Exit poll: What if we got to vote?

Our poll on who you think the worst candidate nominated for head of the Fund has the favourite bringing up the rear. Lagarde recieved 33.71% of the vote with Carstens on 24.72%. The rest was split between the no-runner and Mr Early Retirement

Though the end result is by now all too clear, the Board will likely keep us waiting until June 30th before putting out an official press release announcing Lagarde as the new IMF boss.

All in all a rather malagrugrous state of affairs. I’d say!

David Woodward on the need for democratic principles at the IMF

IMF watchers have been following the drama of the selection process, Ministers are getting ready to decide which way to cast their vote, the pundits are ready to comment, but what about the other 6 billion + people who will be at the sharp end of decisions made by the new MD?  In a response to the Guardian’s poll, long-time IMF campaigner David Woodward makes a compelling case for real democratic principles to be placed at the heart of the selection process.  It’s worth quoting at length:

“…the only alternative [the Guardian poll] presents to the status quo is reform to “reflect the shift in global economic power towards emerging markets”.

As the Commission on Social Determinants of Health said,

“It is only through such a system of global governance, placing fairness in health at the heart of the development agenda and genuine equality of influence at the heart of its decision-making, that coherent attention to global health equity is possible.”

Nowhere is this more true than the IMF: it has virtually run the economies of much of the developing world (with serious adverse effects on health) for much of the last 30-35 years, while itself being run by the developed country governments, who have some 60% of the votes – four times their share either of population or of membership. The US, and the US alone, has a veto on all major policy decisions – including voting reform. The voting system was created in 1944, when only a handful of developing countries were members (most still being under colonial rule), they rarely borrowed from the Fund, and IMF lending did not carry any policy conditionality. Continue reading “David Woodward on the need for democratic principles at the IMF”

Public voting on the process underway, have your say

The Guardian newspaper has a poll running until 24 May asking “Does the IMF voting process need to change?”. You can guess which way we voted, but right now only 71.3% of people agreed. Go to the poll to vote yourself.

And today, US think tank Center for Global Development launched an “IMF Leadership Selection Survey“, asking questions about the process, desired criteria, and possible candidates. It will certainly have a different audience than the Guardian poll, and comparing results might be interesting to see if the general public thinks differently than development policy wonks.