Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Transparent Voting & The New Scandal

If you call for 100% televoting, be prepared to defend it when controversies leak and political arrests happen like they did for some hundred Azeri back in 2009. Don’t be so immature and naïve to think that televoting is the definite answer. You are just being blind to its problems because it is far easier to expose juries.

I am keeping this short because it’s very important that people acknowledge that however the voting is done, it is going to be controversial and unfortunately, corrupt.

Televoting and Juries Work as a Balance

Jury voting used to do Eurovision so well, and whilst we saw Greece and Cyprus exchange 12 points every year, there can be no denying that after the introduction of televoting in 1997, diaspora and shared cultures started to generate increasingly similar voting patterns. So jury voting was re-introduced to help balance that out. This is the first thing you have to remember: (1) TELEVOTING AND JURIES BALANCE EACH OTHER.

Independent Reviews for Adverse Events

In light of the recent escapades of a member of the Russian jury, people are complaining that the juries do not take it seriously enough, that there should be stricter rules enforced on them, or they should be taken away completely. However, this incident should not be reflective of all juries, this is simply foolish behaviour in broadcasting one individual’s couple of scores. And I agree, they shouldn't have publicly shared who they were scoring their points too.

I'm not going to attempt to come up with a solution to that problem, but taking away their phones and locking them in a room with exam conditions isn't the answer. A member of the jury should take it upon themselves to score privately, and I think what most fans are currently forgetting is that the majority of jury members do. In this instance someone hasn't, and (2) THIS IS WHY AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW WILL BE CARRIED OUT.

If jurors do act up, they are punished. For example, the removal of the jury vote for Georgia in 2014. Each member of the jury gave exactly the same score for 12 points down to 3 points. This is a statistical anomaly, the scores were removed and only full televoting was used. It’s as simple as that.

The Televote is neither Transparent nor Robust

I think this is the point which I want to stress the most. I can recall each controversy with the televote, even if other people can’t. Videos circulated after the 2013 contest, showing Lithuanian students being bribed by Azeri officials to vote for Azerbaijan. And Lithuania wasn't the only country where Azeri voting controversies emerged. All throughout the 00s we saw a wave of speculation regarding televoters being bribed, and I don’t mean to make this the Azeri problem, but there's also the case with Malta, and later San Marino.

Between 2010 and 2013, Malta gave Azerbaijan their 12 points. I am not stipulating further than despite being great songs which scored well, you can’t say that a country that small with no ties to the “Land of Fire” isn't a little bit suspicious. I'm not saying there is wrongdoing there, just that scoring in these ways was suspicious.

And then in 2014, Malta stopped giving Azerbaijan points, and perhaps out of the blue, San Marino gave Azerbaijan their 12. Again, I'm not calling out wrongdoing, just a raised eyebrow. Importantly however, this identifies how the televote is not transparent. We do not know the full breakdown of the televote – everything is hidden and we are to believe that no foul play has been going on. There has been an incident of transparent televoting though, and once again, enter Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan have also been held to account (hmm…) over their illegal action into arrests made for those that voted for Armenia back in 2009. Firstly, this was illicit behaviour as Azeri officials are not supposed to be allowed to find out who voted for Armenia, but they got the precise number and tracked those people down. It may have been seven years ago, but I would want to ensure the system is safe for voters rather than just falsely believing it is. It can be argued that the current televote is just not robust enough.

The Most Crucial Part…


Transparency is key my friend. When you throw around opinions on scrapping the juries because they are scandalous, remember that the televote is not controversy-free. To emphasise this point you need to realise that it is far, far, far easier to scrutinise and find problems with the juries because we know everything about them. We know their exact scores now, we know who they are, and their scores cannot hide. But the scores for televoting are hidden! I do condemn the behaviour of one particular Russian jury member. I do agree that they should perhaps be taking things more seriously, but there is no way the televote is, could or should be, pure and reflective.

A New Voting System?

The fan community, or more exact, the young Twitter fan community, seem unable to process change in Eurovision. I say grow up. If we never had change then like the first contest it would be entirely jury voting behind closed doors with only the winner announced. Change helps the contest grow and evolve! People have such distaste at how the new system is a just making the contest a bigger Melodifestivalen, and hilariously, I have seen so many calls for countries like the UK to hold a Melodifestivalen-esque national final themselves.

Melodifestivalen is the biggest national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. Why on earth should we not look at making things similar? If the new system is a disaster and things don’t work out, then please by all means scrap it and try again. But don’t resist change because it might not work. Where would that attitude leave us with say, rights for citizens?

The new voting system is great in the aspect of television though! We will not know the winner until the final few votes are included. How can you say that is making the voting bad? It makes it more fun! Much more fun!

There are negatives to the new voting system, but live in the fucking moment people. We can deal with problems after they occur.

If you call for 100% televoting, be prepared to defend it when controversies leak and political arrests happen like they did for some hundred Azeri back in 2009. Don’t be so immature and naïve to think that televoting is the definite answer. You are just being blind to its problems because it is far easier to expose juries.

With Love.

No comments:

Post a Comment