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The voting reform discussion

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Author
CCP Xhagen
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1 - 2012-09-11 10:57:13 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Dolan
Ahoy.

The topic of the election system used to choose the CSM has been with it from the beginning. Just to make it clear, the recent discussion was done with my knowledge and approval – for the purpose of discussion. I admit that having the CSM posting the idea was not the best move on my behalf, as it sends the wrong signal about the whole process. I will be the person determining whether a change will go through regarding the CSM or not.

I’ve always been the speaker for talks and discussion that is then followed by a decision. I’ve done my very best to run the CSM with that in mind, you could easily dig up many things from the time when the concept of the CSM was being brought back into use in 2007 and surrounding most of the changes after the first election in 2008.

This is no different. During CSM6 and CSM7 I’ve brought up the topic of the election system with the CSM and now they felt comfortable enough to take it on and discuss possible changes to it. What I do not want is to change the election system just to change it – I want to achieve a fairer representation on the CSM and the STV has often come up as a possible way. However, the answer has usually been ‘large voting blocks can easily game any advanced voting systems’, thus the idea of moving the votes from those who do not get enough, instead of moving the votes that exceed the necessary number to get on. The discussion on the election reform thread clearly paints that as unfair and I fully understand that criticism. Either you move all votes or none is the mandate (if I’m reading the thread correctly) – when put like that is seems obvious…

So, putting Trebors idea aside for the moment, what election system would suit the CSM? A system that does not scare people away because of its complexity or added work for the voter (as voter apathy is a problem), but is still fair and good? Is the current system sufficient? Or should we focus more on matters to reduce the number of candidates on the ballot and not change the election system itself?

I would appreciate your input on this matter.

CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

Katarina Reid
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#2 - 2012-09-11 11:11:53 UTC
Just focus on getting more people to vote. A pop up on login you have choose to vote or not before you get in the game.
Lunaleil Fournier
Black Serpent Technologies
The-Culture
#3 - 2012-09-11 11:25:27 UTC  |  Edited by: Lunaleil Fournier
Keep the current system. The only reason to change the system would be if the CSM in CCP's view is not representing the whole of Eve properly with integrity.

No system is perfect, but one simple election with one vote per player is perfectly fair and the absolute best way to determine the CSM. Having more people voting in an open and equal election is always preferable to the alternative of a tightly controlled, multiple step election where people lose interest or get disenfranchised, and is in no way a slam dunk to provide a more diverse panel.
Benny Ohu
Chaotic Tranquility
Snuffed Out
#4 - 2012-09-11 11:33:37 UTC
I'm not exactly an expert here. Increasing the visibility of the CSM's work, individual CSM members' contributions and what the CSM is doing would help interest in voting, I think.
Increased turnout of independant voters might naturally weaken powerbloc influence in the voting without being unfair to individual bloc voters?

Can you make the CSM somehow visible in the game? A kind of CSM miniblog? More CSM stuff in the news panel? A Neocon button? Everyone loves buttons.
Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2012-09-11 11:33:58 UTC
I believe the voting system itself needs little in the way of major changes, but the election process needs to apply a more rigourous minumum threshold for candidates to weed out the no-hopers and stop the disorganised votes being spread too thinly (ie, not last year's hilariously low '100 likes' system) combined with publicity around election time so nobody has the excuse of not knowing it was election season. The CSM should be focused on demonstrating why they matter to the general populace who want Eve to be the best game it can be, not engaging in irrelevant navel-gazing on their own voting mechanisms, especially when that exercise appears to be ham-fistedly naked politicking of the sort that turns off voters even in real-world democratic processes.

The point has often been made that the CSM is not an Amateur Games Designer body, but by the same token, neither are they an Amateur Political Scientist body. Trebor has demonstrated that all too well. If you want a robust and representative system designed, maybe you should be looking for guidance from people with an actual academic background in political science? Hit one of the universities in Iceland up, I'm sure they'd have plenty to say.

Every time you post a WiS thread, Hilmar strangles a kitten.

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#6 - 2012-09-11 11:35:49 UTC
You get 2 million SP for voting.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Two step
Aperture Harmonics
#7 - 2012-09-11 11:43:29 UTC
My vote (har har) is to move to a system where each candidate has a preference list, and when people vote for that candidate, they inherit that list. You then run a regular STV election with that. In the future, this could be extended to allow voters to choose their own STV list instead of inheriting it from the candidate they choose.

CSM 7 Secretary CSM 6 Alternate Delegate @two_step_eve on Twitter My Blog

CCP Xhagen
C C P
C C P Alliance
#8 - 2012-09-11 11:45:01 UTC
Benny Ohu wrote:
I'm not exactly an expert here. Increasing the visibility of the CSM's work, individual CSM members' contributions and what the CSM is doing would help interest in voting, I think.
Increased turnout of independant voters might naturally weaken powerbloc influence in the voting without being unfair to individual bloc voters?

