38 people as of 1300 on February 22, which is a bit fewer than I expected. Apparently a few people had a problem with the "real name" thing or the passport thing. Other than that, very few surprises on the list.
Things that jumped out at me:
- Two Goonswarm candidates, The Mittani and Lyris Nairn. No idea if Lyris is at all an official candidate. Last year, the Goons ran four candidates, two of which were official.
- Three TEST candidates, Dovinian, michael boltonIII, and Akirei Scytale. Dovinian is the official candidate from what I understand. Akirei appears to strictly be a troll candidate. MB3 was directly not selected as an official candidate, but is apparently running anyway, on name recognition. Be interesting to see if he draws TEST votes away from Dovinian.
- Mintrolio is an Aussie. That may be interesting only to me. ;-)
- A little surprisingly (again maybe only to me), there doesn't really seem to be a strong contingent of null-sec bloc candidates this time around. Maybe they're better at hiding this year? But there's only the one Russian bloc candidate, and other than the Goon and TEST candidates, there appear to be only one or two other true bloc candidates.
- How'd you like to be on the list of the six people that passed the real name and passport requirement, but couldn't get 100 likes? Given the list of people who did get 100 likes, this is not a strong endorsement for their candidacies. ;-)
- There don't appear to be any surprising missing candidates, with the possible exception of Iam Widdershins (who couldn't get a passport in time). Everyone seems to have made it through this step without any problems.
- And finally, I wouldn't want to be Leboe, Prom, Alekseyev Karrde, or Elise. I think it's entirely possible that these four candidates might compete each other right out of a seat...
Looks like the final ballot is going to be between 38 and 44 candidates total (depending on how many of the final six get their 100 likes). There were 57 candidates last year. As a result, the goal of having fewer candidates this year than last was surprisingly successful. But I'm definitely not convinced the petition mechanic had anything to do with it. What did? I think there were three factors involved.
First, I think a lot of people like myself that were considering running decided not to, either because they didn't feel they could get the votes, or because they'd take votes away from other candidates. Part of this, I'm sure, is the extremely strong slate of CSM6 candidates running for reelection. But a lot of it was almost certainly the number of alliances that crashed and burned this past year, or have suffered membership problems. There aren't enough old-NC survivors to field a candidate, for instance. Nor does NC Reloaded have a strong enough presence to field their own candidate (Raiden, not at all surprisingly, has endorsed super-cap friendly candidate Elise Randolph). Much of the Russian bloc is in disarray, as is much of the southern bloc. Without a strong base to start from, getting the needed votes would be tough.
Similar, but related, I think the Summer of Rage had an impact here. There are tons of people that unsubbed from EVE over the summer, only recently resubscribed, but had enough lingering resentment about CCP to not want to go anywhere near CCP HQ.
Finally, I think there was an unspoken strategy among some of the CSM6 members to gently de-emphasize the overt public relevance of the CSM over the course of the year. I've said a couple of times that I think this was a political ploy, and I think we can call it a successful one. While CSM5 was extremely public over the entire course of their term (resulting in strong interest in running for CSM6, even among non-bloc candidates), CSM6 has been much more outwardly private, particularly late in the term.
What impact is this going to have on voter turn-out? I initially thought that we'd see an overall 25% increase over last year's turn-out. Now... now, I'm not so sure. While I still think Mittens will pass the number of votes he got last year, I think overall turn-out might actually stay about the same or even go down a little. Maybe I'm just a little more distant from this campaign than I was last year? But there doesn't seem to be as much enthusiasm for the process as there was this time last year. Could be wrong. We'll see.
Anyway, one more CSM7 related post in the next few days -- my endorsements for non-incumbents -- then I'll get off the topic for a couple of weeks unless something interesting happens.