Worldcon Site Selection Voting

Hey, Aussie SF fans, you may have noticed I’ve been promoting the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid around Swancon, Continuum and in general online. I could write a whole blog post (well, several, actually) about why I think Helsinki should host in 2017 and why I joined the bid, but for now, let’s just look at voting in Worldcon Site Selection. In particular, why I personally think those of us in Australia and New Zealand should vote, even though we may not make it to the winning site.

Why vote in Site Selection:

Worldcon has traditionally been very American. The first was held in New York in 1939, and the sixth was the first to be held outside the US, in Toronto. The 15th, in London, was the first to be held outside North America. If we look at all 74 Worldcons (including MidAmericon2 in Kansas City next year), there have only been 17 outside of the USA (7 in the UK, 4 in Canada, 4 in Australia, 1 in the Netherlands and 1 in Japan). There’s not been a lot of World in Worldcon.

Worldcon locations are voted on by Worldcon members, and unless there’s an uncontested or barely contested bid (such as Aussiecon 4 in 2010 or Loncon3 for 2014) it’s very likely that an American bid will win (eg 2015 where Helsinki polled first, followed by Spokane, and then Orlando, with the Orlando second preferences going mostly to Spokane to have them win).

A lot of Americans will vote for the Worldcon site that’s easiest / cheapest for them to get to – a US or Canadian site. This is entirely understandable from their perspective (hey, I’d love to go to more Worldcons too, but they’re all incredibly expensive if you’re flying internationally, particularly from Australia or New Zealand!) but it perpetuates a lack of World in Worldcon.

2017 is the only year with non US Worldcon bids declared until 2019. If a US bid wins in 2017, there will have been / will be 7 US based Worldcons in eight years (2011 – 2018, with Loncon 3 in 2014 the only non US Worldcon).

Things are starting to look up for non US bids towards the end of this decade though with Dublin bidding for 2019 and New Zealand for 2020. Then there may be a 2023 bid for Paris (it’s in flux) and there’s a bid for Perth, Australia in 2025.

That’s why this year, 2017 is so critical. If we want more World in Worldcon, we need to vote for bids around the world. We need to demonstrate, that even when a US bid goes up against non US bids, it can be beaten, and that US bids should consider bidding for a vacant year, or against other US bids.

Every vote matters – Worldcon bids have won or lost by a bare handful of votes before. Helsinki lost by 35 votes in 2015. Only 35 votes that needed to come from Australia, from New Zealand, from Europe, from Asia.

So, if you want more World in Worldcon. If you want a Helsinki / Nippon / Montreal Worldcon in 2017, or a Dublin Worldcon in 2019, or a New Zealand Worldcon in 2020, or a Paris Worldcon in 2023, or a Perth Worldcon in 2025, then you need to vote in Worldcon Site Selection, each year, even if you can’t make it to the winning site.

How to vote in Worldcon Site Selection:

Voting in Worldcon Site Selection is a four step process.

  1. You need to be a supporting or attending member of the Worldcon holding the vote. For 2017 Site Selection, that’s Sasquan in Spokane. Go buy a supporting membership to Sasquan now, if you don’t already have one. You will be emailed your membership number, and will need this for the next step.
    Bonus: A supporting membership will let you download the Hugo Voting Packet, and vote in the Hugo Awards if you get it before Hugo voting closes on July 31st. It will also let you nominate in the Hugo Awards for 2016.
  2. You need to purchase an Advanced Supporting Membership to the 2017 Worldcon, irrespective of who will win. Once you have your Sasquan membership number, go and purchase the 2017 Advanced Supporting Membership. This will display a voting token on the screen, and email it to you. You’ll need this voting token for the next step.
    Bonus: You will now be a supporting member to whoever wins in 2017, which will include Hugo nominations & voting, and the option to upgrade to an attending membership. You’ll also be able to vote in site-selection in 2017, by paying the Advanced Supporting Membership to 2019.
  3. Download and print the 2017 Site Selection Ballot and fill it in:
    • Fill in your name and address details at the top. SIGN THE BALLOT otherwise it will be invalid.
    • Tick the “I have paid my Worldcon 2017 voting fee on the Sasquan website” and write your voting token there.
    • Preferentially number any / all of the four bids (Helsinki, Nippon, Montreal, DC) or you could include a number for “No Preference” or “None of the Above”.
  4. Scan and email your signed and filled out site selection ballot to: before midnight, Monday, August 10, 2015, PDT.
    Note: If you don’t have a scanner available, drop me a comment / tweet / email, and if there’s time you can post it me to scan and email.

Congratulations, you’ve voted in Site Selection for 2017, and will also be a supporting member of the 2017 Worldcon (where you’ll get to do it all again for 2019)!

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