Regardless of past drama or negative opinions regarding the CSM, I personally hold the Council of Stellar Management as a positive on CCP’s relationship with the player base. The CSM acts as a representative advisory council to CCP on different aspects of the game and has been a helpful sounding board to see if an idea would work for CCP to implement. But if you’re anything like me, the sheer amount of choices for candidates can be overwhelming. It also does not help that many of the candidates do not express themselves efficiently in a way to assess them with a glance.
While it is always best for as much research into your chosen candidates before endorsing them as possible, not everyone has the time or the interest to do this. I offer my system to help streamline the process for the average player, making it easier for them to be responsible voters while making choosing candidates less work. If you are in an alliance, your leadership will undoubtedly attempt to sway you to vote a certain way. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with simply going with the crowd per se, and many players will, I lived in wormhole space for most of my eve career so I tend to prioritize on a more individual level.
Identifying your biases
The first step in picking candidates is knowing what you’re looking for. You want to identify which candidate represents your interests. Try breaking these biases into the following broad categories: faction/friend loyalty, system sec status, play style, and concerns and interests. If you identify which of those categories is most important to you, in what order they matter most, then identifying the sub-points within those broad categories will become far easier.
Here’s a couple questions that might help. Do you know some of the candidates from YouTube, your alliance, or personally? What area(s) of the game, geographically, do you play and what candidates express interest in that area? Do you usually hunt in small gangs or do you consider yourself a mere F1 monkey that just logs in when pinged to do so? Are you concerned about sovereignty in nullsec more than you are about wormhole escalations? Any number of questions regarding your priorities are very important when identifying what will catch your eye regarding a candidate.
Sifting for gold
Now that you have identified your biases, it’s important to organize who you want to take a closer look at and who doesn’t stand out to you. Each candidate has a bio on CCP’s official Candidate list for you to make your initial assessments from. Rhivre did a great job pointing out different candidates from the various political blocs as well as identified podcasts that you can listen to different candidates debate about various issues should you be so inclined. There is even a video embedded in the article that CCP released for those of you who require a visual explanation.
If a candidate’s initial bio does not stand out to you along the list of candidates, it’s ok to just skip over them. That’s their own fault, and they are 1/64th that you have to assess from. The point of this step is to eliminate people who don’t stand out, almost like a job interview. Every single person you find that you are interested in doing more research on, put their name in a document along with a few terms that will remind you why you put them on that list. This will be helpful later when further organizing the candidates.
I next suggest organizing the candidates into categories based on your biases. For example, the most important aspects of the game that I am interested in hearing candidates talk about are roleplayer/lore related, Player Vs Environment, wormholes, New Player Experience, and highsec. I then put all the candidates into nice little boxes under the main category they have identified themselves to be in. Google Docs allows you to make tables to show information side by side so you can see them at a glance. Spreadsheets work too, but I find tables in a document are more user-friendly.
Depending on how varied your tastes are, you might end up with just half of the candidates eliminated and still need to trim the fat. Once you have compiled your short list, the next step is ranking the candidates in a way that align your interests. Look at the candidates on your new list, read whatever bio they shared in the candidate list, then look for their posts on the Council of Stellar Management forums. If the candidate has done their job right, you should be able to get the gist of their stances on issues they claim to support in under 10 minutes and you can then put a ranking of how important it is to you that you vote for them.
Try putting each on a scale of 1/10-10/10. You can also put them in a numbered order that you like them overall, as well as their own specified categories that you have placed them in. This will help you identify at a glance who you want to make sure you vote for first, especially if you are voting with multiple accounts. Below are some examples of how this system could be like with names I made up:
Identifying who you like (and why) is the most important part at this stage. Assigning categories to people and grouping them with others who share your values (either through labels or in similar boxes) makes it far less work for your brain to process your opinion of them.
Now that you have your list of candidates all nice and ranked, you will want to go to the official CCP voting page and log in with your account. You will be able to vote for up to 10 candidates out of the 64 listed, so the ranking system I mentioned earlier will help you choose who to go for more easily if you were having trouble deciding. After you have voted, log out and repeat the process with every eligible account. Goshti did an article that helps better explain how the voting itself works via the single transferable voting system. Hopefully this guide helps you decide who to pick in a more efficient and informed manner.
Quick reference links:
- Candidate list: https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/candidates/
- CSM Forums: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=topics&f=5971
- Vote: https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/vote/
- Rhivre’s post: https://imperium.news/csm-12-voting-opens/
- Goschti’s post: https://imperium.news/csm-forecast-based-nullsec-ballots/