[EM] Interesting use of Borda count

Bart Ingles bartman at netgate.net
Sat Jan 26 11:16:04 PST 2002

For clarification, are there exactly 11 or 12 nominees?  Or is there a
much larger pool of candidates, from which each country is free to
select its top 11 choices?

If the former, the system sounds very close to Borda.  I don't think the
lack of an 11 point tier makes much difference.  If the latter, then
it's more of an Approval-Borda hybrid, since there would be a number of
candidates receiving 0 points from a given country -- the more
candidates in excess of 11, the more it approaches Approval Voting.

A Borda-like method might actually be suitable here, since the
complicated process in each country to choose its list of candidates
would make strategic ranking all but impossible, and public pressure to
get as many songs as possible listed would prevent truncation.  Also,
the nature of the contest (song choices) may be especially amenable to
ranking (vs. cardinal rating or approval/disapproval) -- in effect
spreading out the distinctions between closely competitive candidates in
order to make the contest more interesting (this is supposed to be
entertainment, after all).

I think the hybrid method shares in these advantages as well, but saves
individual countries from having to rank potentially dozens of nominees,
and allows flexibility over how many points to assign to each of the top
11 choices.  Pure Borda may not have been practical here.

Bart Ingles

Olli Salmi wrote:
> I'm not sure if this is very interesting. This year's Eurovision Song
> Contest is approaching. The winner is elected by a kind of Borda count.
> Each participating country has 11 votes. They give 12 points to the song
> they think is best, and from ten to one for the next ones. The points of
> course are given from the bottom up to make the procedure more
> entertaining. Does the lack of 11 make any great difference?
> The contest arouses great passions. Sweden is using a six tier series of
> contests to choose their entry. The Finnish final is tonight.
> Olli Salmi

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