Other than celebrities, scientists, and artists, politicians are some of the most talked about people in the world. Who would not be interested in them?
They are the ones who are directly influencing the laws in our countries. Most of the time, we citizens put them to power and let them give us what we think is right for us.
Some of their decisions are questionable and may not be attractive even to the majority of the nation but more often than not, they do an excellent job in pacifying the people and keeping our confidence up, at the very least.
Nonetheless, they are still arguably the most influential persons in the world, and if you want to be a successful politician, you have to have lots of a particular trait that makes statesmen what they are: influence.
Whatever their influence may be, they all have the power to energize their followers and make them follow their paths and words to change the world, one step at a time.
Let’s check out the list below to see who will be the most influential politicians in the year 2016 and what there is to know about and expect from them.
10. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahya is also called Sheikh Khalifa. He is United Arab Emirates’ President, Abu Dhabi’s Emir, and the Union Defence Force’s Commander.
Sheikh Khalifa got into position when his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan passed away. He virtually became the President of the Federation the day after the death. He already had experience in serving as Crown Prince and had been acting as President when his father fell ill. Khalifa also serves Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as its chairperson. They manage over $600 billion of diverse assets, mostly commodities.
Greatest influence: Aside from his political career, he is also a known philanthropist who has given over $460 million from his personal money for humanitarian projects.
9. Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Vana Rousseff is the first Brazilian Woman President. Before serving Brazil as President, she was the Chief of Staff of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rouseff was put into the jail from 1970 to 1972 and was reportedly tortured for being a socialist and joining the coup d’etat in 1964. She joined various Marxist urban guerrilla groups that went against the military dictatorship.
Upon her release, she built the Democratic Labour Party with her partner, Porto Alegre. Her political career blossomed, and she eventually became the Secretary of the Treasury of the City of Porto Alegre during the Alceu Collares Administration. After that, she became the Secretary of Energy of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, both under Collares and Olivio.
In 2005, a corruption scandal made Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu resign, and Rousseff took the post. She then stepped down to run for President. She beat Jose Serra of Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira and Aecio Neves.
On December 3, 2015, the Chamber of Deputies have started the official proceedings for Rousseff’s impeachment.
Greatest influence: Dilma changed Brazil’s political culture by demanding to change the way administrations are judged by purely economic performance.
With this step, she highlights the inability of the past Brazilian governments who are high in numbers but poor in public goods, such us healthcare, justice, basic education, ad public security.
8. Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu is currently the Prime Minister of Israel who also acts as a Knesset member and Likud Party Chairman.
Netanyahu became a part of the Israel Defense Forces after the Six-Day War and quickly lead one of the teams in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. He was on the front lines during the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War which happened in 1973.
Among his other private forces experiences, he was also working on Suez Canal to lead a commando assault into Syrian quarters. He had become captain before he was discharged.
After earning his degrees, he first worked for Boston Consulting Group as an economic consultant. He then came back to Israel to build the Yonatan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute.
“ The youngest Prime Minister ever ”
Yonatan Netanyahu was his brother who passed while leading Operation Entebbe. Benjamin Netanyahu then served the United Nations as Israeli’s ambassador from 1984 to 1988. Netanyahu is the youngest Prime Minister Israel ever witnessed.
He worked as a Foreign Affairs Minister from 2002-2003 and Finance Minister from 2003-2005 during Ariel Sharon’s administration. He was known to be the factor in improving Israel’s economic performance because of the significant reforms he did during his reign as Minister of Finance.
He won the 2013 elections, turning him the second person to acquire the Prime Minister position for the 4th term.
Greatest Influence: He drew attention to the threat that Iran is setting for Israel, America, and to the free world. He also confronted Iran’s purchases of nuclear weapons.
7. Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi is the President of the European Central Bank. He is an Italian economist, manager, and banker.
After working for Goldman Sachs from 2002-2005, he became the government of the Bank of Italy. He was listed as the 8th most influential person in the world in 2014 by Forbes, and second greatest leader of the world in 2015 by Fortune.
On 2011, the Council of the European Union recommended Draghi as President of ECB, which was approved by ECB itself. The appointment was confirmed on June 24, 2011.
Greatest influence: Ultimately, Draghi was able to reshape the world of banking, trading, and investing all over the world.
6. Narendra Modi
Narendra Damodardas Modi is the Prime Minister of India. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001-2014. He was credited with the Bharatiya Janata Party victories in the states of Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi is known for his innovations like Make in India, Digital India, and Swachh Bharat Mission. His reign is seen as active progressivism. He is second to US President Barack Obama regarding social media followers.
