Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Single Transferable Vote : The voting method of CSM and how to take advantage of it.

This is a post for those interested one method that CCP uses to get player feedback.

The council that represents players to CCP (the makers of our fine and sometimes frustrating game) is called the Council of Stellar Management, or CSM.

14 players are elected by players to this council via a Single Transferable Vote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote

Confusing words for many, by at its heart, this is a voting method to ensure that the population can get a group that we are happy with to represent you, or failing that, at least someone we can live with. If your preferred candidate fails, your vote is moved to your next preferred candidate. If your preferred candidate is chosen by more than enough, a portion of the vote is also transferred to your next candidate.

You will get to choose up to 14 candidates.

Under this method, each and every candidate that is elected must get 1/14'th of the remaining vote, or just over 7%.  Based on previous voting numbers, this equates to roughly 3000 votes.

If you are a candidate, with STV voting it is in your interest to form a ticket with other like minded candidates.  Put yourself at the top of your ticket, but encourage others to give preferences to other like minded candidates.  

And of course encourage other like minded candidates to do the same.  (Self interest acknowledged)

If you are a voter (and all candidates are eligible to be voters), then in a few months time, vote.  Also get all others you interact with to vote as well.  This includes alt accounts.  If you have 5 active accounts you are allowed (and even encouraged) to vote 5 times.

With many approximations, (and apologies to STV purists) when the voting is done the process looks something like this.

  1. Sum up everyone's top preference.  
  2. Any candidate with more than a 'quota' (let's say 3000 votes) is elected. 
    1. Remove the elected candidate from getting any more votes.
    2. Remove the consumed votes.
    3. Surplus votes are available for later preferences.
  3. If no one was elected at step 2, 
    1. Remove the candidate with the least amount of votes.
    2. These votes are available for later preferences
  4. If 14 candidates have not been elected yet, sum up all remaining votes and goto step 2.
STV has some differences from other voting methods.
  • If your 'group' has enough votes for over 2 candidates, your group will get 2 candidates and influence the election of a 3rd.
  • If there are 2 similar candidates each with nearly enough votes, one of these will (usually) be elected.
Some questions that often get asked of voting in general.
  • Q: I have 1 vote, a candidate needs 3000 votes, mine doesn't matter.  
    • A: Far fewer votes than this seperate the last seat. 80 votes for CSM 9. and approximately 280 votes for CSM 10.  Plenty of elections come down to just a handful
  • Q: What's the deal with the last candidate?  That guy only got a handful of votes yet got in?
    • A: The last elected candidate is often not anyone's first choice but a compromise.  This candidate still gets more 'rough' support than anyone else.  

Some other players will tell you that CCP will only listen to that other large group, and will then argue about what defines that other large group, and then tell you not to vote.  They will then complain that other large group gets all the influence.    Then they tell you CSM has no influence at all.  Or too much influence.  I get confused about that.

Work out who best represents you and vote for them.  Give preferences to other similar candidates. Encourage your associates, corp members, friends in Eve to vote.  If you have multiple alts, vote often.

You will get the candidates you deserve.

It's up to you, the voter, to elect the candidates you want.


  1. Ali Aras, Jayne Fillon, Corbexx were not candidates of "that other group". After they got in, they just became one. What is the guarantee that ANY candidate (including you) won't shake the hand of Sion after being elected and sit into their faction?

  2. Foo, will you be posting a list of candidates you support at some later time?

  3. @Gevlon, I will remain polite with friends and others alike.

    I am small and independant. I will remain so. I will NOT be joining *ANY* large coalition.

    I currently have a presence in nullsec for trading. I chose the most outer reaches I could find.

    I do my PI and my PVE in wormhole space.

    @Anonymous. Yes. I will be listing other preferred candidates.

  4. DoToo,

    Thanks for the CSM interview. One of the better ones we've had and funny. Thanks.


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