Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Scramming chads

I wanted to do a final wrap-up on the CSM7 election, now that I've had a couple of days to think about the results.

First, fair warning: anything that I write against any given CSM candidate is automatically going to piss off between 250 and 10000 people.  I accept that.  But please keep in mind, these are just my opinions about the individual candidates... what they did well and what they did poorly.  If you feel the need to defend your chosen candidates, go ahead, but recognize that these comments aren't intended as personal attacks on you or your choices of who to vote for.  ;-)

First, let's talk about Mittens.  Mittens ran alone.  It will be tempting for a lot of people to say "Why did The Mittani run as the solo Goon candidate?  Goons could have easily gotten two people into the top seven, the same way they did last year?"  In particular, if Mittens did have good exit polling data about how many votes he was receiving, he presumably easily could have directed those votes where he needed to.

These are just guesses, but I think there were three reasons behind why there weren't two Goon candidates:
  • Mittens wanted 10,000 votes.  Call it vanity, call it whatever you like, but he wanted to hit that nice round number.  But honestly, I suspect this was the least important reason.
  • Mittens guessed that -- given that there were fewer candidates -- that there would be more votes per candidate, particularly with the more popular candidates.  As a result, I think he was concerned that if he split the Goon vote, someone might pull the Chair out from under him.  Can't have that.  And finally...
  • I think Mittens was concerned that having two Goons out of the top seven on CSM7 would be self-defeating in the long-term.

That last one deserves its own paragraph.  It was quite possible in this election -- even likely! -- that six out of the top seven seats could have been held by large-alliance 0.0 candidates: Mittens, Seleene, UAxDEATH, Elise Randolph, Dovinian, and Greene Lee... with Trebor, Hans, Kelduum, and Two Step all fighting over that last, seventh seat.  Had someone made this prediction for the top seven seats, that prediction wouldn't have been thought at all unlikely.  And had that happened, I don't think CCP would have been happy once the first summit started.  When CCP is collectively unhappy, their first instinct is always to over-react.  And an over-reaction on this would have been an over-reaction directly against large-alliance candidates holding too many CSM seats in the future.

Mittens definitely didn't want that.  So "loading up" would have worked against his long-term interests, and I think Mittens knew that.  That's probably why there weren't two Goon candidates this time.

One final note on Mittens: he did a great job staying "above the fray" for most of the election.  He could have used his more or less invulnerable position to stomp on a lot of candidates he didn't like.  And for the most part, he resisted.  Sure, he launched a few ad hominem attacks early in the proceedings, but he later backed away from that tactic and actively deleted a post he made in that direction.  Compared to last year when he actively slung a lot of mud around, he didn't feel the need to do that this year.  n1

Moving on.

Two Step ran a fantastic campaign.  In my previous post, a WH resident is congratulating the WH community on boosting their candidate so high.  I don't think that's what happened at all.  Sure, WH residents were a big part of Two Step's voters but I also think that he did a great job of broadening his audience to people who play the game in a similar way.  I was telling people myself "If you can't bring yourself to vote for Leboe, vote for Two Step.  He's the best ally small-gang PvPers have among the strong CSM candidates."  I'm sure other people were advocating him for different reasons.  Overall, he did a great job expanding his appeal.

Seleene lost about a thousand votes compared to how he did last year.  It's interesting to speculate about how that happened.  The easy answer is that he had a lot of -A- voters last year that he didn't have this year since Greene Lee was the -A- candidate.  But is that true?  Maybe.  We'll never know.  But I suspect a big part of the vote loss was the new alliance name.  Seleene's in Pandemic Legion now, and seems quite happy to be there.  But I strongly suspect it hurt him when people walked into the virtual voting booth and saw it next to his name.  A lot of people feel very negatively about PL for a variety of reasons and I believe more than one person, given the choice to vote for a PL candidate -- even one they otherwise liked -- didn't.

UAxDEATH also lost about a thousand votes.  I think those vote losses were a lot more personal.  ;-)

I've already talked about how I feel Dovinian's failure to get into the top seven is a failure on TEST's part.  I had a lot of people tell me, "But Dovinian was a douche.  That's why he didn't get voted in."  OK, fine... but how does that negate TEST's responsibility in the matter?  If Dovinian was a douche, why pick him as the official candidate?  Why not pick someone who can represent the alliance, and someone alliance members feel comfortable voting for?  Several hundred TEST votes went to Mittens, for instance -- probably enough to get a better TEST candidate to Iceland.  So... yeah.  Still a failure on TEST's part here, and something they'll have to look at next year.

Aiden Mourn over at finders & keepers has an interesting perspective on Darius III.  Without bringing up the election at all, he says in essence that Darius is a champion for people who want to make EVE suck for everyone else: griefers, gankers, et cetera.  I'm not sure I agree, but the perspective sure is interesting!

I don't really have anything to say about any of the other people that won, so let's move on to the people that didn't.

