ATP Poll Results: Grading Our Leaders

Posted on June 14, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, People, Politics
19 Comments
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Adil Najam

The grades are in. The current crop of Pakistani leaders get between a D and a B- for performance in current office. ATP readers are obviously tough graders.


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According our latest ATP Poll, and with over 800 votes cast, Asif Ali Zardari’s performance as President of Pakistan gets a grade of D; Yousuf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister does only slightly better with a C-, Iftikhar Chaudhry’s performance as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gets a C+, Gen. Pervaiz Ashfaq Kiani gets a B- as Chief of Army Staff, and Nawaz Sharif as opposition leader gets a C (original poll here).

We used the standard 4-point scale to convert the votes into a letter grade (A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0, F=0.0). With nearly a quarter of all votes cast (and over half in the case of President Zardari’s assessment) being Fs it was mathematically not possible for anyone to get too high a grade, although 30% thought Gen. Kiani deserved an A and 26% thought the same for Iftikhar Chaudhry. 12% and 13%, respectively, thought that Yousuf Raza Gillani and Nawaz Sharif deserved an A, while 7% gave an A to President Asif Ali Zardari.

A few noteworthy points about the results:

  • As we had made clear in the poll question, this was not a popularity poll. It was a performance poll.
  • Not surprisingly, the strongest feelings were reserved for President Asif Zardari (Grade=D; GPA=0.97). A majority of voters gave him a failing grade, although some commenters defended his performance as being much better than most had expected.
  • Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani got a grade just under the ‘average’ mark (Grade=C-; GPA=1.67), and commenters seems to suggest as much for his performance. Interestingly, he seems to command relatively greater respect amongst ATP readers than Mr. Zardari.
  • Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry got a grade slightly above average (Grade=C+; GPA=2.36)
  • A number of readers made clear that they were giving a good grade to Gen. Pervez Ashfaq Kiani (Grade=B-; GPA=2.68) because he has not dabbled in politics and for the operation against the Taliban. It is important, therefore, not to construe his relatively better grade as a desire for the military to take control; in fact, it seems (at least from the comments) to be quite the opposite).
  • We had include Nawaz Sharif in the poll because in any democracy the opposition plays a very important role and that is what we had asked people to guage: his performance as an opposition leader. Our readers graded this performance to be average (Grade=C; GPA=1.91).
  • The obvious comparison to make would be to ATP’s September 2006 poll on Grading Gen. Musharraf. There are, however, some important differences. That poll graded Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s performance in 4 specific areas (domestic politics, economy and development, governance and reform, and foreign affairs) and it also gave readers the options to choose sub-grades (e.g., B- or C+ of D-, etc). His overall grade had come out to be B-/C+ (GPA=2.53)

Unscientific as a blog poll has to be, what do you think of the results? Is this the type of grade you woudl have expected for each of them? Why or why not? And irrespective of the grades, do you think their performance in their current jobs has been better or worse than you had expected them to perform? Do let us know.

19 responses to “ATP Poll Results: Grading Our Leaders”

  1. Shahrukh says:

    Pervez Musharraf had done a really good job, far better than these politicians, I want him back.

  2. Yasin says:

    Excellent poll. And I like how the GPA is calculated rather than only look at which GPA gets the most votes, which would make no sense in this case.

    I think the grading by your readers is fair and that is probably where the overall view of their performance comes out.

  3. ather says:

    Musharraf all the wayy.. He rocks

  4. Qadir says:

    Does no one read the actual post!!!!!!

    The calculation and the final GPA for everone is listed there…. I just checked for Zardari and the calculation seems right, he is at GPA of 0.97 which is a D

    TO get an F you would need 100 percent F votes… Simple math. It’s like if you get F. In one paper and a B in the other what is your final grade

    Maybe Prof Najam should start grading the math and language comprehension of his readers!

  5. Umar Shah says:

    Dr Najam and Owais your grade reporting is different from the final results of the original poll (now closed). According to those results Gen. Kiani, Justice Chaudhry & Nawaz Sharif get a B, PM Gilani gets a C and President Zardari gets a solid and convincing F. Have you used some invisible fudge factor to bump the grades up & down? Please elaborate.

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