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What Canadians really think about Harper, Obama and Putin

There are a host of differences between the leaders of Canada and Russia, but Stephen Harper and Vladimir Putin do have one thing in common: about 40 per cent of Canadians would describe both leaders as "secretive."

Polling firm Angus Reid Global surveyed more than 1,500 respondents and asked them to select up to six words from a predetermined list that they would use to describe various world leaders. Here are the most popular choices for each prime minister or president.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadians polled by Angus Reid were more likely to use negative words to describe Mr. Harper, with"secretive" the choice of 39 per cent, followed most frequently by"arrogant" (37 per cent),"dishonest" (31 per cent),"strategic" (26 per cent) and"boring" (26 per cent).

U.S. President Barack Obama

The most popular words picked by respondents to describe Mr. Obama were "influential" (46 per cent), "charismatic" (43 per cent), "compassionate" (33 per cent), "inspiring" (32 per cent), and "credible" (29 per cent).

"The love story with [Mr. Obama] continues," Shachi Kurl, vice-president of Angus Reid Global, said. "Canadians hold him in higher esteem than their own prime minister."

(And in higher esteem than Americans, who elected him -- the U.S. President frequently polls better in Canada than he does back home.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Respondents described Mr. Putin as"arrogant" (54 per cent),"corrupt" (52 per cent),"bully" (52 per cent),"dishonest" (45 per cent), and"secretive" (41 per cent).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Ms. Merkel was most often described as"strong" (33 per cent),"influential" (33 per cent),"credible" (26 per cent),"strategic" (22 per cent) and"courageous" (16 per cent).

British Prime Minister David Cameron

Mr. Cameron, who had the least name recognition among these five leaders, was described by respondents as"influential" (24 per cent),"credible" (21 per cent),"strategic" (19 per cent),"strong" (16 per cent) and"honest" (14 per cent).

Murat Yukselir/The Globe and Mail

'President who?'

The 1,502 Canadians who were surveyed online by Angus Reid Global on July 22 and 23 couldn't identify all the world leaders they were asked about. Seventy-six per cent didn't know Matteo Renzi (the Prime Minister of Italy since February), followed by question marks around Narendra Modi (Indian Prime Minister since May), Dilma Rousseff (President of Brazil), Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister of Japan) and Xi Jinping (Chinese President). Only two per cent of respondents said they did not know Mr. Obama or Mr. Harper.

Ms. Kurl said she was surprised by how many world leaders Canadians didn't have an opinion of. "This has been a summer when international news has really driven the headlines," she said, citing the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the World Cup.

The margin of error on all these responses is plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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