The Federation Election - An ulkyyrama's Perspective

President Roden, for all of his faults, was a leader necessary for the Federation at its lowest point in centuries. Having enjoyed relative peace since the Caldari secession, the Federation took blow after blow during Heth’s regime. The extremists and xenophobes took one constellation after another until the entirety of what now forms the Fed-State ‘Warzone’ was under their control. In response, President Foiritan attempted to nationalize the arms industry, and in response Roden proclaimed the overreached of Federal powers and won by a landslide. Through the trials and tribulations brought about by war, Roden brought the Federation back from the brink.

That time is over. With Heth’s removal of power and the tempering of State aggression, the Federation now re-enters a time of relative peace. The war is no-longer fought from hatred, but economic sentiment. The necessity of Federal might is as well tempered.

So it comes as some surprise to this fledgling Intaki that the same wariness and fear of Federal overstep on Member State powers is now set aside: President Roden leaves the ratification of the Capital Punishment Bill to the hands of the next world leader. Thusly, men like Bellaron are forced into action to see it through. I will not debate the benefits or banes of what this bill will bring. I will instead remind the Federation citizens what Roden did: Strength of the nation does not reside in Federal powers, but in the unity of its citizens who vary wildly and whose opinions are as vast as the nebulae you reside.

Do not fall prey to the rhetoric of a single-issue. Do not fall into the trappings of voting based on what this bill will bring. Think beyond, and remember what ill the Federation as a government has brought: The Ultra Nationalists, the No-Vote Bill, the contemptuous voice that would speak for you rather than let those member states speak for themselves. This is a dangerous time. Who you support and endorse will decide the view the rest of the world takes to the Federation.

Though Bellaron’s bill has some merit, it is important not to let one’s thoughts be clouded by emotional sentiment in the most extreme examples, such as Eturrer’s horrid death. Fear not for those exiled by the Jin-Mei, as they are guaranteed a basic standard of healthcare by the Federation Constitution. The sentiments toward the Sang-Do condemned are well heard by many, and even the Aidonis Foundation established a camp of doctors and humanitarians to care for these people. In additional, a plethora of capsuleer organizations also provided for those exiled. They were cared for not by the hands of Federal powers seeking to leash member states, but by individuals who took it upon themselves to exercise their compassion.

In essence, they were not “given a slow death”, and the merits of Bellaron’s bill are questionable in this regard. The citizens of the Federation should be mindful of these appeals to emotion as they are often wrought with ulterior motive. None are more familiar with exile than the Intaki, of whom were given little sympathy and yet found a way to forge a path of their own.

If one needs more evidence of this appeal to emotion, look no further than a quote from the man himself:

To that end: What does Bellaron speak of the Syndicate? If he regards exile as a slow death, then he as a representative of the Intaki should raise the banner of repatriation for our kin. This is where one can see the fault in his ambition. This is where one can see that, in light of his bill not being ratified, he seeks presidency to see it through… but what then? What can we expect of President Bellaron if he succeeds? Why does he not speak for his kinsmen of the Syndicate who were bred from exile? Ask yourselves these questions. Ask what can be gained from this, and who stands to gain from it.

We live in a time where unity is a necessity. The Amarr Empire has welcomed the Order of Saint Tetrimon and the Khanid Kingdom back into the fold; the Minmatar Republic has brought the Thukker, Starkmanir, and Nefantar tribes back into the fold; the State has never been more unified even despite the mega-corporations’ rivalries. This is a necessity. The other nations have already begun to recognize the threat of precursors to the world: The Triglavians, the Drifters, etc.

Now the Federation must seek to unify. Candidates who would push for the support of the ever-shifting interests of the Magpies and Ostriches through single-issue topics are short-sighted. The Federation needs a President who would welcome those minority races that can support her in her greatest time of need. Repatriation is a common cause: The Minmatar of the Federation, the Intaki of the Syndicate, the Caldari of Caldari Prime, and the formerly disenfranchised citizens of the warzone are without a doubt a powerful force if they would but be acknowledged, welcomed, and encouraged.

Though former candidates such as Ramnev and Ontbad have not (yet) announced their candidacy for this election, I would encourage it. I endorse it, even. Unification and repatriation of the Federation citizenry must come now, and these representatives speak volumes with their platforms. They would recognize the overstep of Federal powers and in tandem with sentiments of unification of Member States, not the Federal government’s grip, they could easily wrestle a majority vote. More than that, they would make excellent leaders in the current climate. Those candidates in which capsuleers such as myself would broadly support…

My people have suffered too long the isolation of being without a nation that puts their interests at heart. The momentum of the Intaki Prime Crisis has shown what unity can bring. Even though their interests are diverse, Federation, Syndicate, and Independent powers came together to force State invaders out of my homeworld. I cannot express the gratitude. As embarrassing as it is to admit, even GMVA tempered my bitterness toward the Federation when they provided support. It is through efforts like these that the greatest strength of the Federation was shown: Not in emotional mantra. Not in the closing grip of government powers… but in the strength of unity.

Vote well, my Federation friends. Show the world who you really are.

Nomistrav
ulkyyrama vyhort panitakin

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Well said ulkyyrama! The peoples of our Federation deserve such a candidate. In addition to those figures that you rightly mention, Governor Aguard’s speech at the Renuiphoria encouraged me to hope that one will emerge.

I would also like to echo your acknowledgement of the work of GMVA, NADSC and other FDU pilots to secure Placid and Verge Vendor at this important time. I never thought I would say that but it should be said!

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I feel that Aguard is making the same mistakes that Ontbad did years ago by rehashing the same platform as previously. It’s important for candidates to not only keep fresh their standpoints but also acknowledge the current strata. Given that Aguard has not been successful in two runs, it’s a pity that she has not yet learned to overcome this pitfall, and I think it will lead to a third loss - such why I didn’t mention her in my initial statement.

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Excellent news thus far. Roden declining to endorse a candidate as a successor is unsurprising. However, President Roden pushing ratification to the next president may be considered a tacit endorsement of Bellaron to some - myself included.

Ramnev is making great strides in starting with what would likely form the primary voting bloc for her platform. Ontbad speaking with Mannar Seginde politicians is a great way to consolidate voters outside of the Minmatar community, but it may be as baneful as it is beneficial as the Mannar are likely to support Bellaron’s capital punishment bill. Ontbad will need to try and focus on speaking points leading away from that issue if he wants the support of senators who are already set on supporting Bellaron.

It will be important to keep an eye on these candidates in the near future. Ramnev is a stronger candidate than Ontbad, in my opinion, but if Ontbad can learn from his previous mistakes and campaign on a platform that includes Mannar-specific issues, he could win their support. However, given their predominance toward the Hawk-bloc, he’ll have to tread carefully not to get caught in the trap of advocating Federation military support of the current Floseswin crisis in the Amarr-Minmatar warzone or he could lose the support of Doves. On the other hand, he might gain the support of some Magpies.

Ramnev will want to push on the Intaki situation early and aim to temper concerns of ISP involvement. If Ramnev can accomplish this feat, it will be an excellent stepping stone to rebuilding relations between the Federation and the Syndicate, and she will gain great strides with the Vultures.

Exciting times.

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Your summaries are very much appreciated, Nomistrav. I barely have time to keep up with all of the candidates otherwise.

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Interesting news today with President Roden apparently attending peace talks in the Genesis region, presumably regarding the CEMWPA loop-holes. What becomes of these peace talks will likely decide the speaking points for candidate platforms in regards to international affairs. However, as I have previously discussed in this thread, the safest bet is probably for a candidate to not make this the basis of their platforms as they will likely risk support from voter blocs.

Right out of the gate, Senator Ontbad, without yet announcing candidacy, may have already fallen into the trap of involvement in the Amarr/Minmatar warzone crisis. This denouncement (while certainly welcomed by many Gallente citizens purely on the basis of Federation perspectives) is likely going to prove more baneful than beneficial for Ontbad, however. In his denouncement of the Sarum Invasion he likely risks support from the Doves, who might see this as a sign that Ontbad would want to press for military involvement. It isn’t a far stretch of logic either considering Ontbad’s Vherokior upbringings.

While on the subject of the Doves - of which many Intaki are - where was Ontbad during the Intaki Prime crisis when Lai Dai committed to their own exploitation of CEMWPA loopholes? Why does Ontbad now speak out against the Floseswin invasion but not on other CEMWPA exploits? These are the questions that will surely be asked by potential voters who are wary of Ontbad having specialized interests rather than Federation interests.

It is possible for Ontbad to recover from this if he focuses his platform on the violation of warzone treatises. It would surely be a boon from the support of many Magpies for obvious reasons, and if he words his platform just the right way, he may even win the support of some Vultures seeking to profit off of the affair.

That is, of course, if Ontbad even announces his candidacy. Otherwise, his perspectives are as important as any other senator who is denouncing the Floseswin crisis.

Of peculiar note is candidate Soter, who’s platform consists almost exclusively of undermining his opponents and bringing his own name to greater light. It’s a decent tactic and if he continues on that path he might win over some Ostriches, but his platform is embridled with a double-standard and perhaps some hypocrisy. If one but asks the same questions he asks of his competitors: Where has Julianus Soter been these past five years? A quick search of his communication here on the IGS shows that he’s spent the majority of recent time mocking Arataka Research Consortium (of which I myself was subject to when I was with them) and… not much else. In fact, a quick search of his combat record shows that he spends the majority of his time in Black Rise, Pure Blind, and Cloud Ring. How well can Julianus Soter lead billions of Federation citizens from his throne in null-sec?

Ask the same questions of Soter as is asked of Ontbad, and one might notice that Soter was mysteriously missing from the Intaki Prime crisis while the men and women of the FDU fought for its resolution. Though of course the recent light shined on the pacification of Caldari citizens in Iralaja - of which he may have been involved in - certainly does not do him or his supporters in the FDU much justice.

Not to sound as though a hypocrite, given my praise of Villore Accords earlier in this thread, I remain appreciative of GMVA’s efforts… where there is actually effort. To which, I would suggest Rinai Vero a better candidate, whose work speaks for itself.

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Every Roden needs a Blaque, though.

There is a lot to cover as I was pre-occupied with a hi-sec war since updates have come across for the elections. I will do my best to expand thusly.

From a January 8th article:

  • Councillor Wayaki Kayara of Mannar Seginde Rebuffs Senator Kelen Ontbad as Both Position for Independent Runs at Presidency

  • Senator Ontbad brushed aside questions as to a possible run at the presidency and sought to underline the importance of diplomacy in his own remarks to the assembled press:

  • Senator Kelen Ontbad: “The reality is that our people will not be returned through military adventurism or destabilizing terrorism but by means of maintaining the security of the Federation and Republic, while pursuing every political and diplomatic means to end the scourge of slavery.”

  • In the Gallente Federation, the intervention of Senator Ontbad has gone down relatively well with academic and media commentators. However, it had a mixed reception in Minmatar communities and notably appears to have left the hawkish element of the so-called “Roden Coalition” cold.

As was expected, Senator Ontbad eschewed verbiage reflecting a potential presidential run, but I think at this point we all know better. Nevertheless, he fell into the pitfall I previously mentioned with the Floseswin crisis and in his criticisms toward the handling of the situation ultimately failed to present a focus on Federal attention in an effort to rally a base of his Minmatar kin. The attempt drew a cold response because, in my opinion, he looked to establish a soapbox built on a crisis that was too controversial for wide support. A candidate cannot lose site of the primary focus of a Federation president: The Gallente Federation. Through loose mention of the Federation, he has not only alienated Federation citizens as a whole, but also made all too clear an emotional grab that was ill-fated from the start.

So where does that leave those of us in favor of reconciliation? Ramnev remains a strong candidate, as expected. She was wise to draw attention to the matter:

  • Former Mayor Shaileen Ramnev: “I have seen communities everywhere on our scarred home,” continued Ramnev. “They are different. They are unique. They hold dear different things. But they also seek the same things every community does. Peace. Prosperity. Happiness. These are things that no one can reach if everyone seeks them only for themselves. Now is the time to search for them together. Our Federation is never at its best when it ‘directs’ the many peoples of our union. Rather it reaches its heights when it aids the people in their quest for liberty and self-determination of their home communities. Providing the aid that is needed without demands for political conformity shall be my guiding principle as President of the Gallente Federation.”

Ramnev echoes sentiments that I made clear: The Federation needs to be unified in a tumultuous time when pre-cursor threats (and a new threat in the form of the Templis Dragonaur rearing their ugly head again) is at an all time high. I was elated when I read her words, as I’m sure many Intaki would be given our history with the Federation and the State alike. Leading with a focus on Operation Highlander and the Caldari Prime crisis, however, may have harmed her running. Presenting reconciliation and unification as a topic at the end of her speech makes it seem more as an afterthought than a direct appeal. Moreover, she uses typical campaign tricks of “punch words” - easy to understand and relate to, but ultimately meaningless without a platform.

Candidate Aguard uses a similar tactic, ending on a different note:

  • Ramnev: “Peace. Prosperity. Happiness.”
  • Aguard: “- peace, prosperity and security for all.”

These two candidates seem to be focusing on largely the same points, albeit from different backgrounds and presentations. Whereas Ramnev seems to hallmark on the divisive environment toward the Caldari citizens within the core worlds, Aguard reinforces a concern toward the frontier:

  • Governor Celes Aguard: “My friends, my fellow citizens, we must never forget our families, friends and fellows who make their lives on the frontiers of this great federation. Never again can the threat of political abandonment and security apathy over the periphery be allowed to take root in the federal system. I pledge that no region, no constellation and no system will be left behind. The Gallente Federation is for all, not just the core systems. It gladdens my heart to see so many of you here, so many of you citizens of Mies, Luminaire and Crux, to support our cause of a Federation of peace, prosperity and security for all.”

It’s a strong standpoint that, given her recognizable name from two previous attempts, lends itself to a greater support base from those on the edge-worlds of the Federation. But only just. Aguard seems to miss the broader message of the Federation as a whole. Increasing security in the frontier is a noble goal, but one must always ask: “What then?” Aguard has said nothing of a long-term plan of action beyond this and while that might be respectable for a five-year term, it leaves the Federation ultimately wanting at the end of such.

And thusly, it was Councillor Wayaki Kayara that came out with a direct message that hits all the marks:

Councillor Wayaki Kayara: “This is not just about us. We know how the Federation speaks of equality and justice for all yet seldom delivers it in full to those who maintain their own cultures. We have seen how the Intaki home system and Placid region have been treated. We have seen how the Minmatar diaspora has been marginalized. How the Federation has allowed war to continue across our own borders and those of our Republic allies. We have seen how our Deteis, Civire and Achura citizens have been affected by the ongoing conflicts. We must stop all this. Reconciliation beyond our borders, with the Intaki Syndicate and, yes, with the Caldari State is necessary. But so too is reconcilitation necessary within. With our Jin-Mei friends, with our Intaki brothers and sisters, and with us, the people of Mannar Seginde and Kabar.”

Much broader in scope, his appeal applies to all of the affected minorities within the Federation, and even those of the State. It was pointed, centralizing on exactly what he meant to say without being obscured by other matters, anecdotes, or the like. He spent more time and words on reconciliation than on the matter of Kabar, but more than that he spent more effort on the appeal than Ramnev and Ontbad combined. He also emphasized both Federation and Republic security as being of great concern. His platform is suitable for a president of the Federation including both domestic and foreign affairs, inviting those ostracized and alienated by previous administrations and historical misgivings, and ultimately aims at a greater Federation on worldly terms.

Kayara, in a single speech, established himself not only as a strong candidate, but perhaps the best candidate. Though his detractors might lambast his efforts…

  • Long-time Federal-Populist and anti-war figure, Senator Vilard Garioss of Nexus said, “I sympathize with some of Councillor Kayara’s positions, even support them, but his message seemed confused to me and I have a hard time believing it will resonate beyond his core following.”

  • Retired Admiral Daren Fasio, an ethnic Mannar himself, was more forthright in his assessment, “This was a blancmange of a speech. No doubt it will appeal to pacifists and fools. I doubt that the Mannar men and women I served with would find anything appealing in it, let alone the citizens of the Federation who understand that a strong defense requires us to confront our enemies, not ‘reconcile’ with them.”

… one has to wonder how long we honestly want the Federation to continue this regime of offense toward those Kayara seeks to reconcile with. As I have previously discussed, every other sovereign faction in our cluster has already taken efforts to bring their wayward minorities back into their respective folds. The Federation is, at least at this level, the weakest of the lot, and continuing this rhetoric of “enemies” only serves to cement that position. We must absolutely look toward reconciliation and I think that Kayara’s message - even if broken up by his passion - will resonate beyond a core following.

Doves should be elated for obvious reasons.
Vultures can look toward greater economic prosperity as the Syndicate and State citizens are brought back under the Federation’s wing.
Hawks can look to greater focus on security not just with the Federation, but the republic as well.
Ostriches and Magpies of course can rally behind a noble cause such as this.

… and those who no longer feel as though the Federation represents them can finally feel uplifted by a government that has long since owed us our due.

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As usual, a brilliant summary.

Personally I was not impressed by Kayara’s statement, though I wanted to be. But to me Kayara tried to please far too many people at once, and I don’t believe that in practice, addressing the concerns of every group and making everyone happy will be achievable.

It’s a politically viable move, either way. In making broad spectrum promises he can appeal to a wider range of voters. Even delivering on a quarter of that is better than what Bellaron and Ontbad are currently running on.

Mayor Ramnev, Governor Augard and Councillor Kayara have each made declarations that will appeal to a broadly similar subset of the electorate. While I have been encouraged by all of them, I am concerned that fragmentation of what you could call the ‘federalist’ vote may play into the hands of Senator Bellaron and, if Senator Fabronne’s prediction is right, Director Blaque. It would be helpful for one of these three to emerge as the strongest contender with the endorsement of the other two.

I certainly don’t disagree. I personally feel that Aguard will fall short of the overarching goals of reconciliation, though. That in mind, Aguard is the most qualified for the position. Ramnev seems like a great choice for a higher senatorial position, but I feel her lack of experience on a Federal scale may harm her running as well.

If the three worked together…