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CSM – By The Numbers

The Council of Stellar Management (better known under the abbreviation CSM) is a topic of much controversy in New Eden, but much of the information regarding the CSM, its elections, and history is not well researched and documented. The goal of this article is to analyse some of the data that the CSM elections have produced over the years. It is intended to give an overview over some general facts regarding the CSM and its composition (How many CSM members are there? How many terms have they served? What is the turn over on the council?) as well as giving a taste of the data driven methodology that will be employed to expand upon it in the future.

The CSM is an elected body that was created to represent the EVE Online player base to CCP. While it has existed as an institution for a while now, there are some controversies around its role, some newer than others. Long standing are discussions about the role and importance of the CSM itself (is it a glorified focus group or does it have some measurable impact on development?). Another point of discussion, especially for the last iteration of the Council (CSM 13), is the question how well the CSM represents different parts of the community and a variety of playstyles. In the present day some of these discussions center around the hich representation of the nullsec-coalition “The Imperium” – as well as null-security groups in general – on the CSM. These issues are often discussed against the backdrop of the election system, for example the legality of buying votes, and its effect on the council’s composition.

As will be the case for all these data-oriented articles, all sources and full tables will be included as footnotes at the end. Special thanks goes to the nosygamer blog for helping out in the creation of this article. Please also note that there were some historical differences in the way that the CSM functioned, the biggest changes being (i) the extension of the term duration from 6 to 12 months between CSM 4 and 5 and (ii) the switch from First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting to Single-Transferable-Vote (STV) voting between CSM 7 and 8.

Let’s begin by looking at some headline numbers. The current CSM 13 has 10 members, but in the past, the number of seats on the council wasn’t constant. CSM 5 had a minimum of 9 members; CSM 10 had a maximum of 16. The number of seats on each CSM is shown in the following graph:

The total number of terms members have served on the CSM since it was formed is 164. However, this does not mean that 164 different members have been elected onto the CSM in total. Some people have served on more than one CSM and accumulated multiple terms so only 101 unique members have served on the CSM.

By dividing the total number of terms with the number of unique members it is possible to tell that a CSM member serves on average for 1.6 terms. However, it is more interesting to look at the distribution of terms among the members and that’s what is shown in the following graph:

As can be seen, over half of the CSM members only ever serve for a single term and the only three members to serve more than three terms are as of now: Trebor Daehdoow (4 terms, CSM 5-8), Steve Ronuken (5 terms, CSM 9-13) and Meissa Anunthiel (6 terms, CSM 2-7, although, as previously stated, CSM 2-4 had shorter terms than the current 12 months).

Not everyone who serves multiple turns does so consecutively. Some people don’t get reelected (maybe because they decided not to run, maybe because they didn’t get enough votes – we will look at this closer in the future) immediately, but capture a seat again after not serving on the CSM for one or more intermediate terms. This happened for nine members over the history of the CSM. The only example of this kind on the CSM 13 is Sort Dragon, who currently serves his third term after being a member of both CSM 8 and 10.  

The last set of numbers for today will be a look at the rate with which new members come into the CSM. Is it a steady exchange or are there some members that serve together for a few CSMs and then make place for a wave of new guys all at the same time? The following graph depicts the percentage share of new members (those that never served on the CSM before) for each iteration of the CSM:

Looking at this data it doesn’t seem to be the case that there is a stark pattern to find. One of the main reasons that makes it difficult to discern a pattern is that the member count of the CSM fluctuates heavily. When the CSM grows or shrinks this has an effect on the number of new members (if the CSM for example adds two seats there are two new members even if all of the old ones would get reelected, except if the additional members would have served on another CSM beforehand). Taking this into account, the following graph depicts the total number of members on each CSM as well as the number of new members:

This graphic demonstrates a correlation between the change in the number of seats on the CSM and the number of new members (if you want to look at it more mathematically,  the coefficient for correlation between number of members and number of new members is 0.65, indicating a moderate positive correlation). Based on this, one hypothesis for future CSMs is that a stable number of seats would indicate a more stable number of new faces and turnover as well.

While this first look at the data of the CSM ends here, it is something that can be expanded upon in the future. One topic that will be at the top of the list for that is a look at the number of candidates for the election and how often and successful people run for the CSM. If you want to add other topics or questions (in regards to the CSM or data driven articles in general), please contact me under Scius Falkenhaupt in game or find me on the NER discord! For those who want to check the numbers behind the article, you can find the sources I used below:

Sources & tables:

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