Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Statesman Of The Year?

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that Stephen Harper has been named Statesman of the Year:

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an international organization founded by New York rabbi Arthur Schneier, has picked Mr. Harper as its World Statesman of the Year for 2012. He joins a list of past recipients – also deemed promoters of human rights and freedom – that includes Jean Chr├ętien, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and, most recently, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

While Harper will find himself in illustrious company -- he will receive the award from Henry Kissinger, and Bill Clinton may also be there -- what is more interesting is the fact that Harper plans to snub the UN:

The timing of the award ceremony, during the week when world leaders descend on New York to address the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, underlines Mr. Harper’s distaste for the multilateral diplomatic forum. Prime ministers were offered UN speaking slots on Sept. 27 – the very day Mr. Harper will accept the award in New York – but Mr. Harper chose to skip the UN. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will speak for Canada, but, as a mere minister, is relegated to the following week.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is doing some snubbing of his own. The National Post reports that Obama has chosen not to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when they both visit the UN.

We seem to be heading for another showdown in the Middle East. The last time this happened -- when Canada refused to join the American led invasion of Iraq -- Harper went to New York to vent his displeasure.

Obviously, being named Statesman of the Year is no endorsement of good judgement.


Lorne said...

Owen, if we lived in a world where rationality prevailed, an award given to Harper as a promoter of human rights and freedoms could only be seen as a satirical send-up.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where jingoism, propaganda, and uncritical support for Israel are instead rewarded.

The right-wing must be exultant.

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure the right wing is levitating, Lorne.

Unfortunately, a man who is both literally and figuratively full of himself will be even more so.

the salamander said...

Perhaps there was a computer glitch or vote accounting error, voting fraud in the competition, or an explainable mistake. Was he actually nominated? By whom.. anonymously I must assume or by Ezra Levant.

I'm racking my brain & surely other Canadians will do so, in case the award's Foundation attempts to bluster through with something noteworthy, statesman-like, politically honest, admirable or useful that Mr Harper has done this year, 2012.. or perhaps in calendar 2011-2012.

Perhaps we need to know what the criteria were..
Are there exemptions for failing your own country? Are awards based on promises, rather than accomplishments? Or recent bizarre decisions?

Is 'Statesmanship' considered in some new paradigm that awards bonus points for bluster, secrecy, lack of transparency, inaccessibility from media, anti-environment legislation, omnipotence, cronyism and getting away with broken promises nationally as well as internationally?

How did he beat out Mitt Romney ? I guess being an elected politician helps.. Who came 2nd.. 3rd ? Last?

Owen Gray said...

All excellent questions, salamander.

I can only conclude that the foundation has no idea what Harper has done in -- or to -- his own country.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen harper so happy
that said
i think it all goes back to the bilderberg group (harper has been an attendee and a host)
If you carry water for them well enough
and particularly if at cross purposes to the interests of your country of origin or peace in general
some obscure meaningless contrived organization will laud your efforts
with some double speak title
Both the religious right and the jews require by their prophesy the jewish rule of the world
Promoting this "god work" = statesman
This award from a rabbi to a "endtime" christian is for goods delivered and obstacles removed to hasten the final conflict and second coming
I'm sure you have seen this about harper and his "mission"
If not it needs to be read to see the harper path we are on
See them as deluded or not ...they believe and the bilderbergs just know that instability has a much better profit margin than stability

Owen Gray said...

The warnings have been out for a long time, Mike.

We were warned that Harper's theology -- if you can all it that -- would affect his public policy.

Recent events seem to confirm those warnings.

thwap said...

Who cares? A bunch of ugly-minded hacks having a circle-jerk.

Literally nothing to see there!

Anonymous said...

mike wrote: "...the jews require by their prophesy the jewish rule of the world"

You're sounding a tad paranoid there, mike. I'm no fan of Harper or the religious right, but I think bringing up conspiracy theories about the jews hurts your (our?) cause.

Owen Gray said...

That's an important point, Anon -- which I should have picked up on.

Harper likes to claim that if you don't support the Netanyahu government, you're anti-semitic.

Whatever Netanyahu's faults, he's not bent on world domination.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps you're right, thwap. Perhaps it is all a tempest in a teapot.

But it should be made clear that there is a large number of us who believe that Harper is no statesman.

Anonymous said...

@the salamander

Talk about easy, I meant EZ, I meant Ezra check-out this video on the Tyee,

You are gonna love it...

EZ hated it, cause he was selling ethical tobacco etc...

ethical EZ, no such thing. He don't believe in inflation cause he has his own show...

And loved Enron...


But the ethical oil puppet rap is brilliant and but ez in his place...

Owen Gray said...

A terrific piece of satire, Mogs.

thwap said...


I wasn't referring so much to your post as to the notion that anyone would care about one scum-bag giving a bullshit award to another scum-bag. As if it means harper has extra gravitas because of their nonsense.

Owen Gray said...

I understand, thwap. I was hoping out loud that people would see -- despite the attending dignitaries -- that the award was mere fluff.

Certainly -- as Bob Hepburn pointed out in the Star -- Harper's record for promoting democracy in his own country is lousy.

And, therefore, as you yourself point out, it's no badge of honour.

Anonymous said...

Harper is desperately trying to become a member of the 1% club and will do anything to please his masters and it is as obvious as the nose on his faceless smile...

Owen Gray said...

I still live in hope, Mogs, that the award will not improve Mr. Harper's reputation.