The CSM You Deserve

CSM 9

“Bad officials are elected by good people who do not vote.”
– George Jean Nathan

So today CCP Leeloo posted the actual CSM 9 voting results. I’m going to apologize now for what I expect will get a little ranty.

Let me start by congratulating Mittens, Sion & Mynnna for an election approach excellently planned and expertly executed. You’ll see why in a moment.

Here is a table of the results, looked at three ways. The first (STV-14) is the order in which they were elected in the CSM selection. It is a good approximation of the actual order in which seats were won. The second (STV-2) is the method that selected the permanent attendees, and is a decent measure of who had the broadest support. The final (FPTP) is a count of #1 votes only – which while not a literal match to what first past the post would have been (with different rules the null blocs likely would have taken a different voting strategy), is a reasonable approximation of who else had a chance if it had been FPTP and really highlights who benefited from STV rolldown.

STV-14: Order of Election STV-14 1974 Quota Round STV-2: Breadth of Support STV-2 Count FPTP (Approx): If it had been the old way #1 Votes
Sion Kumitomo 4495 Ali Aras 7784 Sion Kumitomo 4314
Coreblood 3122 Sion Kumitomo 6055 Coreblood 2944
Sugar Kyle 2315 Steve Ronuken 5685 Sugar Kyle 1915
Ali Aras 2230 Sugar Kyle 3930 Steve Ronuken 1692
Steve Ronuken 2142 Coreblood 3721 Progod 1655
Progod 2042 Progod 3141 Ali Aras 1521
Mynnna 1974 Corbexx 2897 Matias Otero 1453
Xander Phoena 1974 Matias Otero 2606 Mike Azariah 1418
Matias Otero 1974 Mike Azariah 2177 Corbexx 1171
Corbexx 1974 DJ FunkyBacon 2008 Major Jsilva 970
Mike Azariah 1974 Mangala Solaris 1420 DJ FunkyBacon 959
DJ FunkyBacon 1974 Major Jsilva 1384 Mangala Solaris 857
Mangala Solaris 1549 Asayanami Dei 1302 Psychotic Monk 853
Major Jsilva 1475 Mynnna 1237 Asayanami Dei 828
==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====
Asayanami Dei 1395 Psychotic Monk 1087 Mynnna 786
Psychotic Monk 1146 Xander Phoena 893 Xander Phoena 775

So what can we learn from this? Well, disclaimer first – I’m betting that Foo will weigh in on my conclusions, and he’ll have some good insights, so check out the comments below (he understands STV better than I do). But here’s what I see in these results besides the obvious items I hit in my general analysis post.

  1. The CFC vote was solid, organized and disciplined. Because CFC had their shit together and as The Mittani predicted, “Given how poor a job CCP did with getting the CSM8 minutes out the door, my personal take on this election is that turnout will be at an all-time low. If I’m right, that’s hilarious news for the CFC, because there’s nothing this coalition does quite like marching and voting in lockstep. In a low turnout situation, the impact of organization, unity and force is magnified. Even if you don’t care about the CSM, vote the way we tell you to, simply because it’ll make a gaggle of shitlords who hate us very, very angry should we succeed.” The CFC landed three in the top nine, practically unaided, without breaking a sweat. If you didn’t vote, for god’s sake you better shut up with the Grr Goons, because your non-participation achieved it. The #1 votes for Sion alone were more than enough to elect two people. For the record (as I told Mynnna) I have nothing against Goons, I find them fun gank targets and their leaders are smart people. I endorsed Mynnna in the top tier and Xander in the second tier. But people bitching about them and then having them land three seats tells me how serious their detractors are.
  2. If the CFC had been less organized and disciplined, or if turnout had been larger, it is entirely likely that Xander Phoena would not have been elected. I expected Xander to have very broad support, but instead it looks like he was elected purely by the CFC and Tweetfleet – and most of it CFC. Xander, make sure to write Mittens (rather than Ripard) a thank-you.
  3. Mynnna’s seat was also a rolldown victory, and while he had broader cross-ticket support than Xander, it wasn’t by much.
  4. Corebloodbrothers’ coalition is larger, stronger and more motivated than I think anyone anticipated. I really want to understand why. All I’ve seen from Core so far is complaints on Twitter about getting blobbed by the bigger sov null guys. I find it really ironic because we generally avoid Provi these days because individual ships and tiny gangs get blobbed so bad by Provi-bloc!
  5. Ali had the broadest support by far, even though she wasn’t as high on the #1 lists as I expected her to be.
  6. Sugar Kyle and Steve Ronuken had far better support than I expected. Kudos to both for beating expectations handily. Those in the top 6 slots were solidly top 6 in all three views of the rolldown.
  7. Mangala Solaris’ support has really dropped off from last year. Last year he had large, broad support – this year not so much.
  8. Psychotic Monk just can’t quite get there. I actually think that if the griefer crowd was ever going to get someone in it would have been this year, due to the flap over Erotica1. But it just isn’t enough – I hypothesize that the griefer crowd just isn’t big enough to get the job done.
  9. If you’re a wormhole voter and didn’t vote a full wormhole ticket, you have only yourself to blame that we have only one representative. As is plain to see above, Asayanami Dei just barely missed out. What if every wormhole voter had listed the top as the wormhole 5? Here are the #1 votes for wormholers: 1171 (Corbexx) + 828 (Asayanami) + 653 (James) + 518 (Proclus) + 141 (Karen) = 3311 votes. If we use STV-14 numbers instead it’s 1991+1395+888+561+151 = 4986. Final quota was 1974, so that means that we could have elected 1.7 to 2.5 candidates. Asay should have made it without a problem but the wormhole community couldn’t get it together. There was even an outside chance for James if we had been able to muster the turnout. Son, I am disappoint.

