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The voting reform discussion

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C C P Alliance
#41 - 2012-09-11 15:51:03 UTC
Sjonkel Dunk wrote:
I think the current system is fine, with a single vote for each account. Any problems with large organized blocks gaming the system or null-sec getting too high representation is easily remedied by increasing the amount of voters. In order to do so, the CSM must be more visible for the playerbase as a whole.

Let me quickly tell a bit about my own situation, to show you what I mean. I'm a fairly active player. I have 3 accounts, one which is my main character that I pvp with. The second is my PI account, while the third is a high-sec trader/manufacturer. I read several EVE blogs daily, and I pay attention to our alliance forums and various news sites. I only started playing back in February, so I'm a fairly new player. Still though, I think it's safe to say I'm pay more attention to what happens with EVE than the average player. I'm not the most hardcore by far though.

The whole mess with Trebors thread is honestly the first thing I've seen CSM do since Mittani was thrown out. I can't come up with a single thing I can remember them doing, or a single change they've been responsible for. Why should the average player care about voting, when they don't even know if the CSM is doing anything? Even those who took the time to vote, cannot know if their representative is doing anything. I know there was some minutes released, but very few people are honestly going to read through that. All this creates an extreme voter apathy. I'll likely vote for whoever the goon leadership endorses, just because I have no idea what the CSM has done or who is responsible for what.

I will say that the way the various CSM members handled Trebors thread, has made me even less impressed with the CSM, but at least it gives me an impression about the various members. There's literally not a single other thing I have to form an impression about them, which is quite sad considering how long it's been since the election.

CCP and/or CSM needs to do something to give the CSM exposure, and give us all information on what the current members are doing, if anything. Right now, they might as well do absolutely nothing for all we know. Find a way to do this, and more people will vote, fixing the problems you are concerned about.

Good points.

CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

The Mockers AO
#42 - 2012-09-11 15:54:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Bloodpetal
So there are 3 major things you want to tackle :

  • Pre-Election Mechanics which filter unnecessary candidates that obscure voter representation and dilute votes for the same essential representation (not waste).
  • Election Mechanics which allow voters to cast ballots in a flexible voting system to choose their candidates and understand what they are voting for.
  • Improvements on communicating how the CSM is representing those people.


  • My answer is as follows :

    #1 - Platforms.

    CCP lays out a series of topics they want representation for and that they'd like to have on the CSM. This list should fit with their next 12 month cycle of dev.

    So for example, the next 12 month development cycle should have the following platforms ::

    Dust514
    War Decs
    Hi-Sec
    Low-Sec
    Ship Balancing
    Faction Warfare
    Industry

    Yes, Null sec isn't on there, because Null sec is clearly not a major component of your next 12 months dev cycle.

    So, each candidate now steps up and chooses which Platforms they want to represent. You get to pick 2-3 lets say.

    For example...
    Hans would Choose : FW, War Decs, Low Sec
    Alex would choose : War decs, Ship Balancing, Dust514

    Hans and Alex share on the War decs position, but they have opposing views of what they want to see (again, pure example) and their campaign should oppose each other. Keep this stage simple to 3 topics that they should pick as their platform. The point of this is to let voters know what they should be focusing on, keeps their attention high and less glossy eyed looks.

    Then, the Candidate gets to state their opinion on those platforms and that's what they should focus on. They shouldn't focus on other topics because that's not their platform. They should also layout how their opinions differ to other candidates on that platform. This should increase the quality of representatives because lets say I see Hans is running for FW and has a particular view I STRONGLY disagree with, now I can stand up and say, NO VOTE FOR ME - I WANT FW TO BE MORE LIKE THIS!!

    After you end up with the representatives on each platform clearly delineated or allied with each other on the topics they are running for, people will clearly see what they want for each platform. Then you can break it down in your advertising/marketing for people in a cohesive way. Rather than starting with each Candidate as the major topic, you start with each TOPIC as the major voting element and then break down the people running in there and how they oppose or ally with each other.




    I'm going to gloss over the pre-election mechanic at this time because I want to keep the momentum going for the election material.


    When you reach the Election, each player first goes to a page where they pick the 3 topics they care about the most. So, I would choose Ship Balancing Vote, an Industry Vote, and a Low Sec Vote. Then I go to my ballot box and I get to vote for the candidates on those platforms with my vote.

