The purpose of the CSM is to represent society interests to CCP. This requires active engagement with the player community to master EVE issue awareness, understanding, and evaluation in the context of the greatest good for the greater player base.
Notionally, they represent us, the players that voted them in. In reality, CSM represent themselves. Some work incredibly hard on the CSM, engaging both CCP and players alike; giving feedback to both groups. Some ... don't. This is just like real life, and maybe even real life politicians.
What the CSM are missing is a magic wand. CSM can't please/fool all the players all the time. By all means push your CSM representatives to deliver for you, but sometimes they just can't. Usually for someone to be buffed, someone else will be nerfed. Sometimes CCP will share with the CSM (or parts thereof), sometimes they won't. Their roles are really what they make of them.
Provided they have a pulse, occasionally turn up, and don't get banned in game, they will be able to see out their current term.
This applies even when CSM representatives change allegiances. Corebexx in CSM 9, largely with his own efforts, 'encouraged' CCP to buff low end wormholes. While he now is a turncoat, wearing the flag of another group is cause for those that care to carry out the will of Bob, it is not cause for him to give up his seat.
Sugar Kyle is a consummate diplomat on the CSM, as well as a strong workhorse. This is regardless of whether she admits it (even to herself) or not. Whether it be gathering feedback from many play-styles in Eve, mediating between vocal and boisterous groups, or providing a handhold in the new player experience, everywhere I look, I see Sugar working. How she does this while still playing Eve and holding down a day job is beyond me.
Some see it their role to represent their constituency, yet discourage others from being involved. In response to the question "Why should my readers vote for you?" Sion answered "Because I'm a goon." (link , about 1/2 way down). These players should not be surprised when they get high support from their own 'base', but no support from elsewhere. There is a reason Sion failed to get the second permanent seat.
Much has been made about the 2 permanent seats on the CSM, and I really don't understand why. From http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/csm-x-candidacy-now-open/ , Summit can last up to 5 days and up to 10 members of the CSM will fly to CCP headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland to participate in person.
CSM representatives that are active and useful, especially those that have a large support base will be attending 2 or more summits. Not to denigrate either Manfred or Sugar, and as a consolation for Sion, the value of being a 'permanent' representative is bragging rights, and the option of being obnoxious in some form and still get to go to all the summits. Do not be surprised if this year there are more than 2 summits http://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/ , There are at least two summits held each term... If both Steve and Sion are not offered a spot at more than one summit, I will be astounded.
This year, some felt we had too many (100) candidates applying for CSM seats. Of these, 75 passed the initial vetting process. Even I had problems reading all the candidate statements. I think this is a wonderful problem to have. One of the recent CSM elections (I think it was CSM 8) had a pre-election endorsements round that was a bit of a farce. 31 of 35 candidates made it to the final election round.
I think (but do not know) that the primary reason for so many candidates was the removal of the requirement to publish first life id's publicly.
There are options:
- Most (first life) political systems use a deposit system to weed out the majority of troll candidates (Sometimes even this fails).
- A rule could be added that a candidacy post with an arbitrary number of individual account public endorsement comments (50?) are required before an application is accepted.
- CCP also have the option of going back to a qualifying round, but that is a hassle if it only knocks out 4 of 35 candidates. A qualifying round could be applied if there were over say 48 eligible candidates.
I am not convinced that under performing candidates are an issue. If a candidate fails to get their message across, well that is merely an opportunity for improvement. Get that name out there. I know that some other bloggers (especially Gevlon) had a preference for some candidates that missed out (especially Lorelei). Where was the guest post? Where is the link to the blog? Where was the blog during the campaign? I also would not give up on Lorelei's spot just yet. CSM 9 had a couple of 'casual' vacancies, and Lorelei is in a good spot to pick up a few extra votes if vacancies occur in CSM X.
A couple of comments about the vote itself:
- Eligible voters cast 36,984 votes, 15% increase on last year. This is despite (or possibly even because of) some very negative press leading up to the vote
- Wormhole voters, where did you go? I know Corbexx did an outstanding job last year, but ... it is always better to have 2 candidates rather than one, as recent events have highlighted.
- Voters who let their votes exhaust generally assist the larger coalitions. There were many votes for medium and minor candidates that exhausted. Candidates, make a voting ticket with other similar candidates and participate in voting exchanges (that is, recommend preferences to others if they do the same in return).