So that quote at the top? Not at all meant to insinuate that this CSM has bad apples – in fact right now I am very optimistic that most will be very active and will represent their constituencies well. The problem is the unbalanced nature of what’s there:

  • Null: 7 (Sion, Core, Ali, PGL, Mynnna, Xander, Matias, JSilva)
  • Highsec: 3 (Steve, Mike, Mangala)
  • Lowsec: 2 (Funky, Sugar)
  • Wormholes: 1 (Corbexx)

Sure, you can argue semantics about Core and Ali and Xander and Matias, but they’re all null players – that is their experience and their focus.

Now let’s get to the real dismal number: Turnout. Of hundreds of thousands of characters, only 30,000ish accounts (even less actual people!) voted. That’s a 1/3 drop from last year. Terrible, terrible participation. CCP, you need to step up your promotional game next year. In a player base as large as EVE, this small a voting population is a travesty.

DisenfranchisedWho voted? The organized (sov null and to a lesser extent wormholes) and the disenfranchised, fearful and angry (lowsec, highsec & Provi). Just ask lowsec players how well they feel like CSM 8 did for their space – you may hear they did well in general, or for communication, but I guarantee you won’t hear how great they were for lowsec space.

The bottom line is that we, the voters, got exactly what our participation dictated. We have the CSM we earned, the CSM we deserve through our action or inaction. If you want to change this and get heard, you need to take the null strategy on – not the one of back room bargains, etc. (Sugar Kyle and Steve Ronuken prove that isn’t required) but you do need to vote for your playstyle, unless you truly believe those of your playstyle are so bad that you’d rather have those of a different style represent you.

If you didn’t vote your playstyle, I hope the person you did pick can represent you – they may be a good person, but they likely won’t get some of the critical specifics of your kind of space. Me? I wish we had another wormholer on there.

Oh, and if you didn’t vote at all? Then you should STFU with any complaints you have, and vote next year. You failed in one of the most basic tenets of democratic responsibility.

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44 Responses to The CSM You Deserve

  1. “If the CFC had been less organized and disciplined, or if turnout had been larger, it is entirely likely that Xander Phoena would not have been elected. I expected Xander to have very broad support, but instead it looks like he was elected purely by the CFC and Tweetfleet – and most of it CFC. Xander, make sure to write Mittens (rather than Ripard) a thank-you.”
    Hilarious. Looks like all of the non-CFC voters saw that vanity candidate is vanity candidate.

    • Rhavas says:

      I wouldn’t call Xander a “vanity candidate”. I think he will work hard, be passionate and I hope he heavily leverages his signature skill – podcasting – to give the CSM a literal voice. His track record shows that’s not only possible but likely.

      What I was saying was not a knock on Xander – more surprise that Mittens’ endorsement was far more useful to him than Ripard’s.

    • Kamar Raimo says:

      Well, I don’t know how representative that is, but I voted for Xander. He’s the *only* CFC candidate I had on my list, and a few people I talked to (who did vote) had him on their ballot too. Neither me nor any of the people I talked to are CFC, some are on twitter though.

