Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has proposed new voting reforms that will ensure so-called “micro candidates” are excluded from being chosen as Australia’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Mr Turnbull said the new rules are necessary after recent speculation that this year’s Eurovision representative will be Delta Goodrem – the preferred candidate of less than 1% of Australians.
“Australians do not want their representatives chosen as a result of backroom deals,” said the Prime Minister.
Although Mr Turnbull did not single out Delta Goodrem by name, he said that it is important that Australia is represented by people with strong public support “and not that awful woman from Cats.”
Under the government’s reforms, Australians of voting age will be sent a ballot paper, listing the names of all eligible judges and finalists from The Voice, Australian Idol and other popularly-elected singing contests. Voters will be invited to rank their six preferred Eurovision candidates, or alternatively vote “below the line” and individually number their preferred candidates from 1 to 236.
“This strengthens the voting process because it gives the power, the choice, back into the hands of voters,” said Mr Turnbull.
But Senator David Leyonhjelm has criticised the reforms, labelling them “undemocratic” and biased towards the interests of major artists, like Kylie Minogue and Sia.
“The chance of Australia being represented at Eurovision by a really good opera singer – or someone like me – will now be zero,” said the Senator.
“And that really sucks.”
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