EBC Poll: Senate Loses Ground Since Midterm






Senate Loses Ground Since Midterm
38.5% approve, versus 47.8% at midterm, with none "very satisfied"

Written by McEntire





Author's note: this article features some rather harsh assessments of the Senate's performance from anonymous commenters. While none were so harsh that I felt I had to omit them from the article, I would like to introduce an informal rule on approval polls: the "say it with your chest" rule. If you wouldn't post it on a public Senate platform, don't post it anonymously in an approval poll. We all benefit from straightforward and honest accountability, but it has to come from a constructive place, and there's nothing constructive about personal attacks made from behind an anonymized Google form. It's up to all of us to keep Europeia a fun place where people are given room to grow. Thanks!

The Senate has slipped to a dreary 38.5% approval rating, with no respondents indicating that they were "very satisfied" with the body's performance this term. Several Senators drew sharp comments regarding their activity, conduct, and competence. This comes even as a majority say that they would bring back three Senators - Malashaan, Cove, and Hezekon.

This poll ran from May 12-14, and drew 26 respondents.

Senate Job Satisfaction
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The Senate is not deeply unpopular, with a plurality still satisfied with its performance, but it is one of the more unpopular Senates in recent memory. The comments point to problems with "inactivity" and a "stagnant" Senate. There was also a sense that, although the Senate has taken up many amendments, it has struggled with follow-through.

Lots of inactivity, incompetence

New is fine. New and inactive less so. Second half of the term has been better.

So much talking and so little doing. Lots of ideas thrown around but no one seems to have the know how to actually write legislation.

One thing to note that it was a bit confusing to see a lot of nuance discussions on amendments to be made for Laws this Senate term then previous Senate's before. It was just a bit out of the ordinary to see, otherwise it was just a very average Senate this time round.

The only senators that are actually active are Hez and Gem. This is not acceptable.

A little slow on the whole, but there were some good ideas thrown around.

Felt like a pretty stagnant term overall. At the midterm, I remarked how they seemed to be taking their time on important matters. I still stand behind that. However, it became dithering the moment things withered on the vine.

Senate Speaker Olde Delaware - 53.9% Satisfied

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Senate Speaker OD, who saw a somewhat controversial term and has already announced his intent not to run for re-election, posts a decent 53.9% approval rating, with just over a quarter disapproving. The comments were split, with many praising OD's level of commitment but others noting a lack of activity and professionalism that plagued the Senate overall.

In the post where he announced he would not be running again, OD chalked the decision up to public criticism despite the efforts he put in this term, saying "I am not the region's best legislator but I tried my hardest, didn't burn the place down and I'd like to think that counted for something." It seems from these numbers that the region is giving him credit and that his efforts count for something, but his numbers are still middling by historical standards.

OD has put a lot of effort in.

OD iz king

Feels like he improved since the first half

Honestly OD had been ok. I expected this to go a lot worse. He kept the ship afloat even if things were a bit sloppy or meandering overall.

Not much to say, but it was a treat to see OD as a Speaker for once.

I loved his performance as a whole. I thought he asked the necessary questions needed. His continued support of FOIA was not surprising, but I'm glad he ditched it as it became evident what he'd been told was a possibility with real consequences. His last statement though was a little much. It felt like he was pulling the guilt card on people who criticized him, and I don't like that kind of manipulation.

The speaker should be leading discussions, not sitting around twiddling his thumbs. This senate’s total lack of activity is cartoonish.

Not a very good speaker term IMO. Took way too long to do just about everything.

A solid term even if his rating suffers a bit from the malaise the rest of the Senate suffered from.

He was not ready to be Speaker - wanting to be Speaker does not make you qualified nor does it mean you've "earned the chance". Even now there are still mistakes being made when it comes to the Senate Protocol Act.

Senator Malashaan - 65.4% Satisfied

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Veteran Senator Malashaan clocks the highest approval in the Senate, with 65.4% satisfied with his tenure this term. Comments were very mixed, with plaudits one could expect as well as comments about Malashaan's activity and demeanor in the Senate. Overall though, must be considered solid numbers for Malashaan, and many commenters applauded his ability to use institutional knowledge to keep the Senate on the right track.