    You tally the votes, and you will end up with major and minor candidates for each platform (first and second place). You will also see what topics are most important to players at the moment. Also, it helps the CSM see for what reason they were actually put into office. Was it because of their FW platform? Was it because of their industry platform?

    Now, from here, you just pick those who get the most aggregate votes of all topics together and put them down on the list. The major issue is you might have some topics with no representation. Those people can end up as CSM alternates that you can consult in a pinch even if they're not primary representatives, etc, etc.

    This solution seems to be the best way to approach it from a perspective that not only makes sense to the players but also to CCP who should really be getting feedback on what is most important to them on what is a pretty well established development cycle.

    Where I am.

    GoonSwarm
    #43 - 2012-09-11 15:58:01 UTC
    How will you choose from the proffered voting methods, Xhagen & CSM? Will you vote?

    If so, what voting method will you use to choose from the voting methods in this thread? And how will you decide that method?
    C C P Alliance
    #44 - 2012-09-11 16:00:43 UTC
    CliveWarren wrote:
    - Eve-mails to every character and E-mails to every account annoucing CSM landmark events, i.e. Candidacy period is opened, voting has started, here's the results, CSM summit is happening, CSM minutes are here. That sort of thing. Nothing terribly invasive or frequent, but enough to make sure as many people are in on this as possible.

    Aye, we've planned on doing this once. However, increasing the size of data the database has to store by some % was not appealing to the DB guys. How about using the ingame Calendar?

    CliveWarren wrote:
    - Client splash screens. This can be done for all of the above, and when it comes time to vote, perhaps in-client voting options? "I wish to vote now", "I wish to vote later", "I abstain from voting", and "What is this all about?" or something like that. IMO, it's important to make sure this isn't forced, just a convenience option. Forcing people will just result in button mashing to get into the game, which helps nobody at all.

    I agree with you there - the splash ADs are used. But I'm skeptical about an option like you describe being presented to the players when logging in. In practical terms it is vastly more complicated to get things into the client (it needs programming, QA, revisions, patch, stuff) than utilizing the text avenues we have available. There I can write the text and have it published, all within an hour.

    CliveWarren wrote:
    The next step is to create as welcoming an environment for the new participants as possible:

    - Ditch the Assembly hall and turn Jita Park Speakers Corner into *the* CSM forum. Assembly Hall is an awful, outmoded idea that not only comes off as a stuffy clone of Features & Ideas, but it paints the wrong image of what the CSM is even for. They're an advocacy group, not a dictaphone for the players' ideas.

    Aye, this has been mentioned before and I'm currently thinking about just doing it (after talking to the relevant people of course and making sure that it isn't a stupid move on my behalf - I have been known to do stupid things Roll).

    CliveWarren wrote:
    - Encourage far, far more CSM participation in this new, single CSM forum. One of the sources of outrage of the debacle known as the Voting Reform thread was due to the CSM's near radio silence on the forums before that, so the impression was "they came out of the woodwork for THIS?". JPSC is a dead zone right now, and I'd be willing to bet a large part of that is due to the basically zero CSM participation in any of the discussions that actually happen. Change this and I'd be willing to bet it'd actually become populated, as opposed to just the "Frying Doom Argument Sanctuary" that it is now.

    See my previous reply.

    CliveWarren wrote:
    Once the above is done, wait an election, see what kind of data you get (abstains vs new voters vs straight-up ignores etc), and then we can have a discussion about voting systems with either (a) the new players or (b) knowing that there won't be many new players. Until that point, talking about it just turns the CSM into even more of a closed system than it already is.

    Obviously, none of this is a guarantee of anything. It might be entirely ignored or completely ineffectual. I think the ideas themselves are good representations of the directions we need to go if we actually want more participation in the CSM at all, both from a candidate and player POV.

    Nicely put.

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    Pandemic Legion
    #45 - 2012-09-11 16:01:21 UTC
    CCP Xhagen wrote:

    So, putting Trebors idea aside for the moment, what election system would suit the CSM?


    Hint: a system which views engaged and motivated groups of voters as a problem is not fair nor is it democratic.

