Okay, so the continued rationale of having a Meridian-only category is that (a) there's a lot of it and (b) "if a Meridian story were running against another, the first story would win not on merit, but because of the subject".
So following that line of reasoning, I went to look at the results of the last two fic awards, expecting to see a massive slew of Divide & Conquer and/or 100 Days post eps seeing as how those were the most written-about episodes in the ship world. And while there were winning stories that incorporated one or the other (which is only natural) I couldn't find a single winning ship story in either 2001 or 2002 that dealt specifically with either episode.
So it makes me wonder: is the assumption that fic readers - and therefore voters - are so brainless that they will automatically vote for a story based on subject, ie a popular episode? Putting aside the fact that this isn't true in the shipper subjects, why aren't the same allowances made for, say, authors? After all, I bet a lot more people blindly vote according to who wrote a story, rather than what it's about. So I guess Pough and ELG and Jmas, and Sally Reeve and Suz Voy and Pink Rabbit should all be in their own categories, because they're popular writers, and it's not fair to the other writers.