Top elected officials are generally unpopular

It turns out that a polling company called Morning Consult runs frequent opinion polls in 22 countries measuring the approval ratings of the top elected officials in those countries.

The polls reveal that as of the first week of October 2022, among the 22 officials rated only 6 have positive net rating (approval minus disapproval). Another interesting finding is that the two most highly rated officials are non-Western: India’s Modi, who is often portrayed in the West as being a proto-authoritarian, or at least as a nasty populist, and Mexico’s López Obrador.

9 Responses

  1. “Top elected officials are generally unpopular”

    Translation: Anti-popular oligarchs are unpopular with non-oligarchs

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  2. “Top elected officials are generally unpopular”

    Translation: Anti-popular oligarchs are unpopular with non-oligarchs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dismal to see Modi polling so high. Far from merely being ‘portrayed in the West as a proto-authoritarian’, the man’s a Nazi who oversaw a pogrom of Muslims in his time as Chief Minister of Gujarat, and is now presiding over a frightening slide towards genocide.

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  4. > the man’s a Nazi […] presiding over a frightening slide towards genocide

    It is interesting to note that many Muslims in India do not seem to share this outlook.

    In particular, 20% of Muslims say they voted for Modi’s BJP in 2019 (as opposed to 50% among Hindus).

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  5. Your worship of polls as The Voice Of The People has led you down some strange, dark paths.

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  6. Sorry for being such a sucker for the facts :).

    But do tell me, what is your position regarding this poll? Is it that the data in the poll is not to be believed, or that the Muslims in India are less aware of their own reality and their own interests than you are? I don’t see any other way to dismiss the findings of the poll.

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  7. Oliver,

    I really am curious as to what your answer to my question above would be.

    I’d also like to add a thought that occurred to me regarding me being led “down some strange dark paths”: It seems to me that it is often the situation in science. One starts from some intuitive, simple, naive understanding of some topic. And bit-by-bit, by maintaining one’s commitment to some fundamental principles and to adapting one’s understanding to observations, one is led to unexpected, often rather strange and even disconcerting conclusions.

    The fact that mainstream “political science” is espousing ideas that are intuitive and pleasing to the non-specialist, far from lending it credence, should be a cause for suspicion that this discipline is in fact non-scientific and is not much more than a propaganda channel with academic trappings.

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  8. By your own theory, a government polling at 20% is proof positive that it’s an undemocratic tyranny. Strange that you would cite 20% of Muslims voting BJP as proof that the BJP aren’t Hindu-supremacist fascists!

    As for your pride in reaching unexpected conclusions, you’re quite correct in principle. The problem is that the methodological premises you start from are utterly misguided. If I were to base my analysis of world politics on the assumption that the results of (for example) haruspicy were infallible, I would also be led to conclusions outside the mainstream. It would not reflect the strength of my theory.

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  9. Thanks for your response, OIiver. I find this exchange useful and I hope you do too.

    > Strange that you would cite 20% of Muslims voting BJP as proof that the BJP aren’t Hindu-supremacist fascists!

    You seem to be inconsistent. You are now accepting the meaningfulness of the poll, and are offering it as evidence about the nature of the BJP and the politics of India. This is exactly what I suggested should be done. I am not sure how you see this as consistent with your earlier claim that “worshiping the polls” (i.e., using polls to learn about the nature of governments) is to be avoided.

    If we now accept that polls are useful for learning about governments, we can see what this poll can tell us. Note that my point was very clearly that the evidence shows that many Muslims would not subscribe to your view of Modi as a “Nazi” “sliding towards genocide”. I did not express any opinion whether Modi or the BJP were oppressing the Indian Muslims (certainly in elections you only have to be perceived as better than the alternatives in order to win votes). It seems that my willingness to cast any doubt on the accepted Western narrative regarding Modi was enough to send you jumping to conclusions derived from a with-us-or-against-us mindset. That said, I will go further down the path of heresy by linking to another poll, which claims to find that “58.4 percent of Muslims have ‘a lot of trust’ in the PM while 13 percent expressed ‘no trust at all'”.

    > you’re quite correct in principle […] the methodological premises you start from are utterly misguided

    Ok, but then the fact that I am led down “strange and dark paths” should not by itself be considered as an argument against my position. Rather to argue against my position you would need to explain what the problems are with the my methodological premises.

    Again, as I see it, my basic premise is that people are generally well-informed about their own lives and day-to-day situations and make their choices appropriately. Thus to the extent their lives are affected by government, their opinions and decisions are a useful source of information about their government. Do you doubt this? More specifically, how would you reconcile the idea that Modi is “Nazi” “sliding towards genocide” (of the Muslims, presumably) with the claim (which you seem to accept) that he is viewed favorably by many Indian Muslims, without asserting that you are better informed about Modi than those Muslims?

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