Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fixing The CSM Voting

Depending on which definition of "Fixing" you apply, the title of this blog post is very ambiguous. And that's the point.

Ever since CSM 6 was voted in there been much discussion about how to ensure equal representation on the CSM. (In fact, there was discussion before that but the null sec takeover in the 6th iteration really prompted the panels to wax about it.) CSM 5 was primary devoid of a lot of null sec representation and some of the comments in the minutes there caused much consternation amoungst the alliance elites and caused the backlash and voting blocs to arise. This in turn caused hand-wringing and proclamations of doom.

The major concern of the talking heads is that as long as null sec alliances care about the CSM they will continue to dominate it and thus the conversation with CCP and its developers. There may be more pilots in high sec but they are splintered and/or apathetic. "How," they moan, "can we ensure that representation is equal?"

The most common refrain is that the CSM should have 2 representatives each from null sec, high sec, and low sec as well as a single rep from wormhole space. This is how it works in real life, right? However the comparison to meatspace politics quickly falls down when you realize the fundamental difference: Bill the player lives in a house in a town in a country; Kirith Kodachi lives wherever the fuck he wants.

Any scheme to divvy up seats on the CSM fails because while you can assign roles to seats you can with any certainty assign roles to players. A player may put himself forth as a High Sec Candidate while have four or five alts in a null sec alliance and the votes associated with that bloc. Or another candidate may live part time in wormhole space and part time in low sec; which seat is he up for? And if he chooses to run for one, what prevents his buddies in the other area from throwing their votes for him anyways?

You could try and limit votes by forcing pilots into specific arenas much politicians can only run for office in their home state (and that never gets gamed, right?!) but remember we get one vote per account, not pilot. An account with three characters all in different zones gets to vote where? In any of the three?

Furthermore, if you put yourself forward as a null sec candidate but during the election period your alliance gets booted out of null sec and you move into low sec, which seat are you running for? Can you still represent null sec interests if you spend the term in CSM as living in low sec?

Any effort to codify and legislate voting into specific roles or seats fails because pilots are plastic in their own careers and living environs and Eve players are rarely focused on a single style of game-play through a single character. And stringent restrictions will simply be gamed by savvy and organized voting blocs (e.g. null sec alliances) while the individuals will be left out in the cold regardless.

I say we let the process evolve organically. The null sec voting alliances came about as a response to the evolving CSM and if we let it I'm sure a counter-reaction to null sec dominance will come from the players, not over-engineering processes. But only if we let it.


  1. Agreed. Although I can hope for representation from across the spectrum of EVE players, it is foolish in the extreme to attempt to force it. Null sec folks (out of necessity) tend to act as a large block. Other folks are normally more independent. That this has an effect on the CSM should come as no surprise.

    I will stipulate that while I understand a CSM delegate wishing to represent a specific slice of players, I cannot and will not accept that any delegate would actively seek to harm players that he does not represent at the CSM. As a body, they are there to represent all players. As individuals, they are there for their own ideas and abilities.

    For me, the all-or-nothing, black-or-white, with-us-or-against-us, divisional and confrontational political posturing and bickering has no place in rational discussion.

  2. So who is the Keep Goons Out candidate then?

  3. 100% agreed. People who don't like the current or potential makeup of the CSM can get off their asses and do something about it, or else live with what they get. It might take a couple of terms for a high sec coalition to effectively organize, so my advice to anyone who wishes that would happen is to stop burnin' daylight and get on the stick to make it happen.

    -- Mynxee

  4. Yes to all. You can't even get them to sit still while they're on the CSM. Trebor, Seleene, and Prom were notable changes this year in terms of the alliances they were part of. Prom, previously a champion of small-gang play, joined the Goons! Mittens's mind-lasers at work, no doubt. It will be VERY interesting to see if Prom runs again, and if he does, if he still puts himself forward as a small-gang champion.

  5. Were things that bad before the CSM? I don't remember.