    If you view the situation where those who care and bother to engage with the process - the nullsec blocs, in general - as a problem then you are doomed to create drama as the people whose votes you attempt to discount are the ones who, by definition, care mst and are most liable to make their opinions known across the gaming space.
    C C P Alliance
    #46 - 2012-09-11 16:01:48 UTC
    Benny Ohu wrote:
    (Being able to search for CSM forum tags wouldn't hurt)

    We're having that looked at as apparently you cannot look for GM tags nor ISD tags - so we might just float on that boat when that is fixed.

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    Pandemic Legion
    #47 - 2012-09-11 16:02:56 UTC
    Also, while we're on the subject of the CSM, the current one might consider doing some real work for a while and demonstrating tangible benefits to their existence. because right now the only reason I can see for people voting en masse would be to kick the bums out.
    Goonswarm Federation
    #48 - 2012-09-11 16:07:25 UTC
    You're a good man CCP Xhagen.
    Gallente Federation
    #49 - 2012-09-11 16:07:54 UTC
    Bloodpetal wrote:

    #1 - Platforms.

    CCP lays out a series of topics they want representation for and that they'd like to have on the CSM. This list should fit with their next 12 month cycle of dev.

    So for example, the next 12 month development cycle should have the following platforms ::

    Dust514
    War Decs
    Hi-Sec
    Low-Sec
    Ship Balancing
    Faction Warfare
    Industry


    This is terrible. A huge part of the CSM's remit is to communicate what they (via the players) feel CCP should be working on and this completely removes that (or at least ensures the CSM are unqualified). Someone elected on a platform of war decs is almost always going to say war decs need more work so war decs end up in the next CSM platforms list (also so they can get re-elected).
    C C P Alliance
    #50 - 2012-09-11 16:08:00 UTC
    Dramaticus wrote:
    Good to see that someone will actually give us their opinion on the matter, thanks CCP Xhagen.

    I respect you guys enough to trust you to being able to talk about things in a civilized manner.

    But if I can ask for a favor, I'm actually asking all you EVE players? Please don't stop posting 'quality' posts. I, curiously enough, enjoy reading the EVE forums despite the 'eccentric' atmosphere present here Big smile

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    Gallente Federation
    #51 - 2012-09-11 16:09:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Sal Volatile
    A nice thing about regular polling of some kind leading up to the election is that, in addition to contributing to the drama/excitement and telling the public who's viable and who's not so viable, it is also valuable feedback to the candidates themselves and can facilitate a kind of vote transfer similar to the one that has been discussed, only before the election, through drop-outs and endorsements.

    Suppose I'm from lowsec and one of my primary issues has to do with Crimewatch changes to gate guns. I've been campaigning hard and I have built up some very committed supporters. However, the polls keep telling me that my numbers just aren't enough to put me on the CSM. I can choose to admit defeat and lend my support to another candidate who has stated similar views on gate guns. The nice thing about this is that, unlike candidate designated vote transfer, my supporters can choose whether or not to follow my recommendation.

    While there were certainly a number of vanity campaigns for CSM7, it may be that if more of the candidates had some actual information about their chances, they might have worked together to get at least one person representing their views through. Then again, I may just be hopelessly optimistic in that regard!
    C C P Alliance
    #52 - 2012-09-11 16:10:43 UTC
    Alekseyev Karrde wrote:
    Sal Volatile wrote:


    Now, we could talk about civic virtue, or give people nag screens until they vote, or give them free mining implants for voting, or some other BS like that. We could say that we want to rise above the hype and drama of the CSM and make it all about civic duty. But what if we just embrace hype and drama instead, and make the hype and drama accessible to the average player who doesn't follow forums?

    What if we have a fabulous new isk sink: CSM candidates can buy splash screen ads! We're talking attack ads here. Why not? Maximum drama, maximum hype.

    What if there was some kind of regular polling that people could follow? Uh oh, looks like the nullsec candidates are poised to sweep this thing! Holy ****, I'm biting my nails here, guys! Better donate more isk to the highsec miners so they can buy more attack ads!

    That is actually a ******* fantastic idea! As long as the price/availability of ads are not such that it's out of reach of the majority of candidates I'm all for it.

    As for polls, sure why not. Might be a lot of work for CCP though.

    CSM candidates buying splash ads? Interesting approach. I will take this up with the relevant people.

