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blankseplocked [Proposal] Introduce new voting system for next CSM election
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Posted - 2011.03.27 21:22:00 - [1]

Edited by: Suveitar on 27/03/2011 21:26:34
In short:
In a democratic election (such as the csm election), the number of votes for each candidate can be transferred into actual seats in the council in many different ways. The current voting system in EVE is by no means the only possibility - many alternatives exists! No voting system is withouts its faults and problems. However, I will argue, that the current voting system for the csm is a particularly poor one, and a better choice would be to change the voting system for the csm into the "Single Transferable Vote".

What is the problems with the current system:

1) The current system is not proportional:
The proportion of votes for each candidate doesnt reflect on their proportion of the seats. E.g. In the recent CSM6 election, The Mittani got 5365 votes (10,9%), while Draco Llasa got 1986 votes (4,0%). Both got one seat on the council. Many other candidates got slightly fewer votes than Draco Llaso, but these got zero seats on the council.

2) Many votes are wasted on candidates who are either sure winners or sure loosers:
In the CSM6 election The Mittani was a sure winner - in other words he got 1552 votes more than Seleene in 2nd place for CSM chairmanship. Those last 1551 people who cast their vote on The Mittani were effectively wasting their vote - the impact their vote had on the final result was effectively zero.
On the other hand 21516 votes (43,8%) were cast on candidates who never got elected in the CSM6 election. Thats 21516 votes who translates into effectively zero influence in the csm council, and this is by far the biggest problem with the current voting system.

3) The current system generates uncertainty and encourages tactical voting while discouraging honest voting:
This follows from point 2 above. Wether you are a member of a large alliance or a solo player you do not want to waste your vote on a sure winner or a sure looser. This discourages honest voting - that is: voting for the candidate you genuinely prefer in the csm. If such a candidate turns out to be a sure winner or sure looser, then you have wasted your vote. Instead all voters have to consider wether a vote for a given candidate is a viable tactical choice - if they want to maximize the impact of their vote that is.

To counter (at least partially) some of these issues, I propose a change of voting system to the Single Transferable Vote (STV).

How does STV work:

First you calculate the number of votes required to win a seat in the election.
This is calculated as ( total votes / ( number of seats + 1 ) ) + 1.
In the CSM6 election this turns out to be: (49096 / ( 9 + 1 ) ) + 1 = 4910,6

This is the value of a seat on the CSM council in this election.

Each voter has only a single vote. But rather than choosing just a single candidate, each voter instead chooses a limited number of candidates (for instance 3 or 5) and ranks them in his order of preference (first choice, second choice, third choice, etc).

The votes of all voters are then distributed to the candidates based on their most prefered candidate (first choice).
- Any candidate that reaches the required number of votes (4910,6) are declared elected. And all "excess" votes on this candidate are redistributed based on the second choice of the voters.
- The candidate with fewest votes are eliminated. All votes for this candidate are redistributed based on the second choice of the voters.

This process continues (using second choice, third choice etc.) until only nine candidates remain. These are the elected candidates.

Why is the Single Transferable Vote a better system for the csm election:

1) The system is proportional - in the sense that the value of votes used to aquire a seat is the same for all elected candidates.

2) The system minimizes the ammount of votes wasted on sure winners or loosers.

3) The system encourages honest voting and reduces incentives to tactical voting.


Posted - 2011.03.27 21:24:00 - [2]

Edited by: Suveitar on 27/03/2011 21:29:29

What are the potential drawback to the STV system:
The mechanics behind the actual transfer of votes are a bit complicated. However, for the individual the voter the system is intuitively understandable: you simply rank your most prefered candidates from highest to lowest. And then the voting system "works behind the scene" to ensure that each voter gets maximum influence out of his single vote.

Other issues:
Implementing this system will probably change the distribution of seats in the csm slightly, because it reduces the advantage gained by large block tactical voting (but there will allways be an advantage over unorganized voters). Large alliances and coalitions will get a number of seats that corresponds more proportional to their number of voters support (where they are somewhat overrepresented in the current system).
I state this as a matter of fact - not to start any discussion about highsec vs. 0.0.
On the other hand large alliances will no longer have to fine tune tactical voting or make guesses about how many votes should be distributed so and so. Instead they can simply encourage their members to rank certain candidates in a certain order.

You can read more about the finer details of STV here.

Please no trolling - This suggestion is about improving democracy in EVE - please support it!