      • Rhavas says:

        With the CFC listing, Tweetfleet and Ripard’s recommendation I expected him to finish Top 5 with broad support. The math says that wasn’t the case.

  2. you say core has done nothing but complain yet all i see from him is him thanking and saying good fight to everyone that he has a fight with. no complaints at all.

    • Rhavas says:

      Admittedly I am looking through a very small window at Core (a handful of tweets) – so it is entirely possible that what I am reading as sarcasm is in fact sincere.

      To be clear I hold absolutely no ill will toward him (last year I really liked his campaign, see other posts on this site) – I am clearly lacking in direct knowledge of him because I called him all wrong. Doing a campaign that to an outsider appears to be literally lazily copying and pasting last year’s post and that’s it, then getting votes to rival Goonswarm, there is either a big story behind the scenes or Providence is a lot bigger than people say.

      • Ladel Teravada says:

        Core is a very well-liked person so when he whipped up Provi support and we didnt have a waste-of-space Ali to steal votes from him, he got them. Because people trust him and he’s a good guy.
        Haven’t noticed any particular grievances about CSM or CCP from Provi, I’d say we don’t mind much because we have shittons of content. Maybe nerf supercaps but that is it.

        • Rhavas says:

          So the result Core achieved was purely based on in space/Local campaigning our on comms? No grievances Providence had? If so that’s a hell of a feather in his cap.

  3. foodownunder says:

    Doing some analysis now. I was hoping for someone else to do some of the legwork, but oh well. The very first thing that jumps out at me is the *abysmal* total vote; Last year 49,702; this year 31,294.
    This is despite it being a better UI for pilots to vote with their second+ accounts, and I saw more CCP plugs for the election cycle.

    • Rhavas says:

      It really is terrible. I’m hoping I can be concerned for CCP not promoting it enough because otherwise it’s that the player base doesn’t give a crap (most likely) or is shrinking (inb4 Eve is dying meme).

      • Kamar Raimo says:

        The promotion from CCP side *was* abysmal, and I still find it amazing that Dolan had the audacity to stand on stage and say that the low participation was because of the lack of “big names” among the candidates.

        That being said, I also think that the relative “peace” of the last year also played a role. When there is no major controversy going on then people are less likely to vote. I saw the same thing in elections for student representation at my uni. Whenever there was something major going on, people would vote more. If there was just business as usual then voter participation would dwindle to 9-10%

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  5. Good write up, Rhavas. I was hoping you’d do a review of these results. I’m terrible with this STV “actual” final numbers per candidate, so I imagine the final numbers for the Wormhole Five that I thought we had was wrong. Anyhow, we were close for two, but to be fair, I just don’t see many ways our group could get more vote out, in regard to the wormhole community. We were all pretty active trying to get the vote out across a ton of platforms. Apathy?

    • Rhavas says:

      Yep I think apathy is the primary reason among wormholers, followed by only voting for 2-3 candidates. So instead of getting another wormhole candidate they get at best a good candidate who doesn’t understand wormhole issues and at worst a wasted vote that goes to no one.

  6. Phil says:

    Asayanami Dei wanted limits on the size of POS you could anchor in a C1-4. I think it’s possible wormholers got better representation by electing fewer candidates.

    • Rhavas says:

      As you’ll note on my endorsement and slate posts, I had him at #4 of 5 because of that sort of thing. Maybe the C1-C3 folks liked it …?

  7. Zzz says:

    Lots of null representatives and only one w-space representative. Wormhole stabilizers coming to the game in 3, 2, 1…

    • Rhavas says:

      Great post – exactly what I hoped you’d put together. :) Glad to see I didn’t get too much wrong this year. I also agree that some of last year’s wormhole vote went to Sugar – or I suppose more accurately wormholers benefited last year from some of the candidate-less low sec vote.

  8. rixxjavix says:

    Power is not only represented by how many people vote, but by how many choose not to vote. I’ve read your analysis and Ripard’s now and it is amazing to me that both of you miss this important part of these results. Ripard even goes so far as to proudly exclaim at how well the CSM8 did. Which isn’t supported at all by anyone, certainly not in voter turnout. Voter turnout is low because no one cares about the CSM on a player level. The only people who do care are the same ones that care in-game – Null Bloc power players, Bloggers, Twitter users, and forum trolls. The regular, day-to-day player does not.

