A Horse Designed By Popular Vote

It is a well known saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. But what would happen if you put the design up for popular vote, and allowed people to mix and match individual design elements as they saw fit? It would have to have wings, because wings are cool, and it would probably be a carnivore. You’d end up with something like a hippogriff, but probably with tiger fur.

Currently the members of the British Fantasy Society are voting on new rules for their awards, and they have been designed in just this manner. The system as recommended is almost certain to result in more embarrassment, and unnecessary controversy, but it is being proudly trumpeted as a triumph for democracy so no one is allowed to complain. I don’t particularly blame the voters. They were given a dreadful questionnaire that encouraged them to think piecemeal about the rules and made no attempt to explain how and why different design elements might be used, or what their effects might be.

Still, there you go. At least I can write the BFS off as one more fan organization that there is no point wasting my time trying to help.

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3 Responses to A Horse Designed By Popular Vote

  1. Debbie says:

    I’m no longer a member of the BFS committee (I resigned in October). I voted. But I had to abstain from the 3rd question because I wasn’t sure what the recommendation actually was. Maybe I mis-read it.

    I admit to knowing nothing about how award systems work. But I’d have been happier voting for a change in the constitution allowing a sub committee to go off and properly research it all. Unfortunately this has had to be done quickly with the EGM looming next week.

  2. I agree totally, Cheryl. It’s been a very frustrating week.

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