I believe he's a little elitist in who he thinks deserves to be in the Senate

Poor Mal

He had a large stretch of inactivity, missing votes and discussions

Mal iz my soulmate

Tone down the arrogance and turn up the activity

He is Mal, of course what would you see from him, amazing debates all around. And he has done some wonderful debates.

Mal is keeping this ship afloat, despite the efforts of every other passenger to sink it.

Perhaps not as active as I’d hoped he would be, but he’s the consistent voice of reason in this senate.

Mal is the definitive Euro senator. He knows his stuff, and he’s not afraid to call you out if you don’t.

An excellent term from someone who was always there to make sure things stayed on the right track.

Having to keep the Senate functioning without the compensation of getting to be called Speaker.

Senator Hezekon - 57.7% Satisfied

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Senator Hezekon, who entered the Senate after winning a by-election to replace now-Vice President Sincluda, premieres to very solid approval ratings, tying Malashaan for the number of respondents who indicated they were "very satisfied" with his performance. Frequently, Senators who enter from a by-election have difficulty establishing themselves by the end of the term, but Hezekon earns solid numbers and comments given his short tenure. The comments identified Hezekon as a particularly bold Senator, with some identifying it as a positive ('stand his ground') and some identifying it as a negative ('very combative').

Has been active since he got in, but not sure his oversight is really effective.

Probably the most active and insightful senator. This was a learning experience for him for sure, and I'd love to see him back in action in the Senate because he gets things done.

active!

Stands his ground, does a good job

Difficult

Hezekon has done the unthinkable and headbutted with Malashaan in regards to debating about issues and stuff in the discussions that's been done in the Senate. He is a force to be reckoned with in the Senate.

Been waiting too long for a Hez run and he showed he can take the Senate seriously.

One of two Senators who’re consistently active, but he seems very combative, and doesn’t understand the laws.

Hez’ argument with Mal really spoiled him in my mind.

“I have no strong opinions either way.”

He is active, if some of his ideas/suggestions aren't fantastically well thought out


Senator Cove - 42.3% Satisfied
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Senator Cove posts a decent 42.3% satisfaction rating, which is higher than the Senate overall but still pretty low historically. Notably, Cove had a low rate of dissatisfaction, and the plurality of respondents were neutral on his freshman term in the Senate. As we will see below, he has a decent number of voters who want him to return to the Senate, so these somewhat low numbers shouldn't be taken as too much of a black mark on his electoral record. Several comments mention concerns with activity.

Amazing, really great first time senator

Some good points Cove made in regards to some issues to Amendments and stuff.

A very good showing for a new Senator.

If there weren’t masking, I wouldn’t know Cove was a senator. He’s been complete absent the entire term, and for some baffling reason, has denied to appoint a senate sub.

Cove was pretty absent for the term. Pretty sure he had school stuff though so it’s alright.

Quite impressed with Cove’s performance overall.

Not very active.

Senator Gem - 23% Satisfied

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Senator Gem scored lowest on these Senate approvals, with only 23% satisfied with their performance. A large plurality were dissatisfied with this term from Gem. The comments noted activity issues, although the Senator also received some positive comments.

Could've done better

Well well well, Gem has made some good discussions on proposed amendments to things and drafting stuff. He was a good Senator to watch to see what he would do this term and I was not disappointed from his stuff he did this time round.

Not active.

Gem really turned it around in the second half of the term. Even though he was absent for much less of the first half, He’s been very active recently, and has introduced a variety of quality amendments to discuss. (Except for the Foreign Saboteur Amendment, that was garbage.)

Nice counterbalance to Mal. Less experience, but more willing to change. I enjoyed seeing how they discussed things and compromised.

Faded to the background a bit too much

Not that active.

