PARIS, EARTH — It is hardly news that the exact contents of a President’s speech be unknown to the greater public or even some insiders reporters go to for sources and sound bites. What is unusual is that the President of the United Federation of Planets should make no mention of the contents of her largest speech of the year, and perhaps the last major one of her career and then fly off to a soon to be completed space station on the far side of Federation space.
A few days ago President Nanietta Bacco left Earth to travel to Astrofori One: a major cornerstone of her foreign policy in recent months, to cut the ribbon, shake hands and deliver a short speech on the progress of interstellar relations and what this jointly administered station could mean. All fairly standard and to those outside the foreign policy and economics divisions of many news organizations-the FNS included-this was nothing special, with all eyes on the elections as the field comes close to being solidified as the deadline to declare candidacy comes to a close.
That is it was fairly standard until some intern in my office piped up, “What about the State of the Federation?”
For a moment, the room was silent, and for a few moments afterwards many of us opened our mouths to speak but could not come up with the words. Within minutes though, a frantic buzz returned to the room as people scrambled to explain this aberration of an error. While a crucial and defining speech that comes along yearly, let’s face it, people are only reminded of it because someone remembers it for them and the media creates a hype over it.
“Wasn’t that supposed to be a few months ago?” Charlotte Answorth, nurse practitioner, mother of three, and restaurant patron observed when asked.
Indeed Ms. Answorth is right, the State of the Federation was supposed to be a month ago but was pushed back with the crises revolving around the Federation Transport Union and when some in the Colonial Coalition started calling for independence for their respective worlds. Naturally these took precedence, along with other issues, over a three hour speech few people talk about a few days after.
But with the revised date for the speech coming up, someone finally took notice and calculated that the President could not make it back in time to deliver her speech to the Council. This left many reporters scrambling for answers, eclipsing the election for the first time in months.
While we are no doubt all aware of the glimmering, shining, well marketed new ‘Station of Galactic Peace’, let’s give a short summation.
While seemingly hastily built and thrown together by an army of contractors, engineers and workers, Astrofori One is actually the culmination of a few years of diplomatic legwork and bridge-building done by Presidential candidate and Federation Ambassador Lily Ventu. While the Bacco administration became attached to and formally endorsed and funded the project six months ago, Astrofori One has been the glimmer in Lily Ventu’s eye for quite some time.
Normally there are not any votes in foreign policy but Ambassador Ventu doesn’t need Astrofori One as a statement of policy, she can use it as a monument of her tenacity and skillset as a woman who builds bridges and gets things done. Where other candidates need only turn to their homeworlds and say ‘look and what I’ve built’, Ambassador Ventu can hardly say the same. While intangible, her accomplishments are many but hardly awe-inspiring, and as people have been saying from the start, no one doubts her qualifications, they just need to see the woman in action before they can commit.
Well instead of boring us and potentially loosing the electorate, Lily Ventu can now also look behind her and in the grand tradition of showing, not telling, point to the giant, glittering Astrofori One and say ‘I built this’.
As she fights it out with skilled civic administrators and social and economic developers, Ambassador Ventu finally has something tangible to lend to her campaign, though only time will tell if the shiny new station, along with a laundry list of qualifications, will be enough to sway the electorate in her favor.
Of course there is the nasty question of ‘what if’? What if Astrofori One fails? What if the ‘Station of Galactic Peace’ turns into what the Planet of Galactic Peace was up until a few years ago? Well the campaign will certainly be over by the time the honeymoon period ends, or so Ambassador Ventu can hope. But by so tightly hitching her bandwagon to the station and having little to fall back on, Ambassador Ventu will rise or fall with Astrofori One and if it’s enough of a debacle, it might turn her into a one term President, or even a one year President.
Ribbon Cutting, Major Policy Speech, or Something More?
While it certainly seems like President Bacco is going to add a dash of flavor to her State of the Federation by using the shock and awe of the ribbon cutting ceremony to add some more pomp and circumstance, there have been further rumors that might not be all she’s adding to this year’s policy pot.
Tyson Holt, the noted CEO of Holt New Alliance, was also allegedly on the presidential transport Paris One with President Bacco. Having announced something no less than a paradigm shift, many wonder if the state of the Federation will combine several announcements into one. Whatever Mr. Holt and President Bacco have planned, the suspense is certainly building.
And then there is of course the forgone conclusion that President Bacco will be formally announcing that she will not stand for reelection for a fourth term in office. But then again, with so much mystery, so much suspense, perhaps she’s building all of this up for the greatest shock of all, the announcement of a fourth term in office.
Yes, we all thought it unthinkable a few months ago but as the election field shaped up and most of us shrugged our shoulders at the list of people we were offered, perhaps a fourth term for President Bacco wouldn’t be so unthinkable. Or maybe she’ll use this opportunity to be something few other Presidents have ever been, a Kingmaker, using this opportunity to throw her hat and weight behind a candidate to be her successor.
Whatever the outcome, the Federation and beyond will find out soon just what is happening on Astrofori One, and with all of this buzz, we at the FNS can only hope that we aren’t setting ourselves up for a fall.
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