To endorse or not to endorse?Xander Phoena
This morning I started putting together my endorsements for CSM8. There had been some thought as to whether or not to endorse anyone given my attempt at being politically neutral and unbiased during the interview process (‘that’ interview aside). I had weighed it up in my head and decided that any negatives were outweighed by the fact that I have a very unique position in the community given that I have spent half an hour speaking to the vast majority of CSM8 candidates discussing their platform. I sent a tweet out this morning mentioning that I had started writing my recommendations up.
The response to that tweet was fascinating and very, very divided. Kaeda Maxwell and Tigerlily both suggested that if I offered endorsements then that would perhaps sully the neutrality of the process. It may also put people off talking to me in the coming year or, indeed, during the run up to CSM9. This opinion was backed up by a lot of people whose opinions I respect including Apricot Baby (T’amber), Grey Fu and Dsan. Of course, a lot of people felt I should give my opinion including Seismic Stan, Rhavas, Wiggles and my CZ co-host, Jeg Elsker.
‘Pure objective journalism is beautiful, and you have been pretty close to it with the interviews, don’t ruin it. @midi2304 #tweetfleet’
Ultimately, I’ve put a whole heap of time and effort into this project and enough people believe that if I release a set of endorsements, the impact of those interviews will be lessened. I’m not going to say I’m happy about this – it wasn’t something I had foreseen when I started out – but I am sympathetic to the argument. As such, I won’t be releasing any endorsements. I may release who I would have endorsed after the election is complete. I’ll mull this over and discuss it with people to see if it would be a worthwhile exercise. My hunch at the moment is ‘probably not’. The whole CSM8 Election Interviews project was founded on the principle that anyone could come on and I would be equally probing and pointed towards any of them about their campaign with any personal politics removed as far as possible. Enough people think the project would be tainted by personal endorsements that I really feel the best thing to do is to leave it.
I do want to make one warning here though. I have noticed that a number of prominent members of the community – both CSM8 candidates and those not standing for election – have started posting their endorsements. I have also noticed a very alarming trend of individuals listing 14 candidates with some variant of the prefix ‘I’m not listing any 0.0 bloc candidates as they don’t need the help’. Be very, very careful when reading endorsements from these individuals.
My endorsements were significantly different from the 0.0 list (which I have seen but isn’t yet public). I’d have endorsed the 14 individuals I feel would be best at taking Eve Online forward, improving the game for everyone. There are some people on that 0.0 list who shouldn’t get anywhere near the CSM. There are some who very clearly should be. Any individual who writes ‘I’m not listing any 0.0 bloc candidates as they don’t need the help’ is therefore endorsing a weaker CSM overall. This is pretty bad if you are simply blogging or commentating on the election from the outside. If you are a candidate and you are actively endorsing a weaker CSM, it is pretty much unforgivable.
The same individuals would accuse 0.0 blocs of trying to march all over this election for purely political reasons (and by the way, they are – Sort Dragon has admitted as much) are effectively doing the same thing – employing political spin. My personal list of endorsements included a handful of 0.0 candidates because I believed they were best for the job. It also included candidates from Empire, roleplayers, WHers and industrialists. I was going to endorse the 14 people who would have made the best CSM possible, irrespective of where they play the game and what their background is.
When you do your research and study the endorsements of those prominent in the community, bear this in mind. Everyone is playing political games. Everyone. Am I? I could have. By not announcing my own list, I’ve removed myself from the process. The most important thing is you go out and vote. Vote for the 14 people you think will make the best CSM possible irrespective of where they come from in the game. Vote for those who will make Eve a better place. But most importantly, vote.