April 19, 2007

Votes for Sanjaya

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Idiot Box — Katrina @ 11:33 pm

No, I’m not making a hypocrite out of myself after the Don’t Watch It entry. I only even remotely know what was happening on American Idol because Grandma had it on the kitchen TV and Galen has been participating in phony voting because he does everything Howard Stern tells him.

Anyway, this isn’t really about American Idol. It’s more about voting in general, and I think the issue with this Sanjaya guy is an interesting example of a situation where one wonders just what counts as a “right vote” and a “wrong vote”. Or perhaps a “real vote” or a “fake vote”. Even if it’s a voting system for a silly reality show, it’s still a voting system.

What I gathered is Idol fans didn’t like Sanjaya very much, but nonetheless he still progressed through the show, to their dismay. Howard Stern, knowing how disliked Sanjaya was, set up a campaign to have his fans call in and vote for Sanjaya en masse to ensure he’d stay on the show to piss off the idiots who watch Idol.

Of course, Idol fans were pissed. They whined that people were sabotaging the show, and I think someone even went on a hunger strike to get Sanjaya off the show. Morons on talk shows even compared it to terrorism. Seriously!

Then, allegedly, for the vote count that knocked off Sanjaya, those tabulating the votes eliminated votes that were, in their minds, “obviously fake”. Massive blocks of votes for Sanjaya, these they assumed were false ones and discounted them, apparently.

And that brings me to what got me thinking about voting in general.

While it may seem funny to compare the voting system of a silly singing contest to the one that runs our country, there are some interesting patterns worth noting. Oh, and no, I’m not going to go into that crap about how American Idol gets more votes than a US presidential election, mostly since it’s not a fair comparison seeing as in Idol, you can vote more than once and there isn’t a voting age.

Were those “fake” votes not still votes? Regardless of intention, whether an Idol fan or a Stern fan, said voter still went through the exact same process to cast that vote. Since there’s really no way to determine the intentions behind a voter’s choice, the only thing to do is accept all votes. If you’re going to have a voting system in place, you have to trust it.

It applies with real government elections as well. Why did George W. Bush win the popular vote in 2004? Granted, the American Idol type “voter fraud” would not be possible for a government election, but there is still the question of voter intent. If people in Alabama voted for Bush simply because it’s what their preachers told them to do, how is that any different from the Stern fans voting for Sanjaya just because their favorite shock jock so commanded? Same behavior. While not ideal behavior and does put a damper on the trustworthiness of the voting system in a way, it is still valid behavior, because to try to legislate the validity of a vote based on why the voter voted the way he did is ridiculous. It’s a wide open system with the intent of including everybody, so it can’t work when you throw in rules like “they have to have voted for the right reason!”

And, what, fans of the other Idol contestants weren’t doing the same thing? With the Sanjaya thing going, I’m sure there was some effort to counter it. Massive votes for one of the others. Weren’t those just as “fraudulent”? Looking at the 2004 election again, while we may not like the idea of people voting for Bush just because their clergyman told them to, is it any different from people in Connecticut voting for Kerry just because a community leader told them to? Depends on what side you’re on.

In conclusion, a vote is a vote, no matter how silly or malicious the reason. And if you don’t like it, vote against ’em! 😀


  1. Fag Jew Nazis are worse than ordinary Nazis

    Comment by Chip — April 19, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

  2. Jew Nazis… now there’s an interesting concept.

    Here’s another interesting concept. How’s about an on-topic comment, assmonkey? 😛

    Comment by Katrina — April 20, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

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