Can you make the CSM somehow visible in the game? A kind of CSM miniblog? More CSM stuff in the news panel? A Neocon button? Everyone loves buttons.

Part of the individual contribution was addressed with more detailed Iceland-summit meeting minutes. Some of the fame must however be generated by the members themselves without CCP's help.

Making the CSM more visible in the game has been discussed before - the ingame browser was an acceptable compromise at the time, and I still think it is. Being able to direct people from ingame to the voting page and to the candidate's platform is powerful. Furthermore we have to think about whether the CSM belongs in the client or not... as they aren't your average ingame thing.

CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

Cede Forster
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#9 - 2012-09-11 11:45:44 UTC  |  Edited by: Cede Forster
I'd like to put a quite controversial point up here to start with:

The current system should be replaced because it does not really representing the voters.

(For all further points here, i will ignore that somebody got booted from the council)

44296 of 58445 were cast for somebody who got elected (75%)

14149 votes or 25% were discarded because the candidate did not collect enough votes to make it.

To get elected 1154 votes were required per candidate (more then place 16).

A total of 17310 votes were required for all candidates on the council.

However 44296 votes were cast for the council members, meaning that 26986 votes got ignored as well.


Meaning: 46% of the votes that went for council members were not of consequence



the votes that have interest that are represented by a popular representative achieve one seat for him
the voters that have multiple less popular representatives achieve multiple seats



i know there are no votes attached to the seats, but this means the players who vote are not represented properly by the CSM seats that are assigned

/math might be off, i was trying to grill some fish at the same time



all in all it means we loose 25% of votes for people who do not make it and on the other side 46% of the votes of the winners have no effect what so ever - representation should strive for a higher value i think

/fish is done

all in all i think the approach needs to go more into the direction of encouraging to form voting groups that can support the CSM even after the election with the workload, a problem that seems to be persisted showing up in the minutes
Benny Ohu
Chaotic Tranquility
Snuffed Out
#10 - 2012-09-11 11:46:55 UTC
:( I don't think people who weren't already interested in the CSM looked at the meeting minutes.
Cede Forster
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#11 - 2012-09-11 11:48:51 UTC
CCP Xhagen wrote:
Benny Ohu wrote:
I'm not exactly an expert here. Increasing the visibility of the CSM's work, individual CSM members' contributions and what the CSM is doing would help interest in voting, I think.
Increased turnout of independant voters might naturally weaken powerbloc influence in the voting without being unfair to individual bloc voters?

Can you make the CSM somehow visible in the game? A kind of CSM miniblog? More CSM stuff in the news panel? A Neocon button? Everyone loves buttons.

Part of the individual contribution was addressed with more detailed Iceland-summit meeting minutes. Some of the fame must however be generated by the members themselves without CCP's help.

Making the CSM more visible in the game has been discussed before - the ingame browser was an acceptable compromise at the time, and I still think it is. Being able to direct people from ingame to the voting page and to the candidate's platform is powerful. Furthermore we have to think about whether the CSM belongs in the client or not... as they aren't your average ingame thing.


Move the CSM related forums on the top of the forum overview. Wont hurt not to have to scroll a mile to see it.
CCP Xhagen
C C P
C C P Alliance
#12 - 2012-09-11 11:54:59 UTC
Scatim Helicon wrote:
I believe the voting system itself needs little in the way of major changes, but the election process needs to apply a more rigourous minumum threshold for candidates to weed out the no-hopers and stop the disorganised votes being spread too thinly (ie, not last year's hilariously low '100 likes' system) combined with publicity around election time so nobody has the excuse of not knowing it was election season. The CSM should be focused on demonstrating why they matter to the general populace who want Eve to be the best game it can be, not engaging in irrelevant navel-gazing on their own voting mechanisms, especially when that exercise appears to be ham-fistedly naked politicking of the sort that turns off voters even in real-world democratic processes.

Yes, we have to come up with a more powerful 'pre-election' mechanic. Me being a reformist rather than a revolutionist I wanted to take the small step first and evaluate the outcome. I believe the outcome was positive and thus we have to take the next step.
Regarding the navel-gazing; sometimes it is necessary to take a look at the foundation that is being worked from in order to move on. I think that making sure the CSM-system itself is working in a satisfactory manner is healthy for its long term effectiveness.

