I guess that it's a good thing I waited to write this seeing as how so much has happened over the past few days. I'm going to assume that everyone reading this is up to date on the happenings involving CSM 7's late Chairman and all of the drama surrounding that. I'll also assume that many of you are reading this because you're curious as to my thoughts on it all so I'm going to get that out of the way first then move on to more productive material.
The Mittens Situation
If you're still wondering what the hell I'm talking about, just go read the HATS post on Jester's blog. Jester, if you are reading this, yes, Alex read it and it had an effect. It may seem obvious by now but I think it crystallized what many people were already thinking.
So now Mittens is gone from the CSM completely. I think that if Sony / DUST were not involved and this were not all over YouTube that it's very possible not much would have happened. At the minimum, I believe that Alex's apology and not accepting the Chair position for CSM 7 would have been enough for him to maintain a seat on the CSM. Instead, CCP went all the way. I think he has a right to be upset, but not completely surprised. Mittens pretty much confirmed this in his emergency State of the Goonion two nights ago.
How do I feel about all of this? What does someone feel like when a tornado rips through their town but leaves your house untouched? I've accepted that CCP did what it had to do and I believe that the CSM will survive this and continue to evolve. All things being equal I would have preferred Alex stay a part of CSM 7 which may surprise some people but I've never made a secret of the fact that I thought he was very effective. Over the next few days we will have a clearer picture of what happens next and I'll touch on some of that as I walk through my fellow CSM 7 delegates. There is some good news about CSM 7 and I'd like to talk about that for a bit!
CSM 7 People
I think we have a very good and varied crew on board this time and I'm going to take a moment to look at each of the council members in turn.
Two Step - Josh is a good man and I'm very happy he got the showing he did. The dude went from under a thousand votes to 4150. Where in the past the CSM 'alts' mostly sat on their hands and did nothing, Two Step said 'fuck that noise' and ended up being more involved with the CSM than many of the 'top nine' of CSM 6. He is proof that hard work can and will be rewarded by the community. I'm very happy that I'll be seeing him in Iceland at the summits.
Elise Randolph - I don't think many people expected him to do as well as he did; Elise certainly didn't! However, he had a much more organized 'get out the vote' campaign spread across three PVP alliances (PL / RDN / NCDOT) compared to previous years and it paid off big. A lot of people that don't PVP much may not see the value of Elise but the fact is that this guy plays EVE more than just about anyone else I know. He's not just an EFT Warrior but a multi-doctrine fleet commander that can and will tell you what works and does not work. Every CSM should have a guy like this on it, regardless of their alliance tag. It also helps that Pete is literally one of the most chill dudes I've ever met in EVE.
Greene Lee - Greene is a new CSM member, booshed in by the AAA / Stainwagon bloc. I can't really say I know much about him other than he didn't seem to need to campaign much and since joining the CSM Skype chat he's been pretty quiet. That aside, he seems to be a really friendly guy and has some good ideas so I'm betting he'll get a lot more chatty as he settles into the role of being a space politician.
Trebor Daehdoow - Did you know that Trebor's name is his RL name spelled backwards? That's just one of many interesting things about this guy who has now become one of the pillars of the CSM. This will be his third consecutive term and he's earned a reputation for being both a hard worker and a strong advocate for a broad range of issues and play styles. I enjoy working with him and anyone familiar with the last few CSM's will probably understand why.
Kelduum Revaan - EVE University's CEO is a bit of an enigma to me. I've not really had a chance to get to know him or what he'll be like as a CSM member. Obviously he has some serious organizational ability to do what he does in game and hopefully that will translate over. I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.
