Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Did Australia's voting system cost Avatar the gong for Best Picture?


Oscar voting used to be first-past-the-post.

This year for the first time since 1943 they decided to use Australia's preferential voting system.

Voters will rank order the ten nominated films. If any film has a majority of voters picking it as top choice, it's elected. If not, the film with the fewest first place votes is eliminated and that film's supporters are counted as voting for their second choice. Repeat until some film has majority support.

It made the US-based Australian economist Justin Wolfers proud.

And it would have cost Avatar the Oscar if, as is likely, it

(a) received more first-preference votes than any other film; but

(b) when it came down to the wire most voters didn't want a high-tech sci-fi film to win.

Do you think?

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