If Microsoft sponsors a series of political awards and two of the ten prizes go to vocal opponents of software patents, then one would usually think that it's an amazingly positive outcome. That's just what happened with this year's edition of the EV50 Europeans of the Year. Michel Rocard, one of our key allies among the members of the European Parliament (MEPs), became MEP of the Year. I received the Campaigner of the Year award for my NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign.
However, what the organizers proclaimed as the result of the poll is extremely difficult to comprehend.
There are strong indications that our audience represented a solid majority of all people who participated in that EV50 poll.
Florian goes on to describe various Internet campaigns. The common denominator of these campaigns was to recommended people to make their opinion against Software Patents heard through voting for Florian. Over 100.000 emails were sent. Many prominent websites, including Slashdot, promoted Florian.
In theory, it's still possible that our supporters didn't represent a majority of the electorate.
It beats me how I could have won over Bono, the frontman of U2, in a category of six candidates, while allegedly having lost to Luxembourg's prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker in a field of fifty for the main award.
All in all, one would be hard-pressed to find a plausible explanation for the outcome of the EV50 vote. There are some theoretical answers, but they aren't too likely. The organizers decided that total intransparency is in their best interest, so we're left in the dark as to what exactly happened.
Since the European Voice continued to list me as the Campaigner of the Year, I decided to accept that award anyway, and I've meanwhile asked them to donate the prize money to the FFII on my behalf.
For German readers, heise.de has an item on the same topic.