Author Topic: 2011 Gubernatorial Debate: An Evaluation  (Read 45 times)

Darien Fenner

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2011 Gubernatorial Debate: An Evaluation
« on: May 16, 2011, 10:34:44 PM »

[size=9]Senior Columnist and Investigative Journalist: Darien Fenner[/size]


2011 Gubernatorial Debate: An Evaluation
May 16, 2011

They don?t call elections a race for nothing.

Despite limited campaign time this year, candidates for Governor have so far gone to great lengths to demonstrate their political efforts and enthusiasm for office. And with voting day upon us and over half the original contenders weeded out during the primaries, pressure is beginning to set in for the remaining four who have something to prove.

Well. Remaining four who have something, at least.

In any event, the 2011 debate provided an excellent opportunity to shed some light onto some of the more ambiguous campaigns, while at the same time obscuring others. As with most competitions, some winners and some losers emerged on May fourteenth. And while the winners no doubt have cemented themselves in this particular sprint and have assured themselves a close race, at least one of the current candidates may have sustained an injury serious enough to immobilize them until next season.

Then again, RhyDin always was a sucker for hard-luck cases.

In the spirit of competition, it seems only appropriate that each of the candidates be evaluated based on their closing statements and their responses to each of the three questions presented during the debate. Keep in mind that if you would like to proffer any further queries or voice your opinion, you are encouraged to write your local publication or your candidates directly.

Question No. 1: What will you do to support small business owners if they are elected?

First Place: Corlanthis Wystansayr
Runner-Up: Matthew Simon
Dead Last: Dyarhk


Though only three (and one fourth) official questions were addressed this particular debate, they were fortunately ones that are especially relevant to this election  and generally regarded subjects that RhyDin cares the most about. After all, the bulk of RhyDin?s interests tends to lie in one of three areas: Business, autonomy, and protection. And in spite of the facetious way this particular inquiry was presented, the question is in and of itself a very good one ? especially given the fact that many of the platforms this year have a significant focus on business and commerce.

Surprisingly, the candidate with the most business-focused platform this election remained the most tightlipped in her first response. In her opening statements, Fionna Helston al Amat did eloquently outline her ?light-touch opportunity? campaign, expressing a need to ?highlight opportunities and work with members of the community - both businesses and individuals - to meet the needs of the community within the community.? Yet when given the chance to reaffirm her concept of opportunity, Helston al Amat danced around the issue.

?Ours is a free economy. We do not need to build a bureaucracy to make it function. It already does so.?

Granted, Helston al Amat has made it clear that she intends to keep the government?s footprint very small. But much of her support has also stemmed from her promises to ?create opportunities and allow the residents of this city the freedom to act on them.? So it is ironic indeed that her opponent, Corlanthis Wystansayr ended up being the one to leap on the opportunity idea:

?I intend to introduce an body of administration whose aim it will be to help promote our local businesses into areas they may otherwise be unable to access. The businesses will, of course, have to succeed on the merits of their own products or services, but it shall not be because people were unaware of them, or they were not given a fair chance to succeed.?

Taking a cue from Driscol ? and himself from previous years, actually ? Wystansayr brings up an excellent point: many RhyDin businesses don?t know the first thing about advertising, both locally and transdimensionally. And while he did not detail how he plans to educate business owners to that effect, his candid assessment of corporate success was refreshingly realistic without being idealistic: While the government can try to point you in the right direction, success is ultimately your own responsibility.

Dyarhk started out relatively strong, throwing out forceful and impressive phrases like ?Sudden Action Directive? and ?closer examination,? both somewhat consistent with topics he has brought up in previous interviews. Amazingly, Dyarhk even managed to stay afloat after uttering the word ?law? ? usually considered political suicide in an autonomy like RhyDin.  But not long after he nosed briefly ahead of Helston al Amat did he stumble over his own words:

?I think a closer examination law will be a great step towards both getting these smaller and larger businesses alike the notice they will require to do business here in RhyDin, as well as inspect and flesh out our untrustworthy businesses that are trying to build legitimate income on illegitimate fronts.?

By remaining overly vague in his initial assertion, Dyarhk not only presented himself as a hard-handed tyrant who will crack down on illegitimate businesses, he also dug himself into a hole when it came to attempting to recover.

?The intent is to create a more knowledgeable database, more easily accessible to see just what buildings these are we're walking by rather than drawing blanks and walking on,? amended Dyarhk, prompting a political sprain that will doubtlessly give him trouble before the race is up. His rough transition from hard-handed protector ? more specifically, a ?family? approach he has taken to peddling lately ? to humble educator brands him as wishy-washy, giving fuel to the notion that he purposefully changed his argument only after having heard Wystansayr?s and Helston al Amat?s thought-out responses.

