Televoting


Televoting

Televoting is a method of opinion polling usually conducted by telephone, which incorporates deliberative democratic principles.

A televote is initiated by random sampling of a population by means of random digit dialling. Those contacted are requested to volunteer to receive written background briefing materials regarding a particular issue, that have been prepared by a panel of representatives of different stakeholder groups affected by that issue, and incorporating various views or perspectives. Volunteers are requested to discuss the issue amongst their families and friends until they have reached a decision. At the conclusion of this period they are polled again by telephone in order to determine their views.

Advantages of televoting

Televoting is a more cost-effective method of democratic deliberation than many alternatives such as deliberative polling, as it does not require the participants to meet in person.

Common to other deliberative democratic techniques, it also tends to produce more reasoned decisions than "raw" opinion polling, because participants are exposed to various perspectives other than their own in the briefing materials that they receive.

Disadvantages of televoting

Televoting may be less effective than other methods of democratic deliberation in which a trained moderator or facilitator is available in person to ensure that groups seriously deliberate on the issue before them.

Televoting in the Eurovision Song Contest

Televoting or televote is also the term used to describe the telephone voting in the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as for World Idol, American Idol and similar contests. Televoting is the sole voting avenue in the Eurovision. During the mid-nineties, the European Broadcasting Union, organiser of the Eurovision Song Contest, introduced telephonic and SMS voting for competing entries in place of national juries. This way the voice of the television audience became crucial to choose the winning song.

Disadvantages of televoting for Eurovision

Televoting has strengthened the phenomenon of neighbourly voting, whereby neighbouring countries would vote for each other. This could be observed earlier in the competition, but has now practically become a rule. It is particularly evident in the voting patterns of Scandinavian, Baltic, Balkan, and CIS countries; Andorra would vote for Spain, Greece for Cyprus and vice versa.

It has also been observed that immigrants in a given country will tend to bestow high points on their countries of origin. For instance Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium tend to vote massively for Armenia and Turkey, while the immigrants of France secure high points for Portugal and Israel. The same goes in a slightly lesser degree for ex-Yugoslav immigrants in certain countries, including Scandinavia, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland, and for Russian immigrants in the three Baltic states and other ex-Soviet countries.

ee also

* Deliberative democracy
* Online deliberation

References

* Carson, L: "Innovative consultation processes and the changing role of activism", "Third Sector Review", 7(1):7, 2001.
* Slaton, C D. (1992), "Televote: Expanding Citizen Participation in the Quantum Age", Oxford: Praeger.

External links

* [http://thataway.org/index.php/?page_id=499#T Definition of televoting from the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation]
* [http://www.eurovision.tv Eurovison Song Contest's official website]
* [http://www.esctoday.com The most visited independent Eurovision website]
* [http://www.ebu.ch European Broadcasting Union]


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