11 Nov, 2006 AFP
OTTAWA: Civil rights luminary Nelson Mandela and software billionaire Bill Gates are the world's most esteemed leaders, while US President George W Bush and Iranian and North Korean leaders rank at the bottom, according to a global poll.
The survey for the Canadian magazine Maclean's asked 5,800 people in 20 countries to rate 19 leaders.
Others who ranked in the top tier included U2 lead singer and poverty activist Bono, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama, former US president Bill Clinton and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
At the bottom of the "admiration index" were US President Bush in near-last spot, ahead of only Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Washington has deemed all three enemies or threats.
"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," Craig Worden of pollster Angus Reid Strategies said in a statement on Friday.
"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," he said.
The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on behalf of Maclean's magazine. It has a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.