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I’ll start this breakdown off by stating that I’ve voted for Mike in every election since the beginning of time – at least, every election since Mike started running, which might as well have been the beginning of time. I think he’s a moderating influence on the CSM and has done good work while he has been on the team. He’s also more or less the definition of a community candidate, shaking off the highsec-focus that got him on the Council initially in favor of an outreach-focus that I think he does well at.
If we make the assumption that we want an outreach-focused-CSM member or two, we really can’t do better than Mike. He’s everywhere, on every podcast, in every channel, and he has actively sought to remedy his ignorance of some areas like lowsec. He’s put his money where his mouth is and is a worthy candidate for CSMX. He’ll almost certainly pop up on my ballot, but unfortunately I think there are a lot of other compelling candidates that will bring more to the table than Mike can. He’s had his time on the Council and for that we should all be thankful – but, it may be time for some other people to get in.
Sabriz is the leader of CODE, a rather infamous highsec wardec group that has a wide impact on EVE Online’s highsec highways, but a relatively light member count. The concept of a highsec griefing defender on the CSM is not one that I immediately laugh at – in fact, I’d love to see it. There has been a long trend at CCP of nerfing the antagonistic styles of gameplay in highsec to nothing. I remember fondly my days as a ‘highsec ninja’, something that you really can’t do in the same ways that you used to be able to. Gone, too, are the days of boomerangs (ganking more than one ship at a time with a set of suicide destroyers) and any number of other facets of highsec griefing.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Sabriz is that candidate. His ideas on how to affect change in highsec make even me cringe; his thoughts on lowsec are totally out of touch with reality; and to boot he also included prominently in his campaign post the wish for ‘negative votes’ in the CSM process. Let’s be real – that’s just silly. In fact, the whole candidacy is silly. Let’s move on.
Similar to Mike Azariah, Sugar Kyle has decided to shake off her primary interest group (hers being lowsec, of course) in favor of a broader outreach program. Hell, she even popped up in the wormhole candidate town hall, because why not? I think Sugar is a hard worker, a good communicator, and takes the role of a CSM member very serious. Everyone who has worked with her has been universally complimentary of her efforts, and if we are operating in a presumed CSMX that lacks Xander Phoena’s weekly updates, Sugar’s consistency will be in high demand.
If there is one flaw in the candidacy of Sugar Kyle, I do think it is the broad stretch of her ambition to be a candidate for everyone. Educating one’s self on various aspects of EVE Online that one isn’t strong in is commendable and a good mark. However, eschewing the base that got you into the CSM in the first place (even if only in appearance) is perhaps not the savviest thing. I feel like, at this juncture, Sugar is as much of a ‘lowsec representative’ as Meissa Anunthiel was back in the day – sure, she lives in lowsec and does a lot of stuff there, but that doesn’t appear to be a focus at all. I understand we operate in an environment these days where region-specific advocacy has lost its luster, but I think it is still an important thing for the CSM to have (I mean, just look at the raft of nullsec candidates, and the self-described wormhole candidates like Corbexx). Lowsec is in a pretty good place these days, but could always be better – and I don’t think lowsec ranks highly in Sugar’s vision of her CSM role.
For that reason, she’ll appear on my ballot, but not at the top of it (sorry Rixx!).