I’ve been obsessed with this issue for some time now, so here’s my two cents (and no, I won’t pay anybody two cents to read this). I’m taking the Puppy arguments from several sites and their comment sections. They are probably not held by all the Sad and Rabid Puppy followers, but they are representative.
Cent One: The Sad and Rabid Puppy slates don’t work, and will eventually turn around and bite the people who created them. By showing the effectiveness of recruiting voters, you make this into a contest of numbers, not quality. And, considering demographics and mortality rates, I think the 21st century is going to beat the 20th in that fight.
Cent Two: Their reasoning isn’t going to win the Puppies a new generation of converts and so boost their numbers. For example, one of the Puppy arguments I’ve run across is that Hugo-winners are preachy, the so-called SJWs (sidebar: I’m ashamed to say it took me forever to figure out who they were mad at, Single Jewish Women? Slow Jesuit Wardens?). But have the Puppies read Heinlein or Niven and Pournelle? Their old-timey sic-fi adventures are infomercials for their politics, and not very subtle ones either. By the time I was 18, I was yelling, “Shut up and tell the story!” at my last Heinlein books. A second irritating point is the puppies claim the current Hugoists are too literary . . .for a literary award. Yikes!
As a writer with no awards and never a hope for a Hugo, I can say this with the utmost objectivity: stop messing with the system just because the results offend you. Create your own awards. Or better yet, vote as an individual and leave slates for the world of politics. I’m afraid I won’t change a single Puppy’s mind with this blog, because for them, the Hugo Awards are political. It follows then that writing itself is political, and, by extension, all art. If art is political, it must serve the politics of its maker. Come to think of it, that’s what Chairman Mao said. Maybe he was a secret Puppy.