The Upcoming Election

The Senate election thus far has been a little slow-going, mirroring the term itself. Despite the middling marks given to the Senate, a majority of Europeians want to see three Senators from this term - Malashaan, Cove, and Hezekon - return for another go. Many names were thrown out as potential candidates this go-round, although a plurality of respondents said that they themselves would likely be too busy next term to run.

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As previously noted, bare majorities call for Senators Malashaan, Cove, and Hezekon to be re-elected. It is notable that no Senator breaks 60% in their re-elect number, an aberration from previous terms. Only 26.1% wanted to see Speaker Olde Delaware return to the Senate, while only 17.4% want Senator Gem back. As for who people do want to see in the next Senate, the following names received some mention:
  • Lloenflys - 5
  • Pland Adanna - 3
  • Pichtonia - 2
  • Sarah - 2
  • Greater Cesnica - 2
  • Monkey - 1
  • SkyGreen - 1
  • Seva - 1
  • Ervald - 1
  • Calvin Coolidge - 1
  • Vor - 1
  • Poseidon63 - 1
  • United Adaikes - 1
  • Kuramia - 1
  • PhDre - 1
  • McEntire - 1
  • Darkslayer - 1
  • Lime - 1
Other respondents, when asked who they'd like to see run for Senate, responded "I want all Europeians to see the Senate as a viable way to build your experience," and "anyone else please." The wide variety of names thrown out, and the miscellaneous other comments, show that Europeians are hungry for more choices for Senate. It is more doubtful whether or not they themselves want to be those candidates.

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A plurality said that they are not running for Senate, which is probably to be expected, and only 4 respondents confirmed that they were, in fact, running. When asked why they were/weren't running, a whopping 44% of respondents said that they didn't feel they could sustain the activity level for the next term. The rest of responses were divided between myriad concerns, such as conflicts of interest with current positions, lack of legislative experience, and the catch-all "because I don't feel like it." The silver lining is that many respondents said they were "maybe" running for Senate.

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In addition, the plurality of respondents say they want a seven-member Senate, which would be larger than the 5-member Senates we have had for the last several terms. The next most popular response was "undecided," which makes sense given that Senate size is partially dependent on how many people run.

Perhaps these poll results, showing a hunger for more candidates, will push more of those undecided folks towards a run. After all, between the low satisfaction with the last Senate, few candidates running now, and a desire for a larger Senate, any one candidate can have a large sway on the race and on regional happenings.

What will this election be about? What issues are at play?

Senate elections are the excitement of debate, questions, and having a critical eye to detail.

WE NEED A BIGGER SENATE. Five senators is clearly not enough, because at most two are active at any given time.

Good luck to everyone involved!

The Senate's business was quite interesting to watch.

Not gonna ask about FOIA?

GET STUFF DONE. There are so many amendments sitting around because nobody will take the time to comment on and improve them. This is an absolute joke.

FOIA was a dud, a sad dud, but a dud nonetheless

 
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Gem

Lord of the Oshawotts
Senator
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Gonna be honest here, it's really disheartening to make a concerted effort to be more active, and to have your approval drop anyway.
 

Lethen

Nissan: electric cars for electric drivers
Forum Administrator
Supreme Chancellor
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Gonna be honest here, it's really disheartening to make a concerted effort to be more active, and to have your approval drop anyway.
That's the nature of the beast in Europeia, and I'd argue NationStates as a whole, particularly after the emergence of Discord. Many people are dinged for inactivity when they are very much around and doing work; the usual counter-refrain is that they "aren't active enough" which, in my anecdotal experience, translates to "they don't shit-post enough in EuroChat." I was a bit surprised about the inactivity comments with some Senators because so many had comments that said the opposite (see: comments about yourself Gem), and I don't think this Senate was perfect, but I didn't expect you'd earn a 23% approval rating. I wonder if that speaks to another side of the Discord coin, which is that you may be active enough on Discord but in the "wrong ways," e.g. you may not be a popular presence, you may butt heads with the wrong people in various channels, etc.

Negative factors and poor perceptions from Discord didn't help a few Senators this term, honestly.
 