Awesome Possum
Original Sin.
Posted - 2011.03.28 00:57:00 - [3]

Originally by: Awesome Possum
oh hey, idea.... make voting mandatory. Even if its just to abstain, once voting starts, bring the vote box up on the client login and don't let them continue to the game until a vote has been cast.

other than that, i didn't read your proposal at all.

Wildly Inappropriate
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2011.03.28 04:01:00 - [4]

Due to the size of CSM and the fact theres actually limited seating not based on the number of voters for a given district...STV is a horrid choice for the CSM elections

~poli-sci tinfoil hat~

Word Bearers of Chaos
Word of Chaos Undivided
Posted - 2011.03.28 04:33:00 - [5]

Honestly, I'd say that the election should be related to geography (in the game Rolling Eyes). Each region gets to vote for their delegate. What constitutes regional habitation is of course debatable since many players move around often. But the same method should be used for whose vote gets counted for which region's own election.

This way the representation is relatively fair between 0.0 and empire.

If this would lead to too many people on the CSM, maybe group the regions together and have several share the election. Like Domain could be grouped into the Amarr Empire District, and Cloud Ring into the ORE District.

I never liked the popularity contest style of the CSM.

Mnengli Noiliffe
Posted - 2011.03.28 05:17:00 - [6]

Edited by: Mnengli Noiliffe on 28/03/2011 05:23:23
The main problem is that there is too few (or better said, none) accessible information about the candidates. There are their electional topics in the forum but you need to read them all entirely to get a slight idea about the candidate, and even if you do read them you will probably miss some important thing about the candidate that other posters already know, for example which "party" of players the candidate belongs to.

To get a really good idea you need to actually dig into the candidate's posts which is tremendous work.

And again, there are too many candidates. Sure, some people know that this candidate is actually electable, that one is some guy who nobody knows about and stuff like that. But if the mere player, who has no insight into eve politics and does not spend 50% of time in the forums, comes to vote, he chooses based on the text each candidate presents in the candidates page, and that text says absolutely NOTHING important about him!

Therefore 40% of all votes get wasted.

So I think the OP's idea is good, but not enough, since even if a random person chooses a few candidates with acceptable electoral message, chances are that all the choices are not electable anyway.

So I think, maybe there should be a two rounds in the voting. Like, take some number of candidates that gained the most votes in the first round and only present them in the second... This way at least laymen can choose the one candidate that represents his interest best and has any chances to win.

Of course, the minorities won't like this idea since this will make the REAL views of majority of EVE players represented, and the majorities are what they particularly hate in this game. Yes, I am talking about "carebears".

Posted - 2011.03.28 08:42:00 - [7]

Originally by: Lykouleon
Due to the size of CSM and the fact theres actually limited seating not based on the number of voters for a given district...STV is a horrid choice for the CSM elections

Would you care to elaborate on this point?

Posted - 2011.03.28 08:55:00 - [8]

Originally by: Mnengli Noiliffe
The main problem is that there is too few (or better said, none) accessible information about the candidates. There are their electional topics in the forum but you need to read them all entirely to get a slight idea about the candidate, and even if you do read them you will probably miss some important thing about the candidate that other posters already know, for example which "party" of players the candidate belongs to.

I agree - this is a major issue. But lets just imagine that a voter actually finds two candidates that he likes - we could call them A and B... (just to be creativeVery Happy)

So, our voter is left with the choice of candidate A and B - he likes both of them, so which should he vote for? Heīs got a sense that candidate A is quite popular and B is sligtly less popular. This is where the election turns into tactical voting, speculation and pure lottery!

If he votes for A, and A allready has enough support, then he wastes his vote. But if all potential voters for A think like this, then A is not elected at all.

If he votes for B, and B doesnt get enough support, then he allso wastes his vote.

Our voter will have to speculate about the final support for the candidates...

Now lets imagine that the election ends up with candidate A having 1000 excess votes to get elected, while B lacks 500 votes to get elected.

If the CSM election allowed candidates to run as a political party - then candidate A could transfer enough of his surplus votes to B to get him elected as well.

Or if we used STV in the election voters who prefer to have both A and B on the council wouldnt have to speculate which they should vote for. With STV they could get both candidates elected.


No mather how you put it, the current voting system is very much a gamble - and less about transfering voter preferences into actual seats on the csm council.

Kenpachi Viktor
Electus Matari
Posted - 2011.03.28 11:32:00 - [9]

If there is no specified number of preferances you have to have, It won't make voting any harder for those that don't want to have to think about preferances.

They just vote 1 for one person, then their vote counts as per now.

If Abstain is alowed as a preferance, it would be interesting to see how may votes end up there.

Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.03.28 12:49:00 - [10]

I think your vote system needs some more work

Redistribution of unused votes sounds intresting, but I see some problems with your implementation.

you make no allowances for how the unused votes are to be redistributed, and especially if there is more than 2 preferences this becomes more and more complex.

If the redistribution is not based on the original distribution of the secondairy choises, but uses some other arbitrairy redistribution protocol, then any preferred result can be atained simply by influencing what votes progress to their secondary choises and wich ones remain sticky with their first choise.

So perhaps it would be better if all votes on a candidate with excess votes progressed to the next cadidate, but as a fractional vote (calculated on the number of votes in excess of the required amount)
But even this becomes quickly complex as people may have secondairy votes on an already elected candidate causing even more fractional votes to be redistributed.

In all it still sounds intresting though.

Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
Posted - 2011.03.28 13:32:00 - [11]

A change to make the CSM as diverse as possible is very much order, a uniform board is of absolutely no use to players or CCP.

Not based on blocs though as they (in the perfect world) should shift continuously but on occupation/location.

Empire (low/high)/Null, PvP/Misc./Carebear.
- Have candidates declare their primary focus/occupation and location when applying.
- Divide them into the six pools and aim at getting one from each at least with overflow votes being distributed within pool.
- Remaining seats are filled by most votes regardless of pool.
- Subterfuge during application process to be treated as breach of NDA (kick from council and game).

Is it democratic? Doesn't matter. Humanity is too damn ******ed to make that system work anyway and "forced representation" is used more often than not in the real world .. especially in fledgling states (Iraq, Afghanistan etc.)

Posted - 2011.03.28 14:08:00 - [12]

Originally by: Leneerra
I think your vote system needs some more work

Just for the record, it isnt my voting system, and different variations of STV are being used in elections around the world. My rough sketch of the STV system above doesnt cover all the finer details (but I thought my post was long and technical enough as it was... Very Happy)

I believe that your description on how to redistribute a fraction of all votes is known as the Gregory method - and this is also the way I would prefer to do it.

As other have stated, the inner workings of the STV system is very complex - however the complexity is hidden behind the scenes, and not really something the voters have to worry about when they state their preferences.
This contrasts with our current system for the csm election which is very simple to understand, but gives the voters a lot to worry about ;)

Scatim Helicon
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2011.03.28 14:13:00 - [13]

ahahahahaha this thread

Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.03.28 14:30:00 - [14]

The Gregory method only calculates fractions once and deals differently with subsequent votes for candidates with an elect status.

I think I would prefer the wright method (intresting link btw), if multible preferences were an option for this election.

But I do not see the need for such a complex voting system in an election that only has a 14% participation. Perhaps this becomes importand once we pass 30%?

Sethose Olderon
Gryphon Chancellery
Gryphon League
Posted - 2011.05.26 12:48:00 - [15]

There is no fair voting mechanism, although I do believe the fairest is based on a hybrid bicameral system, tailored for Eve. One group of elected persons based on population, and another based on region.

Why do you need both? I will briefly explain.

First of all if you based representation purely off population, those areas with a higher population would be provided with more representation and therefore have more influence. Secondly, if you base representation purely off region, then those areas with less population, receive equal representation as those areas that have higher populations, and thus the higher populated areas receive less influence than they deserve.

Therefore, in order to balance this dichotomic predicament, you must have both. Image the followingÖ

The first group in this system would consist of one seat chosen from each major region (highsec, lowsec, nullsec, wormhole space, or perhaps geographically such as North, South, East, and West). This would provide 4 seats.

The second group is comprised of a number of persons determined by population from each of the previously mentioned major groups.

Letís propose one seat for every 100,000 inhabitants, and assuming that Eve has roughly 690,000 [Eve QEN Q1 2011, Page 10] characters, that provides 6 seats. Each major area would be granted a certain number of seats based on its population. Given that population rises, falls, and that players move around, seats could and most probably will change hands. However each major region would always have at least 1 seat.

The hybrid aspect of this is that all of these officials reside in the same body, as opposed to an actual bicameral system, wherein they would be in separate bodies.

So, with this system, we have a minimum of 8 seats, and a maximum of 10 seats (roughly the same as the current CSM), with a smaller portion chosen via region, and the remainder chosen via population, providing a system that is fairer than the current one.

And as for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, why not let the elected officials choose them after each election. I also think the idea of term-limits should be addressed as well.

If you wish to comment on this thatís excellent, however make your comments or critiques with intelligence, and please donít make stupid, sarcastic, or childish remarks.


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