The latest Goonswarm Federation CEO Update (reproduced here at EN24 and here at TMC(1)) includes a section on the CSM election. I reproduce the relevant part in full. If you've read it (including the Weaselior section), you can skip past this.
When writing on my website I aim to be equitable and restrained when commenting on the CSM, but on GOONFLEET DOT COM I can state the obvious: CSM7 has been either (charitably) a damp squib or (uncharitably) a goddamned joke – and not even a suicide joke. I'm not sure what a year of arguing with Trebor and Issler Dainze does to a man, but the short history of CSM7 seems to be summed up as 'Seleene and Trebor conspire to steal the chairmanship from Two Step in the first week of their term, succeed, and then nothing much gets done as the whole group has been poisoned with betrayal right out of the gates'. Of course, everyone involved publicly claims that the initial Chairmanship Conspiracy had no impact on CSM7 and that they're all just the best of friends, so perhaps I'm just completely wrong about both politics and psychology.Essentially, this entire section of the GSF CEO Update can be summarized as "The CSM doesn't matter in the slightest (so we want to utterly control it)." It really does make me laugh. Anyone with the critical thinking skills of a gnat is going to immediately see through the implication that the CSM doesn't matter. But it doesn't really matter because the rank-and-file Goon will do what he or she is told while cheering their candidates on. Reliable intel says that null-sec diplomacy is working to ensure the top ten candidates on all null-sec ballots are the same, just in different orders depending on the exact bloc you're a member of.
While CSM7 backers are vehemently claiming that a lack of candidates running for CSM8 is absolutely not an indication of broad disinterest in the institution (My favorite rationalization is that due to 'education' suddenly everyone realizes that the CSM is 'real work' and that thus fewer people applied to become a candidate, heh), the reality is that we can expect to see less than 30 candidates on the actual ballot for CSM8.
It is in our best interest to ensure that we vote in an organized fashion, even if it seems that CCP is shuffling the institution off towards irrelevancy. I personally believe that CCP only responded to CSM6 because of my media connections, which is one of the reasons I put so much effort into My Dumb Website™ rather than running for CSM8. That said, the most ideal setup is for us to both have influence in the media space as well as have voices on the Council, so we're running two candidates this year, Mynnna and Kaleb, as well as several CFC candidates. Because this is a STV election, our ballot will be a cross-nullsec roster of 14 names per ballot, because for some reason CCP went with STV even after we warned them that this would allow nullsec to completely rig/sweep the CSM.
Inside baseball aside, the STV change means that by working together with other entities it is possible to entirely lock out the CSM for null candidates only. Whatever you may think of the purpose of the CSM in the modern environment, making earnest eve-o pubbies lose their shit about the CSM for an entire year is well worth our most strenuous efforts. Here's a bit from Weaselior about the stakes:
Because CSM 7 wasn't great - while we should be raising the profile of Mynnna and Kaleb when we can - we can get the most excitement by focusing on how outraged highsec will be if we dominate the council. Think of Frying Doom's signature calling CSM 6 (the last time we went all-out to dominate) a war crime, and extrapolate from there when we get even more of it. Thanks to STV, every vote counts. Each vote actually weakens highsec candidates by boosting 0.0's unstoppable juggernaut. CSM 7 being somewhat of a failure has depressed the highsec vote: thanks to STV we get a baseline of our "proper" number of seats based on our proportion of votes - and if we do it right (and highsec, predictably, does it wrong) we go up from there. There will be a torrent of rageposting if we snag over half the seats (easily doable), both guaranteed seats, then appoint 0.0 reps to every important position on the CSM. And that's even if CSM 8 never does a damn thing.I don't give a shit about the CSM, tl;dr me: When the election begins you will be given a list of 14 names to put onto your ballot in a priority order. Put the names in, mash button, and if enough of us do so in an organized way we'll get to enjoy an entire year of hisec pubbies crying about a total lack of CSM representation.
The good news here is the null-sec candidates that do nothing on the CSM won't be going to Iceland because CCP gets to pick and choose who's in the room in Reyk. Therefore, I'm sure that it's the null-sec candidates intention for "CSM 8 to never do a damn thing." Uh huh, sure of it. Was that a gnat I just heard?
A couple of other points here made me smile. First, Mittens takes another large step into the public of how he felt about Seleene being elected by CSM7 as Chair. Now "Seleene and Trebor conspired to steal the chairmanship from Two step." It was a conspiracy, and not just any conspiracy, but a Chairmanship Conspiracy. Pretty sure even Two step isn't taking it that personally...
Second, make no mistake here: Weaselior's expectation-setting aside, if the null-sec blocs don't take at least half the seats, they have to regard their campaign detailed above as a complete failure. My best guess is that we're going to see something like 75000 votes, of which about 70000 will go to winning candidates. The CFC and HBC alone control something like 50000 characters just in their main alliances. Certainly a lot of those are alts, but they're likely reasonably well-balanced by HBC and CFC accounts with characters in neutral alliances. Despite what's above, they don't have the votes to control everything but they certainly have the votes to take half the CSM8 seats without straining themselves too hard. Eight or more is what they're aiming for.
And since CSM8 will elect its own officers internally, with seven or eight seats, the null-sec blocs will indeed be in a position to pick all four officers and will likely hold both "permanent seats" in Iceland as well.
Anyone still want to argue with me about how I did my endorsements, and how most of the non-bloc candidates are doing theirs?
CSM8 election should be starting any time now. Expect a voting link as soon as I know what it is myself, please remember to vote with all of your accounts, please ask your friends to do the same, and thanks for your support!
(1) Very ironically, the EN24 version is prettier, easier to read, and is not paginated to increase site page views.