Hezekon

Right Hono(u)rable Minister of Music
Citizen
I think this is a great read. Thank you, McEntire, for taking the time to put together this poll and its straightforward and concise analysis!

I think the criticisms of my performance are earned and I will do better in future runs to make sure to improve on them.
 

Poseidon63

Why does why form so many unanswered questions?
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Very good analysis McEntire!! Not all the critics are true, I also think that everyone needs to be a bit more, kind isn't the right word I am looking for, but Senators have a real life and don't spend all their game time on the Senate. For example, Gem is also doing a good job as Minister of WA so they can't put all their time in the Senate. And comments like "...the efforts of every other passenger to sink it." aren't ok, everyone knows that all the Senators are doing their ultimate best and try to do this as good as possible, so this isn't a fair comment at all.

By the way McEntire, it is 63 and not 64 in my name ( :
 

Gorundu

Senator
Citizen
What I found interesting is that for each Senator except Hezekon (who joined midterm), there were comments to the tune of "amazing job" and others to the tune of "totally inactive". Are people looking at the same Senators?
 

McEntire

Senator
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Very good analysis McEntire!! Not all the critics are true, I also think that everyone needs to be a bit more, kind isn't the right word I am looking for, but Senators have a real life and don't spend all their game time on the Senate. For example, Gem is also doing a good job as Minister of WA so they can't put all their time in the Senate. And comments like "...the efforts of every other passenger to sink it." aren't ok, everyone knows that all the Senators are doing their ultimate best and try to do this as good as possible, so this isn't a fair comment at all.

By the way McEntire, it is 63 and not 64 in my name ( :
Thank you! And apologies on the name, I copied straight from what people submitted, should have double-checked!

Fwiw, I do think that the confluence of uneven expectations of the Senate leads people to sometimes do their ratings just off vibes. Was this Senate term lackluster? Probably a bit. Was it the worst in years? I don't think so. And maybe the answer is that more Senates deserved 38% approval ratings, not that this one deserved higher! 😂
 

PhDre

Deputy Minister
Citizen
Some general thoughts:

  • Senate is "newer" / less experienced than the average Senate (from my impression). This coupled with the Senate being at its minimum possible size results in the perception (fair or unfair) that the Senate is figuring out how to do its as it goes. Back and forth between Mala and Hez in the Senate just before the poll came out highlights his.
  • Not great approval ratings for some Senators but +50% want them to return. I'm not sure what explains this discrepancy.
  • Senate "failed" to deliver on what folks probably perceived as its major issue (FOIA reform). This probably has somethign to do w/ bad rankings.
  • So many respondents seem to think that they arent active enough to contribute to the Senate. I'd like to push back against that a little, I think that having another 7 candidate election would be really sad for the Senate. At the same time I understand that there is the very real possibility that being a Senator doesnt actually contribute to advancement in the region and perhaps is a "net negative" on the average Senator resume (in a poorly perceived Senate). I wonder how much that is scaring folks off.
 

Hezekon

Right Hono(u)rable Minister of Music
Citizen
I think you make good points in your comment here, but I will respond to this:
So many respondents seem to think that they arent active enough to contribute to the Senate. I'd like to push back against that a little, I think that having another 7 candidate election would be really sad for the Senate. At the same time I understand that there is the very real possibility that being a Senator doesnt actually contribute to advancement in the region and perhaps is a "net negative" on the average Senator resume (in a poorly perceived Senate). I wonder how much that is scaring folks off.
I will say, I would be running again, if I weren't starting up my second job this week. And due to scheduling, I will be working Monday-Wednesday from 9am to 10pm, without factoring in travel time. For me, at least, I just do not wish to commit time to a "third job" and find that I have to resign a week into the term, because that usually doesn't look good on the resume, nor do I think it would be helpful to the region, with such a quick turnaround election. So I figured I would play it safe for this particular term, and rub again at a later time when I feel like I can contribute a bit more.

I had not considered the fact that people might be wary of the nonpromotional aspect of the Senate. As I rather enjoyed my Senate term so far, I am curious what others' thoughts are.
 
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