Eurovision as a Public Opinion Poll

The Eurovision contest became a platform for politically motivated public opinion survey in the last few decades. I don’t really follow it, but it is still a news-making event.

Most notably it gave a win to Dana International — a person who “changed” its sex from male to “female” using medical procedures. While I personally enjoyed this creator’s music before those details were known to me, in retrospective I’m starting to think that the win was motivated by a certain narrative which only grew in force in EU and US later.

Later, in addition to sexuality, other narratives started to affect the votes. Wins were sometimes given as a moral support or a promotional measure of a kind to representatives of different minorities or even entire nations. Eurovision 2022’s win for UA is the most obvious act of political nature. And so, the contest itself is no more only about music and entertainment, but a European-wide public opinion poll. Exclusions of countries on political grounds only reinforce this notion — a country must share the Pan-European values in its policies in order to send a singer to the contest.

My point is that while last year UA “won” the first place, this year it is only in the sixth place. Since the votes consist of jury and public voting, it is more important to take note of the results of a public vote separately, since they represent the pure public opinion poll, unmuddied by the professional votes. Here, UA reached the fourth place.

The public support has dropped to 242 points from 439 last year. Yet the war is still raging on in Europe’s East, and the situation on the ground remains practically the as a year before. If so, why this sudden drop of 55%?

Naturally, it may have to do something with the music itself, though at this point the quality of the music seems very secondary to the political message. It may also be that general public was making a one-time statement — they expressed their support and moved on with their lives. But, it seems somewhat strange, since the same narrative they based their votes in 2022 is still going strong in Europe. Which brings me to believe that the popular support for UA in EU had experienced a decline of more than 50% due to the public in Eurovision-participating counties losing its interest in the narrative.

If surveyed directly about their support for UA, Europeans may still answer the same as a year before. But the fact is they are now much less willing to express their support if it means not voting for the song they truly like. So will they remain loyal if more pressing issues than music will start to be affected by the ongoing war? It seems they wont.

The only two populations which don’t have more pressing issues in their lives are the people of Russia and UA, the people who directly involved in this war. And since Russia (as managed by its current leadership) remained without any allies and actual support from third countries, the only one that will suffer from the weakening external public support is UA, which is absolutely reliant on third countries to keep its economy and military on constant life support.

The “spring offensive” is only started, but regardless of its results, few things are absolutely clear. The first is that Russia cannot lose the war militarily. It can however suffer a political crisis due to the extreme incompetence of its government which have stagnated into old-age and corruption. Yet, there is no visible opposition in centers of power, so any public uprising will require a long time to manifest itself on any practical level. I’m talking years.

On the other hand, UA clearly doesn’t have years. First of all, the public support in US-EU is dropping, mainly because of the internal economical issues which were worsened by the sanctions on Russia. The second reason is another “threat” – the China, countering which will require a lot of resources and will worsen the economic situation even more. The third reason is the exhausted weapon and ammunition arsenals of US and especially EU countries. While Russian arsenals are also being exhausted, it always has a nuclear option — very extreme and unlikely, but non the less. And UA is even less politically stable than Russia — it has more “players” (the Ukrainian oligarchs, the US and EU ties, “nationalists” with affection to a certain period in German history of the twentieth century, the institutionalized corruption and sanctioned crime, etc.) so it is inherently less stable. Each “player” has its own interests and priorities, which often conflict of those of other “players”.

While bulk of my recent posts regard the unbearable situation in Russia due to its government, it is important to remember that this war won’t be won by a strongest, but lost by the weakest. As long a Rasputin’s government won’t accept any treasonous deals with its enemies or “allies”, Russia will eventually win this war. The only question is what will then remain of Russia and UA and their people.


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