Political Leadership

  • Jane S. Jensen


Some of the leaders of her party considered Khaleda Zia’s behavior at times to be despotic. It was reported that Gro Brundtland’s “directness and aggressiveness offended many of her Labor colleagues ….”1 Tarja Halonen, a demanding boss, was viewed as feisty. Some described Golda Meir’s style as autocratic, and an official in Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government described her as a “combative personality.”2 Benazir Bhutto was viewed by many as “arrogant and headstrong” although she was not seen so in private where her manner, according to one writer, “only reflected impatience with and mistrust of the establishment.”3 Viewed as dictatorial, Gloria Arroyo’s critics described her as headstrong and temperamental.4 Jenny Shipley’s opponents referred to her as an “armoured personnel carrier,”5 and because of “her ability to push until she got what she wanted,” she was described as the “perfumed bulldozer.”6 Helen Clark was viewed as bossy and opinionated. Edith Cresson who was a demanding boss, was seen as disputatious and petulant.7 Her leadership was described as abrasive, and she was the subject of considerable criticism. It was said that she simply wore down her opponents rather than persuade them to a particular view.8 Tansu Ciller was viewed as uncompromising, and one who had served on her staff said that she was “not an easy person to work with.”9


Prime Minister Party Leader Approval Rating Parliamentary Election Coalition Partner 
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© Jane S. Jensen 2008

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  • Jane S. Jensen

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