Grading Our Leaders: Some Surprising Poll Results

Posted on April 18, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

At one level the results of our ATP Poll on Grading Pakistan’s leadership and power centers are not surprising at all. However, when we compare the result of this ATP Poll to related ATP Polls held in June 2009 and September 2009, then there is a rather interesting trend that seems to be apparent in the responses from our readers.

In the overall results, counting the grades given by more than 850 readers for each ofteh six categories, President Asif Ali Zardari was given an average grade of D+ (GPA=1.38 on a 4 point scale), Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani gets a grade of C (GPA=1.96), Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry gets a grade of C+ (GPA=2.21), Chief of Army Staff Gen. Pervez Ashfaq Kiyani also gets a grade of C+ (2.28), Leader of the Opposition Nawaz Sharif gets a grade of D (GPA=1.00) and the Pakistan Media was given a grade of C- (GPA=1.64). As before, 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).

Not unexpectedly, it is the votes at the extremes that defined the results. Strong supporters, and often even stronger opponents, voted at the extremes. Nearly a quarter of all votes cast (some 1,300 combined votes out of the combined 5,221 votes cast in the six categories) gave a grade of “F” (Failing). Extreme grading  indeed; and not different from the last time we held this Poll. The most F’s were given to President Zardari (45%), with Nawaz Sharif trailing closely with 37% F’s,  Prime Minister Gillani getting 20% F’s, the media getting 18% F’s, Gen. Kiyani 17% F’s, and the Chief Justice getting 12% F’s. This meant that getting a decent grade was statistically impossible for anyone, even though the A’s were also quite generous for many of them: Gen. Kiyani got 26% A’s, the Chief Justice got 19% A’s, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani both got 18% A’s, the Media got 7% A’s and the least A’s went to Nawaz Sharif for whom only 3% of the votes were A’s.

But none of this is that surprising, or even that interesting. What is interesting and surprising is the comparison to our previous ATP Poll. Although these are not scientific polls and they are certainly not reflective of what “Pakistan thinks” they are certainly representative of what ATP readers think, and since that readership has not changed by much between last year and now, one assumes that at least in this cohort of Pakistanis there are some interesting trends that can be deciphered:

  • The only leaders whose average grade has improved since June 2009 are President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. President Zardari moved up from a grade of D (GPA=0.97) to D+ (GPA=1.38) in this period, an impressive GPA jump of +0.41. Prime Minister Gillani moved up from a grade of C- (GPA=1.67) to C (GPA=1.96), with a GPA jump of +0.29. One assumes that the recent passage of the 18th amendment has something to do with this.
  • The deepest decline in grade – by a full grade point – was seen by Opposition Leader Nawaz Sharif, who moved from a grade of C (GPA=1.91) in June 2009 down to a grade of D (GPA=1.00) in April 2010. His also now has the distinction of having the lowest grade in the pack.
  • The only person whose grade remained the same in both periods was Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. Although he remains at a C+, there is a GPA decline of -0.15 from 2.36 to 2.21 which implies that there is a decline, although not enough to change his grade.
  • The Army Chief also saw a decline in his grade from a B- in June 2009 to a C+ now. This implies a GPA decline of -0.40 from 2.68 to 2.28. One assumes that the current military operations may have something to do with this.
  • Even the Media has seen a decline in its grade. Back in September 2009 the Media had scored a C grade with a GPA of 2.06, now it scored a C- with a GPA of 1.64; a GPA decline of -0.42.

As always, one should caution that we cannot make any more of this than we should. It is, after all, a blog poll and reflects the opinions of a particular type of Pakistanis. But it does suggest that the opinion of this type of Pakistani may be shifting just that slightly; at least for the moment.

25 responses to “Grading Our Leaders: Some Surprising Poll Results”

  1. Zainab says:

    Interesting post! You can also check out more blog polls here

  2. Faryaz says:

    I would like to comment as,

    1. Gen Kiyani is respectable, he should be given A atleast!

    2. PPP showed great improvement, see they won in Punjab again with by-elections!

    3. Nawaz is just doing what is good for him, not for nation, what he will do in his government? God knows!

    4. CJ is bias, he has greed of power, interfioring in politics!

    We need revolution!

  3. Saad Qaisar says:

    Interesting scaling mechanism!

  4. abdul hai says:

    I have following observations:

    1. Pakistanis are very demanding in grading. Grade A in USA is 90 to 100%. While first divison in examinations during my studies in Pakistan was 60%. We have to learn to be generous and less critical.

    2. General Kayani getting the best grade among the group reflects the urban elites still do not believe in democracy. They still want to go back to dictatorship. I wish Pakistanis put the army leaders give the same importance as in other democracies such as India, USA, England etc.

    3. Zardari and Gilani increase in grade reflects their recent contribution to democratic institutions.

    4. I think the chief justice is getting too political and power hungry. I believe the judiciary should stick to the administer justice.

  5. Raheela says:

    Very good poll and something that makes one think. I have never like Zardari but sometimes the hatred people have for him for no reason makes me sympathize with him more. Speaking honestly, he has been not bad at all and has done a lot of good things like the constitution change.

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