The CSM 8 elections began today amid a flurry of endorsements from Eve bloggers. I haven't gotten that far yet as I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the Council of Stellar Management does. I had some fun reading the first half of the paper, but now is the time to get serious and post some facts about the player-elected body. For that I went to the White Paper, which seems to act as a combination of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution all rolled up into one. But as Eve Online is growing and CCP would like to see greater participation in the election, I thought I'd offer up some answers to questions players new to the process may have. I formatted the information in a FAQ format, with all answers coming straight from the CSM White Paper in quotes. I hope you find the information helpful.
Q. How long do CSM members serve?
A. “Council terms, will last twelve months, and elections will follow the expiration of each term. This timeframe corresponds roughly to the expansion release cycles of EVE Online.”
Q. How does the CSM communicate with the player base?
A. “A dedicated electronic forum will be provided for voters to present issues to CSM Representatives. Because this is a “gathering place” where topics deemed important to society are heard and acted upon by democratically elected Representatives, moderators must be present to keep discussions civilized, ordered, relevant, and lawful. These measures are necessary here, as they are in real society, to keep the unruly from disrupting any civil institution ranging from courts of law to the halls of legislative government bodies. In the spirit of encouraging as much debate and discussion as possible, any voter may present any topic at any time in this forum, and there is no limit to the number of topics they can introduce — as long as they are genuine, relevant, and well-articulated. In addition, they may participate in as many existing topics opened by fellow voters as they please. The burden of demonstrating the legitimacy or urgency of the issue rests with the voters themselves. A good idea will generate momentum all on its own, and it is the task of the CSM to not only track these discussions, but to engage the populace as much as possible in the interest of sustaining that momentum until the issue is brought to closure.”
Q. Are the forums the only way that CSM is expected to interact with players?
A. “Council Representatives are expected to communicate with the voting community through the topic forums mentioned above, but also with individuals as necessary through any means they agree upon. Furthermore, communications regarding the Council’s activities are to be given to the voters throughout the term.”
Q. Does the CSM only interact with CCP when members travel to Iceland?
A. “Council Representatives are expected to be ready and able to make themselves available for online meetings with CCP, and vice versa, given an appropriate timeframe. The Council Representatives will also be expected to be available for formal feedback on ‘work in progress’ matters by CCP – where the Representatives will be among other CCP entities giving comments.”
Q. Are CSM members expected to be role models?
A. “Any behavior or actions considered being a material breach of the EULA or TOS by a CSM Representative is grounds for immediate dismissal and permanent exclusion from all pending and future participation in the council. There are no exceptions, regardless of the infraction. Representatives are not only expected to uphold the social contract that all society members are held accountable to, but should also set a behavior standard for everyone else to follow.”
Q. Are CSM members free to talk about everything they discuss with CCP?
A. CSM Representatives must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, as all volunteers and affiliates are required to since the proximity of their relationship may expose them to information not intended for public release. Council Representatives are bound by the terms of that agreement, as all other participants are.