Talk:Lloyd Axworthy

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  • His greatest success was the Ottawa Treaty, an international treaty to ban anti-personnel land mines, for which he was considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Being nominated for the Peace Prize is an honor, but it is not official and not necessarily prestigious. Any national legislator or about a third of the university professors in the world can make a nomination, and there have been as many as 140 some years. Nominators are requested to keep their nominations secret, so it's only those wishing publicity who make announcements. Altogether, I see no reason to keep it. No offense to the subject, this is a general Nobel Peace Prize "nominees" issue. -Willmcw 03:45, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

As I understand it, the "Peace Prize" discussions were based on a general rumour in political circles, not on leaked reports of a nomination. My feeling is that it should stay. CJCurrie 19:08, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why would we keep information based on a "general rumor"? That's a really weak non-source. -Willmcw 20:58, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Was it reported in the press? If so it should stay. AndyL 00:46, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've done a bit more research on this. It seems that Axworthy's Nobel nomination was more than a general rumour -- it was real, and is frequently mentioned in biographical sketches. For proof, do a google search for "Lloyd Axworthy" and "Nobel Peace Prize" (I could cite a reference, but as there are so many of them it would be an arbitrary choice).

This is a major part of Axworthy's cv, and it should stay. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 19:35 (UTC)

Who made the nomination? Nominations are secret unless divulged by the nominator. If the nominator did not personally announce the nomination then it is just gossip no matter how frequently repeated. There is no particular qualification needed to be nominated. Tens of thousands of people around the world are allowed to make the nominations, and well over a hundred are nominated every year. Getting a plaque from the local city council is more prestigious and more official. I am not at all convinced that there is any point to including an award that he didn't win. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 19:46 (UTC)
Rather than talking about what didn't happen, how about adding more about what did? The International Campaign to Ban Landmines did win the Nobel in 1997, and in the acceptance speech Jody Williams gives clear credit to Axworthy for his assistance.[1] It appears the the ICBL got the prize for the landmine treaty instead of Axworthy. Williams' generous speech makes it clear that Axworthy was nonetheless part of the overall effort. I think that is more important to state than adding that he was passed over for an award that we can't be sure he was nominated for. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 19:54 (UTC)

Why not state both, if both are important? CJCurrie 29 June 2005 20:03 (UTC)

Why is it important that he was nominated, when over a hundred people a year are also nominated? Any history professor in the world, any national legislator in the world, can make a nomination. Some rich businessman who illegally funded Richard Nixon's campaign was supposedly nominated for giving a couple of million dollars to his own foundation.[2] BFD. A Brazilian psychic was supposedly nominated twice.[3] Axworthy is notable for what he did do, not for an unprovable claim that he was nominated for an award he didn't win, an "honor" he shares with shady businessmen and charlatans. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 20:21 (UTC)

These are interesting examples, but not especially relevant to the case at hand.

You may be correct to suggest that Nobel nominations aren't always worthy of mention, and the cases you've cited may provide instances of occasions when then are not. In Axworthy's case, however, the Nobel nomination has become an extremely significant part of his public persona. It's mentioned almost every time he makes a public appearance, and (as I've noted above) is an essential component of his current cv.

I don't think we need to use a "one size fits all" approach to dealing with Nobel nominations. In Axworthy's case, I think that any reasonable person who follows Canadian politics would acknowledge the nomination as relevant. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 20:50 (UTC)

Don't you think that mentioning that h4e keeps harping on a what amounts to a rumor, even including it in his CV, tends to show him as concerned with triffles? Since the Nobel Committee asks that nominations remain secret, only those who want it to be known go out of their way to publicize. Just like the psychic did. If you want to include it, then we need to say that the nominator is unknown, and that this is Axworthy's claim. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 21:04 (UTC)

It's not just Axworthy's claim. Virtually every media outlet in Canada has repeated the claim, and I've discovered one website which claims that "Axworthy and the [anti-land mines] committee were nominated early on for the Nobel Peace prize", a statement which suggests some internal knowledge of the process.

If you can find a single source which questions Axworthy's nomination, I might be more inclined to consider your argument further. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 21:11 (UTC)

And what's the original source that he said was nominated? Who made the nomination? It doesn't matter how many times a rumor is repeated, it's still a rumor. I don't mean to dis Axworthy, but the simple fact is that, like almost every other one of the thousands of Nobel Peace Prize nominees, this is not a verifiable or presitigious designation. Since the nonimator has remained secret, there's nobody who can say, "Oh, it's a mistake, I never actually nominated him, I was only talking about doing so." It's just too darn squishy. The verifiable, relevant fact is that he claims it. If you think that his claim is notable, then let's put it in as such. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 21:23 (UTC)

I repeat: a single source which casts doubt on Axworthy's nomination would greatly benefit your case.

In any event, I'm not sure how much more needs to be said. Perhaps we should wait for others to enter the debate before taking any futher steps. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 21:25 (UTC)

  • Although nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are not usually made public, it was widely reported that Axworthy was nominated for the award in 1997. Many believed he was a strong contender for the honour.
Do we actually know that it was widely reported in 1997? Also, who are the "many" that believe he was a strong contender? I think that we're going out even further on a limb now than we were before. Here's a suggested variation:
  • Although the dozens of annual nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are secret, it has been widely reported that Axworthy was nominated for the award in 1997 to honour his work on the Ontario Treaty.
That seems to indicate better the nature of a nomination, and properly describes Axworthy's nomination (paired with the later text about him being thanked.) How does that look? -Willmcw June 29, 2005 22:36 (UTC)

Do we actually know that it was widely reported in 1997? Also, who are the "many" that believe he was a strong contender? I think that we're going out even further on a limb now than we were before.

