These so-called prestigious awards like the World Statesman of The Year Award, that the Appeal of Conscience Foundation gave to Prime Minister Harper are starting to get like the Academy Awards where often the best actors and pictures are overlooked and the awards seem to be given for reasons other than the quality of the movie, or the performance of the actor in the movie. I had to wonder to myself who in their right mind would consider Steven Harper a statesman of such great magnitude, or who could possibly have had the audacity to claim they speak for the entire world and not just their organization, country, race or religion? In other words he is not just the Israeli statesman of the year, or the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s statesman of the year, but it is implied that he is the choice of the world for statesman of the year, which we all know is not true, but it is also laughable and makes a mockery of the award. Other than the fact that he is a politician and the Prime Minister of Canada, it is my opinion that there is nothing statesmanly about him. Once I say that he is much like any other politician, or head of a political party, I feel I must raise the question then of who would have reason to try to prop up his image with false accolades and awards on an international level by giving him a world title for his efforts? It was no shock to find out that he was being propped up by a pro-Israel group. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not an indication of how the world sees this man, as the title of this award tries to imply and would like us believe, (World Statesman of the Year Award ), but in reality are the sentiments of just one nation and one people.
As is all too often there does not have to be a consensus of world leaders to say that the majority of world says, or feels something, for example acknowledging Prime Minister Harper as the best statesman in the world. What is clear though, is that this award to honor the best is once again to be determined by a group of people intent on pushing their own agenda for the world in everything from democracy to religion and as far as what nations have the right to exist and where. It is interesting to me that the one body the United Nations who is representative of the whole world, if only by the fact that it has the representation of most of the world and its leaders as members, is not respected by this group, or by Prime Minister of Canada, Steven Harper. I mean please feel free to give your World Statesman of The Year Award to anyone you choose, Appeal of Conscience Foundation and call it anything you want, but at least try to make sure that the winner is in some small way representative of the award and what it is supposed to stand for. Giving Steven Harper the World Statesman of The Year Of Award reminds me of something that the black community did in my old neighborhood years ago when they cheapened the meaning of our neighborhood’s Man of The Year award.
Every year the Black people of my old neighborhood would put on a black fashion show at it present their choice of Black man of the year and Black woman of the year. Well man, or woman of the year can be anybody a group chooses I guess, but it is an honor usually reserved for people having best exemplified high character and or achieved respect in the community through great contributions, or efforts for themselves and for the benefit of their community. Business men and women, doctors, lawyers, have won this honor in the past. Community moms and dads who volunteer their time tirelessly to help children and seniors have won this honor in the past and it is this type of selection that has made it an honor to be even consider for Black man or women of the year in this community. This award was as all awards are meant to not only reward the recipient for a job well done, but they are also meant to high light a person or group’s above average qualities and efforts, so that all can aspire to do great things. Well the last year that this beauty pageant and the honoring of the black man and woman of the year the heads of the selection committee forgot all of the afore-mentioned criteria for being selected to win this award and turned the award and what is was supposed to be into a farce, which ended this event forever.
A certain faction of the neighborhood got themselves installed on the selection committee and decided to enter the name of someone they liked, who was a stand up guy in their eyes. The problem with his nomination to me was, that he had been arrested several times in his life, done jail time as an adult several times, was known to police as a petty thief and as a drug dealer. Now at the time of his nomination he was still selling drugs and carried a gun. Now this fellow was always polite, would come to your aid if he knew you and you were in trouble and I guess he was respected in certain circles, but was he an appropriate choice for black man of the year, even in our little community? I for one do not think so. At the end of the day this man was chosen the black man of the year for our community, cheapening forever the title and removing the honor of the title and the level of qualifications to win such an honor forever. No honest, hard-working, respectable person wanted to be associated with the award and past recipients shuddered, after this guy won; knowing their reputations were tarnished just by this guy being nominated, putting him in their company as black men of the year winners.