Seleene - Oh, hey, that's me! Sooooo, yeah, I dropped down a few slots. There are likely many reasons for this. Last year I was supposedly the AAA candidate, but I also pulled votes from many other areas as well. This year I had no voting bloc at all to speak of and I have no doubt that I lost votes to both Two Step and Hans Jagerblitzen. So I had to campaign pretty hard, do 'town halls' on TS servers and all that. I know I picked up a lot of new votes in the process yet many people I talked to were splitting their votes between me and Hans / Two Step / Mittens. Far too many people just assumed I was a shoe in. I'm also pretty sure some folks looked at my alliance ticker and got shy as well once it was time to Push Buttan. The end result put me within less than 500 votes of Greene Lee out of over 59k votes cast, which I'm actually pretty happy about.
UAxDEATH - He thought he would do much worse and I was happy to see him proven wrong. Mikhal is a very straight forward guy that, while you may not see much of him in blogs or forum posts, does speak up a lot in the Skype channel and the meetings in Iceland. One of the very old school EVE players that can tell stories with the best of them, he's literally done everything you can do in EVE. He has a presence about him that is impossible to ignore, is famous for his 'moonshine' and getting EVE's Senior Producer more than a little drunk.
Hans Jagerblitzen - It was the name that caught my eye first. What kind of name is that?! Then I made the 'mistake' of reading his campaign manifesto; then I eve mailed him and got him on Skype and subsequently decided to do everything I could to get this man a CSM seat. I honestly expected his position and Kelduum's to be flipped; now I suspect his constituents will respond to the CSM 8 election in much the same way Two Step's did for this one - they will rally like mad next time. Hans is a great talker and writer and he's got a solid agenda motivating him. He's a total team player and, despite his love of the Nidhoggur, is a good man.
Meissa Anunthiel - He's been on ever CSM since CSM 2. Stephan's knowledge of how the CSM has changed over the years continues to prove valuable. He's never interested in just going with popular opinion and can be counted on to present his own opinions clearly. So many of the positives that have come out of the CSM over the past three years are due to Meissa continuing to lobby for particular issues. He's got a solid and consistent core voting constituency that continues to expand with every election (he got more votes than ever this time) so he will likely have a voice on the CSM for as long as he wants one.
Dovinian - I'm still getting to know the TEST Alliance candidate but I already like him. Dovi has a great sense of humor and has a tendency to step in and defuse spergy situations. He has also displayed an aptitude for creating propaganda art that is quite extraordinary. He would probably be in the top seven had Micheal Bolton not split the TEST vote and he's not at all bitter about this. Well, maybe a little. :)
Issler Dainze - Issler got off to a bad start by starting a thread about what happened with The Mittani that didn't go over too well with a lot of folks. After a few CSM's said some ~words~ she finally got her Skype access sorted and proceeded to interact with the rest of us. Apparently that led to this. Cool, hopefully things will move forward as I think Issler can probably contribute a lot to the 'carebear' side of things this term.
Alekseyev Karrde - I expected Alek to do a bit better in terms of votes but I'm just glad to see he made it on. This dude is basically the best person possible to have on the CSM in terms of helping work out the war dec mechanics being discussed for Inferno and merc work in general. I don't agree with him on every issue, but I'm a bit of a NOIR fan boy due to my roots in Mercenary Coalition a long time ago. Alek continues to do something that few other people in EVE have ever even tried to do and he has my respect for that. I'm stoked that he's got a seat and from what I've seen in Skype so far he is going to be a real asset.
Darius III - He seems to love being the Devil's Advocate, even when one isn't needed. This caused a multitude of problems in CSM 6 to the point that he was more or less self-ostracized for the majority of the year. This time, there has been an early effort to try to get D3 to work WITH the rest of the CSM instead of against it. It's still early but I think a corner has been turned and hopefully he will be a chill space bro.
CSM 7 has a lot of work to do and we've not even taken our virtual seats. All of the drama aside, if you look at the people remaining, this CSM has a very broad coverage of all areas of EVE's play style. We are already thinking ahead, getting to know each other and understanding our relative strengths and weaknesses. We've got a good crew. Despite any doomsday predictions I think we have a talented team and will make the most of a great year of opportunities ahead.
I will come back and update things again once CSM 7 has chosen a Chairmen and taken office. Hopefully that will be done in the next week or so.