No, we are not going out even further on a limb than before. Even in the absence of absolute proof that Axworthy was nominated, it *was* widely reported in 1997, and his chances for winning *were* widely discussed. I know because I witnessed this firsthand. The "many" included just about every major outlet in the Canadian media. This was not a case of a few random sources -- this was a *major* news development in Canada at the time.

I see no reason to change to edit again. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 22:50 (UTC)

All that talk and it was never mentioned who the nominator was? Hmm. In any case, we should qualify who the many were - many Canadian political commentators? Many news outlets? Many people? I'll put that in and the clarification about the nominations. -Willmcw June 29, 2005 22:56 (UTC)

As far as I know, the identity of the nominator was never made public. Nonetheless, Axworthy's nomination was the very definition of an "open secret". CJCurrie 29 June 2005 23:20 (UTC)

I've restored the text, "Although the dozens of annual nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are secret." It is important to acknowledge how many people are nominated annually, otheriwse the presumption might be that Axworthy was one of a couple of nominees. The nominations are secret, unless the nominator holds a press conference, which didn't happen in this case. So they are both relvarnt and factual assertions. Thanks, -Willmcw June 29, 2005 23:33 (UTC)

Axworthy was reported as a *prominent* nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Canadian media reports from this period listed him among potential winners; the total number (or average number) of nominees was not relevant to the discussion, and was never mentioned. It isn't relevant here, either.

The nominations are secret, unless the nominator holds a press conference, which didn't happen in this case.

In other words, they are usually kept secret. Hence my wording. CJCurrie 29 June 2005 23:40 (UTC)

What's our source for him being reported as a *prominent* nominee? -Willmcw June 29, 2005 23:46 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the research. Since we now have the name of the nominator and his statement that he made the nomination, this account of a nomination is, in my opinion, sufficiently established to remain. Good work. Cheers, -Willmcw July 2, 2005 03:40 (UTC)

Field of study?[edit]

What was his PhD in? What did he teach at U of M? Does he continue to teach and in what field? moink 17:40, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Lloyd Axworthy bio leaves out many important facts and arguments[edit]

Why is Axworthy's bio so one-sided? On the pretense of presenting "the facts", many important details are left out (his Nobel Peace Prize nomination is not one of the important ones - anyone can be nominated). Axworthy, along with fellow cabinet minister Paul Martin (later Canadian Prime Minister) administered the largest funding cuts to Canada's social programmes in the history of their existence (since 1930s and 1940s).
The largest funding cuts since the 1990s, on a flimsy argument about paying down the deficit, soon followed by reckless tax cuts (although Axworthy was not directly responsible for those). Health care, social assistance, education - 40% cuts approximately (more details are easily available). Under Axworthy's watch, unemployment insurance (as it used to be called before its reinvention under Axworthy) was pilfered to pay for tax cuts and supposedly paying down the deficit. He also helped ensure that the federal right to social assistance was done away with in Canada, leaving the provinces to develop a nasty dog's breakfast of systems, and cut back assistance to the poor. Tuition fees skyrocketed across Canada and now Axworthy champions Winnipeg's poor and access to education. Axworthy called on Young Liberal clubs on campuses to attempt infiltrate the student movement in Canada, to end the criticism of his policies (see source: Double Vision by Anthony Wilson-Smith, former editor of Maclean's magazine, a major newsmagazine in Canada).
In 1998-1999, the East Timor Alert Network proved that Axworthy had bald-faced lied in a meeting with them (after returning from a visit to East Timor and Indonesia before the independence referendum for ET) about Canada's military sales to Indonesia. Bottom line: if you can't provide a balanced analysis of all this, then I'm afraid the bio should undergo some serious editing.
There are likely as many Axworthy skeptics as fans in Manitoba: the first lines of his bio are totally unsupported and the reference to his popularity should be removed. Axworthy's bio is like so many of the politico's bios on Wikipedia - one-sided and congratulatory, keeping the "controversial" parts to minor issues or quirky facts about nominations and elections. For Wikipedia to gain credibility, it has to stop touting the power class status quo in its biographies. A catalogue of election dates and a CV is fine. If Wikipedia wants to delve into the politics of these individuals, then it needs to declare a political philosophy and have some coherent analysis. Otherwise, it's open to abuse by people like Axworthy and their supporters. And this doesn't even begin to get at the selectivity problems - i.e. it is mainly the power class seems to have time and resources (and the ego) to put bios online. I think Wikipedia needs to be a public service with some accountability, and a clear operational philosophy (beyond just being online and free and piling up codes of conduct while ignoring larger political issues) to ever be truly effective. I know I'm mixing macro and micro concerns here, but the Axworthy biography does need some serious editing. - E. C. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

As regards Axworthy's popularity; as with many political figures, it varies depending on the time. His latest work, of course, is at the University of Winnipeg - perhaps where the citation above originates? There has been some very localized controversy during his tenure as Chancellor of the University there which might stimulate some aggressive critiquing of his work in public life; all of which is still fair game, as he himself would be the first to acknowledge, I'm sure. If such is to become part of the article, then it should be reconciled with the facts and circumstances of his achievements as well - in accordance not only with Wikipedia's guidelines for content, but the degree to which any public figure would be duly subject to non-rhetorical criticisms in an article of reference, which this is. Hopefully, Mr. Axworthy's life isn't at an end - so the purpose shouldn't be to pretend to be writing up the first chapter of his legacy. Leave that to the historians who may use this (and a whole lot of other sources, hopefully) as a guide to do further research. ross613 (talk) 04:38, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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