Are the Oscar's emotional endorsements or honest declarations?

The LA Times has latched on to the controversy over Roman Polanski arrest and extradition attempt to conduct a poll on whether he deserved an Oscar for his 2002 film "The Pianist". 


Interestingly, it justifies the poll by saying, "Often Oscar voters dole out awards as hugs rather than as honest declarations of movie greatness".


Do you think the Oscar's are emotional endorsements?