Tuesday 22 May 2012

Eurovision again

Looks like I've not got many new topics these days, but here's an update on the Eurovision contest paper. 

Yesterday, we saw a shocking documentary on Panorama about the conditions in Azerbaijan (here, something related); specifically it showed how the "royal" family (which is not royal at all - technically they are a republic with free elections) are basically ruling the country as a proper family affair. Moreover, according to the report, they are using the contest (which they will host later this week as holders of the prestigious crown) as a wild propaganda tool.

Anyway, one of the most shocking bits was an interview to some guy (can't remember exactly who he was) who was arrested because he dared voting for Armenia, who are the historical enemy. He argued that he voted for them as a protest against the fact that state television blocked the broadcast when the Armenian act sung their song.

I went back to our preliminary analysis and produced this.

Azerbaijan is the country in white in the bottom right corner of the map. Darker colours indicate a higher propensity to vote for any of the other countries (ie from Azerbaijan to others), while lighter colours are an indication of lower propensity to do so.

You may recall that we are trying all sorts of models, accounting for "cultural" and "geographical" proximity - this one tries to include both. I think it's interesting that effectively all the countries in the former Soviet bloc (more or less all the rightmost part of the map) are coloured in solid dark grey, but Armenia (the light grey country bordering Azerbaijan).

The "effects" are pooled over the different clusters (regions/spatial proximity), which I think explains the fact that there is still some propensity for the voting pattern Azerbaijan $\Rightarrow$ Armenia. But the difference with all the other former Soviet bloc countries is quite large!

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