Still, from an e-drama perspective, there's only been two candidates that have said in public that they're not only running for the CSM, they're running for the chair: The Mittani and Riverini. So, when Lost in EVE had Riverini on one of their debates, I urged them on Twitter to see if they could get Mittens to participate in the same debate, mostly because I like the LiE debate format the best. No dice there, but either the guys at EVE Radio saw my tweet or they had the same idea themselves, and they managed to book Mittens and Riverini into the same slot.
Needless to say, there was certainly no lack of fireworks! The best single moment of the debate was Riverini's. When asked what one thing in EVE he would change if he could, his response was rather hysterical:
I would change the CSM chairman!Hee! Were this a real-life political run for office, that's the sort of sound-bite that would have been on all the news networks for the next few days. And to his credit, Riverini turned from that jab to a more serious response to the question. So well done to Riverini there. That said, there's no question who "won" the debate: Mittens pretty much steam-rolled the EN24 editor. Although much like a typical EVE sov fight, the debate wasn't won by the victor so much as lost by the loser.
It's worth noting, though, that EVE Radio's moderation of the debate was extremely poor, particularly by the excellent standards set by the pod-casts this year. Part of this was lack of structure. Mittens opened the debate by asking if he could ask Riverini a direct question. This is a no-no in formal debates for a variety of reasons, notably the ability for debate participants to set up gotcha moments. The EVE Radio DJs (note that I don't call them debate moderators, because they weren't) allowed it. Mittens stated that the primary task of the CSM is to "persuade and communicate", then called out one of Riverini's most controversial positions and asked him to "persuade" Mittens that the position was tenable.
It was a classic example of just why you don't allow this sort of direct questioning in formal debates. Riverini couldn't persuade Mittens that the sky is blue, so framing the question this way was ridiculous. But the question also exposed Riverini's biggest weakness right out of the gate, the fact that he gets emotionally involved in what he's speaking about and that when he does, his accent becomes much more pronounced. This turned several sections of the debates into opportunities for the EVE Radio DJs to make subtle (or not so subtle) fun of Riverini's accent or regional expressions, a bit of cliche American ugliness that made the debate rather painful to listen to at times.
The weaknesses of the EVE Radio DJs didn't stop there. At many points, Mittens took advantage of their inexperience with any sort of debate format. For instance, the bulk of the debate centered on questions asked in various public forums. The EVE Radio DJs would then ask these questions. Mittens constantly, constantly asked Riverini to respond first, which of course not only gave Mittens extra time to think about his own responses but also pretty much always gave him the last word on any given topic. Hell, The Mittani asked Riverini to respond first to the question "What do you feel is the role of the CSM Chair?" Yes! Needless to say, that's not how debates are supposed to work.
Mittens had no lack of time to think. Even those two or three times Riverini asked him an unexpected question, he'd use a few moments of silence to encourage Riverini to start following up on the question or the topic. This Riverini would invariably do, giving Mittens more time to formulate his responses.
So, yeah. The overall impression was that of an amateur taking on a professional boxer, while the referee sat in one corner smoking cigars, drinking beer, and throwing the occasional banana peel at the feet of the fighter he didn't like. The full debate is worth your time only if you're a big fan of e-drama.
Overall, I'm most impressed with the Lost in EVE debates. All four of them are worth your time and are much more structured, well-run, and (thank Heaven) shorter. Voices in the Void has also done a good job with the debates they've held.
- Lost in EVE CSM Debate #1: Riverini and Meissa Anunthiel
- Lost in EVE CSM Debate #2: Elise Randolph and Prometheus Exenthal
- Lost in EVE CSM Debate #3: Alekseyev Karde, Trebor Daehdoow, Kelduum Revaan, and Leboe
- Lost in EVE CSM Debate #4: Two Step, Seleene, and Roc Wieler
- Voices in the Void (36): Hans Jagerblitzen and Kelduum Revaan
- Voices in the Void (37): Alekseyev Karrde and Mike Azariah
- Voices in the Void (38): Blake Armitage and Leboe
- Voices in the Void (Special): Seleene, Trebor Daehdoow, Two Step
My thanks to the pod-casters (yes, even EVE Radio) for all the hard work they did on the CSM debates this year! Your work is very much appreciated!