Voter Apathy - Bitter Pills


(Xenuria) #1

Hi, I am Xenuria. I am going to talk about voter Apathy, Turnout and the CSM as an institution.

CSM 13
47 Candidates ran for election
29 Candidates made an official forum thread
20 Gave at least 1 interview
5 Gave more than 1 interview
3 Had an official campaign Video

Out of the 10 seats on the council no less than 5 of them are now occupied by members of The Imperium.
Source: CSM Wire CCP

CSM 13 Voting was open for 1 week and CCP did a decent job at reminding people of this fact. In-game notifications and launcher adds told players that voting was open. I am going to say something controversial so here is your trigger warning.

Low Voter Turnout is not the fault of CCP.
Even when CCP spams the player-base with notifications in-game, in-launcher, on-site and even through email or the rare station advertisement; it’s still not effective. This lack of effect is not the fault of CCP games or even the CSM as an institution. The blame for low turn out falls squarely on the shoulders of the apathetic voter.

For the sake of precision let me define what I consider to be an apathetic voter and how that is different from other groups. An “apathetic voter” meets the following criteria.

  1. They know at least on a very basic level that the CSM exist and is something they can influence through their action or inaction.
  2. They have the ability to cast a vote or have a 30 day old alpha account with enough isk that they could plex it and be eligible to vote.
  3. They have strong views about the CSM, CCP and EvE Online.
  4. Instead of Voting or being involved in the process they complain about those bee guys always getting elected.

This demographic is distinct from the players who can vote but don’t know about CSM or can vote but choose not too because they simply don’t care. Number 4 in this criteria is best observed through the optics of /r/eve. At any given time there is somebody making a topic or a post about how bad everything is. They juxtapose a shallow mythos with self defeatism and pathetic woe is me sentiment. I cannot possibly cover all the conspiracy theories or rationalizations for why they stew in sour discord only to sit on their hands when voting opens.

Debunked & Dunkt
There are some common complaints used as a soap box for pubbies to justify their apathy, the very same “complaints” are used as a cudgel by Null blocs to keep pubbies from voting. I will list a few of them below.

  • Voting takes too long
  • I use 2FA and can’t be asked to log in on all my accounts
  • None of these people represent me
  • The CSM dosn’t actually do anything
  • My votes don’t count

These excuses are obviously all hokum. These cop outs have been debunked and refuted ad nauseam.

Bitter Pill
Here is the part that is hard to swallow.
Voter turnout keeps getting lower and The Imperium keeps getting more and more of their people elected. This is democracy in action. The single largest coalition in the game is getting a representation on the CSM proportional to their population and investment in the political process. This is working as intended. The Imperium are the largest coalition in The Game but they are comically outnumbered by the people in high-sec who are not alts or otherwise affiliated with null blocs. You change the behavior by changing the culture, it’s the responsibility of the informed voter NOT CCP to openly rebuke voter apathy. It is the cause of a disenfranchised majority to empower and organize their own bloc when the election term rolls back around next year.

(Dyver Phycad) #2

More important than voting for the CSM is to check the forums (and sadly twitter and reddit because CCP posts more things there than on their forums) when CCP announces something and to dismantle what they announced. The feedback there has (or should have) way more impact on the development process than an inconsequential vote for a representative body dominated by one group.

People play in high sec because they do not want to be part of “the culture”. They do not want to be part of this massive meat grind that is CFC or Horde because you are nothing but a worthless number for their leadership to generate tax income. Yet, when it comes to high sec stuff, CCP listens to the opinions of null sec people, which results in useless new PVE content like FOBs or miners in order to drive more people into null sec who do not want to be there, which has not only not provided any fun entertainment, it actively makes the gameplay experience worse.

The apathetic voter is not just high sec. The apathetic voter is every where because more and more people realize that the CSM is not useful any longer, if it ever was. Why vote for something that is not useful?