Starting with Prometheus Exenthal.  Compared to last year, Prom's vote count fell by 400 votes.  Those 400 votes would have allowed him to take the last alternate seat.  What happened?  I'm going to get beaten up for saying this, but Prom talked himself out of his CSM seat.  Before Leboe jumped into the race, Prom could have easily claimed much if not all of the Rote Kapelle vote.  How did Prom lose the Rote vote?  By telling Rote what we wanted, instead of listening to what Rote wanted.  It's really just that simple.  On FHC, talking directly to Prom, I put it this way:
The comparison with Trebor is apt because Trebor listened to what his constituency wanted.  You told your constituency what they wanted.  Now you seem surprised that they rebelled against you.
Had Prom listened to his constituency, fewer of them would have chosen to run against him and he would have kept his seat.  As a result of his choices, Prom split his voters with Leboe from Rote, Fon Revedhort from Darkside, and likely Aleks from Noir and Elise from PL as well.

I respect riverini's work.  But riverini also talked himself out of a CSM seat.  Hell, every time the guy opened his mouth, he lost two votes.  ;-)  If you're going to run for CSM, you have to try to avoid specific positions.  A specific position will rarely -- if ever -- get anyone to vote for you.  But taking a specific position will sure give people a reason not to vote for you!  riverini made that mistake with virtually everything he said and everything he did.  As a result, he turned what could have easily been a few thousand voters based on name recognition alone into a few hundred.  Whoops.

I was sorry to see how poorly Leboe did, and how poorly small-gang candidates did in general.  Part of this was voter fragmentation, as I talked about for Prom.  The small-gang alliances are going to have to rally behind a single candidate next year if they expect to be represented.  In the meantime, how we play the game is going to continue to be marginalized, and perhaps even directly attacked, if Mittens and other reelected incumbents get their way about disabling station services on NPC stations in 0.0 and low-sec.

I'm rather surprised how poorly some of the fringe candidates did.  Mintrolio tops this list, but it's also worth naming Mike Azariah, Roc Weiler, and Skye Aurorae.  I don't know why, but I was expecting each of these candidates to top 500 votes.  Only Mintrolio did, and he only barely.  But all four had pretty good name recognition going for them but weren't able to parley that into an alt seat, even if their votes had been combined.  If you're going to run as a fringe candidate, it's important to channel your base, and none of these four candidates did that.  Scott Manley has almost a thousand Youtube subscribers, for instance, but could only convert that into barely 250 votes.  How does that happen?  By not channeling your base.  It'll be interesting to see if Mike and Roc run again next year.

And I think that's it.  CCP Xhagen said this election featured more "space drama than we’ve seen in any election so far".  I disagree.  This election was actually pretty low-key and relaxed in my opinion.  It was great to see the increased participation in the process.  It was even better to see the lack of negative campaigning that stained the process last year.  Let's hope that's the start of a trend.

Congratulations again to the winners of the CSM7 election!  Represent us well!


  1. Honestly, I think the failure on the part of TEST was taking Dovi's top 7 spot as a given. There was a pretty hard-fought campaign within TEST. Ostensibly, this was to determine who would be the candidate, but in reality it was treated as a campaign to see who would be on the CSM.

    Since there wasn't the push for Chair, as the Goons had, and there wasn't much doubt that Dovi would reach the CSM, there was a distinct lack of urgency within TEST. Sure, broadcasts got sent out, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people didn't bother voting, or used their votes in other ways because they just assumed that Dovi would be fine.

    Definitely a lesson for next year in there.

  2. About Seleene, you forget his pro titan, pro sc arguments, which in my opinion, made him lost quite a few votes.

    I voted for him last year, and lost me this year because of that. And on top of that, i had a nice seat to see the Blob of PL supers protecting SBUs in Oasa and Cobalt... pffft!

  3. Jester, I'm curious as to your opinion on Hans Lagerblitzens showing.

    1. I covered Hans in my post the other day (I should have saved it for this one). I was surprised that his vote count wasn't higher. It's something that can be laid at the feet of faction warfare leadership. They should have all come together to support Hans and they clearly didn't.

      Why? Who knows. Maybe some people couldn't put their in-game personas aside long enough to vote their own best interests.

      If that's the case, FW players will pay for it come May when Hans isn't sitting in Iceland able to talk in real time about how FW topics should work in Inferno.

  4. I probably will. I am stubborn that way.


  5. I'm surprised you make no note of the huge number of votes from characters who were barely 30 days old. Its approximately the same number of votes separating the first and second place candidates.

  6. I am the WH resident from the last post. Yes, I think you are right. I personally don't follow empire politics/stories because I may spent less than 5% on my time in highsec and that is going to jita and coming back for shopping. I was not aware of Two Steps campaign on small gang pvp and bordering to other people, I only saw his wspace. Still I would like to see the percentage of voters where they live :)

  7. I will be the first to admit that my campaign was a direct result of Prom's presented opinions. He didnt back down when it started to blow back at him, which indicates he is very resolute in his controversial opinions.

    Looking at the response I got in such a short time, I'm encouraged to keep going throughout the year for a larger push, earlier in the next election cycle.


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