Wrong, it proportionally favors sites it sees as important. The democratic model is a semi-valid analogy, but it essentially works. The idea is not just that sites vote for you, but that sites relevant to yours vote for you. If a site is considered an important site in your sector or theme, and they vote for you, that means that a site that knew what they were talking about thinks you know what you're talking about too.
It wouldn't work in a national democracy, but it's perfect where content is concerned, especially on the web. Take the SEO world as an analogy, and particular methods to be things people are "voting" for. Consensus Gentium may be that a particular method works (e.g., putting a link to a search engine helps your ranking) but if a resource that's considered important or an authority, like Danny Sullivan, says it's untrue, then his "vote" on that counts for more. Shouldn't "important" or "authority" sites hold the same ability?
Now, let's take a look at the alternative: every site's vote is equal. Then we get into the idea that quantity not quality matter most. So any spammer could make their PageRank anything they wanted just by making mini-site after mini-site and putting links up to the site they want to rank. They rank above quality sites, even though those quality sites were recommended by Slashdot and Webmaster world and the Mercury News and whoever else Google may deem as important.
Of course, it's not just size/age that determines the importance of a site. That's silly. The pagerank system may be simple in concept, but it's not in practice. A site's importance is a mixture of numerous factors. As Google says on their explanation of PageRank, they base a vote's weight on the importance of a site, which is determined by the site's content and quality - size and age are no indication of quality.
Google's saying (using your webmasterworld analogy): We don't want to give the people with the most posts a stronger vote, we want to give people with the smarter, better, more uniquely insightful posts the stronger vote.
P.S. - Please don't delete my account Brett!
[edited by: Filipe at 6:00 am (utc) on Aug. 30, 2002]