April 22, 2011
How would you feel if you found out that the Miss America pageant selection procedure was flawed?
That citizens of each state, if they chose, could pay to join an exclusive "club" and in so doing, receive a vote towards the eventual winner of the pageant? And that the states could, at their discretion, pay the "club" entry fee for their citizens to join, gaining a sizable "competitive" advantage in the voting process. And that states could tell the citizens who they are planning to vote for and suggest that the citizens may want to do the same?
The winner of the pageant wouldn't necessarily be the prettiest, or most talented, or the one with the greatest poise. She would be the one that received the most votes, most likely from her state and its citizens.
It would be less of a contest, and more of a strategy. Less drama, more posturing. The glitter of the crown would begin to tarnish. And the respect among the participating states would begin to fade.
Folks would begin to whisper that the smaller states, apparently, had no attractive girls within their borders. That the larger states, with the greater population and budgets, had apparently cornered the market on talent. And that winning wasn't necessarily all that it was cracked up to be.
Would you believe the above to be fair?
Just? Honest? Competitive?
This allegory is NOT about the Miss America pageant or any other beauty contest for that matter. It is about a completely different selection process for a different type of award. And it reflects an opinion that continues to be shared among constituencies.
Or it could just be a grim fairy tale with no implication at all.
That is for each of us to decide. And for someone else to fix.