They’re the micro state who expressed their displeasure at having to use a faux televote at Eurovision 2016. But now San Marino has announced its plan to give power back to the people, with plans for an online vote in place of a televote
2016 hasn’t been the kindest of years for San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest. Not only did they crash out of the semi-final, San Marino was also denied the use of holograms on stage and they voiced their disapproval on the new voting system.
The problem stems from San Marino being too small to have a valid televote. The country uses Italy’s phone system and the small population of the microstate (31,448) means that they would struggle to reach the minimum voting threshold.
Under the old voting system, San Marino jury’s voting made up the entire San Marino vote. But under the new system — where both the jury vote and televote are counted separately — the EBU uses the average scores of a number of other countries to create a stand-in televote score for San Marino.
Broadcaster SMRTV isn’t happy at this, pointing out that the composite televote means San Marino is only able to determine 58 out of its 116 points.
Broadcaster SMRTV has proposed a new voting system, which they see as a fairer alternative to their vote being made up of votes from other countries.
So how does it work? A small but statistically representative number of San Marino viewers will be selected. They’ll watch the semi-final and grand final, then vote via the web during the same voting window as the rest of Europe. Those votes will then be combined to determine the country’s “televoting” section.
San Marino has taken inspiration from a similar system that has been successfully used for four years in Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival.
SMRTV’s Director General Carlo Romeo had his say on the proposed voting system:
“It is a very balanced solution, which has very little or no downsides. We hope for a positive response from the organisers of the competition. The Republic of San Marino deserves the same rights as other participating countries”.
The proposal has been submitted to the EBU, who will assess it ahead of Eurovision 2017.
What do you think of this idea? Should the EBU accept their proposal? Or should San Marino accept the composite vote?