In compiling these recommendations, I am not giving any weight to how the candidates play EVE, how much they agree or disagree with me, and whether or not they are also supporting me. My major criteria is "do I think this person will do a good job if they are elected?" I expect that all of these candidates will be hard-working team players who will strongly but fairly advocate for the entire community.
None of my recommendations are bloc candidates. This is not because there aren't excellent bloc candidates this year, it's simply that their blocs will ensure they get elected, and supporting them isn't tactically wise under STV. I want a diverse CSM that represents all areas of the game.
My recommended ballot for CSM8 (Version 1.0)
1. Trebor Daehdoow. My polling indicates that 35% of my voters are voting for me because I'm experienced, 31% because I work hard and get results, 18% because they are old and/or bald like me, and 16% because they want to annoy Poetic Stanziel.
2. Tie: Ripard Teg is knowledgeable, hard-working, and a great writer, while Malcanis is probably the all-time champion goodposter on EVE-O -- he's been around forever and nobody has a bad word to say about him.
4. corebloodbrothers impressed me when he ran for the first time last year, but the voting system conspired against him. With any luck, the change to STV will mean the second time will be the charm.
5. Tie: Nathan Jameson and James Arget would be great voices for Wormhole residents. If the stars align, both of them will be.
7. I have served on CSM with both the major Russian candidates, and I like both of them personally, which makes choosing between them painful. However, I think Korvin is the better choice given the challenges and opportunities that CSM 8 will face.
8. Ali Aras is a rare bird, the experienced newbie. I want CCP to put more resources into making EVE more newbie-friendly, and her voice will help convince them to do that.
9. Mangala Solaris brings yet another important perspective to the table, and is well-respected in his community.
10. Given how much crap I've taken from his supporters, you may be surprised to learn that Psychotic Monk is going to be on my ballot. I disagree with some of his positions, but he argues them fairly -- and anything we do agree on is likely to be correct. I am hoping he will be CSM 8's Alekseyev Karrde.
11. Unforgiven Storm is a good industrialist candidate who has the bad luck to be a Goon who is running as an independent. That means he probably won't get much love from bloc voters, and a lot of other people won't vote for him because he's a Goon. If he doesn't make it, I hope he does well enough to try again next year. If so, he could be the corebloodbrothers of CSM 9.
12. Roc Wieler will either be a decent CSM, or he'll be able to role-play a decent CSM. Either works for me.
13. Mike Azariah wants to represent the casual player, and has shown he can work hard on community-related projects.
14. To Be Determined. I am really undecided about who to put in my final slot, and I want to sleep on it. Think you know who it should be? If so, post in my EVE-O thread and tell me why. Or perhaps another candidate will make me an offer I can't refuse.
After all, as we all know, politics makes strange bedfellows.