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CSM December minutes: The CSM

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Author
Night Beagle
Beagle Inc
#121 - 2013-02-14 21:26:56 UTC
It is my opinion that introducing a Schulze voting system is a step to be taken only after increasing voter turnout and interest of the community in CSM type of consultation.
One step towards that might be the compulsory vote for each active account. Technically it is not hard to make a voting screen after login, with the option of postponing the choice for a week, thus ensuring massive turnout.
Compulsory voting is a method used in 23 countries around the world, and has the secondary effect of raising awareness of the player base on the participative options offered by CCP.

The world needs you to stop being boring!

Snow Axe
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#122 - 2013-02-14 21:35:40 UTC  |  Edited by: Snow Axe
Night Beagle wrote:
One step towards that might be the compulsory vote for each active account. Technically it is not hard to make a voting screen after login, with the option of postponing the choice for a week, thus ensuring massive turnout.
Compulsory voting is a method used in 23 countries around the world, and has the secondary effect of raising awareness of the player base on the participative options offered by CCP.


This would lead to one thing: mashing whatever buttons it takes to let my account log in. Votes for the sake of votes aren't a good thing, especially not for something like the CSM where having actual participants is the important part. Someone who hits a vote button once per account once a year and moves on until the same annoyance the next year might as well not be voting at all, for all the good it does anyone.

CCP needs to solidly figure out two things before they can start really fixing this problem:

1. Are voting numbers low because of lack of education or apathy?

2. How do we fix the above? If it's lack of education, how do we more effectively let people know what's up, and if it's apathy, what's causing it and how can it be fixed (if at all)?

Anything that acts as if they know the answer to either of these questions is window-dressing that, at best, will change nothing and at worst will alienate or frustrate new and existing participants

Edited to add:
Trebor's abortion of a proposal (HERE for those new to the discussion who may have missed this when it happened) is a prime example of how badly something can go when you don't properly diagnose a problem before attempting to fix it. He saw the power a voting bloc could potentially yield, and instead of trying to figure out WHY that power existed, he simply decided that was one of the problems and set out to create a system that would "fix" it. The end result was a proposal that, suprise surprise, proposed a literal reduction of value of votes for the top bloc. All of that stemmed from his diagnosing a symptom of a problem as a problem itself and acting accordingly.

"Look any reason why you need to talk like that? I have now reported you. I dont need to listen to your bad tone. If you cant have a grown up conversation then leave the thread["

Poetic Stanziel
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#123 - 2013-02-14 21:47:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Poetic Stanziel
from http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-csm-voting-algorithm.html

Until CSM8, the voting algorithm has always been first-past-the-post. It's not a great system. It's not terrible. But it does ensure that organized groups can easily trounce unorganized groups in getting their candidates through. Which is something CCP and the CSM want to move away from. They want the less organized to have some hope of getting through their candidates. Which is fine. As long as a proper voting system is to be implemented, one that doesn't disenfranchise votes of the organized. (Players organizing should always be encouraged.)

There's been some call for a single transferable vote system. Twice, though, CCP Veritas has mentioned (enthusiastically) the Schulze method (or perhaps the Schulze STV, where multiple winners are determined, as in CSM elections.)

Hans seems suddenly concerned and is asking the community to post in this thread, their thoughts on a new voting system. I'm assuming because CCP is going ahead with voting system reform, without CSM or player input.

I can't say I'm particularly surprised. I would be very surprised if it wasn't the Schulze system being implemented. Veritas seemed super keen on Schulze; it's a non-trivial algorithm, and Veritas is attracted to non-trivial problems.

I don't think we're going to get a lot of say in the matter. As fussed as I probably should be, I'm not feeling all that fussed about the prospect of a new voting system. I just hope that CCP is not going to assume this is their panacea, and that increased voter awareness and education is no longer needed.

