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And the Oscar for best voting system goes to . . . IRV!

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science will use instant runoff voting to award the Oscar for Best Picture in 2010, ensuring that the most celebrated movie of the year is one with strong support among Academy members.

Academy voters already appreciate the value of ranking candidates. Since the 1930s, the Academy has used the choice voting method of proportional voting to nominate five films for best picture, but since 1946 has used plurality voting to pick the winner -- probably to encourage upset wins. In 2010, the number of nominees for Best Picture will rise to ten. While plurality voting would theoretically allow a film to take home the Oscar despite being potentially disliked by 89% of voters, with IRV the Best Picture winner is sure to be preferred by a large share of Academy members.

Update: The Producers Guild of America on September 22nd announced that it also was doubling the number of slots for its Producer of the Year Award to 10 and will have its voters use instant runoff voting to choose the winner in January.

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