In this edition of Fascinating Political Facts we decided to use four images of current world leaders to see how well we could associate the leader with the country they were from. We used countries that are in the news regularly and all the leaders have appeared on the Vine numerous times in one article or another. At the end of this article are the results and a linkt to this game if you wish to review it. If you would like to see a third Fascinating Facts Game, please vote for which subject you would like to see in the poll on the left.
Jens Stoltenberg is the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. He assumed the office in 2005.
What you may not know: Stoltenberg's first steps into politics came when he was in his early teens and was influenced by his sister Camilla, who at the time was a member of the then Marxist-Leninist group Red Youth. Opposition to the Vietnam War was his triggering motivation. Following raids of heavy bombing against the North Vietnamese port city Hai Phong at the end of the Vietnam War, he participated in protest rallies targeting the United States Embassy in Oslo. He threw stones at the building and broke several windows. He escaped arrest by the police, though several of his friends were caught.
Stehphen Harper is the leader of Canada. He assumed office in 2004.
What you may not know: He grew up in a middle class family in the Toronto suburbs. In 1978, after graduating from high school, he moved to Alberta. He worked in the oil industry there, and soon enrolled at the University of Calgary, a bastion of conservative thinking, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics. Harper and a fellow grad student often debated politics and free market economic ideas outside of class, avidly watched American conservative William F. Buckley's television show Firing Line, and followed the careers of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, the conservative leaders of Great Britain and the United States.
Julia Gillard is the leader of Australia. She assumed office in 2010.
What you may not know: Gillard's partner since 2006 is Tim Mathiesen. She has had previous relationships with union officials Michael O'Connor and Bruce Wilson and fellow Federal Labor MP Craig Emmerson. She has never married and has no children. Gillard was brought up in the Baptisttradition, but is not religious. In a 2010 interview when asked if she believed in God, Gillard stated: "No I don't ... I'm not a religious person ... [I'm] a great respecter of religious beliefs but they're not my beliefs.
Angela Merkel is the leader of Germany. She assumed office in 2005.
What you may not know: Angela Merkel is a physical chemist by trade. In 2006, Angela Merkel was awarded the Vision for Europe Award for her contribution toward greater European integration. In 2007, Merkel was awarded an honary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In March 2006, the Italian President of the Republic gave the German Chancellor the recognition of Dama di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana
Now for the results of our game. This is game 2 gang so I am going to get a little tough on you here with the commentary below. Remember the comments are thought provokers only and not a commentary on our participants.
With 37 voting participants multiplied by 4 opportunities to vote we should have received 148 total. We received 128 votes or as a group we followed the rules at an 86% rate.
Commentary: No one wants to be wrong and if not sure we sometimes will elect to not vote. Other times we will just mistakenly miss one of the polls as they automatically expand and it changes the page layout. As request for everyone please try to vote for each choice in future games so we can get the best results possible. We rate a "B" on this one.
Leader 1 Results:
Jens Stoltenberg is the leader of the Norway. 30 Participants voted in this poll and were right 47% of the time.
Commentary: As Norway makes the news less than the other 3 countries in this game it would be most understandable that we would do the worst with this choice. This is one I would have used the process of elimination on.
Leader 2 Results:
Stephen Harper is the leader of Canada. 30 Participants voted in this poll and were right 53% of the time.
Commentary: Hang on gang as this one deserves a good comment. Since I would think we would have one or two players from Canada I would think we would do better. This is our neighbor to the North. How would we know who to go after if we declared war on Canada. We know the leaders of Iran, Russia, and others on site although our next door neighbor we do not know. Does this tell us something about ourselves that we know what we perceive as enemies but ignore our perceived friends. I will finish this comment in our summary.
Leader 3 Results:
Julia Gillard is the leader of Australia. 31 Participants voted in this poll and were right 45% of the time.
Commentary:This may be the most surprising image to associate to a country by most Americans in this game. Australia makes very little news in the US when it comes to politics. Our perception of Australia would lead us to look for a leader that looked like Croc Dundee.
Leader 4 Results:
Angela Merkel is the leader of Germany. 37 Participants voted in this poll and were right 92% of the time.
Commentary: Angela Merkel has the most time in office of the 4 in this game so she has had more exposure. As more people participating in the game seem to know the answer to this one, we are guessing that is why the most people also participated in this poll.
We had a combined average of 58% correct for this game.
Americans in general have an idea of what is best for the world although we know very little about the rest of the world. We have a unique perspective due to our history, location, and leadership roll that sometimes makes us dismiss the rest of the world as being irrelevant or not as important. I think this says more about our nation than it does about our people. The US politicians have used patriotism and scare tactics to keep our citizens focused on things at home. There is a reason for this. It is much easier to mobilize our nation against others the less we know about them because we are afraid of the unknown. The government has said we will take care of you no matter what and you do not need to worry about the rest of the world as that is our problem. There are many reasons for this but one is that the more we learn about other nations and what they are doing we may actually like some of those concepts. We would find out just how intertwined the rest of the world is and how wrong some of our policies are for other nations. We would also find that other nations are advancing much faster than we are on subjects like over population, water quality, global warming, and many other serious issues.
Other nations have their own pride in their countries however they tend to understand the inner relationships that all nations have more than we do here in the US. How many other nations do you believe would only score 53% for being able to recognize the nations leader that is connected to their own border? We have only three nations on our continent and we still do not recognize the leaders of the other two. What does this really say about us as a nation?
We hope that everyone will think about this and take a few moments each week to try to read what is going on in other nations and what their leaders are doing. If we wish to help our government solve real issues the more educated we are on what is going on around the globe the better we will be at this. You do not really want to leave all of this up to our politicians do you?
Thanks so much for everyone that played the game and we hope you enjoyed it. If you have any suggestions for a future game please let us know.
Link to Fascinating Political Facts Part 2 Game: