With many thanks to the contributing authors identified below, here is a collaborative preview of some possible candidates.
We are officially off to the races for the keys to the Presidential Mansion in Libertopolis! Whoever eventually faces the daunting task of trying to fill the colossal shoes of President Roden, they are sure to come from a field of runners as diverse as our Federation itself. We briefly profile some possible candidates who may or may not run but are chosen to highlight some of the issues in play.
Beyond the diversity of the field, we can be reasonably sure of three features of the race. First, the reach of Federal Government (as highlighted by current proposals to regulate capital punishment) seems likely divide candidates and voters alike among competing visions of what the Federation should be. Second, identity politics in some communities has the potential to propel candidates like Mayor Ramnev and Senator Eleskar into the limelight. Third, Gallente voters would not be Gallente voters without throwing up one or two surprise favourites! We will come back to those but, for now, on to the more obvious candidates.
Shaileen Ramnev (@MantelGlobalIndustries)
Shaileen Ramnev is a former Mayor of Arcurio, a leading figure within the Joint Resistance Movement on Caldari/Cephalin and ran an impressive campaign for the presidency in the FC232/YC117 election. She is a figure defined by her stalwart support for her fellow citizens irrespective of their identity, as well as a staunch advocate of Caldari/Cephalin autonomy from interference by either the Federation or the State. Despite the supposed single-issue focus of her YC117 campaign, Shaileen Ramnev is an individual that prioritises the security and welfare of the people she serves above all else. Her ironclad commitment to her fellow citizens would undoubtedly be replicated across the entire Federation.
Suvio Bellaron (@Valerie_Vynneve)
Suvio Bellaron, the elder Senator from Intaki, has distinguished himself with a ten-year campaign against the death penalty. His unabashed promotion of the Federal Government’s role as guardian of the human rights which the Federation claims to stand for has earned him the ire of conservatives but also a surge in support that was absent when he first tried to limit public executions ten years ago. Bellaron has alienated Jin-Mei Senators and also, perhaps surprisingly, Intaki Reborn Senators. Were he to run for President he would be a divisive candidate but he may be tapping into a current of popular opinion that it would be foolish to underestimate.
Asbran Eleskar (@Astaire_Quatrevaux)
Asbran Eleskar is a junior Minmatar senator from Sinq Laison. He gained prominence in November YC115, when a study by the Senate Committee for Equal Rights found no evidence of systemic racism being perpetrated against the Federation’s Minmatar population. Eleskar raised concerns about the underreporting of potential institutional discrimination by its victims as well as the subjectivity of what should be considered discrimination. Although the Equal Rights Committee was quick to dismiss his concerns, he has maintained his role as a voice for Minmatar in the Federation. As a president, Eleskar could be a powerful demonstration both at home and aboard of the Federation’s values in action, which may appeal to a broad section of the electorate.
A question on many minds is whether Mentas Blaque will run again or be content to remain as the éminence grise of the FIO. If he chooses the latter, who might inherit his mantle as champion of voters for whom ‘traditional values’ are key? This constituency would be dangerous to ignore in many parts of the Federation and may provide a newcomer with a route to Villore.
We have already had our first surprise candidate of the race with the announcement of General @Julianus_Soter. This charismatic FDU commander certainly has a chance to mobilise the ‘veteran vote’ recently identified as crucial by a Caille University study. An officer more versed in the bureaucracy of government such as Grand Admiral Ranchel might be more credible but no-one should dismiss the romantic allure of a frontier general promising to clean up what many see as a corrupt system.
Lastly, is this the race when we will finally see a candidate with genuine star appeal navigate the policy pitfalls and personal scrutiny of a presidential election? Someone like Jocelin Riccard, perhaps? Mlle. Riccard already has a following from her music and combines the glamour of being a close confidante of Ensî Beatrice of Central Garoun (even performing as the Divine Galâ Vinannai at the Ensî’s recent wedding) with the credibility of a long association with the celebrated singer and social activist, Amelia Piroette - that ticks a lot of boxes!
Regardless of who runs (and, frankly, who wins), what is perhaps more important is participation. The Federation’s democracy is unique and precious and it weakens without participation. So, thank you for reading and please encourage your crews to get out and vote on Election Day.
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