can you trust him to tell the truth? Yes. Can you trust him to do right - or at least not to f*ck you over too much? No. Compare a politician like that with one who is personally a sleazeball but whose political convictions are such that you can trust him with keeping your interests and freedoms safe, and the ranking gets tough.


This indeed crossed my mind, but I decided not to factor it in. My ranking has to do with my belief in their own trustworthiness, and not whther the decisions they might make are detrimental to my own cause.

nimh wrote:

Then again, any such ranking is just going to be rather instinctual, an expression of general preference (that may be slightly different again the next day) - it wasnt meant anything quite as serious as ^^^ ;-)

najmelliw wrote:
c. Several of these people are, in extension to point a., almost completely unknown to me.

Thaz OK, just skip em!

najmelliw wrote:
Still, I'd put Bush quite low on the list, and Berlusconi and Putin not much higher. Given the premise, I'd put Al-sistani high on the list. Chirac somewhere in the middle, Merkel more to the top. Gadaffi would rank low.
Blair I'd put in the bottom half of the top ten. The others I know not at all or am not sure how to place.

So for now it would be this?

1 Al-Sistani
2 Merkel
3 Chirac
4 Blair
5 Berlusconi, Putin
6 Bush
7 Gadaffi


Yeah, pretty much. I'd put Putin below Bush though... You might put Havel in spot one there. I am soo divided about Mandela. I want to trust the man, but I'm not sure I can... Too many odd things happened in South Africa, with his wife as well, to my taste. That's why I didn't really rate him, but if I had to make a decision, I'd probably decide he was reasonably trustworthy and factor him in at 3. in this list that is. Hu Jintao I'll leave out. I know next to nothing about the political realities in China, apart of course what happened in Bejing in the early nineties on the Square of Heavenly Peace. For Kofi Annan, well, I'd put him on 5 (in the revised list), so above Blair...

Naj
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 05:39 pm
Re: The great politician trust charts - you get to rank them
Echi, thanks for your list, another kindred spirit I see!

McGentrix wrote:
I thought about this and made a puzzle of it... I picked 2 names and decided of the 2 who i trusted more and then started a list from there.

Thanks for puzzling along, McG. Yes, I use that method often too when I dont make it to sort something at first blush. Its a good one.

McGentrix wrote:
I noticed that I trust American politicians more then foriegn with some minor differences and allied politicians more then non-allied.

Yesh. This is the time on sprockets when I confess that this is actually one of the messages I was subliminally trying to convey when I made up this little poll.

Here on A2K, the perception of perennial polarisation of course dominates the discourse. Every other thread is, at its bottom line, about us versus them, who is right and who is better, and in the universe of political debate on this forum, it may seem as if liberals and conservatives live in two different worlds. Or at least inhabit fundamentally polar opposites within the world. Relativation is rare, and the assumption is of the other side's politics representing the "lying liars and the lies they tell" of this world.

I roll my eyes at that sometimes. The reality is that, although neither side likes acknowledging it, most Republicans and Democrats actually inhabit the same corner of world politics. Compare their opinions about what direction Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union should develop, for example, and you'll find broad agreement. Same on the bulk of the vision they may have for Africa, aside from the AIDS/condoms issue. Compare both groups to supporters of Putin or Chavez or the Muslim Brotherhood, compare their politics with those of Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev or Egypt's Mubarak or Bolivia's Evo Morales, and most of them will turn out to have more in common with each other than with those others. (I sympathise with Morales' decisions for Bolivia myself, but will admit that I wouldnt actually want the same measures - nationalisation of key industries and the like - to be taken in my country.)

I like referring to the example of George Soros. In the US, of course, he is known to conservatives as a leftwing boogeyman. But in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, where he traditionally spends most of his money, there isn't much light between his choices and those of the IRI or NDI, the Republicans' and Democrats' international support organisations. They're all considered (and liked or disliked as) "pro-Western".
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 05:44 pm
najmelliw wrote:
That is a recurring problem with me. So bear with it Smile

Ha! OK, ik zal mijn beste voetje voor zetten.

najmelliw wrote:
nimh wrote:
So for now it would be this?

1 Al-Sistani
2 Merkel
3 Chirac
4 Blair
5 Berlusconi, Putin
6 Bush
7 Gadaffi

Yeah, pretty much. I'd put Putin below Bush though... You might put Havel in spot one there. I am soo divided about Mandela. I want to trust the man, but I'm not sure I can... Too many odd things happened in South Africa, with his wife as well, to my taste. That's why I didn't really rate him, but if I had to make a decision, I'd probably decide he was reasonably trustworthy and factor him in at 3. in this list that is. Hu Jintao I'll leave out. I know next to nothing about the political realities in China, apart of course what happened in Bejing in the early nineties on the Square of Heavenly Peace. For Kofi Annan, well, I'd put him on 5 (in the revised list), so above Blair...

OK.. so that makes the new and revised Naj-list the following!

1 Havel
2 Al-Sistani
3 Mandela
4 Merkel
5 Chirac, Kofi Annan
7 Blair
8 Berlusconi
9 Bush
10 Putin
11 Gadaffi
0 Replies
 
 

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