I love this little debate.
In no post did I suggest changing or getting rid of the current QSQ judging format that you are all so vigorously defending. In fact, in each post I believe I stated that its diligent process would always provide a higher quality selection. I simply suggested that a Reader's Choice in addition to the current QSQ would let interested members participate more fully and promote more stories being read. Of course ideally it would be fair/proper/correct for voters to read ALL stories nominated, but I used the election examples to show that in the real world voting seldom works that way and we don't have to lock ourselve into the absolutist thinking that unless it does a Reader's Choice vote won't work. So what if there's a lame winner? It still gets members to read more stories.
I was simply putting out an idea of how James Jameson's original suggestion could be implemented. Perhaps the staff may consider it for next year's awards.