I personally was embarrassed for the black people in my neighborhood and for all of those who had won before him and this is what I think of when I hear that Steven Harper was nominated and received the World Statesman of the Year Award — bestowed by a supposedly U.S.-based inter-faith group, appeal of Conscience Foundation. I say supposedly, because Prime Minister Stephen was presented with the World Statesman of the Year Award by Rabbi Arthur Schneider, president and founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, and Dr. Henry Kissinger and so this to me smacks of a reward for his stance and policies that Israel can do know wrong in the Middle East and like he said in his acceptance speech, “Any short comings that Israel has as a country are not of its own making”. So why not just come out in the open as state that this is an award to honor a leader who has stood by Israel and the Israeli cause? Why cheapen the honor of being the World Statesman of The Year, by reducing the qualifications to being pro-Israel no matter what? Are we really to ignore that this comes after this Prime Minister’s rushed, uncalled for, over night decision to sever all diplomatic ties with Iran and kick all of its embassy personnel out of the country in under a week? Does the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Prime Minister Harper take us Canadian citizens to be that ill-informed? Was severing the diplomatic ties to Iran the price imposed by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, to nominate and then select to win the World Statesman of The Year Award? If so what will this Prime Minister be willing to do to win his next trophy and will any other people want to be honored in this fashion given what it seems to imply? Perhaps John Baird would, but most leaders of the world like to be seen as wanting what is good for the whole world and to be seen as opened minded when it comes to the Middle East Peace Process, seeking a sense of justice and fair play for all sides so I would answer no they would not.
I would call Steven Harper a smart, cagey politician that would do anything to win and remain in power, but I do not think he qualifies for statesman of the year as a disinterested party that just does good for the world. Steven Harper has already made it clear that he backs Israel no matter what and that the problems and the short comings of this country are not of its own making, so not going to win the title for his non bi-partisan seeking of peace and good will throughout the world. When given the chance to publicly declare his feelings and the policies of his country this World Statesman of the Year Award winner refuses to do so in front of the only place that he can talk to all of the world through their leaders at the same time and I have to ask,”What kind of World Statesman of the Year Award winner is the Prime Minister, that he could even think of passing up that kind of opportunity afforded him to try and influence the world into doing what he thinks is just and righteous, by refusing to speak at the United Nations General Assembly ?” Prime Minister Steven Harper having won the honor of being referred to as World Statesman of The Year in my opinion cheapens the award in the same manner as the, petty thief / drug dealer and convicted felon cheapened the honor of being nominated black man of the year in my old neighborhood.
Note: After posting this I listened to the opening speech from the President of Brazil, the speech by the President of the USA and the speech from the President of Finland and I felt compelled to come back to this post and say this, “These leaders of their countries all had slightly different messages, but showed up and made their positions clear, because they wanted the world to know exactly where they stood at this moment in time in an ever-changing world. Oh I doubt if their speeches will change things tomorrow, but at the very least they took up their responsibility to their people, their countries and to the world to clarify what they feel and what they will support while endeavoring to make the world a better place for all; each of them displaying statesman, or person like behavior. This is the behavior of a statesman, not the actions of a spoiled child stubbornly refusing to talk to anyone who says no to them, or I disagree. Unfortunately for Canada and the Canadian people, Steven Harper tends to ignore, or punish anyone, who does not agree with his, ideology, politics, or policies and this is probably why our Prime Minister, Steven Harper, winner of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation‘s, World Statesman of the Year Award, has chosen to ignore the United nations General Assembly. Unfortunately Canada, in Prime Minister Steven Harper, has elected a leader who is satisfied that his and Canada’s position on everything is so clear to the world, that he need not bother to voice them at every opportunity that is available to him and us. To me this is just another shining example of Stephen Harper’s ignorance, total incompetence when it comes to foreign affairs and his total lack of diplomatic skills”.
- After receiving World Statesman Award, Stephen Harper slams ‘evil’-dominated Iranian regime (news.nationalpost.com)
- Harper passing over UN on way to accepting award (ctvnews.ca)
- Canada: Harper to be honoured for services to ‘human rights’ (jeff-goodall.com)
- Harper takes jabs at UN, Iran while accepting statesman award (ctvnews.ca)
- Mideast, Haiti on agenda as Harper collects statesman award in New York (theglobeandmail.com)
- Stephen Harper defends decision to skip U.N. meeting while in New York (canada.com)