Had the blog post gone through a more normal editing process, I would have taken the time to fact-check this little detail, discovered the relationship, and deleted that entire paragraph. However, the piece seemed timely so I proceeded without that step. I apologize for this mistake. As newspapers put it when this sort of thing happens to them, I regret the error.
When I woke up this morning, Mittens was gloating.
Now, you might accurately say that this is nothing unusual. It's a bit like saying "When I woke up this morning, water was wet", in fact. Still, he has pretty good reason to gloat. When Arnold Schwarzenegger entered the recall race to become California's governor in 2003, that was pretty much it: he had the race sewn up. Despite the fact that there were literally hundreds of other candidates -- or, just as likely, because of this fact(1), his name recognition alone ensured that he'd be elected. When he ran for reelection in 2007, that was also it.
Similarly, I'm going to go ahead and call it now: The Mittani will be the CSM7 Chair.
I've decided I'm going to do pieces on some of the major candidates for CSM7, and one of the people that will receive such a profile is someone who said in public that he'd be going for the Chairmanship, Kelduum Revaan, the CEO of EVE University.
This is not that piece, though. This is just an intro.
When I decided to run for CSM6 last year, I was one of the first candidates to make that fact public. This year, Kelduum has that honor, I think. I'm not sure the exact date he popped up on my radar, but it was very early January and perhaps a bit before. The unusual thing about Kelduum running wasn't that he was running; hell, I'd practically expect someone high up in E-UNI to run every year. The unusual thing about Kelduum running is that word quickly went out that Kelduum thought he had a good chance of taking the Chair and believed he had something like 3500 votes sewn up from the get-go.
Rallying high-sec players to vote in the CSM elections has been a bit of a dream the last few CSM elections, and if you think anybody could do it, the CEO of EVE University could. And indeed, should Kelduum win a seat, he won't be the first E-UNI CEO to do so, and to do so based on the successful rallying of high-sec votes. But Chair? Really? EVE University only represents about 1500 pilots right now. Even if all of them could be rallied, that's substantially less than 3500 votes. When this was brought to my attention, I replied that it sounded to me like Kelduum was counting on the votes of not only every EVE University member, but pretty much every EVE player who had once been in EVE University. I added that this struck me as naive to say the least.
Back in August when Trebor ran his crowd-sourcing initiative, E-UNI made a concerted attempt to skew those votes. At the time, I was rather amused: this looked a lot like a test run for the next CSM election. How many accounts could E-UNI rally to vote a slate, following a complex procedure, on demand? I checked with Trebor, and it turns out the answer was "587 accounts". That's the number of accounts that voted the exact slate that E-UNI asked them to vote in the crowd-sourcing.
So, as far as I'm concerned, that's the size of Kelduum's base: not 3500. 587.
Still, it's respectable! I started my CSM6 run with less, and campaigned up from there. Apparently though, the word that Kelduum would not automatically have 3500 votes at his beck and call got back to him and he decided to actually ask his base: would they vote for him? And while a few hundred said "yes", a solid minority said: "I don't know. What do you stand for?"
And Kelduum doesn't seem to have much of an answer yet. Ooops.
When I saw this, I made the decision to contact Poetic Stanziel, a well-known E-UNI graduate and blogger. Would Poetic support Kelduum? Turns out I didn't have to ask. The topic is well-covered on the Poetic Discourse blog this morning, and Poetic seems to fall pretty firmly in the "I don't know" camp. Pro-tip: if you're running for CSM as an E-UNI candidate, perhaps it's a good idea to get the backing of E-UNI's most well-known blogger first. What do you think?
Now, it's not my intention here to make fun of Kelduum. If he gets his act together, there's plenty of time for him to be a solid CSM candidate and as I said, I'll be writing about him again when I do my profile pieces. But anyone who thinks they're going to make a run at the Chairmanship and take away Mittens's #chairmanforlife hash-tag needs to be a bit more organized than this.
One of the things that's going to be amusing about the CSM7 election cycle is the brain-damaged "petition" methodology that CCP came up with for vetting candidate popularity, most likely while in a drunken stupor.(2) Ironically, it is in Mittens's best interests to have as broad a slate of CSM7 candidates as possible. Not only does this dilute the non-0.0-bloc vote and reduce the threat to his control over the CSM, it has the best chance of producing a broad slate of less well-known CSM7 alternates that:
- Mittens can point to later as highlighting the "diversity" of CSM7; and,
- gives him a pool of people who are "just happy to be here" that can help with the actual work.
As a result, it is also in Mittens's best interests to have as many candidates as possible successfully pass through the petition process. The thing that's amusing is that he doesn't have to lift a finger for this to happen. When a well-intentioned but naive EVE player posted a thread on Jita Park advocating the creation of a block of CSM7 candidates focused on carebear issues, Goons came out of the woodwork in droves to "support" this idea.
Consider that a test run for the petition process for every carebear candidate. They're not going to have any trouble hitting the 100 "likes" needed to get on the ballot. They'll get dozens of likes from "helpful" Goons who will then -- once the actual voting begins -- vote their ordered slate of candidates. Meanwhile, more serious candidates like Kelduum who actually have a chance at getting the votes they need are going to struggle mightily with this process. If Kelduum can't get a few hundred people on E-UNI's own forums to say they'll vote for him, what prayer does he have of getting them to follow a petition process?
If you're running for CSM7 as a non-0.0-bloc candidate, I hope you're getting your ducks in a row. Right now.
(1) More on this in a minute.
(2) Be warned: I am going to making more and more harsh fun of this idea as the cycle goes on. And since I'm starting from it being a "brain-damaged idea most likely come up with while in a drunken stupor", you can imagine where I'm going to be by March.