What I would like to see, is all the voting results released after the election. It's not a privacy issue, because you release each vote, not who made the vote. It allows independent verification of the results. It ensures the algorithm was coded properly, and that the system is implement properly. Voting systems require oversight. This is certainly no skin off CCP's back and has no privacy concerns. Each vote is anonymous. And releasing the data is not much more than a dump of the voting tables, a few hours work at most to retrieve and release the data. (Hell, you can even get people playing with the results using different voting systems, to see how different systems capture different results.) One more piece of transparency, creates more faith in the playerbase.
Kane Spero
Negative-Feedback.
Negative-Feedback
#124 - 2013-02-14 22:15:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Kane Spero
From going through these minutes the one thing I did take away is that I don't like the idea of "voting people of the island". I think it introduces a very slippery slope and far too much subjective judgement into removing elected officials.

Once people are elected they need to be focused on the job at hand and not constantly planning how they could get rivals removed. Once the CSM is in place it is the councillors' job to figure out how best to work with those that have been elected and removing people shouldn't be used as a way to resolve this.

In regards to the voting system I'm not sure. I briefly reviewed the Schulze method and looked over the Condorcet method of voting I can see where people are coming from in how these methods could help less organized groups achieve representation, but I'm not sure with the voter participation that we currently have if this is really necessary.

It seems that with the low turnout we currently have if a candidate is successful in assembling their base and inspiring enough people to vote who otherwise wouldn't that even candidates that are from outside major power blocs have the chance and opportunity for a seat on the council.

CPM0 and Owner of Spero Escrow Services

Follow @KainSpero for Dust and CPM news

Orisa Medeem
Hedion University
Amarr Empire
#125 - 2013-02-14 23:04:11 UTC
Night Beagle wrote:
It is my opinion that introducing a Schulze voting system is a step to be taken only after increasing voter turnout and interest of the community in CSM type of consultation.
One step towards that might be the compulsory vote for each active account. Technically it is not hard to make a voting screen after login, with the option of postponing the choice for a week, thus ensuring massive turnout.
Compulsory voting is a method used in 23 countries around the world, and has the secondary effect of raising awareness of the player base on the participative options offered by CCP.


I can only agree with the first paragraph.

To put the vote turnout problem in perspective, for every active account that votes there are five others that don't. Maybe the voting system is worth looking at. Maybe it's not. The fact is that the unknown voting universe is so bigger than the known one that we cannot tell if it is a problem indeed, and certainly cannot know what the best solution would be.

Imagine that some changes in the voting system are indeed implemented now, and after a few years we manage to bring the voting turnout to more reasonable levels (33%, or even some 50%), just to discover that the changes introduced worst unforeseen problems (not exactly something unheard of, for us). If anything, the current system has the virtue of being very simple, thus less prone for nasty surprises in its behavior.

Here are my thoughts on what could be done to improve the situation.

:sand:  over  :awesome:

Hans Jagerblitzen
Ice Fire Warriors
#126 - 2013-02-14 23:41:39 UTC
I've shared the following on an internal thread, though there's nothing NDA-breaking so the public should hear my thoughts as well:

Quote:
The lack of transparency here is extremely frustrating. Voting reform is a tiny blip on the public radar, and yet effects just about everyone who plays EVE Online in the end. We've literally gone from a flawed public proposal that was vehemently shot down by players who ALSO insisted that the CSM not be involved in this decision, to a promise that the decision would be made between the players and CCP Xhagen. At the summit, Schulze was proposed but also described as a system that can be manipulated by power blocks through ballot stuffing.

Since the summit, there's been only minor discussion of the issue in the forums, mainly by the usual Jita Park crowd, which is NOT representative of the players at large. The public discussion has involved neither CCP Xhagen, nor CCP Veritas, and I have yet to see any provisions made for the ways that Schulze can be manipulated, nor any extensive conversation about alternatives that may achieve the same goals but without the risks.

