PARIS, EARTH — With three candidates officially in the race and Federation President Nan Bacco herself still undeclared, the 2392 elections have come off to a false start with a lack of popular or notable candidates only a month before the deadline for declaring their intent to run.
Lily Ventu is an ambassador and former Starfleet psychologist who has little notoriety despite her many accomplishments. Chief Administrator Narala, the surprise candidate from Nimbus III, might not even be eligible to run, and Terra Novan Councilor Kevin Steiner does little to inspire the masses as a man, owing most of his popularity to his platform than his command of the hearts and minds of Federation citizens.
Without a clear frontrunner and President Bacco’s own decision to run again still a mystery, the media and the general public are looking to other prospective candidates to capture their imagination and get their blood pumping for a tough election cycle.
“I’m really looking forward to participating in competitive elections, but I don’t feel too excited about any of these candidates,” said Maris t’Rhel, a recently naturalized Romulan refugee. “I saw President Bacco sweep the Federation in a few months when she ran for the first time. I don’t know if any of these candidates have the charisma she had.”
Maris isn’t alone in her beliefs. In a recent poll, 89% of polled voters declared they would like to see a broader range of candidates, and 45% stated that they wouldn’t vote for any of the three current candidates if the election were held today. While there is still plenty of time for these candidates to catch up and court public opinion, their campaigns live in the shadows of not only President Bacco’s potential candidacy but also the massive popularity of other politicians who haven’t yet declared.
Waiting In The Wings
There are a variety of potential candidates that have the popularity and political acumen to blow the existing candidates out of the water.
The young governor of the planet Axanar, Adellia Vor has been making more than a few fiery and impassioned speeches of late, reaching out to her massive constituency. She is well-known as a model of civic duty packed with youthful charisma that has made her an icon among the young voters of the Federation.
Governor Vor is a popular search request and regularly covered in the Federation press, both for her obvious natural skills as an administrator and leader, and her incredible accomplishments at such a young age. Many political commentators see Governor Vor as a likely candidate but not one who is “in it to win it” so to speak. Many think she will run just to get her name out to a wider audience and take advantage of the wide electoral coverage to set up both herself and her ideals for a serious run in 2396.
A noted Vulcan Kolinahr master, Siraan has been a powerful force for peace and logic in the sometimes turbulent 24th century. A High Priest of Mount Seleya, Siraan has organized various charitable, diplomatic and humanitarian ventures throughout the Federation and beyond. While he has never given any indication that he wants to run for public office, he has surprisingly widespread appeal for a Vulcan.
Siraan is well-versed in the histories, cultures and philosophies of many species and has something of a cold, fatherly charisma. He has been a powerful voice for the expansion of holographic rights and increased humanitarian missions and foreign aid. Siraan has met with the last five Federation Presidents and is a valued consular for the Vulcan High Command. Should he chose to run, Siraan would be an unorthodox candidate but with more widespread appeal and name recognition than anyone else, giving him a boost despite his unusual profession as a philosopher, writer, and noted artist.
Like Governor Vor, Metera zh’Fey of Andoria is young and charismatic, but she also bears the name of the perpetrator of one of the largest corruption scandals in Federation history. Daughter of Zhon sh’Fey, the Andorian businesswoman and shipping magnate who was convicted of bribery of public officials after being caught and exposed by veteran journalist Maronida Shiir, Metera has a dark cloud hanging over her candidacy. While she may be counting that the current generation won’t know her familial relation and that the older generation won’t care, it is an awful lot to gamble in a potentially ruinous race for the highest position in the land.
zh’Fey was elected as Chancellor of the Andorian Empire early last year when her coalition gained a majority of seats in the Andorian Parliament. Since then she has gone on a massive infrastructure revitalization policy that has caused the Andorian economy to boom. Her personal appeal is what got the Andorian city of Lor’Vela the seat of the Olympic Games earlier this year and has put her at the center of the media’s attention.
The Primal of Xyrillia, Kp’Shaiel is one of the most stunning political stories to ever grip the Federation. Once a simple artist, painting in the countryside, Kp’Shaiel submitted his candidacy for governor of his local territory after years of mismanagement by the administration. Sweeping the election, he became popular as his time as provincial governor ran on and garnered the attention of the Xyrillian public. He ascended higher and higher to office, outperforming his rivals at every turn and connecting with the people on a deeply personal level.
Kp’Shaiel has eschewed many of the trappings of power and still paints regularly. He has a policy of good and honest governing by the people, for the people. One of the few populists to actually be one of the people, Kp’Shaiel, more than any other candidate, is a true outsider who embodies many of the Federation’s core values. He has a Human husband, reads Vulcan philosophy, served in the Dominion War and speaks dynamically but plainly about his ideals, preferring to write his short but empowering speeches himself. In the words of his former neighbor Ak’Le, “He’s just a plain young man who decided to become Primal; couldn’t have asked for a better man for the job.”
In the Shadow of a Giant
There is one potential candidate who might dwarf all others: incumbent President Nanietta Bacco.
She has repeatedly evaded the question of a fourth term in office. Her aids state that the president has “larger concerns,” but that an announcement will be made “soon and with the ceremony befitting a sitting President.”
Many have interpreted this line as a statement that President Bacco will announce her candidacy at this month’s State of the Federation address. While her popularity has waned recently in the wake of current crises involving the Federation Transport Union, the Colonial Coalition, and just whom the Federation should be helping, she remains one of the most popular presidents in Federation history and could conceivably make a run at an unprecedented fourth term in office.
In the words of dockworker Martin Livsky of San Francisco, “Hey she might have dropped the ball on this one, but she’s still got my vote over… who’s running again?”
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