It was here that Matthew Simon earned his Second-Place status, arguing that while Dyarhk?s knowledgeable database idea was ?a good sentiment? [RhyDin] cannot put too many obstacles in the way that prevent new business from establishing themselves?? He later went on to say, ?His proposal promotes suspicion rather than support of one's neighbor? ? a point consistent with Simon?s much more personal, ?We are RhyDin!? campaign this year. Indeed, Simon?s new slogan this year is becoming as memorable as Driscol?s ?Remember Your Roots? campaign of last year, combating criticism Simon has faced in the past for seeming supercilious compared with his constituents. This time he is going to great lengths to seem as united and down-to-earth as Helston al Amat ? a risky gamble that may or may not pay off in the end.
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Darien Fenner

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Re: 2011 Gubernatorial Debate: An Evaluation
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 10:39:32 PM »
Question No. 2: What is your stance for or against the institution of slavery in RhyDin?  And if you take no stance, why?

First Place: Fionna Helston al Amat
Runner-Up: Matthew Simon
Dead Last: Dyarhk


For a topic that is especially touchy for RhyDin citizens, Fionna Helston al Amat truly shined by remaining exceptionally lucid and composed ? a formidable feat, given her firsthand experience with the issue. Furthermore, Helston al Amat managed to compensate for her strange evasion of the previous question by drawing attention to her fresh, straightforward understanding of what makes a business, and her strong desire to lead by example:

?[Slavery] is not a problem that the government can solve. It is a business. The only law that can control it is the law of supply and demand. That is why, as a member of the business community in RhyDin, I am proud to have committed to the Fair Labor Agreement.?

Meanwhile, though Wystansayr was quick to agree with the ?lead by example? form of government, his fits of temper with regard to the subject of slavery were especially costly.

?It is with the business decisions I can make that I can spread the word that slavery in RhyDin will not be profitable! Now, I cannot tell private buyers how to conduct business. But as a signatory of the Fair Labor Agreement, I can make the decision not to support it through my actions and the actions of own business.?

At first blush this seems like a brilliant, well thought-out argument. And had Wystansayr left it at that, it would have catapulted him into the lead for this debate. However, upon hearing succeeding responses he immediately proceeded to blatantly attack his fellow candidates ? inevitably labeling him as an over-emotional hothead. Ironic, considering that of all the candidates this year Wystansayr is probably considered the most easygoing, albeit frivolous personality. Still, mentions of the Fair Labor Agreement by Helston al Amat and Wystansayr prove that not only does each candidate have strong, decided positions that have been vigorously explored, but that both have at least taken some time to research current events.

The Fair Labor Agreement, which can be traced back to Dominion Exports (previously DeMuer Exports), is a service and commerce contract targeted at business owners and clients that promises higher social and labor standards for employees and accessory resource workers. More importantly, The F.L.A. is decidedly anti-slavery; Businesses that commit to the F.L.A. also commit to the promise that no slavery of any kind is involved in the production or sale of their goods or services. Thus it goes without saying that a signature on the F.L.A. makes for a few raised eyebrows in the trafficking district ? something that Dyarhk is not prepared to risk. But while his initial response raised eyebrows for its blatant ambiguity, he might have left himself as less of a target had he remained comfortable with being merely tongue-tied.

?While I do not like slavery, one cannot ignore its intricately woven roots in our economy and our way of life. My stance is to allow it as it is currently,? explained Dyarhk. Then in the same breath, he continued with ?Some things could, and should demand intervention with force from the Watch. Slavery is one thing, torture is another, and it's just a few other steps away from murder, and the citizen's will not be electing a governor that lets this simply happen if you elect me as governor.?

After it was made clear that his ambiguous position left more than a few heads itchy, Dyarhk finally ceased running in circles and began sprinting again. Unfortunately, that sprint was backwards, past the starting line, and into the stands.

?Can we, as RhyDin, live with what may happen if slavers choose to let us know in their own ?declaration? their disapproval of such an open stance against them?? argued Dyarhk in a follow-up of the initial question. While it may be wise not to actively take up arms against the entire slaving industry, the way Dyarhk presented himself merited more than a little vitriol from the crowd. And while such a response probably should not be branded as shameless cowardice, let us just say that it subtracted quite substantially from his ?hero points.?

Perhaps the strongest thing that Matt Simon has going for him in this election ? other than his experience ? is his consistency. For though the ?slippery slope? argument is one that he has used before, it is certainly an argument that works.

?If someone in the Governorship outlawed [slavery], it's the potential for a dangerous precedence. What other rights or freedoms might be taken away because the elected Governor disagreed with a given practice?  We all have to ask ourselves that question.?

After all? If anyone knows how the road to hell is paved, it is Simon.
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Darien Fenner

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Re: 2011 Gubernatorial Debate: An Evaluation
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 10:47:25 PM »
Question No. 3: What contingencies do you have in mind should you need to be away for an extended period of time?