Further troubling is that what discussion HAS taken place has been between a few CSM members and CCP, behind closed doors, and that a decision seems imminent regardless. I fail to see how this is fair or how it benefits the players as a whole.

I'm perfectly fine with a PUBLIC discussion regarding voting reform take place, but until these questions and issues have been addressed, I do not think it is appropriate to change the voting mechanics at this time, right before the election, when so few people have spoken up about it. In fact, the lack of public input on voting reform should be a clear indicator that players don't care enough about it to warrant a change.

What players HAVE spoken up about extensively, and almost unanimously, is the need for greater promotion of the election, more visibility, more measures to increase voter turnout. THAT should be the discussion and work that should be happening right now, because such effort has been vetted by the community, unlike any particular electoral mechanism.

The white paper should still be updated to reflect the changes that the CSM has undergone in recent years, it is only the electoral mechanics changes that I do not feel are appropriate at this time and place without a much greater level of public visibility and participation.

CPM0 Chairman / CSM7 Vice Secretary

Ellente Fervens
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#127 - 2013-02-15 00:02:53 UTC
As an Australian, I'd welcome voting reform.
I find any system that does not distribute my preferences to be a bit weird/seriously flawed.
Arguments in favor of group-think (organisation if you'd prefer you beautiful unique little snowflake) v's spoiler effect are interesting.


I see the CSM elections as CCP asking two questions.
1) what areas of the game are important to you?
2) which of these people seeking a position best share your views and concerns regarding those areas?

Assuming that is true then this becomes a discussion about how well a binary choice represents that information.
I vote for mittens.
Or does a graduated vote provide more information?
1 mittens
2 some other fool
3-26 people I don't care about
27 that dangerous fool Trebor/Hans/someone you think is a dangerous fool.

The second provides/captures more information about the views of the electorate.
Mike Azariah
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#128 - 2013-02-15 00:56:34 UTC
We are in a panic before any announcements have even been made . . . .why?

IF there is a voting reform then all parties will strategize and adjust to it, like they always do. Whether it is a single candidate hoping for popular support or candidates representing power blocs with a huge voting axe to swing.

The only worry is if they spring it on us without announcing the change.

As to transparency? A non-starter for an issue. We have in 7 elections trusted CSM to count the little boxes and give us the results. Ever heard of someone demanding a recount or looking for hanging davits? Nope.

I know this is counter to the general tone of Eve-O forums but could we please wait until there is news before we running screaming to fetch the flame-forks and pitch-torches?

m

Mike Azariah  ┬──┬ ¯|(ツ)

Marc Scaurus
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#129 - 2013-02-15 02:39:55 UTC
A reformation of the voting system itself is not, in the grand scheme of things, something that really needs to be addressed. The current voting system is actually the most kind to smaller interests - one can simply look at CSM 7 for evidence of the fact that a wide and varied amount of knowledge can end up on the Council.

As many others have said, the real problem with the current status of things is not necessarily how the votes are counted, or even cast - it's the quantity of the votes. Getting more players involved in the process will result in future Councils that have a higher likelihood of being an accurate representation of the entire player base. On that note, mandatory voting would help this issue - but not nearly as much as we might like, as most people want to just hurry up and start playing when booting up EVE, not sit there and make a democratic choice.

Improving the visibility and accessibility of the CSM and the voting process will surely help, however. In short - let's get more people involved with the process first before tinkering with it to address issues that may not even be issues in the near future.

Of far more importance out of this session at the Summit was the revamp to the White Paper, which needs to happen and needs to happen soon, but something that we have not heard a lick about.

Blogger, JustForCrits.com

Red vs. Blue - Ain't Dead Yet

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#130 - 2013-02-15 05:33:44 UTC  |  Edited by: rodyas
Hans Jagerblitzen wrote:


Since the summit, there's been only minor discussion of the issue in the forums, mainly by the usual Jita Park crowd, which is NOT representative of the players at large.


