Friday, May 3, 2013

The Plot Thickens

Apart from my time in the Army I have spent my life living and working in the Chicago area.  That leads to an appreciation for some of the finer points of electoral politics, like the importance of voter registration drives at cemeteries.  After all, death should not take away a person's right to vote.  But this post isn't about all the amusing tricks the Daley machine used to stay in power.  This post is about vote handling in an internet spaceship election.

In the past, the election for CSM would end when Hilmar read the results at Fanfest.  We would congratulate the winners, console the losers and life went on.  This year is different as CSM 8 was elected using a single transferable vote (STV) method.  As part of the effort to get player buy-in, CCP stated it would make the actual votes, stripped of any personally identifiable information, available to the public after the election.  The code used to determine the results was also provided to players to check the results.  Total transparency, right?  Except that at the time I write this CCP still has not released the votes.

Do I think that CCP did anything sneaky with the vote to ensure diversity?  No.  But with a STV format I always thought that promising to release the actual votes was always fairly dangerous to the credibility of the process.  I'm sure someone could use the raw data to come up with an analysis that shows that the 14 most popular candidates did not all win a seat.  What makes perfect sense to someone familiar with the STV process could look like an evil conspiracy to someone used to a first past the post system.

In particular I am interested to see how James 315 will twist the data.  I should thank him for his public support of Mike Azariah because without it I doubt he would have won a seat.  But as his shtick is that CCP is catering to high sec carebears and ruining the game, I really want to see how he will use the raw voting data to cover-up his role in electing Mike.

I also would like to see the data, if only to confirm my suspicion that the CFC and HBC voting lists really did guarantee that Kaleb Rysode and Banlish would not receive a seat on the CSM.  This was the first time the null sec blocs had to deal with a STV system and I suspect they did not optimize their voting power.  Of course, I am sure their numbers crunchers are also waiting for the data so they can analyze what went wrong.

I really hope that CCP releases the information soon.  While watching a lot of people in tin foil hats running around is fun, I'm ready to move on.

9 comments:

  1. Go watch the "Obama Wins" episode of South Park (www.southparkstudios.com).

    Eric Cartman is a CCP dev, you know.

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    1. I thought Soundwave looked familiar.

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    2. lol. And, the protagonist in another SP episode, "Make Love, Not Warcraft", was modeled on Mittens.

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  2. /me laughing

    Why am I always the one held up as the example of something not right with the system?

    m

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    1. Because you don't let the cool kids tell you what to do?

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  3. There's not much to tell. After running independent statistical analysis on the ballot data for the upcoming dev blog, it was discovered that the ballots did not tally with the announced results, derived from the STV code.

    Oops.

    This week, CCP execs had to meet and decide whether to (a) announce the correct results and apologize, (b) expand CSM8 to include the actual winners and apologize, or (c) tweak the ballots to match the results. Given the expected "drama" from the EVE player base, the execs are leaning towards option (c), esp. since the tin-foil hats have already been coming out in that direction anyways.

    Ofc, this is all company confidential, so don't tell anyone else.... ;)

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  4. It turns out that Mike is anything but a carebear. He didn't make much of it during his campaign, but let's say he's probably the member of the CSM that's most familiar with the wardec process and how to make ISK out of it.

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    1. I'm glad to see Mike get elected. If CCP rigged the election to make it happen, then good on them.

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