CCP Xhagen | Associate Producer | @strangelocation

Yeep
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2012-09-11 12:00:59 UTC
CCP Xhagen wrote:

Regarding the navel-gazing; sometimes it is necessary to take a look at the foundation that is being worked from in order to move on. I think that making sure the CSM-system itself is working in a satisfactory manner is healthy for its long term effectiveness.


I think the main point is instead of discouraging the candidates who are currently organised you should be encouraging all the candidates to exhibit a similar level of organisation.
Lord Zim
Gallente Federation
#14 - 2012-09-11 12:02:29 UTC  |  Edited by: Lord Zim
CCP Xhagen wrote:
Making the CSM more visible in the game has been discussed before - the ingame browser was an acceptable compromise at the time, and I still think it is. Being able to direct people from ingame to the voting page and to the candidate's platform is powerful. Furthermore we have to think about whether the CSM belongs in the client or not... as they aren't your average ingame thing.

Since it has (and will come up), putting it in the client has to be taken with care. Tempting as it might be, putting it as something which the user has to do before he can get to the game (which is why he started the client in the first place) can very well backfire by having people press abstain just to bypass the hindrance. You'll want to make it accessible, without forcing it on people, and I think something which is accessible via the ingame browser and OOG browser at the same time would be a nice compromise.

Also as Scatim says, think of some way of getting rid of the majority of the ****** gimmick candidates whose only contribution go the election will be noise and as vote sinks. You could for example limit the number of candidates from the first round to 20-25 candidates which is picked out in some way (somehow weed out the complete wackjobs or obvious gimmick candidates). Fewer and higher quality candidates will probably do a ton to make it easier for those who do vote to actually choose someone who'll be beneficial to the entire process.

Edit: Also, forcing people to do something is vastly less productive than convincing people that they should do something, as people who are forced tend to react out of spite, whereas people who are convinced and enthused will do something willingly.

Cyno's lit, bridge is up, but one pilot won't be jumping home.

RIP Vile Rat

Haquer
Vorkuta Inc
#15 - 2012-09-11 12:12:52 UTC  |  Edited by: Haquer
CCP Xhagen wrote:
Ahoy.

The topic of the election system used to choose the CSM has been with it from the beginning. Just to make it clear, the recent discussion was done with my knowledge and approval – for the purpose of discussion. I admit that having the CSM posting the idea was not the best move on my behalf, as it sends the wrong signal about the whole process. I will be the person determining whether a change will go through regarding the CSM or not.

I’ve always been the speaker for talks and discussion that is then followed by a decision. I’ve done my very best to run the CSM with that in mind, you could easily dig up many things from the time when the concept of the CSM was being brought back into use in 2007 and surrounding most of the changes after the first election in 2008.

This is no different. During CSM6 and CSM7 I’ve brought up the topic of the election system with the CSM and now they felt comfortable enough to take it on and discuss possible changes to it. What I do not want is to change the election system just to change it – I want to achieve a fairer representation on the CSM and the STV has often come up as a possible way. However, the answer has usually been ‘large voting blocks can easily game any advanced voting systems’, thus the idea of moving the votes from those who do not get enough, instead of moving the votes that exceed the necessary number to get on. The discussion on the election reform thread clearly paints that as unfair and I fully understand that criticism. Either you move all votes or none is the mandate (if I’m reading the thread correctly) – when put like that is seems obvious…

So, putting Trebors idea aside for the moment, what election system would suit the CSM? A system that does not scare people away because of its complexity or added work for the voter (as voter apathy is a problem), but is still fair and good? Is the current system sufficient? Or should we focus more on matters to reduce the number of candidates on the ballot and not change the election system itself?

I would appreciate your input on this matter.


The current election system is fine. Just get more people to vote and it will balance out the "voting blocs" that exist today.

Else, you could change the system completely and then end up completely surprised when it's gamed.


E: Also, don't try to put in a system like Robert Woodhead Backwards tried to put in, in which overvotes for candidates are thrown into the nether because "screw voting blocs" please.
Sal Volatile
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#16 - 2012-09-11 12:26:12 UTC
I have to second the support for better minimum thresholds for candidates. I would argue that many of the "wasted" votes (a term I'm not entirely comfortable with but will use for convenience's sake) were given to candidates that were never really viable. For those who followed the elections, it was fairly easy to get a sense of which candidates were serious and likely to get a decent number of votes. To someone suddenly faced with a ballot and no prior knowledge of the candidates, it may have been hard to determine the viability of any given candidate over another, aside from the most obvious gimmicks.

