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So, I’ve been starting to listen to interviews and the various blogs in regards to CSM 8. As usual, I won’t be tell anyone who I think my favorite is.  This year, it will be different because of two reasons:  The first is that I don’t like politics and if I don’t say who I choose I feel like I can be an impartial jury on what my candidate did.  The second is.. simply.. that I haven’t really been inspired by any at this point.

I will have to say that I am not all that excited about CSM 8 this year. CSM 5 had Mynxee, who championed low-sec upgrades. CSM 6 had the heavy hitter, TheMittani, and his minions who helped force CCP back from the brink of self-destruction. CSM 7 had Hans who helped re-vitalize faction warfare.

And the big major issue of CSM 8 is…

Well.. that’s the problem really.. in fact, it is one of many problems facing the new CSM 8.

Voter Apathy.. Not!

One of the current predictions about low voter turnout is based on the belief that since they haven’t seen CSM 7 do something spectacular, then voters will be disappointed and not vote this year. While I agree that there will probably be less voter turnout than in years past, I don’t think it is apathy. I think it is lack of criticality.

For example, Null-sec in general/Null-sec Sov/Supercap Proliferation are still big issues in my book, with Supercap Proliferation seemingly not getting the attention it deserves.. as usual. But oddly enough it just isn’t striking the same chord as it has in the past. Low-sec viability still needs to be addressed, but again there doesn’t seem to be a drive toward anything in particular. POSes were a thing too, but people seem to be have allowed CCP some space to work on them for Odyssey so even that drama hasn’t seen very much traction recently. This presents a real problem for CSM 8 because this affect people willing to go out and vote.

Nothing really jumps out as the “major” topic that needs to be dealt with like there has been for the last three CSMs. In addition, several changes to CCP Policy as well as a reorganization of CCP staff, which results in a CCP that responds rather quickly with new updates and changes and this now has put an unusual strain on CSM 8. Those striving for seats in CSM 8 almost have to create a crisis in order for people to rally around them and to rally behind the next CSM.

Jeffe, Do You Know What a “Plethora” is?

This year there seems to be a strange contradiction in my eyes. While there are certainly less people trying to grab a CSM seat, it seems that the amount of people who are seriously trying to troll the CSM positions is at an all time high and are displaying a high level of effort to do so.  You had James315 to start this story out but several others have appeared, all with barely the ability to pick their nose without hemorageing their brainpan.

So, Who the Heck Are These People?

I know who Mynxee was, I know who TheMittani is, I know who Hans is, who Alex is, who Trebor is, who Two Step is, Who Greene Lee is, who Darius III is..  the recent players in the CSM were at least somewhat well known.  This time around, a large number of likely CSM members aren’t well known.  Sure, some are.  But I’d say that this will be the first CSM where the majority of seat holders aren’t going to be people who you’ve heard from the year previous.

Lessons STILL Not Learned

For CSM 6 and 7, I mentioned that if you want to have a solid campaign you need to be active and you need to be seen.  A person like me won’t vote for you because.. if I can’t find out what your position is.. then there is no reason for me to join your vision.  There are still quite a few potential CSM members who seem to think that I can read minds.  I’m married, which means that all “mind-reading” skills are blown on trying to figure out my lovely wife.. not some bloke who might live across the world, and speaking another language.

But.. on the Other Hand.. Some Good Things This Year

First off, thanks goes out to Crossing Zebras and for Voice from the Void for conducting debates and interviews with both sites being significantly different that we get a decent three dimensional version of the candidates.  I know of at least one candidate that lost my vote because of it.  To be honest, I have no idea how either of them have the time to do all these interviews, but they absolutely need a shout out for it.

So.. What’s Next?

I don’t rightly know.  None of the candidates have really done a good job of proving that they are going to be an outstanding representative, as well as really getting people to rally around a particular need.  And strangely enough, this IS the time for that killer platform to come out.  Sure, you can’t do anything directly.. but after CCP dropped the ball on POSes, it WAS the combination of the playerbase and intense pressure from the CSM as well, that got resources redirected back to POS management and structures, as is rumored to be visited in some fashion with the Odyssey expansion.

So there is a place where a candidate can stand up and say, with conviction, that “X, Y, and Z are what are troubling the game right now that we can bring CCP’s attention to.”  Instead, I keep hearing more about who the most diverse candidate is, the most versatile candidate.

And folks, as a Minmatar pilot, I darn well known how good “versatile” actually isn’t.