Saturday, June 12, 2004

Eliot Spitzer & Lloyd Axworthy

A common joke around here goes:

So why is it that California has the most lawyers and New Jersey has the most toxic waste dumps?




New Jersey got first pick. :)

Hey, if we're gonna be lawyers, we better start learning lawyer jokes (and their rebuttals).

A lawyer that Californians would probably be proud of is New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. He's a good democrat, a tireless worker, and a crusader against all forms of corruption. Mr. Spitzer made a name for himself in 2002 when he arm-wrestled Merrill Lynch and came away with a $100 million fine, an apology and a promise to reform the way it paid its analysts. I have been interested in Corporate Social Responsibility for a while, so Mr. Spitzer's successes against Wall Street corruption have been an inspiration. As a Canadian, I am proud that our former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy broached the topic of CSR at the Organization of American States and, thankfully, DFAIT has continued to support it. The trouble is, we don't have enough legal minds, like Mr. Spitzer, who can implement and properly enforce the resolutions we've spent so much energy to craft.

Last week, my girlfriend and I went up 5th Avenue for the Museum Mile festival and I pointed our Mr. Spitzer's residence. He lives there with his wife Mira (a fellow Harvard Law School grad) and their 3 kids. People around here say that he works so hard because he's interested in running for governor of New York State but I don't buy it. Perhaps it's true that he is interested in running, but I think Mr. Spitzer works hard because he's passionate about justice. And I can empathize.

Actually, I heard Dr. Axworthy speak at the UN recently and I learned that he is now the President of the University of Winnipeg. Um, sorry but, has anyone heard of the University of Winnipeg before? (Please excuse my ignoranace.) Incidentally, there's a Queen's connection here. Last year, Dr. Axworthy received an honorary doctorate from Queen's as a human rights activist. Here's an brief bio:
Dr. Axworthy became internationally known for his advancement of the human security concept, in particular, the Ottawa Treaty - a landmark global treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. For his leadership on landmines, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. For his efforts in establishing the International Criminal Court and the Protocol on child soldiers, he received the North- South Institute’s Peace Award.

Nice to know there are some good apples out there, eh?


At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, a lot of people in Canada know about the University of Winnipeg. Also, a lot of people who do their research would also know that Lloyd Axworthy was an MP from Winnipeg. I'm not trying to sound rude, but that comment about the University of Winnipeg reeked of ignorance.

Other than that, good luck in your first year at Queens and take the opportunity to get re-acquainted with Canada.


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