A larger proportion of low information voters is both a result of and a requirement for increased participation, so the more that can be done to beef up the requirements for ballot access without making them too onerous, the more efficient the voting will be.
Frying Doom
#17 - 2012-09-11 12:33:32 UTC
CCP Xhagen wrote:
Benny Ohu wrote:
I'm not exactly an expert here. Increasing the visibility of the CSM's work, individual CSM members' contributions and what the CSM is doing would help interest in voting, I think.
Increased turnout of independant voters might naturally weaken powerbloc influence in the voting without being unfair to individual bloc voters?

Can you make the CSM somehow visible in the game? A kind of CSM miniblog? More CSM stuff in the news panel? A Neocon button? Everyone loves buttons.

Part of the individual contribution was addressed with more detailed Iceland-summit meeting minutes. Some of the fame must however be generated by the members themselves without CCP's help.

Making the CSM more visible in the game has been discussed before - the ingame browser was an acceptable compromise at the time, and I still think it is. Being able to direct people from ingame to the voting page and to the candidate's platform is powerful. Furthermore we have to think about whether the CSM belongs in the client or not... as they aren't your average ingame thing.

As of who you are and your work on the white paper (Still a lovely document) I will not just spew figures at you.

Now the current voting system even if left as is has flaws but most of these are external to the system its self and most of the problems are player created. Yes I am probably going to tell you things you are aware of sorry.

A lot of potential voters are not voting due to the Null sec dominance or over representation they have gotten in the CSM and to be honest this is the hardest to fix. Mostly this in itself is fixable by more articles to do with the CSM just fluff filling mostly.

The CSM needs to be ingame as that is were all the potential voters are and subsequently need Lore to be there, this would also give the RP crowd a reason for voting. I have read a lot of the stuff the RP guys write and most of it is so deep it gives me a head spin.

If you still feel that the CSM does not belong in game it will hamper things but might I then suggest that an awareness campaign start soon in the login in flash screens. To familiarize people with the CSM long before the election and increase awareness.

As to the fame generated by the CSM members some of that makes it onto the forum but the majority of people on these forums posting already vote and the only way they could make a splash so to say in game is to organise burning Jita or a Mackageddon mostly negative things. These are the things that get special attention and a wider audience. Which is why I said CCP needs to do more them selves or the CSM is doomed to be a minority.

And of course the last part being to actually inbed the voting system links into the login like when we get a free gift so people can abstain or vote for people without leaving the game as well as giving people the ability to vote from within the game like last year with a link so they can vote for a specific candidate without having to log in to the eve secure site. (honestly did not do this bit last year so don't know if you had to log in if you used a link ingame.

So in essence pretty much what I had on the other thread

On to the voting system I would like to see

  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.


Sorry if the post is a little disjointed it has been a long day Smile

And thank you for all the hard work you have put in over the years to the CSM.

Any spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors are because frankly, I don't care!!

Sal Volatile
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#18 - 2012-09-11 12:54:06 UTC
If you look at what drives elections in the real world, it's not really a bunch of people suddenly feeling the need to perform their civic duty. It's hype and drama.

If you look at the external news coverage of Eve, for the most part it's hype and drama. I think a fair number of people get into this game because they hear about all the crazy drama and politics. And, if you look at CSM politics, any time the CSM has been interesting there's been a fair amount of hype and drama.

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!

I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that if you want to get Eve players more interested in the CSM elections, it might be worthwhile to make them more like the rest of Eve. It would also probably make your job a lot more interesting!
EvilweaselFinance
DJ's Retirement Fund
Goonswarm Federation
#19 - 2012-09-11 13:02:45 UTC  |  Edited by: EvilweaselFinance
CCP Xhagen wrote:

Yes, we have to come up with a more powerful 'pre-election' mechanic. Me being a reformist rather than a revolutionist I wanted to take the small step first and evaluate the outcome. I believe the outcome was positive and thus we have to take the next step.
Regarding the navel-gazing; sometimes it is necessary to take a look at the foundation that is being worked from in order to move on. I think that making sure the CSM-system itself is working in a satisfactory manner is healthy for its long term effectiveness.

What constraints are we operating under when it comes to CCP coding? If a primary system/ranked preference vote/etc were proposed could they be implemented?
Cede Forster
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#20 - 2012-09-11 13:09:25 UTC
Sal Volatile wrote:
If you look at what drives elections in the real world, it's not really a bunch of people suddenly feeling the need to perform their civic duty. It's hype and drama.

If you look at the external news coverage of Eve, for the most part it's hype and drama. I think a fair number of people get into this game because they hear about all the crazy drama and politics. And, if you look at CSM politics, any time the CSM has been interesting there's been a fair amount of hype and drama.

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!

I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that if you want to get Eve players more interested in the CSM elections, it might be worthwhile to make them more like the rest of Eve. It would also probably make your job a lot more interesting!


it would add a lot to the game, better then seeing the same thing on the screen every time
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