To put a little perspective on how these "silent promotions" work, here's how the promotion / demotion process works for higher ups. It varies a bit from division to division, but it's in general the same.
A thread/discussion is created for promotions and demotions
All prospective (Both members that have applied and not applied) staff are discussed thoroughly
All higher ups of the division get input
All community managers/Aegean can see all discussion
Feedback must be valid, and is under scrutiny of all higher ups, including CMs/CLs
Goes through chat logs to see how they interact when staff is not available
Use GameME to see activity on servers
Higher ups come to a unanimous decision
After discussion, approval goes to CMs
We almost never disagree upon decisions, I honestly cant remember the last time we rejected someone
If the prospective staff hasn't applied, they should be contacted to see if they would accept the position
To my knowledge, this hasn't always been followed, but we will certainly follow up with higher ups to ensure that this happens
In addition, +1/-1 on a staff application is not entirely representative of if someone will be promoted. We appreciate your feedback, but someone who receives all +1s is not guaranteed to get staff, just as someone who receives majority -1s is not guaranteed to not get staff. Everything is always taken on a case by case basis. Getting "Chummy" with higher ups is not necessarily a way to get staff (see @Jaydow CSGO Division Manager position). I can safely say that there's nothing more annoying than someone asking for staff, and they almost never get promoted any time soon. Obviously, getting to know higher ups is going to get you promoted quicker, as they'll know you better. Honestly, that's life, anyone who's been working before knows that the better relationship you have with your boss, you're probably going to get promoted quicker. This also assumes that you deserve to be promoted, as I've gotten to know people better and realized "Wow, I'll never promote that guy" before, even when I like them as a person.
As for bad staff, staff are held to a high standard. Of course, you learn through mistakes, and our staff are people too. But for example, toxicity and abuse will never be tolerated, and its quiet easy to remove staff that don't deserve powers. Anyone can post a staff abuse thread, and demotions can occur without a staff abuse thread. I've found that many times that people don't want another person to be staff hasn't actually been due to if the person does or doesn't deserve staff, but more personal vendettas against one another.
Edit: I'll also be moving this to General, as this applies to all divisions