(Lawrence Lawton) #3

There’s no excuse to still be living in the rookie area of EVE by the time one becomes eligible to vote. Unless one is an elite PvP’er or a mercenary farming the carebears.

(Lord Hikan) #4

And that my friend is the problem you have.

It wouldn’t be an Inconsequential vote for a body dominated by one group, If people stopped being so apathetic towards the CSM, If HS managed to rally behind a singular candidate or 2, then they could actually get them on, But it requires you guys to actually organise to do that, not just be your 5 man groups and what-not. (Hell, Keep being the 5 man groups, But just communicate and rally together !)

Same goes for other area’s of space

(Xenuria) #5

Based on the numbers I would say HS could actually put 4 people on and bump off a goon if they actually organized.

(Lord Hikan) #6

Fair, I wasn’t going to push my luck on it, But 1-2 is certainly in the realms of possible.

Kinda makes me want to do an experiment this year to see If I can organise a bunch of Hisec groups together to get enough votes from them.

(Xenuria) #7

When the votes for this year are on github you can play around and see. Assume that high sec has at least 4 times the votes that Goons have if they actually showed up. Then try to split ballots until you get 2 or more people on.

(Lawrence Lawton) #8

lol you’d think so but after 5 years of organizing the “anti-gankers” can’t even stop a gank!
Highsec dwellers who are capable of organization soon move out of Highsec.

(Brisc Rubal) #9

I don’t understand why this view is so common, given that CCP has repeatedly refuted it.

(Steve Ronuken) #10

An important point to note:

If you have candidates who aren’t totally averse to each other, they can ‘share’ their voter pool. If they can persuade people to vote for a specific list of candidates. The order isn’t actually too important. So someone can always put themselves at the head of their own list, with their fallback candidates in the lower positions.

If you could get, say, 3000 people to vote like that, then you’d have a candidate elected. Even if they voted in 5 distinct blocks. (one block with A first, another with B, and so on). Because as each candidate is eliminated, the votes shift to the stronger candidates. Rather than being dropped.

Organization is highly over rated with this voting system. You just need to make sure that people who vote for you aren’t voting just for you. So a ‘highsec’ slate of people could get some people elected.

(Lawrence Lawton) #11

You hear this a lot but when was the last time an NPC corp did a purge of inactives?

(Kachiko Sama) #12

Because it allows people who hold it to defend their apathy and inactivity as somehow principled.

(Brisc Rubal) #13


This is literally how I got elected.

(Dark Engraver) #14

I have no problem with current csm ■■■■ highsec

(Arthur Aihaken) #15

■■■■ low-sec, ■■■■ wormholes…

(Xenuria) #16

Correct, it’s a hand-wave. Woosh.
See that?
I just waved my hand and now this fact causing me cognitive dissonance no longer exists.

(MinerArt) #17

■■■■ everywhere.

The problem of voter apathy is as ancient as the first vote options.

It’s not really voter apathy. That’s easily dismissed.

There is no “none of the above” option. Thus if I have zero wishes to vote for any of the existing persons my ability to declare this is zero. This results in my lack of support for anything to be uncounted.

(Xenuria) #18

That is why I am pushing for an abstain option so that those people have a voice and can be counted differently from the pubbies who don’t vote at all.

(Yiole Gionglao) #19

No. Whatever the CSM does for CCP, it is CCP’s responsability to ensure that the CSM serves that purpose. It’s their company, their game and their money what goes behind the charade of the CSM.

CCP started the CSM as a PR stunt and it has long outlived its purpose. Now the CSM exists because it existed in the past and whatever is supposed to do for CCP, similar functions are undertaken by other companies without anything like the CSM.

(MinerArt) #20

Interesting… but also a very boldface lie. Source: Yourself, this thread, first post.

You equate dissatisfaction with CSM as equal to an “apathetic voter” which the act of withholding your vote is.

When in doubt tell the truth. - Mark Twain