Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Jumping the Gun on Nobel Nominations

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Jumping the Gun on Nobel Nominations

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Jumping the gun on Nobel nominations

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An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published June 15:

So, let's try this one on for size: Donald Trump, Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The moment the U.S. president's nomination for this honour was announced -- submitted last week by two members of Norway's ruling Progress Party, which favours limited immigration and lower taxes -- observers of American politics took their familiar, deeply entrenched positions.

On one side, some were inclined to shout, "Of course!" in response to the nomination, in the wake of Mr. Trump's recent peace-seeking summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. On the other, uproarious laughter was the more likely response from opponents who question the president's grasp of the complexities of international relations and don't believe the handshake-and-photo-op occasion accomplished anything of substance.

If you're in the latter category, you probably think it's outrageous that Mr. Trump's push for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula -- which at this stage amounts only to a loosely framed statement crafted after a few hours of conversation -- would merit consideration for the world's top peacekeeping recognition.

According to the will of Swedish industrialist/inventor Alfred Nobel, which established the award in 1901, the Peace Prize is given to a person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

A record 330 nominations were received for the 2018 prize. Mr. Trump's nomination did not meet this year's deadline, so his eligibility would necessarily be considered for the 2019 award.

Such a delay would allow for thoughtful deliberation of exactly how much progress is made toward dismantling North Korea's nuclear arsenal. …

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