First, let me just say that I’m very happy about the outcome. Seven winners were candidates I personally endorsed (Mynnna, Ripard, Ali, James, Malcanis, Mike and Trebor). Five others (Mangala Solaris, Chitsa Jason, Kesper North, Sort Dragon and Korvin) were on my strong second tier list and will likely do a good job. Only two are candidates I specifically did not support (Progodlegend and Sala Cameron). Nice voting choices, New Eden. I may talk about order of finish in a later post, presuming CCP gives us something to work on in the promised Monday devblog.
I also must say I’m pretty pleased with my CCP-issued crystal ball. I picked 12 of 14 CSM members correctly in terms of who got on.
The Unexpected Winners
I’ve spent plenty of time talking about the ones I called correctly, but what about the two surprise winners (Chitsa Jason and Mike Azariah), and the two they bumped out (Banlish and Kaleb Rysode)? What happened there and why did I get them wrong?
Let’s start with Mike Azariah. Mike simply ran a strong, active, unique campaign, and got an endorsement from me largely on the strength of his appearance on Voices from the Void podcast. He was driving and talking about a lot of highsec issues that most other candidates were ignoring. He also spent a good bit of time campaigning in evemail – I got one from him via an old Arek’Jaalan list myself. His competition in this arena was largely from either outsiders or newer candidates. Ripard, Trebor and Ali all had a supportive spirit, but they are all nullsec natives. Malcanis had a clear plan for Highsec that was very reasonable for approaching the highsec alt community, but was not only a nullsec member but a bloc member, no matter how hard he tried to distance himself. Roc is a lowsec native. Only Steve Ronuken was competing with Mike, and Steve focused on industry against Mynnna and Unforgiven Storm. This left Mike as the dedicated, full-time highsec candidate, which is how I suspect he got in. I think he’ll be a very hard worker and add a much-needed (and likely controversial to the others at the table) voice to the council.
Secondly, Chitsa Jason. Pretty much every election analyst (other than one, see below) counted him out (including me) in favor of Nathan Jameson. While he made my “strong independents” list, I had him last among wormholers on my slate and Two Step had him fourth. That said, I also stated that “There is not one of them I hesitate to give a vote of confidence. Any one of the wormhole candidates would be well-placed on your ballot” and “I’d happily support [Chitsa] as the wormhole representative post-election if [he beats] my preferred candidates.” So I’m happy to see him win as well – as a wormholer myself, I’m very pleased to have been wrong that only one of us would make CSM 8. What a coup for the least-populated area of space to pull together so well despite a diverse field. W-space Best Space indeed. But for me the final reason I bumped him down was that I saw forum posts and comments that showed a high level of potential defection of Chitsa voters to Cipreh. So I thought his chances were shot.
Then what happened here to get him in rather than a different wormholer? I think it was a confluence of a lot of things.
- W-space is full of Europeans and Russians, and Chitsa was likely their “local” candidate.
- Exhale likely still voted together despite their split. The Exhale split was largely amicable (some backbiting as Chitsa bounced out of and back into Exhale apparently had no effect), as opposed to the somewhat ugly Transmission Lost split and eventual eviction that likely pulled votes from Cipreh.
- I’m sure that the mercenary community gave Chitsa some love due to CSM 7 member Alekseyev Karrde’s endorsement on TheMittani.com.
- While Nathan Jameson did have a broader appeal than any other wormholer, only wormholers were voting for him – and among the wormhole community the perception was that Nathan was not really a wormholer any more. By his own admission he primarily lived in Jita and reaching out to wide audiences doomed his level of wormhole votes.
- Ayeson’s voting base was never strong enough to make him a serious contender against the strong competition.
I think Chitsa can add some unique perspectives and I hope he will do well, and I think he and James can add different things from the wormhole side. I am certain he will be better than either of the two nullsec candidates below that I predicted but didn’t make it.
The Unexpected Losers
Then what about those two that I said would get in that didn’t?
Easiest to talk about Kaleb Rysode first. He’s pretty easy – I had him 14th and noted in my prediction post that he would be hoping for scraps left over on the list from Mynnna and Kesper … apparently there were not enough scraps, and to boot wormhole turnout may have been higher than expected, thus enough to bump Chitsa (or James?) in and Kaleb out.
The great surprise in the loss column is Banlish, counterbalancing the surprise win of Mike Azariah. From this result I can deduce a couple of things. First, the HBC bloc stood together on their ballots far better than I expected – Sort Dragon and Sala Cameron, their #1 and #2, made it in. My prediction on fractured voting was not correct. Second, TEST failed to get their #3 candidate in despite having the largest coalition in New Eden. Son, I am disappoint. It is also possible that the TEST folks determined that Banlish was winging it and not a great candidate. Still, it’s unfortunate that Sala will be there instead.
In the end, I think this result is a solid net positive for CSM 8. Nice work Chitsa and Mike!