who will be next World Bank President What will they do


From the Great White North Canadian staff at the Bank are furious that Samy Watson, ED for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, and the Canadian government, have not been more forthcoming in commending the process that will lead to Paul Wolfowitz's removal as World Bank President. It's becoming clearer that the the situation is murky, with problems on both the Harper government side and with the highest levels of the Liberal Party opposition. Harper's regime hangs on by a thread, as the issue becomes not "if" but "when" his minority government has to face the restive Canadian electorate.

The Wolfowitz issue isn't getting top priority from the Liberals in Question Period. They've got other issues that are more damaging to Harper and Co. - namely, Afghanistan bungling and Kyoto failures - so they're focussing on those.

Both can be linked to (1) Paul Wolfowitz and his involvement in the US side of the issue, including the torture of prisoners and (2) a residual climate change denial rump in the Harper government (with Juan Jose Daboob holding up his end at the Bank). And don't ignore the Alberta crackers and tar sands investors who are the big supporters of Canada's version of the Bush administration.

In Ottawa, Question Period is a pretty constrained forum, and when you factor in the additional media-related filters, Opposition Leader Stefan Dion has to target his topics very narrowly in order to make any impact. And with Dion's inner circle split among his advisors, the right thing to do is hard. Before his return to Canada to seek high public office, Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was among the only public intellectuals to support the war in Iraq. Aside from his inability to stick coherntly to a message, this was probably a key issue in his defeat by Dion to be Liberal party leader. Another key player in Dion's office, Marcel Masse, is the last Canadian ED at the Bank. A distinguished civil servant, former cabinet minister and head of CIDA, Masse is no friend of Wolfowitz. But Masse is very prudent in his advice and probably does not want to waste what limited political capital he has in a disorganized inner circle around Dion (as reported two weeks ago in the Globe and Mail) to push this one.

Failing to support Wolfowitz's ouster isn't likely to defeat or even seriously damage Harper. It adds, though, to the emerging pattern, identified by The National Post's parliamentary columnist on Saturday, that Harper has no ethical or moral centre and is preparing to say or do whatever he thinks will get him a majority government: the most dangerous example is his pandering to nationalist/sovereigntist/autonomist sentiment in Quebec. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be working: the lastest Ipsos-Reid poll has the Conservatives (no longer Progressive) and Liberals at 30% each.

As a big Canadian bookstore says, "The World Needs More Canada". Now is the time for Samy Watson and whoever his controllers are in Ottawa to do the right thing, read the ad hoc committee's report, and if Paul Wolfowitz doesn't resign, toss him and his cronies over the side so the rebuilding of the Bank's credibility and effectiveness can begin.

After all, campaign commercials saying "you supported a person who gave his girlfriend a $66,000 (Canadian) raise, eh?" aren't pretty. Canada has a long history of expecting high standards of integrity from political and business leaders, and of supporting the World Bank and multilateral approaches to development. Now is not the time to abandon that record.

Deep Insider ~ May 07, 2007

Presidents 1946 - Present Day

"Keep track of the rumored candidates, power plays and buzz."
The Washington Post

Next & Previous

« So what happens now?. | HOME | Hundreds more staff sign letter: World Bank governance agenda under threat. »






Malloch Brown

Mr W's cronies

Mr W's past

Mr W's pledges




The Process

Tony Blair

World Bank president

"Offering the rumors and gossip usually reserved for Washington's bars and back rooms."

WBpresident.org in the news

Wolfowitz-Riza-Cleveland: New Evil-doing?
Wolfowitz's right hand man jumps ship.
Caught in the World Bank storm.
We're in the papers! worldbankpresident.org media mentions.
Hot blogging on the World Bank president.
Media contacts.
Card wants Snow.
New candidate, French views.
An £8200 job ad.
Bank chief's parting shots.

"Accomplished and intelligent… sifts through the speculation and brings you the latest news."
The Guardian

Recent Rumours

Zoellick bearhug photo.
Like old times: Zoellick and Lamy
Another middle aged white American for the World Bank !
Globe and Mail: Euros Already Agreed not to Raise Questions
Official: Zoellick according to AP.
It's (un)Official: Zoellick
Zoellick will get the nod from Germany.
An opportunity at the World Bank
UPI: Wolfowitz Replacement This Week
UK involvement in the Foundation for the Future.


The World Bank
Bretton Woods Project

Search this site


May 2007
April 2007
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005

ifiwatchnet     riverpath