The Council of Stellar Management is in a bad place.
CCP developers seem ot have severely soured on player feedback in recent months and news out of the CSM has not been prevalent or hopeful. It seems we have gone in a short year from a cooperative and productive relationship between the two sides to one of hostility and suspicion.
Somewhere along the line someone poisoned the well.
Xander Pheona having to fight off NDS disclosure allegations, CSM White Papers getting updated without CSM input, Manfred Sidious getting turfed off CSM for allegded NDA leaks about capital changes, CSM members getting removed for simply being too inactive... each one a bit more poison in the well of goodwill between the CSM and CCP.
We've come to the point where it feels that CCP has lost the group-think willingness to work with the CSM in a serious manner. The focus groups CCP has used for T3 Destroyer Balance, Sovereignty, and Capital changes indicate a willingness to go directly to selected subject matter experts (aka SMEs) rather than the general representatives of the CSM, something I'm not a fan of because I find that sometimes SMEs are too focused and biased towards certain designs and decisions and not casting a wide enough net in the overall game design architecture. But that's a discussion for another day.
Another poisoning of the well is the occasional effort to elect "joke" members or obviously toxic members as a form of player protest against CCP via the CSM elections. Quite frankly, this is ineffective at passing any message other than how infantile they want to communicate. We get it, you don't take the CSM seriously, move along.
Personally, I think the CSM has run its course and the well is too poisoned to recover from. Its become too toxic for both the player and the company to continue and letting it fester is not doing either side much good at this point. I think we need to increase the involvement for focus group discussions and work towards helping CCP come up with a method for occasional groups for topic discussion that are not as soul-crushingly demanding as a CSM term and not as frustrating for CCP developers.
It should be shut down soon, before it becomes a debacle or a joke.