How is Snow Axe and Frying Doom not the representatives of the players at large?

My suggestion is a Total Death Match with any T3 BC being the weapon of choice for the CSM candidate. Losers gets their character erased forever, and the winners? The winners get to become CSM and earn the free trip to Iceland.

We probably do have to have more players know about the CSM elections before any change can happen, like ya said though. We have to organize the ignorant ones, to defeat the super un-ignorant goons.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Poetic Stanziel
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#131 - 2013-02-15 08:11:52 UTC
rodyas wrote:
Hans Jagerblitzen wrote:
Since the summit, there's been only minor discussion of the issue in the forums, mainly by the usual Jita Park crowd, which is NOT representative of the players at large.


How is Snow Axe and Frying Doom not the representatives of the players at large?
By the same argument that only Trebor's voting system would represent the players at large.
Night Beagle
Beagle Inc
#132 - 2013-02-15 09:22:09 UTC
When referring to the low voter turnout and the causes for that, just look at elections in all countries. The voter turnout is extremely small, only to rise in 2 separate occasions: when the issue is perceived as big or when the vote is compulsory.

In CSM case, there is not enough information readily and easily available for the general public, therefore CSM is less than a blip on scan. And before jumping and telling me that the forums are open, just look at the number of posts and topics to get a vague idea of how many of the player bases really active here.

Also arguing that those interested involve themselves is not correct as all players are interested in changes to the game, and just a little effort from CCP/CSM part would go a long way in bringing the matters to their attention and help create the desired feedback.

I will continue to support the compulsory vote, using popups at login as I consider that given a week and proper linking to the candidates platforms will raise awareness of the issue and help the process itself. I would even agree to put the blank vote option in the poll, and a system of preferential voting.

The world needs you to stop being boring!

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#133 - 2013-02-15 09:53:12 UTC
Poetic Stanziel wrote:
rodyas wrote:
Hans Jagerblitzen wrote:
Since the summit, there's been only minor discussion of the issue in the forums, mainly by the usual Jita Park crowd, which is NOT representative of the players at large.


How is Snow Axe and Frying Doom not the representatives of the players at large?
By the same argument that only Trebor's voting system would represent the players at large.


And if you have problems with that, you should contact Frying Doom or Snow Axe and tell them that.

Well its almost impossible to represent all the players, so just having Frying Doom and Snow Axe is just as good. And if Trebor did win, your right, it would suck, since another viable candidate would only slow down Frying Doom and Snow Axe from delivering the critical feedback Hans needs, to create true voter reform.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Snow Axe
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#134 - 2013-02-15 10:19:00 UTC
Couple of things re: this paragraph (Also I'll reference minutes, the link to them is HERE)

Hans wrote:
Since the summit, there's been only minor discussion of the issue in the forums, mainly by the usual Jita Park crowd, which is NOT representative of the players at large. The public discussion has involved neither CCP Xhagen, nor CCP Veritas, and I have yet to see any provisions made for the ways that Schulze can be manipulated, nor any extensive conversation about alternatives that may achieve the same goals but without the risks.


The first is a nitpick; Xhagen very much WAS involved with the discussion pre-summit. In fact, he kept up with his own thread for a while, though sadly after page 22 he dropped out of it with unanswered questions, essentially leaving it to die (which it did a few pages later, save for the occasional bump).

The second, your specification of "Since the summit". The content of the summit minutes that addressed voting reform (Middle of Page 31 to Page 34) made it very clear that Xhagen was going to implement a voting system change, despite large swaths of his thread being about debating whether or not a change was even necessary or helpful. Hell, when he abandoned ship on the thread there was even someone calling the value of the Schultze method into question, both from a potential results angle and from the "nobody will understand how this works and that's bad" angle.

Keeping in mind that the legitimate concerns from that thread were absent from the Summit discussion, and that not only the decision about having a new system at all being basically made, but the system itself being chosen, what on Earth would there be for us to talk about? What value is there in repeating discussions and concerns we already voiced in September only to be summarily ignored?

