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Author Topic: Rank the 10 most powerful national leaders in the world  (Read 920 times)
President John Hay
clarence
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« on: June 25, 2012, 09:26:50 am »
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I read the lists that come out annually from the magazines but most of them are too heavy on CEOs and celebrities, whose actual power I believe is less then they report... if you look at national leaders, who do you believe is the most powerful?

My best guess...

1- Barack Obama
2- Hu Jintao
3- Vladimir Putin
4- Angela Merkel
5- David Cameron
6- Pope Benedict XVI
7- Francois Hollande
8- Manmohan Singh
9- King Abdullah
10- Dilma Rousseff (I had to look up her name, but due to her title)

I compiled this list based on my perceptions of the nation's economic, military, and cultural power. What do you think?
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Vosem
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 09:43:39 am »
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Since Putin is the completely undisputed leader of his country, whereas Hu rules with a party apparatus and I believe is stepping down soon (by contrast, Putin rules over a party apparatus). Obama is, of course, dependent on voters to maintain his power. So I would say, right now, Putin is the single most powerful man in the world.
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Speaker Dereich
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 10:31:13 am »
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Since Putin is the completely undisputed leader of his country, whereas Hu rules with a party apparatus and I believe is stepping down soon (by contrast, Putin rules over a party apparatus). Obama is, of course, dependent on voters to maintain his power. So I would say, right now, Putin is the single most powerful man in the world.

Indeed. One of the wikileaks cables from the Medvedev era described how sometimes Putin would get bored of paperwork and not do it, causing the whole government apperatus to grind to a halt.

And by powerful do you mean in the context of their own countries or with influence on the world stage?
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President John Hay
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 12:11:55 pm »
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I mean generally what Vosem put forward- who is the single most powerful individual on the planet... if Putin has more power in his country then Hu Jintao has in his, then I agree with Vosem
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 04:09:51 pm »
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Putin definitely has more internal power over Russia than Hu does over China. I'd definitely agree that right now Putin's at the very least a frontrunner for the single most powerful individual on Earth. If we're ranking individuals by their own power rather than the power of their apparatuses(still taking power deriving from their apparatuses but accruing to them specifically into some account) I would put it a little something like this:

1. Vladimir Putin
2. Abdullah ibn Saud
3. Benedict XVI
4. Barack Obama
5. Angela Merkel
6. Xi Jinping*
7. David Cameron
8. Stephen Harper
9. Francois Hollande
10. Sonia Gandhi**

*Vice President of PR China, presumed next Paramount Leader
**President of the ruling party of India
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Stranger in a strange land
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 09:01:24 pm »
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Why do people think Pope Benedict is so powerful? He's certainly not more powerful than Obama: he doesn't even have a military. Now he may, at least in theory, have a billion people who think he's the voice of God, but how many of them really follow every pronouncement he makes? This isn't the middle ages where popes could dethrone kings.

Of major world leaders, Putin's power is the least constrained, and he's the closest thing to an absolute ruler among the major powers. Hu Jintao's power is constrained by the politburo and the PLA, while Obama's power is constrained by the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the state governments. He can't tell the congress what to do, he can't tell a governor what to do, and he can't even safely tell the CIA, FBI, or NSA what to do (because they'll leak against him if they don't like it). Merkel, however, is more powerful than is generally appreciated, due to Germany's dominant position in the EU.

Therefore, my list would look something like this:

1. Vladimir Putin
2. Barack Obama
3. Hu Jintao
4. Angela Merkel
5.  Francois Hollande
6. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
7. Sonia Gandhi (public opinion in India is pretty unanimous that she's calling the shots and that Singh has been outmanueverd and is basically just a figurehead at this point)
8. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
9. David Cameron
10. Benjamin Netanyahu

What's telling is that nobody has listed Yoshihiko Noda so far. I actually had to use wiki to find out who the current Japanese prime minister was, which goes a long way in terms of explainig why the
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 09:14:27 pm »
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David Cameron's position in the world compared to that of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. [/smughack]
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Judäischen Volksfront
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 09:15:01 pm »
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Hu Jintao as an individual has few effective powers, and I'd say he's individually less powerful in his country than even Obama. All important Chinese government decisions must be approved by consensus by the Politburo Standing Committee.