First Place: Dyarhk
Tie for Second: Matthew Simon, Fionna Helston al Amat
Dead Last: None

For every bit as pertinent as the preceding questions were, a contingency plan is infinitely more so ? especially when Sheridan Driscol?s abrupt and lengthy disappearance is taken into account. Moreover, though there isn?t necessarily a wrong answer to this question there is certainly a comprehensive one. And ultimately, only minor shortcomings in Helston al Amat?s and Simon?s arguments kept them from scooping up the same amount of points as each of their competitors.

?Should I find that I will be unable for an extended period of time to fulfill my duties as governor, I will turn to the citizens of RhyDin and request that a replacement be selected through special election,? asserted Helston al Amat, prompting resonating agreement from Simon.

Given the plausibility of this argument, it seems almost unfair to nitpick. But seeing as the actual question was motivated by the situation with Sheridan Driscol, it is especially important to point out that not all absences can be anticipated. Though an impromptu mid-term election is doubtlessly the most evenhanded option, both Simon and Helston al Amat fail to take into account the amount of work that goes into an election. How long would the intercession term last? Would a debate be held? Moreover, who would organize the election if the Governor unexpectedly became absent and had not yet devoted any time or thought to that kind of preparation?

Dyarhk and Wystansayr squeaked ahead of their fellow candidates, but not by much. Both presented solid backup plans in the case of unexpected disappearances ? namely, someone to fall back on. In Dyarhk?s case, his contingency plan is in the form of a man named Gregory Finder. In Wystansayr?s, a woman named Taneth Mercer. The only drawback is that publicly we know next to nothing about either running mate. We know only as much about Mercer as she has popularly disclosed, and we know only as much about Gregory Finder as Dyarhk has told us. Truthfully, had Finder taken the initiative early on in the campaign to make himself known to RhyDin ? through speeches, written word to publications, or even in a brief published autobiography or anecdote, it is possible that Dyarhk's win for this round would have been much more solid. Likewise, had Wystansayr filled his contingency slot with someone proficient at more than just staring absently and looking cute, he might have been able to earn some pretty professional attention. ?Might,? of course, being the operative word.

Closing Remarks

First Place: Matthew Simon
Runner-Up: Fionna Helston al Amat
Dead Last: Corlanthis Wystansayr


Despite some very solid ideas, Wystansayr has a disagreeable tendency to swing his mood ? though, somehow, he does so without having actual mood swings. While his jest in his closing statements is an excellent attempt to recover from his earlier outbursts, he might have come across as slightly more professional had he retained some of that passion, rather than overcompensating for his temper by dismissing the entire night?s endeavors entirely. It took weight away from his prior arguments and portrayed him as flippant and uncaring ? and that is saying nothing of his cheeky and unprofessional choice of attire. Nothing of how absurd it is to wear a Mardis Gras head to a gubernatorial debate. No, nothing will be said about lonely, middle-aged women electing a talking mannequin solely in exchange for hugs and the possibility of sex. Nothing at all.

Dyarhk, meanwhile, struggled to reacquire some of his lost hero points with extra bravado:

?If RhyDin should decide I am not their governor, then that is fine. But I will continue to push my knowledge and usefulness on these issues of homelessness and illegal operations, and continue to provide for the RhyDin people in the citizen's shoes we all wear.?

His ?fighting for injustice? speech would have carried more weight, of course, had he not just one hour prior expressed serious trepidation dealing with anything the least bit intimidating. An admirable attempt, but hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

Helston al Amat?s frankness permitted her, at least, to squeak a little bit toward the lead:

?It is time for new leadership from someone willing to take a stand for what they believe. You've heard what we have had to say tonight. Now ask yourselves what you want, citizens of RhyDin. More of the same empty promises? Or someone willing to follow the true will of the people??

That frankness, in combination with her uncanny practicality and no-nonsense rationale earned her an extra point or two ? especially given the fact that she wasted no one?s time with rambling thank-you?s and charitable pleas worthy of a ten-day telethon.

As always, Matt Simon shined at kissing serious ass ? a technique he has no doubt perfected since his first term in office, when he likely went through more than a few sticks of chapstick per day. Still, though the former Governor has the inevitable tendency to talk in circles and pucker up to his constituents, he at least acknowledges the purpose of a trustee leadership and understands it. More than once, Simon has pointed out that the only reason he has been elected in the past is that people trust him to make their decisions for them ? hopefully with some ample input from the citizenry. And it is true. If Simon weren?t the least bit smart he would not have been elected twice over. He speaks from experience, and not the kind that comes from occupying a government office once or twice. Rather he seems to understand what, if anything, RhyDinians want out of a government. Of course, whether he is actually capable of channeling that understanding into something useful is always up for debate; but that is why we are here in the first place.

Was there an overall winner? Simon seems to have nosed by purely for his multi-dimensional responses and overall consistency in platform. Helston al Amat, however, was rather hot on his heels - matching him in intellect and disguising minor shortcomings with controlled passion. And while it may be unfair to dismiss the other two contenders entirely, their lack of consistency (despite the occasional good idea) will doubtlessly cost them more than a few votes.

Then again, that is entirely up to the voters.

Voting begins May 19th.
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