Starbuck was very surprised at me for not covering the final bit of drama about the CSM7 Chair election (edited slightly):
For a few, yet noteworthy, dissenting voices in relative obscurity at Jita Park Speakers Corner, the guts of what's just happened -- the story within the story -- would seem to be being buried in a chorus of hail to the thief.
A very defining, and almost lone (the new chairman has either gone immediately awol or isn't approving further comments) assassination by Vile Rat (CSM6) stands on Seleene's own blog "The Chair":
"You guys pulled some shit here Mark. You brutalized the spirit of the election by hiding behind the letter of the law."
Whether one agrees with this or not, it doesn't take much reading between the lines of some of Two Step's own (diplomatic) comments about the process in the threads at JPSC to be left with an unsettling feeling about this whole thing. Now I hope I'm mistaken, but the fact that it's seemingly passed absent of scrutiny from any high profile commentators smacks of a whitewash at the [insert]house.
On questioning, Starbuck pointed me at this post and this post on Jita Park. There's two things going on here.
Before I look at them, though, let me make one thing clear: Seleene won an election of CSM7 members to be the Chair of CSM7. That's it, as far as I'm concerned: done deal. I'm going to say some things about Seleene here, and they're questions that should probably be asked, but please don't feel like I'm a champion for these things, because I'm not. I'm simply doing what I always do around here: telling my Dear Readers what's going on and my opinion of it. Got that? OK.
First, there's a sense that Seleene "stole" the Chair from the "rightful" Chair-holder, Two step. I've already given my opinion on what CCP Xhagen's options were. Ironically, what we have here is a micro-version of the right-to-life debate question "When does life begin?" This time, though, the question is "When does Mittens become CSM7 Chair?"
Trebor Daehdoow says that he essentially argued that since April 4 arrived with The Mittani already removed, he was never on CSM7, much less CSM7 Chair. As a result, since Mittens never took office, Two step is the Chair since he got the most votes in the election. Trebor says that Seleene said the same. CCP Xhagen clearly didn't go that route, and clearly felt that "life began" at the CCP Presents keynote, when Mittens was announced, not when he took office.
But the issue is more complicated than that.
CCP Xhagen faced a big big problem if he just put the Chair in Two step's hands. There would be a subtle Orwellian mesasge that "Mittens never won the CSM7 election. Mittens never ran in the CSM7 election." CCP is going to get "10058" thrown in their face for an entire year as it is. That's bad enough. Sending this subconscious message that "Two step won the election" would just make it worse. By having the Chair chosen by the CSM7 members, he "passes the buck" to the CSM's own members, but he also acknowledges that something extraordinary has happened.
This sense among some people that Seleene "stole" the Chair is reinforced by two factors:
- Mittens came right out and endorsed Two step as Chair in his various remarks. He basically was telling his constituents that "Two step as Chair is OK with me." The subconscious message that someone else would not be OK with him lingers. And Mittens, not in the least shy about giving his opinions, has made no attempt to endorse Seleene that I've seen.
- If you believe the "10058" were votes for nerfing Titans and other supers (clearly signature issues Mittens emphasized), then having CSM7 directly choose someone who is -- shall we say -- a bit conflicted when it comes to Titans and supers could be construed as a slap in the face to those voters.
That's the first thing. The second thing: once the Chair election began, why did CSM7 vote the way they did? In particular, why did Trebor and Seleene, the two CSM members that argued that Two step should be chair, immediately do 180s and vote for someone not Two step?
Xhagen tells us that the candidates for the Chair were Two step, Seleene, and nobody else. Ten out of 12 CSM7 members besides Seleene himself voted Seleene. Why did that happen? Seelene says "I'm not going to speculate too much on this beyond saying that I believe my peers looked past my alliance tag to my non-partisan stance on many game issues, both as a player and a former dev." Trebor somewhat side-steps the question and merely says it was an "edge decision" and "I felt that Seleene as chairman and Two step as secretary was the best combination." The other CSM members say nothing. It's a valid enough question and we'll have to see if any other CSM members choose to answer it.
The fact that Two step asks this question himself is rather telling.
And that, Dear Readers, is the last thing I have to say about the CSM until the May Summit. Unless "something happens", of course. ;-) Thanks for your comment, Starbuck!
One more thing. A lot of people took me to task on what I said about Lord Maldoror this week. To them, I say this choice for COTW is like a pink elephant crashing through the ceiling of a restaurant in a glass skyscraper, brushing the broken glass off itself with its trunk, and sheepishly looking around before crashing through the floor, leaving an elephant-shaped hole that the waiters must navigate around.