PARIS, EARTH — It seems the superlative ‘Most Popular’ has been stripped from President Nanietta Bacco. In a detailed poll released this week, only 11% approved of her handling of the current Federation Transport Union crisis, with 55% disapproving and 33% undecided. While her overall poll numbers remain high, the polls on the individual issues and current crises are abysmal.
Trust in Starfleet is also in flux, with the subspace rifts caused by a Starfleet experiment wreaking havoc across the quadrant and public opinion wishing for more controls and oversight of the fleet. While President Bacco and Starfleet Command have ordered a full investigation into the incident, the Federation Council has moved to create an independent committee to investigate just what went wrong and what steps can be taken to make sure this never happens again. Public opinion on the rapid response from Starfleet is positive, though the numbers fail to reflect the full spectrum of emotions in the wake of this latest misstep by Starfleet.
As the presidential campaign season is beginning to hit its stride, many are anxious to hear from their favored candidates, and many more are still trying to make up their minds about this eclectic and unusual field of candidates. While the field has been widened recently with Governor Adellia Vor of Axanar and Primal Kp’shaiel of Xyrillia declaring their candidacy, it has hardly brought stability to the poll numbers which show that the majority of Federation citizens would like more candidates, or at least more high profile ones.
“I mean we all love Governor Vor and she’s pretty popular in the Core Worlds, but I think we know that she’s not precisely serious about running this time around. Shame, too, I don’t think I like the other candidates,” said Lindiwe Masambe, mother of three. “I didn’t vote for Ambassador Ventu three years ago, and I’m not going to now. Steiner’s a stingy little man and that Narala… have they decided if she can run?”
It’s turning into an incredible if lackluster election, and Mrs. Masambe’s sentiments are being echoed everywhere, but that hasn’t stopped the various candidates from trying to turn their public perceptions around.
On The Trail
Terra Novan Councilor Kevin Steiner spoke on Mars yesterday, while touring the recently expanded Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, an expansion he championed as a way to increase Federation stability and security in these trying times. His miraculous fundraising initiative helped his poll numbers last year and now in light of recent events, many find Councilor Steiner’s message of security and looking inward to be rather enthralling.
“Starfleet Command has my full support in using all of our resources to deal with this crisis,” said Steiner, as he stood in front of a Horizon class starship, the USS Darwin, set to be relaunched next week as part of Starfleet’s response.
“I’m also calling for a full investigation into what happened, and I urge the President to join me in doing so. Now is not the time to play politics. We need to know the truth about what caused this disaster, including whether or not it was because of mismanagement from the top,” said the veteran councilor in a somewhat candid moment from his podium at the unveiling.
Chief Administrator Narala also set out from Nimbus III early last week to begin her campaign in earnest, though many are still apprehensive and cautious about her candidacy, especially the issue raised by the ambiguity of her fulfillment of the residency requirements for the Presidency. While the Federation Supreme Court has taken up the matter and has promised to rule soon, Administrator Narala is starting to belay everyone’s fears and sweeping away their caution. Earlier this week, the Administrator addressed her supporters when asked about what action should be taken in light of the now so-called ‘Prometheus Incident’.
“Until such time the relevant information has been provided to the general public—of not only the Federation, but those who have been or can be affected by this incident—I cannot give a worthwhile response,” said Narala, speaking from Archer IV. “That said, it is my understanding that Starfleet is involved, both with causing the incident and now trying to rectify it. I don’t believe Starfleet leading the investigation is the correct course of action. The investigation of the Prometheus Incident should be handed over to a Federation agency unaffiliated with Starfleet to minimize the chance of Starfleet covering up mistakes that may have been made.”
Coming from a world that was once rife with corruption, the Administrator is perhaps justifiably cautious about Starfleet and the Presidency investigating themselves. The public is aligned with her it seems, and when two candidates agree on an issue so early in the election cycle, you’d best believe it’s a reflection on the President and her ability to govern and handle a crisis.
But when questioned about her eligibility to run, the Administrator brushed off her detractors.
“To people saying Nimbus III isn’t Federation, maybe they need to double check their facts before they start making assumptions,” she said. “A bit hurtful, don’t you think? The Federation was a founding member of this world, and though many have tried to forget about that responsibility, we certainly haven’t.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Lily Ventu has not issued a formal statement but continues to be the tepid frontrunner of this election, though she holds that title by the thread of a needle. A Starfleet veteran, Ambassador Ventu is most likely staying ‘strategically silent’ on the issue, not wanting to alienate the massive Starfleet swing vote or open herself up to allegations of hypocrisy considering her former occupation, no matter how ill-connected and ill-conceived they may be.
Reporting for the Federation News Service from the FNS Paris Bureau, with additional reporting from Sol Sector FNS correspondent T’Vas.
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