Saturday, 12 May 2007

Democracy in Action - Voting

I note the ‘heats’ for the Eurovision Song Contest were on Thursday evening (10th May). There was the usual spread of stuff on offer - of varying quality.

When they announced the vote results though, as far as I could tell, regardless of the merit of the offerings, apart from Turkey, only eastern European efforts actually made it through to the final - and some that did I felt were embarrassingly ghastly.

It often seems that in the past the Nordic countries voted for each other, according to the great sage Wogan. Now it could be the Eastern Europeans are taking a leaf out of their books.

What is the betting the main contest goes in a similar direction? We shall see this evening.

In any event the results seem to be based on approval of the states involved rather than having any relation to any merit of the songs.

All in fun, you may say and that’s as may be., but by accident, or intent, it looks as if the vote may be being consistently ‘tactically’ distorted.

The underlying theme, that goes largely unnoticed, is that this is a problem with virtually all voting systems.

I am not sure if the Eurovision system of national votes could be regarded as a Borda Count system, but internally within the UK it looks more like an Approval Voting system. The overall effect being a combination. It would be interesting to know what methods the other nations use.
I wonder if it might be better to switch to a Condorcet system. Any thoughts on the subject of voting anyone?


Eurovision is over for another year, the taste of ashes in our mouths ;-)

“Flying the flag” is a descendant (and inheritor) of “making your mind up” and by all rights should have done well. Done well, that is, until the admission and proliferation of Eastern European States – oh and Tony B upset everyone in western Europe.

What we recognise as the 'Euro' sound has changed. It was a sort of lowest common denominator of the old Europe’s musical tastes, the sort of thing that does well in the clubs of the med.

Eastern Europe however has added a new (Early 8os) element - Anthemic Power Rock, plus fireworks and black leather gear, a sort of love child of Aerosmith and Europe (the group)

I know there is much dark talk of block voting - and there may well be an element of that – but next year!

Next year Tony and his inheritance of continental disapproval may have faded from French and German minds.

Next year, if we can cobble together a group of long haired, reasonably slim aging hard rockers capable of lasting through such an energetic number and carrying off black leather and studs. Accompanied by some leather (if scantily) clad young, operatically voiced women. A sort of a cross between belly dancers and biker chicks.

Next year, if we can craft an anthemic European power ballad that can stir the eastern European sole.

If we can lay our hands on enough fireworks...

Then maybe we will be able, once again, hold our heads high in the halls of Europe – and - who knows, apart from funding a huge chunk of the cost of the contest, possibly even have to go to the additional expense and bother of hosting it too! What more could you ask?