09.05.2016 11:22 AM

What do you want in a leader?

It may not be what you think. Abacus Data’s absolutely fascinating chart on what we want in leaders, below. Abandon your assumptions, all ye who enter here. 

And see if you can match up the most popular (40+) attributes with any leader you can think of. I couldn’t. 


  1. Charlie says:

    Whats more amazing is some of Trudeau’s top characteristics rank either very high or very low.

    Just to name a few:

    – Thinks about the next generation
    – Willingness to apologies
    – Open minded about different lifestyles
    – Seeks advice and asks for help from others/smart people
    – Care about the poor

    – Love being around young people
    – Physically fit and active
    – Feminist
    – Love the outdoors

    What I take away from this (amazing) polling by Abacus, is that the things that seem to aggravate some people a lot about Trudeau are borne out by numbers here. The feminist-y, outdoorsy, love-a-thon side of Trudeau is the one that gets picked at most by critics, yet the things he is seen to represent on the preferable side of the spectrum seem to rank very high on the value Canadians place on it.

    As it stands, it would be safe to say that Justin Trudeau is the perfect politician in Canada at the moment. He embodies all the important features Canadians want to see in their leader, while balancing himself out with some stuff that isn’t as important.

    Another take away is how troubling this is for Conservatives. Every character that aligns most with what potential CPC leaders are currently emphasizing in themselves fall into the middle/lower section of the scale. Their essentially competing for second place trying to appeal to those traits that Canadians place only secondary importance on.

  2. Peter says:

    If this list had included “has a great sense of humour” and “is a good listener”, I would have suspected Abacus lifted this from the profiles of ideal mates on a dating site.

  3. R News says:

    What about “They think being called Little Potato by a foreign government is a compliment”

  4. Sage says:

    Visual appearance and sexual perception trumps all those phony leadership attributes. People are quite superficial in their voting decision, and their only political thought is “what’s in it for me”. Justin wins on that basis and to hell with the rest.

  5. Maps Onburt says:

    What a complete pile of hokum. Supposedly only 6% care if the leader comes from an accomplished family yet this is the same country that accorded rock star status to junior Trudeau simply because of his family’s legacy. If he was joe schmuck from upper rubber boot Saskatchewan he’d have a second look. Canadians like optimism, confidence and momentum. Each of our PMs had it. When they falter, they fall. Full stop. Harper had it and went into 2015 without a plan to improve things – just that he was best suited to not make it worse. Trudeau talked about his (totally unrealistic) plan to make things better. Trudeai Senior did the same to Robert Standfield and Joe Clark. Chrétien did it to Kim Campbell. Everyone thought Martin had a plan until he didn’t.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      That is entirely quotable: ‘Everyone thought Martin had a plan until he didn’t’. Sums up the terminus of that political career.

  6. Lukelele says:

    Seems to me Trudeau fits most of the top ones, except perhaps the very top one, which I would imagine he’s not the best at.

  7. monkey says:

    Trudeau does seem to do well on a lot of them. Will be interesting if those numbers hold as I do find often these to follow people’s views of the leader. For example decisive leader used to be more highly ranked when Harper wasn’t so hated but as his popularity fell this rose. Someone who cares about me has always been high. However the second highest one could come back to bite him. Right now he generally polls well on this, but if the deficit spirals out of control or the spending on programs starts becoming too expensive like in Ontario that could turn against him.

  8. bluegreenblogger says:

    Anderson is a really sharp guy methinks. I do not think this was accidental coincidence though, I suspect he knows what research the Liberals have been/are doing, and is opening the blinds a bit for us peons. I see communications themes from our recent political history as much as a list of desirable attributes. The high scoring themes have been pretty carefully packaged and presented by Team Trudeau. That is one big advantage of Trudeau coming from relative obscurity. He can invent himself in real time. Surely some of the characteristics are actually his, but this is just too apt and specific to the rise of Trudeau not be data driven messaging to some extent. Abacus and Anderson himself are just outstanding, they seem to be unique in really getting it.

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