Last week I wrote that I wasn't going to write any more posts about the CSM 8 elections. I guess I should really write why.
This latest trip down the Eve rabbit hole started by trying to understand the new mechanics CCP will use to conduct the elections. I found the Wright single transferable vote system, or at least the documentation provided by Trebor, confusing. So confusing that I got the system mixed up with others. Fortunately mynnna wrote an explanation that made sense. Well, the mechanics made sense anyway, although I still find the whole system a bit confusing.
I guess I am always going to disagree with the single transferable vote systems over the traditional whoever gets the most votes wins systems. I think that is a philosophical difference over the concept of the "wasted vote." The proponents of the "wasted vote" theory argue that if a person casts a vote for a person that does not wind up winning a position that the vote was wasted. My belief is that casting a vote for a losing candidate is not a waste as it does show interest in minority points of view. I believe that the single transferable vote system, whether intentionally or not, acts to marginalize those points of view. Using the CSM elections as an example, last year 24% of votes were cast for candidates who did not win seats on the council. This year? If I understand how the Droop quota calculation works, that number will work out to 1/15th, or a little less than 7%, of the vote. Twenty-six percent is a large number that CSM 7, if it really wanted to claim to represent all players, could not ignore. Seven percent, on the other hand, is a bunch of fringe people whose views are fairly safe to ignore.
My theory, on the other hand, is that a "wasted vote" is when a vote is cast for someone the voter knows very little to nothing about. I'm not referring to the bloc voting that is going to occur this year that the new voting system almost makes mandatory to win a seat this year. I'm referring to the practice that CCP is encouraging to fill in all 14 slots on the ballot, even if you don't hold strong views on a subject. Picking one good candidate is very doable. Picking 14? Only the hardcore will do that with any sense. The people with only a casual interest? Let's just say I think some candidates with some pretty odious real life views have a better chance to get in with this system as voters scramble to fill 14 slots because not filling out all the slots would waste their votes.
From here my interest turned from why the voting system mattered to why the Council of Stellar Management mattered. The answer shocked me. I really don't know what the CSM is anymore. In the past the CSM was a group elected to represent the players to CCP. Now? Given some of the statements coming out of CSM 7 concerning their stakeholder status and activities associated with it I'm not sure that's considered the most important job they do.
So I am not going to cover the CSM 8 election. I think covering an election intelligently for an institution I don't understand is probably not a good idea. What I probably will do is start writing about the CSM as an institution and ignore the personalities in the campaign as much as possible. I really need to do some research and figure out if CSM is important enough to spend my time following and writing about it.
NOTE: I realize that today is 1 April, more popularly known as April Fool's Day. For those thinking this post is a prank, SURPRISE! I'm really serious and this actually reflects my current views.