    I didn’t appreciate this fact as much until I started representing nearly 300 players in-game. We discussed the CSM quite a bit leading up to the elections. Player apathy is extremely high. To me, that is the real issue. Not where on the launcher the “vote” button is placed.

    Either way, our supported candidates made it in. So, in a way, that is all that really matters.

    • Rhavas says:

      I actually agree with you that apathy is the problem – but those same non voters will complain if they’re not represented. I have very little sympathy for complaining non participants.

      I also think posts by me, Ripard and Mike Azariah all point this out if indirectly (see Twitter pic above) – as I say, it is the organized and disaffected (I.e. motivated rather than apathetic) that voted.

      As someone who deals with motivation in real life, what do you think the CSM could do to reduce voter apathy?

  9. 25hz says:

    I, for one, am not going to vote in a system where I don’t feel the candidate, even if they are #1 spot in the CSM, isn’t listened to by CCP. It isn’t anyone’s obligation to vote, it is my choice, like everyone else. If I chose NOT to vote, that is in itself my vote. High sec players will never be organized like other areas of the game, because they don’t need to be organized in order to play the game in the style they do. Accept it or agree with it or not, it’s fact. Also, many, many casual players are neither aware of nor care about the meta game, and again, because they don’t have to.
    Regardless of the actual CSM make-up though, CCP has it in their thick skulls that null should be the focus for every player. Null sec generates all the nice PR buzz that CCP can poach for free. As such, they seemingly are only interested in primarily satisfying the small minority of players that are the news makers while they nerf the rest. In the end, many players don’t give a shit anymore. CSM members might be hard working, but i think there is a quickly growing belief that CCP doesn’t listen to them, so there’s no point giving a shit about a CSM that isn’t going to be listened to anyway. CSM isn’t the problem, CCP is the problem. They’ve created the mess in Eve, and it’s time for them to fix it. If not, the apathy turns to even more unsubs than they currently have.

    • Rhavas says:

      If you vote you might get your voice heard. If you don’t, it is certain you won’t. If you leave, that’s your right.

      If you don’t vote but chose to whine anyway I have no sympathy for you, nor should anyone else. CCP is far more likely to listen to the CSM than Joe Whiner on the forums.

    • T says:

      Rhavas said it nicer, but I dont really think your skull is thin enough for nice to work. there are by some estimations half of the council from null block canidates… CCP does indeed listen to the CSM but appathy from people like you means that it is Null that gets represented. You dont care about the Null meta? thats great. a big fat lie, but great. I gurantee that you care about it because it affects everything. Balance issues the continous calls to nerf the play space you proport to like so that their membership does not have to maintain some form highsec alt to finance their playtime in Null. All of this is connected. all of it matters.
      By the way, not voting is not a form of expressing your opinion. It is functionally no different from being too lazy to care, or too stupid to understand why you should. therefore that is the group ccp will see the lack of vote in.
      TL;DR: you can shut your piehole about what ccp sees because you chose not to have a voice. infact i think voting in the CSM elections should be required to post on the forums outside of some noob area. if your account was started more than one month before the last election (true noobs shouldnt be punished) then you can only post on the forums if you voted…. Wouldnt that be lovely?
      T

  10. rixxjavix says:

    I think CCP needs to give you all the tools to better communicate with the player base, not forums, or podcasts, or twitter, or anything else that has been done before. I think you should be given the tools to communicate in-game on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly. This could take the form of eve mail, or some other clever method. Lore could pass it off as some sort of “Capsuleer Union” or something. Again, just off the top of my head here. This is fundamental and doesn’t exist at the moment, but would be a huge step in the right direction.

    Again, to the entire player base, not just power players.

  11. cluny says:

    i voted for Xander purely because of Ripard. You have no clue what you’re really talking about. Mainly because you have no clue what the terrain you inhabit actually looks like. You’re a blind man making your way in the world.

    • Rhavas says:

      I’m going to pretend you have some grain of comprehensibility here. It’s unfortunate that it effectively says almost nothing of substance other than metaphysical blathering.

      On the off chance you’re being serious rather than trolling, at no point did I say no one voted for Xander due to Ripard, just that Xander owes more of his election to the CFC than to Ripard.

