OK, there are 142.2 million people in Russia, Europe’s largest country voting in Eurovision. San Marino, the smallest, has a mere 20000. But when it comes to the votes allocated in Eurovision each county’s votes count equally. If you think the EU’s Qualified Majority Voting system for legislation is bad, try Eurovision’s system – it’s a terrible distortion in favour of the smaller countries. Plus as most of the (small) Balkan countries vote for each other, and Russian minorities in the small Baltic and Caucusus countries vote for Russia you get a skewed result.
So here’s the alternative: weight each country’s votes according to that country’s population. OK, this assumes that voting turnout in all countries is the same, but it’s inherently a fairer system. Taking the populations of European countries from Wikipedia, and the official Eurovision results table I have come up with this adjusted Excel table. The result: Armenia (Qele, Qele) wins with a population-adjusted 5935.1 points, ahead of Greece (4251.6 points) and Azerbaijan (3796.1 points). Russia, the actual winner, manages only 5th place in the population adjusted results. Sadly even with the adjusted results the UK is still rooted to the bottom in 25th place.
Time for Eurovision voting reform?
[UPDATE – 26.05.08]
Terry Wogan, legendary BBC Eurovision commentator, is starting to get fed up with the way the contest is going. Read his complaints here. You need a solution Terry! Voting reform!
[UPDATE – 28.05.08]
An excellent graphical representation of the results at Strange Maps. Plus the Norwegian Delegation to the EU also has cottoned on to my idea that Armenia should have won Eurovision, although they seem to think it’s because I come from a large member state. Norway had a half decent song, the singer’s face was not made of plastic like the Swedish entry, and so they deserved to come somewhere in the top half. Just getting support from other Nordics is not enough – even today!