I had hoped to write this post after we received the full official CSM8 election results, but it looks like those are going to be delayed somewhat. So I thought I would write a bit on how my election predictions came out in light of the first set of election results.
Needless to say, I'm really pleased! Of my 14 predictions, 11 of them are on CSM8, including myself. And I have to say that I'm really pleased at the group that we've ended up with!
First, what I got right. And that's a pretty good list. All seven of my upper tier candidates -- mynnna, Sort Dragon, Mangala Solaris, Trebor Daehdoow, Malcanis, myself, and James Arget -- are on CSM8 and clearly put up good showings. I chose James over Cipreh as the candidate that I figured the hard core wormhole voters would go for, and I got that right. Malcanis, Trebor, and myself cross-endorsed each other, I figured that we wouldn't have much trouble getting on. And of course picking Mangala, mynnna and Sort were no-brainers.
I also did pretty well in my bottom tier. I figured either progodlegend or Ali Aras would get on. Thanks to TEST clearly dropping the ball with their voters, both of them got in, replacing the third HBC candidate. Kesper North and Sala Cameron also didn't have much trouble getting on. I got Nathan Jameson wrong; I figured that the w-space vote would be strong enough to put two candidates on CSM8 and that one of them would be a bit more generalist. I thought that would be Nathan and it was Chitsa Jason instead. Likewise, I figured the Russian voter bloc would be strong enough to ensure one candidate. I guessed Greene Lee would make it and Korvin made it instead. However, that one was always going to be too close to call.
The place where I (and honestly, everyone else) really dropped the ball: Mike Azariah! Now don't get me wrong; I'm delighted to see Mike finally make the CSM. But I think even Mike is a little bit bewildered about how it happened. Of all the questions I'd like to know the answer to when we get the full results, "How did Mike pass so many other candidates?" is gonna be right on top.
In the middle: I guessed that voting numbers would be equal or lower than last year. I was a little concerned that they'd be significantly lower than last year but didn't predict they'd be so much lower. That's a real pity, but predictable in retrospect: with a quieter CSM7, there weren't as many people motivated to vote for CSM8.
And finally... what the hell happened with those permanent seats?
Picking mynnna to take one of the two permanent seats was an easy prediction and I was pretty sure that someone would push Sort Dragon out of the second slot. And after I had a chance to talk to Trebor further at Fanfest about how STV works, the fact that it wouldn't be Sort in that second slot was kind of obvious. When you break the voting down to only two seats, in order for the blocs to control both of them, they would have had to have controlled up to three-quarters of the votes. The fact that they clearly did not do so meant that there was going to be one bloc seat in those top two and one non-bloc seat. It would just come down to whomever of the non-bloc candidates had the most #1 votes.
I never dreamed it would be me. I figured it would be Malcanis, or Trebor, or Mangala. So thank you to all of you for that. However the numbers come out, you all clearly turned in an unrealistic result on my behalf. ;-)
As for what happened with the CFC and HBC third seats? Trebor's got a really good blog post almost finished that will detail what happened there, but the short version? The CFC and HBC didn't realize that an in STV system, if their weakest candidates didn't have at least a few #1 votes, they'd get eliminated in the early rounds. And that looks like exactly what happened: they were pushed right off the ballot by mid-range candidates that didn't have the votes they needed to get elected but had enough #1 votes to themselves to keep themselves from being pushed out in the early rounds. Since Banlish and Kaleb had only very few #1 votes, I think we're going to find that they were eliminated early and didn't survive long enough for the CFC and HBC trickle-down vote to reach them.
It's not a mistake the blocs will make next year.
So all in all? I'm really pleased with how my predictions came out and I'm really pleased with CSM8. We've got a really good spread of representatives and in our early discussions it looks like the large bulk of us are going to be active participants in the process this year. In a typical CSM, you can count on five active members. In the early going, it looks like CSM8 is going to at least double that and I couldn't be more pleased about it.
Time to get to work!