In the online voting system the EBU tested in Junior Eurovision 2017, the online voting took place without borders. People from all over the world could vote, even for their own country, and all the votes were counted together. EBU chose this because geo-blocking online votes supposedly was not feasible.
Though the system in which every country has their own national televote is preferable, we might have to get used to this change. One big pile of online votes, after all, has a lot of advantages. Think about the fact that people from non-participating countries can vote.
It will of course change the game forever. Turning the Eurovision sport into something more than just one night, not only makes it more interesting for journalists who follow rehearsals, it also forces the participants to perform well on multiple occassions. That reduces the influence of luck in the contest and therefore makes the competition fairer. This is also in line with the EBU desire to make the Eurovision Song Contest more than just a one-night event.
Voting for your own country in Eurovision
The disadvantages – people can vote for their own country, along with the security risks – led many fans to believe countries could easily rig the vote in their favor. Given how the result turned out at JESC 2017, one could argue that EBU’s preventing systems (forcing people to vote for at least 3 countries & forcing voters to watch the recap first) worked. The online voting results were pretty evenly divided (just like in Melodifestivalen), with the winner Netherlands (!) taking not more than 12% of the points.
One can say that a big pile of votes will give the largest groups more influence on the result. But maybe we have to turn it around. Maybe it is in fact more honest if a country with millions of voters, such as Sweden, Germany or Russia, has more influence on the result than their millions of votes being counted as much as a couple of votes from San Marino, Switzerland or Italy.
What exactly is “fair”?
In the current system, we see that countries like FYR Macedonia, Moldova and Czech Republic have the same influence on the final result as big countries like Russia, Germany or Russia. And though that may seem fair at first, one can argue whether it actually is.
When 200.000 people cast their vote in the Czech Republic, it gets translated to the same 12, 10, 8, etc. amount of points as the millions of televotes in Sweden. One vote in Czech Republic therefore weighs more into the final result than one vote in Sweden.
In a possible new system, when all votes count in one big pile, perhaps we will get a winner who has the support from more people. At least, it is something to think about.