Greetings scallywags. While mulling over this year’s CSM race, I was reminded of a thread last year asking for a list of C&P approved candidates. While I won’t presume to speak for a subforum, I will share here my considerations on how one should vote, from the perspective of a high-sec antagonist, so the dozen or two of you that are left might gain something, or maybe at least spark a discussion.
So first things first: your voting position absolutely matters. People might tell you voting your whole ticket is important or the STV voting system is somehow fairer for minorities like highsec content creators, but it really isn’t: larger voting blocs have as much of an advantage under the STV as the previous system. Given the way rounds are run and candidates eliminated, it is imperative that the candidate you really want to win have as many votes as possible early on. Given this, always put your favourite candidates first. It seems obvious, but don’t try to play strategic voting games here - just put them first.
Secondly, in all but the rarest of edge cases, votes at the end of your ballot don’t matter. Statistically, your ballot will be spent after just the first few positions, and even if you somehow manage to have all your higher-ranked positions eliminated later on in the vote counting, a lack of support early in the elimination rounds means those candidates at the end of your ballot might not still be around to receive them. I say this just to prevent you from agonizing over filling out the full 10 positions on your ticketing or choosing order at the bottom of the ballot: it probably doesn’t matter. If you have 10 great, but if you have only 5 or 6, that’s likely all that will count. If you are voting for expected winners, then probably just 2 or 3 are enough.
Ok! On to the part you actually might be interested in - vetting the candidates. Before we get to the names though, some more preamble.
First, there are two general classes of candidates you might want to vote for, and two that you do not. Let’s start with the ones you do not want to vote for: nullsec bloc candidates and multiple term candidates. Regardless of their politics, they do not need your votes. So don’t vote for them. Many are pro-content and good CSM members, but they have their blocs and your vote is better used where it might make a difference. I’ve bent this rule several times in the past, but unless you have a very good reason to, just let their line members get them in.
As for multi-year members, that is more a personal choice. Personally, I think two or three terms is a reasonable limit for a CSM and returning the same people over and over again has diminishing returns. Steve Ronuken and The Judge have been a good CSMs and I won’t blame you for voting for them, but I will not this year even if I have in the past.
Now on to those candidates you do want to vote for: the pro-content candidates and the communicators. Let’s start with the pro-content group, the players whose views are in good alignment with highsec content creators. These candidates fundamentally believe Eve is a competitive sandbox game, not some farming simulator or glorified social network. They want to make Eve more interactive and interesting, not safer and more boring so that everyone’s a winner or to help the newbros! We all want to retain players better but that isn’t done by making the game more boring and… ok, I’ll save you the diatribe tonight and stick to the topic at hand - the candidates!
I did my best to vet each candidate from what information was available - interviews, Discord interactions, or these forums. There is no proper C&P candidate again this year, so after you filter out the bloc candidates, you are left primarily with wormhole and lowsec candidates. So, in alphabetical order, here are the pro-content candidates you should consider:
@Crystalline_Entity : Lowsec pirate with a low profile, but what he has said is C&P friendly.
@ExookiZ : High-profile wormhole candidate seeking to make Eve more interactive.
@Fiedan : Wormholer with an interest in highsec content and more conflict drivers in general to get people to compete.
@Insidious_Sainthood: A borderline selection who lacks crime or real war credentials, but a member of RvB nonetheless who is pro-content and pro-explosions.
@Matthew_Dust: Faction Warfare candidate and caretaker of the Save FW Discord who wants to improve content there, and elsewhere. Disliked by Dantelion Shinoni for some reason which may be reason enough alone to throw a vote or two his way.
@Olmeca_Gold : Nullsec hunter with street cred and a world view compatible with C&P. Definitely a champion of content-enabling mechanics a changes, and a strong voice against the excess safety and wealth drowning the game.
@Stitch_Kaneland: Tusker who is a running on a pro-PvP, more content generation platform.
Not a long list, but a few there to take a look at. However, in reality, it has been the other type of candidate that have been most effective in representing the interests of C&P to CCP - the communicators. CSM members like Jin_taan and Brisc_Rubal reached out to many of the more niche communities and adopted them, talking to them and representing their concerns to CCP. Therefore, making sure that there is a CSM member willing to represent highsec content creators is important, maybe even more so than electing like-minded candidates who will focus on their primary constituents.
Therefore, I suggest you vote for one, or both of the two communicators most likely to find their way on to the council:
@Manic_Velocity: Popular Twitch streamer who want to keep Eve a competitive PvP sandbox and wants the addition of more conflict drivers.
@Matterall: A pro-sandbox Eve media personality with a world view of Eve that includes criminals and mercenaries.
As alternates or additions, you could also go with Jurius Doctor or Mike Azariah. Both have a bit of a carebear streak and I question whether they would choose content over more player isolation when presented with a “think of the children” or “I want to play Eve my way” situation, but I believe both would fill the role of handling communication with the broader playerbase well.
And lastly, there are a couple candidates no self-respecting C&P denizen would ever vote for. They include:
Dunk Dinkle: Aside from his nullsec bloc affiliation, a cursory glance at his posting and discord history paints him an anti-war, anti-ganking, and anti-content carebear. Vote elsewhere if you are looking for a more interesting highsec.
Xenuria: A past CSM member loudly touting his role in “reforming” the CSM down from 14 seats to 10 seat as a good thing. Regardless of his real role in this, this was the single biggest change that cemented the stranglehold of the largest nullsec groups on the council, eliminating almost all the diversity that previously existed from more niche communities. He had his chance on the CSM, and if this is the biggest accomplishment he can point to, I’d say better to give a fresh face a spot. Pass.
Perhaps this list can save you time, or even better, this post will generate some discussion. I wish all the candidates the best and look forward to seeing how the next council shakes out.
Addendum: The original version of this post had all the player names properly mentioned in the interest of fairness, but due to a forum limit of just 10 user mentions per post, I was forced to remove all but those of my approved candidates.