So Eurovision 2012 came and went, ticking the usual boxes along the way. There was enough musical cheese to paralyze the most lactose tolerant dairy cow, Ireland failed yet again and landlocked countries found themselves surrounded by neighbours willing to give them douze points.
The issue of political voting has regularly been used as a stick to beat the song contest with – and rightly so! Countries like Ireland and the UK are left at a distinct disadvantage as nations on the outskirts of the continent while the Balkan countries and ex-Soviet bloc prosper.
If a rule was introduced to prevent countries voting for their neighbours it would not work for a few reasons.
A. Landlocked countries like Switerland and Montenegro would be at a disadvantage.
B. People would have to constantly check their atlas to make sure that they would not be voting for a country that they share a border with.
But I have a solution. An EU style solution. Now I know the EU is hardly the flavour of the month anywhere in Europe and I so happen to be posting this on the same day that the Irish population are voting in the unpopular Fiscal Treaty referendum, but the voting system of the Council of European Union could provide a solution. Yes, seriously.
The Council of European Union uses a weighted voting system which allocates votes according to the size of a country’s population. For example Germany, France, the UK and Italy get 29 votes each under this system, while smaller countries like Ireland and Malta get significantly less (seven and three respectively).
The Eurovision could adopt this and take a country’s population size into account. For example Germany and the UK could have any vote they give multiplied by three, while votes given by smaller nations (who tend to have more neighbours) would not be multiplied. So if the Germans want to award douze points to a certain country, this would effectively be upgraded to 36.
It’s a solution that the Eurovision might not welcome but if a similar system was introduced we might see more deserving winners.