Greatest influence: Modi’s administration placed their focus in turning India into a more modern country regarding infrastructure and government. He wants to use technology to reduce bureaucracy, improve national standards of health, attract foreign investors, and improve international relations.
5. David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is United Kingdom’s Prime Minister.
After graduating Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Brasenose College, Oxford, he served as a special adviser for Norman Lamont and Michael Howard. He then worked for Carlton Communications as Director of Corporate Affairs. In 1997, he ran on a Eurosceptic platform and was defeated.
In 2001, he was elected Parliament during the general elections. His climbed the ladder rather quickly as he was promoted to the Opposition front bench and eventually to head of policy co-ordination on 2005. After which, he succeeded in the Conservative leadership election in 2005.
In 2010, 43-year old Cameron became the youngest Prime Minister. Before his record, the youngest Prime Minster was Lord Liverpool in 1812, and then Tony Blair in May 1997.
Greatest influence: He highly concentrated on home owning within the Great Britain and had projected around 13,000 new homes in 2016.
4. Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping is the Communist Part of China’s General Secretary, People’s Republic of China’s President, and Central Military Commission’s Chairman.
Because he handles all of the important aspects of an economy, he is often referred to as the “paramount leader”. He is also an ex-officio member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.
Xi Jinping is the son of Xi Zhongxun, communist veteran. He was Fujian’s governor then he became the party secretary of Zhejiang. Xi moved to Shanghai and became Hu Jintao’s successor. He then served as vice president between 2008 and 2013.
Greatest influence: Xi promoted Internet sovereignty and restricted ideological discourse.
3. Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African-American to become the United States’ President.
Obama served as the President of the Harvard Law Review. He also worked as a community organizer in Chicago before finally earning his law degree. He was a civil rights attorney by profession and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School at the same time.
Before getting national attention, he already served the 13th District, Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004 for three terms. He lost a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000 to Bobby Rush.
Obama eventually rose to the national ranks when he represented Illinois in the United States Senate. He began campaigning for the President post in 2007. He defeated John McCain and was officially the United States President on January 20, 2009.
Among Obama’s initiatives were created to revitalize the economy after the Great Recession. These are the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
He also started Obamacare, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, and the Dod-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He also cut the US Military connections in the war of Iraq and ordered the defeat – which resulted in death – of Osama bin Laden.
Obama defeated Mitt Romney in November 2012 and was given another term to serve as the United States President. Under Obama’s administration, more pressure was given to gun control initiatives to prevent attacks that happened to the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Greatest influence: Obama’s recent successes include the promotion of the inclusive of LGBT community members in the state by allowing same-sex marriage. Also, just nine months after holding the Presidential post, Obama was listed as a 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
2. Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel has been Germany’s Chancellor since 2005 and Christian Democratic Union’s Leader since 2000.
Merkel has a doctorate as a physical chemist. She entered the world of politics during the Revolutions of 1989. She worked as a deputy spokesperson for the East German Government in 1990. She was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth during Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s administration in 1991. Then, she became the Minister for the Environment in 1994.
In 1998, Kohl was defeated and was turned into CDU’s Secretary-General. Merkel became the President of the European Council in 2007. She was influential in the negotiation of the Berlin Declaration and the Treaty of Lisbon.
Greatest influence: Merkel has played a big role in managing the financial crisis. Under her leadership, the crisis was handled well at the international level, gaining her the nickname “The Decider.” She is regarded as a de facto leader of the European Union.
1. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has been serving Russia as its president since May 7, 2012. He succeeded Dmitry Medvedev. He already served as president from 2000 to 2008 and Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000.
He served as Prime Minister for another round to 2008-2012. While he was serving his last term as Prime Minister, he was also serving as United Russia’s chairperson.
Real income in Russia went up during Putin’s leadership from 1999-2008. Real wages multiplied by more than three times. To add to this, unemployment and poverty was cut in half, and Russian’s self-assessed satisfaction increased by significant factors.
“ Real wages multiplied by more than three times ”
Greatest influence: The period of his leadership was seen as a time of high economic growth. The growth in Russia’s economy, increase in GDP and PPP was a result of high oil prices, the commodities boom, and strict economic and fiscal policies.
To stay in the loop, today’s leaders must get a hold of their overall influence. With their influence – whether positive or negative – they can make people talk, stand up, and move. Influence, in this light, is the strongest weapon a person may have – whether they are leading a company, an organization, or a country.
As ordinary citizens who are not in power, who are not seated in positions that require a degree of influence, we are still bound to radiate a certain kind of influence to those who surround us. Our actions, no matter how small, can build empires, pass laws, or create nations.