An analysis: Why Coco lost and Dagger won
It's not officially in the bag yet, but I have my doubts that Team Coco has held a large reserve of voters for the final minutes of the poll in a political maneuver designed to take advantage of the public polling results. I'll be the commentator that risks a "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" moment by declaring that Dagger will win the 1st WrestleZone Forums Election.
For the purposes of this post, I'm going to generalize. I might say "Coco" or "Dagger" when I mean "a majority of the people campaigning for" either party. It's shorthand, I simply don't want to have to specify and exclude based on who says what. So unless I deliberately specify who I'm talking about, when I say one person, assume I am referring to their "get out the vote" operation.
For the record, I have no strong opinions towards any candidate. I think I might have gotten rep from each of them at some point, I dunno. That's about it.
There are three main reasons why Coco lost and Dagger won. I say "why Coco lost", because this was truly his election to lose. His position with a week left until the polls was enviable; the discussion was mostly about how much he'd beat Crock by. Here we are a week later, and Dagger now has a plurality over the other candidates. What happened?
1) Coco misunderstood the nature of this election.
The fatal flaw in the "get out the vote" operations of Coco and Crock were that they treated this as an exercise in high school civics. They treated this election as if it would be the result of carefully thought out deliberation by informed posters having read the debates. The debates were just window dressing. This was not a competition to see who would be the best moderator; this was a competition to see how many people you could get to click a radio button next to your name. In that sense, Team Coco's approach was horribly inadequate to the task at hand. The discussion centered on why Dagger would be a bad moderator, and why we needed Coco as a spam moderator- not on what was in it for the people if they clicked the button.
This was the main flaw of the Coco/Crock campaign, the failure to focus on the actual goal of the election, while worrying about the things they erroneously thought were important to that goal. There's all this talk about "dignity"; if you didn't want to win an election, why would you get involved? I'm hard pressed to think of any dignified election in recent memory, why would this one be different?
2) Dagger understood the nature of this election.
One of the most frequent complaints I'm reading about Dagger's win is that "he only won because he promised rep", or "he only won because he PM"d people". There is no excuse for this kind of ignorant thinking, because this strategy was explicitly spelled out in the bylaws of this election. He took those bylaws and formed a strategy designed to win the competition, which was to get as many people to click your button as possible.
I cannot emphasize this enough. If the goal of the competition was to prove who the best moderator would be, we wouldn't have had every possible schmuck on the boards vote for it. Seriously, if I'm looking for a broad array of intelligent, well thought out and convincing opinions, these boards are the last place I go. The prize was to become a moderator (still don't know how the hell that's a reward), but the goal of the competition was not to determine who the best moderator would be. That was merely the criteria some people used to determine which button to click.
Dagger won this election because he understood it was about clicking buttons. All of this debate business was just window dressing.
3) Coco's supporters alienated the remaining voter base.
The final, fatal move of Team Coco came when Dagger started catching up in the polls. They could have called for a counterattack; started a PM campaign the second they suspected Dagger of it, started that rep thread before most of the votes were sent out, but instead they started attacking other forum users. The same dozen people would scream about how anyone who voted for Dagger was an idiot, Dagger was a homophobe, and as several people stated, it was an attitude of sympathy engendered from the attacks on Dagger that caused them to vote for him.
This isn't Tammany Hall politics of the 19th century, boys. You aren't going to club heads outside of the polls if someone didn't vote for your guy. Instead, you came off as bitchy and self-righteous without a good cause. Instead of promoting Coco, you attacked Dagger, and were going after anyone else who supported him. How is that an effective strategy to get people to click your button? A poster- I forget who, and I'm too tired right now to go hunt down and search it out- said something to the effect of "The reason votes are private in this poll are so that you folks can't move from attacking Dagger to attacking the people that voted for him." Sagely put.
I confess, I almost broke my vow not to vote just so I could say I voted for Dagger to piss you off. Oh noes, what were people going to do, send a picture of shit to me in my rep? I see shit at least once a day, it doesn't offend me anymore. Which, as long as we're on the topic, was another foolish move of the Coco camp, but part of the same line of attack. How is "vote for our guy or we're going to be really annoying" an effective campaign strategy?
Finally, they drove the nail into their own coffins. The "RIP Wrestlezone Forums" signatures were not only defeatist but hilariously over the top. Yes, one more mod you disagree with on an already bloated mod staff is going to completely ruin the boards for eternity. Because they're so great now. Those screamed to me, "we have given up, and will not attempt to counter Dagger's move through the polls we held so sacred, but will instead be angsty and bitchy for months."
There you have it. I definitely enjoyed watching dozens of people get their panties spun up over who gets to be rewarded with the responsibility to listen to people insult their manhood over their "lolz tna sucks" post being removed. If there's one thing I am still not able to get over, it's that people seem to think being a moderator is a reward and not a chore. It will be fun watching the residual grudges play out over the next few months.