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    Caldari State
    #53 - 2012-09-11 16:11:32 UTC
    Xhagen, why are you so afraid of players having to take responsibility for their votes? There's no greater reason to keep the system as it is than with the last election. If people choose to vote for a candidate that gets banned, runs as a troll candidate, is issler, is trebor, is two step, is seleene, etc. then they deserve to have their votes reflect the cognitive retardation of their choice.

    On the one hand the players ***** about our representatives being useless shitheels, but guess what, they got voted for. Informed voters produce good representatives. Maybe having some sort of post-CSM summit minutes impeachment process would inspire them to get off their self-congratulatory podiums and do some actual work.
    Goonswarm Federation
    #54 - 2012-09-11 16:12:21 UTC  |  Edited by: EvilweaselFinance
    CCP Xhagen wrote:

    I've also been thinking about the following scenario:
    Hold regular elections for CSM8, using current voting mechanics.
    Make that dictate the results.
    On the side run an experiment on a new voting system and see the results from that using the voting data from CSM8 election.
    Investigate and spit-shine and use new voting system for CSM9 if viable.

    Just a thought in terms of a possible implementation strategy.

    The real trouble with preference ranking (which you need for STV) is the increased complexity of the ballot may discourage turnout. That's hard to measure in a side run test. The advantage to preference ranking systems is lowered tactical voting which leads to a better reflection of the voter's preferences, but the downside is the increased complexity of the ballot compared to "pick one".

    My suggestion if you implement preference ranking would be to have a person vote on their first choice. That's registered, and put into the system. They're then given the option to vote for their second, and that's then put into the system. Repeat until you get to the maximum number of candidates you'd like people to be able to rank. The advantage here is if I get bored and wander off after my first place ballot, it's not lost.

    After a brief search of multiple-winner voting methods, it seems the only real option is STV. All others would be too complex in practice (i.e. you have to rank too many people on your ballot), feature high levels of tactical voting, or rely on political parties.
    Goonswarm Federation
    #55 - 2012-09-11 16:16:15 UTC
    Bloodpetal wrote:

    #1 - Platforms.

    This basically assumes the CSM is a parliament instead of a sounding board. How able candidates will be to understand what a proposal does in practice matters much more than what their "stance" on things is.
    New Eden Trading Company.
    #56 - 2012-09-11 16:16:21 UTC  |  Edited by: Alekseyev Karrde
    CCP Xhagen wrote:
    Frying Doom wrote:


    1. 1 Vote per account
    2. Candidates may select 1 candidate to receive their votes if they are knocked out using the lowest number of votes as a starting point and working up
    3. Only the votes received by a candidate may be passed on if elimination occurs.
    4. A fee of 2 Billion is is required for registration as a candidate
    5. Voting buttons as Per Poetic Stanziel suggested "One avenue for the CSM: maybe trying to convince CCP to make voting an in-client component. Perhaps at login, an account is immediately presented with a modal window that describes the CSM and the voting process, and presents three buttons: "I wish to vote now", "I wish to abstain", "I will vote later." Until the account has voted or abstained, they are presented with this window every time they login to the client. If they wish to vote, they are presented with a list of the candidates, each with a short candidate-written summary of their platform."
    6. Advertising in splash banners should start ASAP telling people what the CSM is and what it does.
    7. Update the "What is the CSM" page.
    8. In the case of disqualification, those people who voted for the candidate are subject to there votes disappearing down a black hole.
    9. Dev blogs like the winter expansion should have by lines acknowledging the work of the CSM indicating any input given by any specific member.
    10. The CSM should continue it's wonderful transparency and communication with the playerbase.


    1. Already like that
    2 & 3. Things to think about
    4. I've had the standard of 'if you don't have an EVE criminal record you can run' - excluding someone because he cannot gather 2 bills is, in my mind, a weaker condition rather than having to gather support from, say, 300 people.
    5. Annoying people on the login screen might not be the best way to go. People should (I know this might sound naive) vote because they have an opinion, not because I tell them to.
    6. Me and the CSM are working on this.
    7. Now where is that email for that CSM Secretary?
    8. It is currently like that.
    9. This is a bit difficult because the CSM is just ONE of the channels they go to for feedback. However, when the CSM has had an impact they are more often than not mentioned in blogs or where ever talks about these matters happen (conferences, media interviews, etc.)
    10. If they don't, they have to answer to me Twisted

    1. And it's fine that way. But there's still other aspects to talk about.

    2/3. Definitely something worth considering, however I think the "candidate disqualified" instance should also apply. In fact, since our system has no room for special elections,i think it's more important that votes for a winning candidate who for whatever reason cannot take office still go somewhere than it is for votes for candidates who do not get enough support to win. When you elect an American President, you get a Vice President that the President has picked Just In Case (resigned, killed, etc).