"Look any reason why you need to talk like that? I have now reported you. I dont need to listen to your bad tone. If you cant have a grown up conversation then leave the thread["

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#135 - 2013-02-15 10:20:29 UTC
Night Beagle wrote:
When referring to the low voter turnout and the causes for that, just look at elections in all countries. The voter turnout is extremely small, only to rise in 2 separate occasions: when the issue is perceived as big or when the vote is compulsory.

In CSM case, there is not enough information readily and easily available for the general public, therefore CSM is less than a blip on scan. And before jumping and telling me that the forums are open, just look at the number of posts and topics to get a vague idea of how many of the player bases really active here.

Also arguing that those interested involve themselves is not correct as all players are interested in changes to the game, and just a little effort from CCP/CSM part would go a long way in bringing the matters to their attention and help create the desired feedback.

I will continue to support the compulsory vote, using popups at login as I consider that given a week and proper linking to the candidates platforms will raise awareness of the issue and help the process itself. I would even agree to put the blank vote option in the poll, and a system of preferential voting.


This is so true. Its so hard to reach out and touch everyone and let them know about the CSM elections. Luckily the forums is a good place to learn different things. Luckily, I just learned about cache scraping. Hopefully with a cache scrape getting the pilots name in system is obtainable and it would be easy to write a program that dumps their names into a mailing list, with letter body consisting of the areas of play you can partake in, in EVE and which CSM represents those areas.

All you would have to do with my limited knowledge maybe other people can clarify is fly to different systems scrape the cache and spam truth and knowledge to the player base.

Of Course Sreegs has tough words about doing this, but what police man out there, isn't trying to constantly kill our buzz?

Quote:
In my opinion cache scraping is illegal. You won't be banned for it today. I didn't see any questions asked what I saw was insults and accusations. Sorry if you have a different interpretation of polite social discourse.


-CCP Sreegs

Of course this is for a good cause, not to make illegal naughty ISK that only pollutes our game with it fiendish evil. So perhaps Sreegs won't be so angry over it. The best part is, Sreegs is the top of the food chain, so you don't have to keep convincing people its a good idea.

All around this sounds like a good idea, hopefully its doable.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Von Keigai
#136 - 2013-02-15 15:36:45 UTC
I disagree with the idea that low voter turnout is a problem. It is not. Voters are ignorant. Most players do not read blogs, do not read forums, have little sense of the history of EVE and no understanding of game design. I will grant that we cannot know who knows what; and that therefore everyone should potentially be allowed to vote. But neither should we encourage people with little to no information about the CSM race to vote. Mandatory voting is a terrible idea, even worse in EVE than in the real world.

Indeed, I would propose going the opposite direction. Put in place a substantial poll tax, to weed out the uncaring voters. 20m ISK to vote. Not only does this deter voters who don't care, it's also an ISK-sink!

Or limit voting by account age. Perhaps you have to be subscribed for a year to be allowed to vote. Note that this would disenfranchise both of my accounts. I am OK with that. I did not vote for the last CSM, and yet I still think they represent me pretty well!

As for what voting system to use, I really don't care so long as it is a reasonably well known one, and it is known sufficiently ahead of voting. Candidates need to know so they know how to campaign. Other than that I don't care that much, so long as how to vote is understandable. In Schulze, one need merely rank the candidates in order of preference. I think we can all do that.

I find the whole supposed problem we are supposedly solving here to be unimpressive. Goons have a bloc. Null is well represented. So what? Has there been any problem with the null CSMs? I am not talking about PR misteps like Mr. The Mittani's. I am asking: has CCP changed EVE in some way, based on the advice of CSM, which turned out to bad for the game? But moreover: did the CSM in that case give bad advice because of the supposed overrepresentation from null? Only if there is a clear example of such a thing do I find there to be a problem here worth addressing.

