Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why PM Harper Deserves Consideration for Nobel Peace Prize

Previously on Bad Company, I took the signatories to a petition demanding that the Nobel Peace Prize committee reject Prime Minister Stephen Harper's nomination out to the woodshed. They didn't like it.

Not one of them substantively answered the criticisms contained in that blogpost. The reason for this is obvious: it's because they can't.

And of course they can't. The only reason to demand that the NPP committee circumvent the process of considering nominations made to it is that they're deathly afraid that Harper will get serious consideration, if not the award itself. Personally, I expect that Prime Minister Harper will get serious consideration, although I don't necessarily expect he'll win the prize.

I don't disagree with Frank Dimant that Harper has shown remarkable, even unique, moral clarity on the issue of Israel. Unlike those who signed this ridiculous petition, Prime Minister Harper knows were the blame for the conflict, and for civilian deaths in Gaza, belongs: on Hamas. They, who go out of their way to start armed conflict with Israel, then put their civilians in harm's way.

That being said, that's not the reason I think Harper warrants serious consideration for the award.

The reason in my mind is the maternal health initiative Harper has championed on the global stage. It was once said that mother is the name of God on the lips of a child. Prime Minister Harper is well aware that when you take steps to improve the health of mothers and their children you take a vital step toward alleviating health crises in the developing world.

Now I'm certain that many signatories to the "deny Harper" petition will object strenuously. Their idea of "maternal health" seems to be funding abortions in countries where the procedure is often contrary to law. Harper has wisely defied them by refusing to fund abortions as part of the MHI. This is another reason why he should be considered.

I'm not holding my breath for Prime Minister Harper to win the prize based on this achievement. If helping to stem the devastation wrought by AIDS in Africa wasn't enough to win President George W Bush the Peace Prize -- and having accomplished nothing was enough to win President Barack Obama the prize -- the Maternal Health Initiative likely won't secure it for Harper.

And that's OK, so long as the award goes to a more deserving nominee. I'm entirely open to that possibility. I'll be waiting... and watching... to see who ends up winning.

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