Disclaimer: I'm new to RS so please excuse my ignorance about what's been tried already . . .
Looking over this discussion of "Program Suggestions" I see very few replies or "Likes". I think that's mostly because there are so many possibilities and points of view that no single idea is likely to attract a big crowd. Given that, it's maybe not surprising that RS wouldn't be able to use input like this as an indicator of what new programs might actually be most popular.
Maybe something slightly different would work better for RS and give us "scholars" a more effective voice. Perhaps RS could provide a list of new programs they are actually considering, and then let us scholars "vote" and maybe comment on candidate programs in that list. (I'm not sure exactly how the discussion forum technology could present this effectively, but I'm sure something could be worked out.)
For RS, the votes of potential customers on programs they already have done some research on might actually help them prioritize their decisions on what to offer. For us scholars, we might see more impact of our "Likes" in the offering of new programs.
This approach would supplement, not replace, the existing Program Suggestions input, which may be giving RS some great ideas that they just haven't thought of.