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Greats

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Ian Dunn
393586.  Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:06 pm Reply with quote

According to the 2002 "100 Greatest Britons" poll, Sir Winston Churchill was the great person Britian has ever had, followed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Princess Diana. Actor Michael Crawford (aka Frank Spencer) was 17th, one place above Queen Victoria.

However, other countries have done, or have at least attempted to have done their own versions. Here is a list of various countries, as voted for by their own nation:

* Greatest American - President Ronald Reagan.
* Greatest German - West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
* Greatest Canadian - Tommy Douglas, leader of the first socialist government in North America.
* Greatest Dutchman - King William I of Orange (William the Silent).
* Greatest Finn - C.G.E. Mannerheim, war hero and President.
* Greatest Frenchman - President Charles de Gaulle.
* Greatest Israeli - Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
* Greatest Czech - King Charles IV of Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor.
* Greatest New Zealander - Ernest Rutherford, father of nuclear physics.
* Greatest Romanian - Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great), Prince of Moldavia.
* Greatest Portuguese - António de Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968.
* Greatest Bulgarian - Vasil Levski, revolutionary and national hero.
* Greatest Spaniard - King Juan Carlos I, the current monarch.
* Greatest Argentine - José de San Martín, liberator of Spanish South America.
* Greatest Ukrainian - Yaroslav I the Wise, thrice Grand Prince of Novgorod and Kiev.

There was a poll to find the "Greatest South African", but this poll was dropped after the list included several people who were not considered great like Hendrik Verwoerd, the "Architect of Apartheid".

Belgium has had to polls. One for the French/Belgian community and the other for the Flemish. The French/Belgian Le plus grand Belge voted singer-songwriter Jacques Brel as their favourite, while Flemish De Grootste Belg voted for Father Damien, known for his work with lepers (as they were called then).

The Russians and the Greeks are currently doing their own polls at the moment.


Last edited by Ian Dunn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:19 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Jenny
393602.  Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:00 pm Reply with quote

#1 only goes to prove that there are a large number of idiots prepared to vote in these things.

 
nostradamus
393609.  Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:16 pm Reply with quote

who's your number one ?

 
suze
393622.  Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Of the countries on which I feel qualified to comment, the USA made a very odd choice. While I understand Britain and France's choices, they wouldn't have been mine.

It's a shame they haven't done Greatest Pole - I'd anticipate the top three coming out as: 3. Fryderyk Chopin, 2. Lech Wałęsa, 1. Pope John Paul II.

Canada's choice is not a man who is internationally famous, but it's an excellent choice all the same. Tommy Douglas was a Baptist minister born in Scotland who was Premier of Saskatchewan for seventeen years and then leader of the newly formed New Democratic Party (Canada's main party of the left) for another ten. He's also often credited as the architect of Medicare, the Canadian equivalent of the NHS.

At least, I hope the paragraph above covers the reasons why he was voted the Greatest Canadian; perhaps it was just because he was Kiefer Sutherland's grandfather.

 
Ian Dunn
393696.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:18 am Reply with quote

Indeed suze, I had no idea who Douglas was until I looked up his Wikipedia article. He should be given more credit internationally in my opinion.

By the way, how many people think that Vladimir Putin will be voted the greatest Russian?

 
suze
393710.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:46 am Reply with quote

I fear that it is entirely possible, although I really hope not. I'd vote for Maria Szarapowa ...

I just had a look at the listing of the Canadian poll. First surprise was that Wayne Gretzky only came in at #10, while the utter shocker was the complete absence of Jimmy Doohan.

http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/greatcanadians/

British people, take a look down the list and score yourself a minus point for every person you thought was American. I'm anticipating some biggish negative numbers ... (There are quite a few you'll have heard of, in among the politicians and hockey players.)

 
Arcane
393730.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:57 am Reply with quote

ID, did you happen to see if there was an entry for greatest Australian? I've got a sick household at the moment and the quick chance I had to look yielded no results...

I'd appreciate it!

 
soup
393742.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:23 am Reply with quote

There were only three contenders for greatest Australian
Skippy, Fatso (the Wombat) and Harold (Holt not Bishop).

 
Ian Dunn
393766.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:59 am Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
ID, did you happen to see if there was an entry for greatest Australian? I've got a sick household at the moment and the quick chance I had to look yielded no results...

I'd appreciate it!


I've found an entry for a programme called The Greatest Australians broadcast in 2004, but I haven't been able to find any other entry, or who the winner was.

 
Arcane
393781.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quote

That was what I ran into as well, how strange!

My nomination would be Mary McKillop, hopefully in time our first saint. Not that I'm religious, but it would be nice!

 
djgordy
393804.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:51 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
3. Fryderyk Chopin, 2. Lech Wałęsa, 1. Pope John Paul II.


*cough* Curie *cough*

 
mckeonj
393832.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:44 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
suze wrote:
3. Fryderyk Chopin, 2. Lech Wałęsa, 1. Pope John Paul II.


*cough* Curie *cough*

Um, Joseph Conrad; Robert Maxwell; Countess Markiewicz
Or do they count as British Polish?

 
djgordy
393852.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:19 pm Reply with quote

Robert Maxwell was born in Czechoslovakia, although I believe his town of birth is now the Ukraine, hence his nickname "the Bouncing Czech". I don't think he would win any award as the greatest anything though*.

Joseph Conrad is probably my favourite writer. He wrote in English though so I doubt that he would top any poll of Poles in Poland.

*Except greatest crook perhaps.

 
Lumpo31
393858.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:58 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
British people, take a look down the list and score yourself a minus point for every person you thought was American. I'm anticipating some biggish negative numbers ... (There are quite a few you'll have heard of, in among the politicians and hockey players.)
Joni Mitchell, Pammy...that's all for me in terms of "Didn't know they were Canadian".

BTW, I noticed David Suzuki was in the Top 10 suze, No. 5 no less - I believe I was the one to first mention him to you a couple of years back!

Ooh! Chief Dan George! I remember him appearing on "The Beachcombers"!

 
costean
393872.  Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:58 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/greatcanadians/

British people, take a look down the list and score yourself a minus point for every person you thought was American. I'm anticipating some biggish negative numbers ... (There are quite a few you'll have heard of, in among the politicians and hockey players.)


In the top ten is Alexander Graham Bell. And here's me thinking he was Scottish. Minus another point for me, I guess...

 

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