I know, it’s a game, but I’d like to share with you some scientific knowledge related to mathematics in general and Set theory in particular. Their principles are widely used in statistics and to measure different real social processes, including elections.
We know about CSM’s positive and negative qualities as an ingame institute and about nasty scandals around its members recently. There are more and more players in EVE community over years, which would like to cancel the CSM ingame institute at all. Despite this, CCP is interested to keep the CSM running and more different and good neutral players (non linked to big Null-sec Alliances) decided to participate into CSM14 campaign this year. This means a higher quota level, higher competition, and more distributed votes between candidates.
The CSM election uses the Single Transferrable voting system (PR-STV). This system allows you to order candidates by preference and have your vote move between them as they are either elected, or eliminated, to ensure that your vote still retains impact.
As CCP stated in their voting guide: “VOTE ORDER IS IMPORTANT!”, it’s very true and very important. I’d like to add also that: “THE CANDIDATE GROUPS ARE ALSO IMPORTANT!”, considering that some big Blocs have two or more candidates to represent them. Based on these two principles, vote for your favorite candidate in the first place and share your preferences with addition few candidates representing a group of your part of the game (H-, L- or J-space) ONLY. It will allow you to focus your vote power for a candidate representing your game space and will not distribute your vote, based on how the PR-STV system works, to a candidate which represent an opposite ingame group.
The PR-STV voting system allows to vote for multiple candidates through ranked voting in multi-seat organizations. There are other modern voting systems like STV, BC-STV, SGT. They all are models of democratic voting system and have the Condorcet paradox of voting.
The Condorcet paradox (also known as voting paradox or the paradox of voting) in social choice theory is a situation noted by the Marquis de Condorcet in the late 18th century, in which collective preferences can be cyclic, even if the preferences of individual voters are not cyclic. This is paradoxical, because it means that majority wishes can be in conflict with each other: Majorities prefer, for example, candidate A over B, B over C, and yet C over A. When this occurs, it is because the conflicting majorities are each made up of different groups of individuals.
For example, lets implement social preferences as A > B > C, which means that voters prefer candidate A to B and candidate B to C. Lets 15 voters in total voted next way for their candidates
- 6 voters for A > C > B;
- 5 voters for B > C > A;
- 3 voters for C > B > A;
- 1 voters for C > A > B.
Therefore, 6 + 1 = 7 voters prefer A > B and 5 + 3 = 8 voters prefer B > A by comparing A and B. 6 voters prefer A > C and 5 + 3 + 1 = 9 voters prefer C > A by comparing A and C. Based on Condorcet paradox, the society’s preferences show that B is better than A and C is better than A no matter that A got most votes, which can be expressed in the form of three judgments: C > B; B > A; C > A, which can be combined into one judgment C > B > A. If there is only one seat then C will be chosen.
The old Condorcet paradox was reviewed and mathematically demonstrated for modern social groups by economist and Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow in 1951.
In social choice theory, Arrow’s paradox is an impossibility theorem stating that when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), no ranked voting electoral system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide (complete and transitive) ranking while also meeting a specified set of criteria: unrestricted domain, non-dictatorship, Pareto efficiency, and independence of irrelevant alternatives.
Both the Condorcet and Arrow’s paradox defines the chaotic nature of the voting system. New voting system models like PR-STV have addition concept ideas implemented into elections, like quota and distributed votes, to minimize its chaotic nature. The PR-STV model underlies the concept of controlled chaos. The majority can have a win condition defined by Quota, while the minority or individual candidates are elected by chaotic serialization.
THE INGAME QUOTA
Therefore, the quota is a core parameter for win condition in PR-STV voting system. In an STV election the quota is the minimum number of votes a candidate must receive in order to be elected. Any votes a candidate receives above the quota are transferred to another prefered candidate. Sources differ as to the exact formula for the Droop quota, but there is a generic formula to calculate it:
Q = (Total valid poll / (Seats + 1)) + 1,
Q result should be rounded to lowest integer number.
To get some very rough values of ingame Q value based on active online players, we have to calculate it when the amount of online players is maximal - 35k. By taking into consideration that maybe 35% of those accounts are Alpha (0.65*35000 = 22750 potential Omega accounts), we can calculate a normalized amount of votes to win the elections.
Q = (22750/11) + 1 = 2069
It’s still possible that some Alpha accounts will sign a one month subscription to vote. The Council of Stellar Management 14th consists of 10 members as was announced previously. Due to the number of candidates, CCP can increase the number of seats to 12, maybe 13. All these unknown for players parameters in the formula like: the amount of active Omega accounts, the amount of players with Omega accounts interested to vote, the amount of “shadow” Omega ALT accounts which will be signed to add consolidated votes, the number of seats, makes difficult to calculate the Q more accurate, but it will be in range between 1300 and 2100. The win condition, in the worst scenario, is to have like (35000/11) + 1 = 3182 or above votes!
THE INGAME VOTE MANGEMENT SYSTEM
For example, in an election for 3 seats, 2 parties (A as Goons and C as NC) present two candidates and a third party B as Manic, Steve or Olmeca presents a single candidate. All party A voters prefer party B to party C (of course, none Goon voter will vote for an NC member). All party C voters prefer party B to party A (almost nobody from NC will vote for a Goon candidate). All party B voters prefer party C to party A. The following 1000 votes are cast:
220: A1 > A2 > B;
200: A2 > A1 > B;
190: B > C1 > C2;
250: C1 > C2 > B;
140: C2 > C1 > B.
The quota is 250. C2 is eliminated first and candidates A1, B and C1 are elected.
Things are way more complex and broken in EVE Online than in RL, as explained above, because big Bloc groups will use the “command dictature” to vote with their main and ALT accounts.
Let’s suppose, based on previous example, group A will give 220 + 200 = 420 votes to candidate A1 and the same amount of 420 votes to candidate A2 by using their Omega ALT accounts. Group C will give 250 + 140 = 390 votes to both C1 and C2 candidates in the same way. Candidate B will get 190 + n (n << 190) like 220 votes. The Quota = ((2x420 + 2x390 + 220)/4) = 460 will be higher than maximal amount of votes that any candidate has. B is eliminated first and his 120 votes will be distributed between C1 and C2 like 390 + 60 = 460. Depending by STV algorithm, votes from A2 will be distributed to A1 or vice versa. Candidates C1, C2 and A1 or A2 are elected.
The candidates which represent the FW-, J-space, piracy gameplay have not only the quantity disadvantage, but the political disadvantage also. Based on the explained scenario above, nobody from group A and many from group C will not give their 3rd ranked vote for a FW candidate just because they don’t care and for a J-Space or Whaler candidate just because they don’t want extra troubles to be promoted or implemented into game by them. H-Sec players have the same attitude. Therefore, these candidates can win a seat by quota and have very low chance to win by vote distribution. All pirate and PVP players not affiliated to N-Sec Blocs, corporations, alliances should work on a coalition level during these elections, to set a determined voting order for their 2 or 3 candidates only to get a chance to win at least one spot, if CCP will not increase the number of seats somehow.
PS. Data provided by Forex Corp - New Eden research operations.