Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Rushford Report on WTO elections

I found this interesting website by Greg Rushford called "The Rushford Report" which analyses the political underpinnings of many international economic law and policy developments. A great read!

The WTO DG's election is round the corner and many commentaries on the process and likely successor to Pascal Lamy have been written. I happened to find this piece (courtesy the IELP blog) titled "The WTO's "Dangerous" Election" (part 1 of a two-part series) on the WTO DG's election a storehouse of information written in an inimitable style (rarely found in literature related to international economic law and policy) on the candidates and the likely result of the DG election. Summarizing the nature of a WTO DG's election process well, it explains:
"Whatever they want, this WTO election sure is different than what many would consider a “normal” one. There won’t be public polls. No focus groups.  No campaign rallies. No television commercials. And there will never be a recorded vote. 
The candidates will present themselves to the WTO’s General Council in Geneva on Jan. 29, in public proceedings that will be broadcast on the Internet. They will take questions, drawn from a box at random. And then they will get on the road for the next couple months, making their cases to the usual suspects in various word capital cities: trade officials, political leaders, and — horrors, if the WTO’s pesky band of vociferous anti-trade activists gets wind of this! — even corporate lobbyists. Some of the latter, to be sure, will offer enlightened perspectives in the public interest of strengthening the WTO as an institution. Others will have parochial axes to grind. But all will know how to whisper in the ears of the mighty and good in world capital cities."
The next few months will see hectic "consensus" building over the future WTO chief. Considerations will range from qualifications to nationality of the candidates, including the political economy of trading relations. May the best candidate win.

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