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  13. I’m not sure your analysis of the griefer vote is accurate. looking at the raw numbers it’s horrifying that over 750 votes were cast by those not using their accounts to vote for their masters in the null sov districts. The idea that my #1 pick gained merely double the votes of the griefer candidate is deeply troubling

  14. I can understand why you would lump Matias in with null, particularly during our acquisition of Catch, but I think it ignores both his history (we didn’t even go into NPC null until after Lychton took over), his declared focus (new player experience), and BRAVE’s not-insigificant WH presence (Dropbears Anonymous, Desolate Order and Crow Vanguard).

    If we’re forcing them into categories, I SUPPOSE null because our alliance/coalition is in nullsov, but I can tell you having known the guy for over a year that null mechanics are only a small part of what he wants to work on.

    It would still be Null 6 / High 3 / Low 2 / WH 1, so your point still stands, but I fully expect Matias to throw some support toward Corbexx and Funky and Sugar. Really, the only thing I see him not touching would be Highsec.

    • Rhavas says:

      I don’t entirely disagree – there are shades of grey in the null bloc (BNI was more low/NPC null in flavor until this HERO thing, Ali is sort of an everywoman, Xander is more podcaster than Goon, etc.). But at the end of the day, all of them will look at null mechanics first, and if you ask Dropbears I guarantee you they will have a laundry list about how smart things for null are utterly stupid in wormholes. I actually believe all mechanics aside that Matias, Ali, Xander and much of the rest of the group will have a strong passion for the NPE, so that’s all to the good. Also don’t forget that allegiances aside, I did give Matias a 2nd-tier endorsement for the remarkable success and philosophy of “fun per hour” that BNI was founded on.

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  17. anom says:

    Well last year had higher turnout and CCP moved to kill high sec Indy. Not much motivation to vote outside the null bloc. Im pretty sure that the turnout has never been 25% and is closer to 10-15% most years. Seems to me csm is a popularity contest for the vocal minority with all the power of a high school student council. Im sure that sums up what about 80% of eve think

  18. buklemaschu says:

    You’ve made the point how coordinated the CFC voter block was and how coordination and cohesion impacts the results. I would suggest that the very nature of the SovNull Game compared to other areas ( Low, High, WH, even SovNull ) creates an environment in game that promotes exactly that sort of Co-ordination. It is unsurprising then that the Null blocks dominate the CSM.

    Its very easy to blame apathy amongst players in other environments, but perhaps that apathy is understandable when Null seems to have an insurmountable strangle hold on the CSM.

    • Rhavas says:

      The fewer people that are outside the blocs that vote, the more the power of the blocs is magnified. It’s pretty easy math – if the blocs are the only ones that vote, they are guaranteed more seats.

      • buklemaschu says:

        Exactly, and I believe the apparent apathy amongst other voters in part stems from the perceived inevitability of the result given the inherent difficulties in creating any sort of significant consolidated blocs around areas of activity outside of sov Null.

  19. Lei Merdeau says:

    seeing the E3 Valkyrie trailer with the callsign Jester solidified my feelings;
    Blogspace is up there with NULL. Personally I didn’t intersect with Steve R. but a lot of other highsecers did. Nothing ingame ties highsec together so that leaves it open to the bloggers.

    • Rhavas says:

      I think there are four primary ways to CSM election. 1) Leading a large organization. Mangala, like it or not, is a high sec Leader. If someone from Eve University ran they would get on too (it’s happened twice before). The trick is that those two are it for this category from High. Also, low turnout magnifies this so that not only leaders but members and bloggers can get in on their leaders coattails (see also Xander). 2) Blogging or other out of game content. This used to be comparatively weak (ask Mike how his first three elections went, or Roc Weiler). It has become more prominent with the use of STV. Keep in mind this also includes podcasters like Funky, Mike and Ali, and upcoming streamers/videographers like Asay (who just missed). 3) Tool creators. That said very few run. Steve got in as much or more on this than his blog or high sec General. I think Marcel Devereux (FW leader and creator of the Aura app) or Wollari of Dotlan could easily win election. 4) In game content creators. So far this one is the weakest solo (Jayne Fillon made a good showing but not enough) but it does have a strong + effect on FCs, etc from larger groups as evidenced by Mangala, Silva and Progod.

      I also think there are positive impacts for the angry and underrepresented because they care more and therefore are more likely to vote. I think this was big factor behind the election of Sugar and Core.

      And of course the more of these you can string together the better.

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