I've been waiting to write this particular post for quite a while now. Unlike every post before and every post after, this particular moment is very pure and allows me a unique opportunity for untinted honesty. It is not that I have not been honest. It is that voting is closed and the election will not be decided until next week. What I say now cannot be construed as an attempt to direct my election or a reflection of winning or losing.
Thank you for voting for me. Thank you for considering me and putting me on your ballot even if you did not pick me as your first choice. I cannot express how honored I am at the trust put in me and I appreciate that people took the time to follow through with me.
Next weekend my game life changes a bit. I either make it onto CSM9 and from thereon become a member of CSM9 or I do not make it and from thereon I become a person who failed their bid to CSM9. One way or another some will see everything that I say and do through that tinted piece of glass. Because I believe in something I have altered everything around me.
It feels weird.
This entire process is one that I entered without a clue. When I went to the MD/VA/DC meet Epi leaned over and said, "Off the record, why are you really running?" I looked at him like a deer in headlights. I knew what I was about to say would sound fake so I said, "I know that this sounds fake but there isn't any off the record. I'm really running for the reasons I listed."
That's because I am. I've discovered that I am not just passionate about low sec I am passionate about advocating low sec and my ideas and beliefs in general. I believe in myself and my concepts of Eve inside of low sec and out. I've been accused of running for eve-fame and attention. I hate when my corpmates call me a politician. I dislike that the things I write are looked at through the measurement of how I may be trying to work the election. My own words, my blog which I have tended for over two years became both my savior and my demon. It was nice that I could calmly tell people that they had two years to dredge through if they wanted to call me out on something I have said. It was awful because I started worrying about everything I wrote and how it would be perceived.
Tending my forum post was hard. I got hit with a lot. I was the first person to post and the first thing I encountered was resistance. A "Who are you?" to run. I asked my boys to back off from defending me. While their support is appreciated and if they had not supported me people would be puzzled, I needed to show that I could stand up for myself and deal with suboptimal situations. Not everyone is going to like me. Not everyone is going to support me. I needed to show people how I handled myself. I believe that I did so.
The questions where very staggering. Many of them are outside of the ability of the CSM. Often, my first reading rolled around my head something like, "Dear Sugar, how will you personally recode Eve, create cold fusion, and repopulate the baleen whale?" However, I looked at it not as a reflection of me as a CSM but an attempt to gain access to my thoughts, ideas, and ability to communicate. "That is not something that I feel CCP should worry about," was never my answer. I spent many evenings answering forum questions to the best of my ability. My writing has improved. I had a tendency to write in the passive voice a lot and I had to snip that out or else I diluted the confidence I felt in my own words.
When voting ended my thread had over 14,000 views. I have to admit, I wonder why I got as many views as I did and if it means anything.
I was told by one person to ignore the forum thread because it will not get me votes and instead work on contacting corporate leaders and getting them to endorse me to their corporation. That is not me. I did reach out to some groups and I asked people to help me reach out. I chatted, I had coms sessions, I answered mails and I did my best to be accessible. I have been on six podcasts over the course of the election. I have written blog posts and I have written thousands of words on my forum thread. I have let every single person that wished to contact me in game or out and interview me, interview me. I realized after a while that this was a job interview and that I was asking several thousand people to hire me. With that perspective it was easier to engage every individual every time and try to find out what they wanted of me.
Not everything was great and full of high points and self discovery. Some of it was bad. Such as the term, "If you want to win you will do anything."
I have personal and moral limits. I cannot do anything to get elected. That is not the type of person that I am. I understand that I cannot do anything if I am not elected. Yet, when I was told to find a bloc to vote me and to give them what I had to to get their support, I said no. When I was told to disregard the individual and focus on groups, I said no. When it was suggested that I use a complex dance of alts to get invited to places and things so that it would not seem that I was directly asking but that there was a significant interest in me in an attempt to convince people that I was a big deal, I said no. When I was told that I would have to give into the politics to be elected so I might as well start making contacts, I said no. When I was asked to endorse candidates that I could not honestly endorse personally or for any of my platforms, I said no. Maybe all of those nos are wrong but each one sat poorly with me. I want this but I do not want it with a bad taste in my mouth.
I believe that the people who voted for me are voting for me. The person and the vision and personality that I bring to the table. I can say that I did not betray their belief in me or my belief in myself. If this person that I am is not the person who attracts enough support from the Eve community to achieve a CSM seat I will have that answer.
But, before I get all self righteous, I have to make sure that I give it my everything. That is why the posts, podcasts, blogs, chats, and in general an effort to put myself out there. I am not the loud, boisterous, look at me type. I doubt I will go off on a rant or rage. I may do snarky. I may seem too mild tempered to some. That is something Kirth pointed out in his review of me and something that my podcast interviews showed was not the case. The relationships I have developed also show me that I was able to get across my personality and interests and what I cared about.
The respect that I want from others I must also give to others.
If no one makes it onto the CSM to represent low sec it will be a shame. We are not organized like the null blocs and that is our weakness. One comment on an article was that the commenter did not want low sec to change. Well, a representative preserves as much as they try to enact change. And sometimes, no matter how much we want things not to change they will. Having a voice allows us to have some standing in this.
The STV system is both good and bad. it allows people not to 'waste' their votes. Vote wasting is a term I learned about last year where people do not vote for the person they want to vote for because they do not believe that person will make it. being able to pick other people allows them not to feel as if they wasted anything and vote more true to themselves. The reverse is that people vote for me lower on their ballot. The support is good but I still need a certain amount of top placements to make it through the elimination rounds.
I'm tired of worrying about it. I have been obsessed but not as bad once voting started. I felt that I had done what I could and now nature would take its course. Then things got even busier which surprised me. The continued interest was good and healthy. Even with voting closed I get mails and conversations. I'm delighted to share what I can.
Well win or lose I'm still playing Eve. I have a deployment to supply, a history series to finish, a dreadnought to welp, and plenty of new topics to write about. There is no stopping me and I'll see people at Eve Vegas (whenever we get the dates). Anything past that we shall see.
I'm sorry to everyone who finds it weird to call me Sugar. I didn't think about it when I created the account. Sug or SK both work.
No one wanted to talk about PvP. Everyone wanted to talk about everything else to the point that some forgot I PvPed. I do not think this is bad but it was amusing.
I avoided promoting my blog on my forum thread. People don't want to click links.
I had to remember that repeating myself is okay. not everyone has seen or heard everything I have said. Bonus, for those who listen multiple times they will see that I am consistent.
My corp was fantastic in understanding that I might be logged in but I couldn't spend a lot of time in space.
Thanks to Wex for his grammar stick. My knuckles may be forever bruised but I am a better poster for it.
The greater Eve blog and podcast community was amazing.