So, while Hu himself is less powerful than Obama, the nine-member Standing Committee collectively has way, way, way more power than Obama, all of Congress, SCOTUS, and all three letter agencies combined.

It's an open secret Putin has been a Tsar since seizing power in 2000. Also, Merkel has plenty of power not just over Europe bu the whole world. Abdullah is a

I'll say therefore it's like this:

1. Vladimir Putin
2. Barack Obama
3. Angela Merkel
4. Francois Hollande
5. Hu Jintao
6. David Cameron
7. Zhou Yongkang *
8. Abdullah
9. Xi Jinping **
10. Sonia Gandhi

* Chinese Politburo internal security chief, widely seen as a loose cannon and hardliner who isn't afraid to take sides
** Hu Jintao's successor, thought to be a target of Zhou

And yes, I'm bending the rules by naming three Chinese Politburo members. But Politburo members are called Party and State Leaders by the Chinese state media, so I didn't break the rules.

What's telling is that nobody has listed Yoshihiko Noda so far. I actually had to use wiki to find out who the current Japanese prime minister was, which goes a long way in terms of explainig why the
In Japan it's widely known that real power lands in the ruling party bureaucratic leadership rather than the Prime Minister. Hence, the insanely high turnover among the political class.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 09:21:26 pm by EternalCynic »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 10:03:35 pm »
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1. Barack Obama
2. Angela Merkel
3. Vladimir Putin
4. David Cameron
5. Hu Jintao
6. François Hollande
7. King Abdullah
8. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
9. Benjamin Netanyahu
10. Jacob Zuma

Comments:

Hu is on the list by virtue of his power network, assuming predictions that many of his Communist Youth League allies get promoted to the Standing Committee.

Vladimir Putin is demoted because he is ruling over a country whose power is substantially diminishing, especially as it jostles for influence between the U.S. and China.

Cabinet politics decrease Cameron's power, but at least he still has a voice in his country's monetary policy.

Netanyahu is on the list because of his popularity and Israel's military/intelligence prowess ability to dictate U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Zuma's definitely an odd choice, but I still put him there because of South Africa's economy and his connections with African leaders. If Thabo Mbeki were still president he would be a more solid decision.

By 2013 Park Geun-Hye should be number 8 instead of Erdogan.
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The Mikado
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 10:39:26 pm »
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What's telling is that nobody has listed Yoshihiko Noda so far. I actually had to use wiki to find out who the current Japanese prime minister was, which goes a long way in terms of explainig why the

Japan hasn't had a PM with real staying power since Koizumi, and the ones since that tried to assert themselves (Hatoyama) have failed miserably.
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 12:30:43 am »
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If we're taking Benedict off then everybody below him in my list moves up 1 and number 10 would be Erdoğan.
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President John Hay
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 09:04:32 am »
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Netanyahu is on the list because of his popularity and Israel's military/intelligence prowess ability to dictate U.S. policy in the Middle East.

I agree with the rest of your list and the placement of Netanyahu on there... there are many things you can say about Israel, but to imply they don't have "military/intelligence prowess" is a hell of a leap
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Nathan
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 04:45:15 pm »
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Netanyahu is on the list because of his popularity and Israel's military/intelligence prowess ability to dictate U.S. policy in the Middle East.

I agree with the rest of your list and the placement of Netanyahu on there... there are many things you can say about Israel, but to imply they don't have "military/intelligence prowess" is a hell of a leap

I think Foucaulf was trying to say that Israel's influence on US policy is more determinative of his ranking of Netanyahu than its military/intelligence prowess, which is undeniable.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
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