Having watched the Grammies and the Oscars recently, I realized that they operate under a dumb, backwards system. The voting for best *whatever* is done by a panel of industry experts that don’t necessarily reflect our views (i.e., why were the Dixie Chicks the big winners this year?). In this day of American Idol, it should be the people that vote to see the best. See NHL All-Star selections for reference.
Of course, by letting the people vote for the best *whatever*, you open the door for ballot stuffing. Such was the case in the Vote For Rory campaign, that tried to send a random non-superstar NHLer (in this case Rory Fitzpatrick of the Canucks) to the All-Star game. This was only prevented by the NHL mucking around with the numbers once they realized they couldn’t technologically block the campaign.
Of course, allowing the common fan to vote for the best song of the year would result in the same thing. American Idol is clever about it because it costs you a fee to vote. So why not build upon that thought. Here’s my idea. Every CD that’s sold will include a unique code which can be used by the consumer to vote once for that album, or a song on the album for whatever category it’s nominated in. So if I bought the Killers and the Strokes album last year, I could cast my vote for the Strokes’ First Impressions Of Earth for the rock album of the year. Or I could cast a vote for the Strokes’ album to be the best album, and Bones from Sam’s Town to be the best song. Or maybe both albums were not noteworthy and I just won’t use my votes.
I think this is a good idea because it puts the voting power back into the people supporting the music industry; the people that are actually buying CDs. But maybe I’m just describing the fan-awards from the Billboard Music Awards or MMVAs.