    4. The CSM is a really thankless job, somewhere between CEO and POS fueler. Not much of a "privilege" worth paying for. Smaller amounts (ie one plex) which get refunded if you win, maybe. However moving away from forum likes is a definite must; they're just too easy to get with each account packing up to 3 likes.

    5. Banners/splash adds/news stories fine. A "you may not log in before you do this" interface is too much. Educating players on what the CSM is, getting them understand it's important, and making it easy to get involved/vote is the better approach.

    6. Whee

    7. Yeah Two Step ;p

    8. It's currently like that but i don't think it should be. All this does is punish voters who now aren't represented and punishes the CSM because we're short handed right out of the gate.

    9. Since all too often people just choose not to believe us or turn around and call it grandstanding when the CSM talks about what we've done/are doing, more acknowledgement from CCP would help. But that should be if and only if it's actually warranted and convinient. CCP should be focused on providing us the best possible EVE experience, a goal which the CSM is there to help them do by providing a player voice in the process. CCP shouldn't ALSO have to think about making the CSM look good all the time.

    10. I'm posting! I'm posting! No, no, Petur wait, stop! NOT THE BEES!

    Alek the Kidnapper, Hero of the CSM

    The Mockers AO
    #57 - 2012-09-11 16:17:25 UTC
    On the pre-election mechanics...

    Based on my ideas above naturally...

    Each topic should end up with a few people representing various "sides" of the issue.

    The pre-election mechanics should narrow down how many are representing each side of a topic so that you can see what voters actually want voted in, again focus less on candidates, focus more on topics that players are interested in.

    So, on the topic of High Sec you might end up with the following ::

    Candidate 1-4: I want a safer High Sec
    Candidate 5-6: I want a more dangerous High Sec
    Candidate 7-8: I want a less rewarding High Sec that moves people into Null Sec

    And how do you bring that down to a 1-2 representatives for each topic? Any topic position that has more than 2 people should get a run off perhaps.

    There are multiple solutions to this, it depends on how far CCP is willing to go to implement this. However, this should be the focus of any trimming of candidates.

    Where I am.

    C C P Alliance
    #58 - 2012-09-11 16:17:40 UTC
    Xolve wrote:
    I still maintain that the problem isn't with the voting system, but with the visibility that the CSM has among the player base. Increase player awareness and even give out little gimmicky not game breaking rewards for pushing a button.

    The idea for pay for splash ads is pretty neat, and should more than likely be a thing- this game already has one of the most creative groups of players in any MMO, why not tap into it- toss up that 'any submitted artwork is property of CCP' clause and get free advertising material.

    Absolutely - despite the dramas and the things EVE players create you guys are amazing (no homo).

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    C C P Alliance
    #59 - 2012-09-11 16:18:46 UTC
    Blawrf McTaggart wrote:
    How will you choose from the proffered voting methods, Xhagen & CSM? Will you vote?

    If so, what voting method will you use to choose from the voting methods in this thread? And how will you decide that method?

    There will be no voting on how my democracy is run. I alone will decide. Twisted

    CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

    Goonswarm Federation
    #60 - 2012-09-11 16:20:41 UTC
    CCP Xhagen wrote:
    Xolve wrote:
    I still maintain that the problem isn't with the voting system, but with the visibility that the CSM has among the player base. Increase player awareness and even give out little gimmicky not game breaking rewards for pushing a button.

    The idea for pay for splash ads is pretty neat, and should more than likely be a thing- this game already has one of the most creative groups of players in any MMO, why not tap into it- toss up that 'any submitted artwork is property of CCP' clause and get free advertising material.

    Absolutely - despite the dramas and the things EVE players create you guys are amazing (no homo).

    if you do this please please please please please allow attack ads
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