EVE University graduate. Drama Llama. Covert operations pilot. Poetic Stanziel has been very active in the blogging community bringing views from seasoned high-sec pilots, we please to share his stories and views on current Eve Online events and invite you to read more stories from his Poetic Discourse blog.
Poetic Discourse: CSM7 – Voting Reform
The tl;dr for todays post is that the problem with CSM voting is not the people who vote, but the number of people who can’t be bothered to vote. Read the last three paragraphs if you’re an exceptionally busy person.
Today the CSM posted a voting reform thread. Basically it’s just a single idea they all pulled from their collective asses. They didn’t present an existing voting system, one already being successfully implemented somewhere in the world, a system that’s known to work. They didn’t present a theoretical voting system that’s been debated on by scholars for years, that has a lot of statistical analysis and theory behind it. No, the CSM decided, in their great wisdom, that they could create a new, never-before-seen voting system. You know, because these guys all have doctoral degrees in Sociology, Statistics and Political Science.
That’s their first win of the day.
Two reasons that the CSM give for this reform are enlightening:
Reduce (but not eliminate) the advantages held by highly organized voting blocs. In the previous election, for example, one voting bloc did extremely sophisticated exit-polling; if they had chosen to use this information to efficiently split their votes, they could have won 3 of the top 7 positions on the CSM.
. . . that some candidates have increasingly overwhelming information and organizational advantages, threatens to effectively disenfranchise a significant portion of the electorate.
They’re not responding to any actual problem from the CFC (the bloc they’re targeting as problematic), they’re responding to tinfoil-hattery, problems they think could/might happen, but have not actually happened.
In each of CSM6 and CSM7, the CFC bloc voted two candidates to positions on the CSM. I fail to see how this is a problem. Are they to be punished because a) they’re motivated voters, and b) they are highly organized? Pandemic Legion (who generally pride themselves on being independent) voted two candidates into CSM seats for CSM7. Are their votes any worse (or better) than the CFC’s votes?
(Should I point out the while there were ten nullsec representatives on CSM6, there are only six nullsec representatives on CSM7? CSM7 embodies a much larger demographic than CSM6 did. Representation of the varied playstyles of EVE Online has actually improved.)
Heaven forbid that individuals who have strong aptitudes for organizing and motivating large groups of people get voted onto the CSM. What the CSM doesn’t need more of are the Meissa Anunthiels, Issler Dainzes, Darius IIIs and Kelduum Revaans, invisible people who are more interested in the vanity of a CSM position than actually doing anything useful for the playerbase.
That’s the CSM’s second win of the day.
If there are 400K active accounts in EVE Online, and only 60K accounts took the time to cast a vote for CSM7, then the problem seems clear to me. The CSM should not be focusing on trying to invalidate votes from certain segments of the EVE Online population, rather they should be working harder, trying to come up with ways to increase voter turnout. The CSM should be encouraging the sort of motivated voter we see in nullsec, trying to figure out how to motivate voters across the board. The goal should not be to limit a segment of the nullsec vote.
It seems to me, the 60K accounts that took the time to vote, they are being properly represented. Of the other 340K accounts? Tough shit. They don’t vote, they don’t get represented. It’s as simple as that. Their complaints are moot.
One avenue for the CSM: maybe trying to convince CCP to make voting an in-client component. Perhaps at login, an account is immediately presented with a modal window that describes the CSM and the voting process, and presents three buttons: “I wish to vote now”, “I wish to abstain”, “I will vote later.” Until the account has voted or abstained, they are presented with this window every time they login to the client. If they wish to vote, they are presented with a list of the candidates, each with a short candidate-written summary of their platform. Simple as that. I bet that sort of in-client interface would increase voter turnout at least three-fold. (I’m not saying this is the solution, but it is the sort of thing that should be the focus of the CSM with regards voting, making it easier and more convenient for people to vote.)