Shareholder Democracy: A Bad Idea?

At the corporate governance level, the problem is that things like say-on-pay introduce complicated elements into proxy elections. These complexities make it difficult for ordinary shareholders, typically equipped with only a passing interest and knowledge of the issues at hand, to form preferences, much less vote their preferences. (Why Shareholder Democracy Is a Bad Idea – CNBC, John Carney, 2/18/2011)

Carney goes on to say that shareowners are too simple-minded to use rank-choice voting.

By Carney’s logic, we’d all still be peasants because the King is the only one with time to figure out what is in our best interests. Thankfully, democracy took hold… although we are still far from living in a truly democratic world since corporations are so powerful and so undemocratic.

Ordinary shareowners are increasingly turning to,, and to help them sort through “complex” issues. Don’t turn the clock back. Hard to believe that while people all across the world are in the streets expressing their desire for democracy Carney tries to convince readers that corporate managers know best.

As for rank-choice voting (instant run-off or alternative vote), even children at the age of five can pick there top three and rank them. I can’t wait to start using the system when I vote for corporate directors. Imagine having choices, let alone having to go through the complex task of ranking them!

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