I must say, I'd much prefer CCP spending programming time on in-game stuff (like POS improvements), rather than hacking up a new voting system. On the other hand, as a programmer myself I can see why revising the voting system would be attractive. It's a nice, clean problem, not too large, walled off from rest of EVE. A nice little programming project.

vonkeigai.blogspot.com

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#137 - 2013-02-15 19:43:35 UTC
Mike Azariah wrote:
We are in a panic before any announcements have even been made . . . .why?


Because it looks like a system is going to be dropped in at the last minute with virtually no opportunity for feedback. 2 months from now we're going to be voting, and we don't even know what the system is going to be.

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

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#138 - 2013-02-16 00:02:21 UTC  |  Edited by: rodyas
Scatim Helicon wrote:
Mike Azariah wrote:
We are in a panic before any announcements have even been made . . . .why?


Because it looks like a system is going to be dropped in at the last minute with virtually no opportunity for feedback. 2 months from now we're going to be voting, and we don't even know what the system is going to be.


CCP doesn't always rush projects, but sometimes they do. Plus this voting system could be hard to reiterate on later, unlike most rushed programs. Suppose CCP already knows how they won't be able to reiterate too much afterwards. Kind of reminds me of the like policy last year. Something like that, you don't have to worry about it causing too many bad effects which would need reiteration soon after.

The voting system we have right now isn't that bad really to begin with. Mostly because of the actions of the organized null sec blocks. Most of them only send one official candidate, rather then spamming multiple candidates. Since they only send one official candidate, and how many CCP allows into the CSM. It is kind of fair and allows null sec representatives as well as other representatives.

I would mostly say, only if organized blocks started using multiple official candidates, would a voting system really have to change to keep it fair.

I mean no one has started complaining, that they feel they will lose a seat, because of null sec block having too many (Of course it seems WH people will complain about it at some point, having so many candidates). Most people so far have said, they aren't running or won't have a chance to a seat over the anonymous policy or because of how much time and work CSM is, and they don't have it. But who knows, what new complaints will come, or other changes or actions.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#139 - 2013-02-16 00:17:01 UTC  |  Edited by: rodyas
Of course Hans did state a voting change should happen to reflect the voters at large and not the jita park crowd. No idea why he posted his message in jita park with that view point though.

But it does seem in general discussion, people want the whole CSM to be hi sec candidates, or they want the whole CSM to be null sec candidates. Or for CCP to go ahead and invest in ideas, that are not business worthy and will only slow the game down.

I suppose the players at large have spoken and since Hans is one of the official CSM it is his duty to take their message to CCP and include them in voter reform so their voices are heard, above the usually din and fuss that usually plague sub forums.

EDIT: I suppose ISD would have seen his thread there, and gotten angry at it, and moved it down to jita park anyways. So good job on thinking ahead. Its so hard to pierce the players at large, with ISD protecting them.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Mike Azariah
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#140 - 2013-02-16 02:48:07 UTC
rodyas wrote:


But it does seem in general discussion, people want the whole CSM to be hi sec candidates, or they want the whole CSM to be null sec candidates. Or for CCP to go ahead and invest in ideas, that are not business worthy and will only slow the game down.
.


The best CSM would represent all the play styles and types. We do not need a CSM composed solely of all Hi, low, null, worm or any other special interest group you care to put forward. Since the CSM itself does not run internally as a democracy then 'loading the council' serves no purpose except to silence other viewpoints.

Can an organized group get their person in under the Shultze STV? Yes.

Can they stack the deck completely? Not as easily.

Will some of the proposed methods 'lock out' any group of voters to deny them their voice? Not if that group is organized. Biggest issue will be said organization and perhaps primaries such as the WH folks seem to be considering.

I would love to see the most diverse and eclectic CSM to date, this time around. I'd love to be a part of that CSM.

m

Mike Azariah  ┬──┬ ¯|(ツ)