[size=9]Senior Columnist and Investigative Journalist: Darien Fenner[/size]Popularity is Not PoliticsOctober 9, 2013
On Earth, political parties in a democratic form of government occasionally employ a certain tactic during a primary election to ensure only their best and brightest are selected as frontrunners for office. In this strategy, the names of affectionately termed ?joke candidates? are stamped onto the ballot along with a far more qualified peer, subconsciously calling attention to the runner's pros and cons and steering smarter voters toward the more logical choice of leader. In the same way women surround themselves with less attractive friends to secure male attention, these joke candidates are summarily dismissed in favor of the clear party nominee, leading to a competent (though doubtlessly biased) election.
Though RhyDin is not exactly considered bipartisan, joke candidates in the gubernatorial elections are not difficult to spot. Aaron Marshall and his ?free beer? campaign, Eleanor Legarde with her ?peace and love? babble, and Jesse?s radical promises all may be entertaining, but together accomplish little more than making ?serious? candidates look more appealing. Dismal debate performance aside, Matthew Simon?s close loss to Sheridan Driscol in 2010 likely would have gone the other way if a facetious mood had not been already set by joke candidates dropping out of the race left and right. In 2011, Fionna Helston?s debut platform and strong organizational skills stood out over less prepared opponents Dyarhk and Simon, and in 2012 her only competition was unfamiliarity itself and a list of inexperienced no-names, both of which did not deter her from a near landslide victory. Ultimately, the outcome of an election is indicative of how much sense RhyDin seems to be making at that point in time ? that is, how RhyDin can differentiate the smart choices from the not so smart ones, and the theory that the governor-elect is only as sane as RhyDin.
Based on this year?s election, it?s safe to say RhyDin needs to be committed.
Stepping down and making way for a new generation of gubernatorial options was an admittedly mature gesture by Helston for an electoral base that craves change. But just as not all movement is forward, neither does change exhibit growth. After the what has come to be an expected slew of withdrawals leading up the primaries, voters were left with only two choices this cycle: Matthew ?Tongue-Tied? Simon, and Rekah ?Scatterbrained? Silverblades. Following a debate like theirs, even in the final election, the joke candidate ought to have been easy to recognize. Imagine the surprise when newspapers later revealed Silverblades not only beat Simon, but did so by an even bigger margin than her predecessor, and with utterly no concrete platform to speak of.
?I think once a person steps into politics, they become similar to their predecessors? I?d like to maintain what Fionna has put into place,? Silverblades told the Post
of her plans as governor. ?But, as far as changes - I hope to have more community involvement beyond GAC meetings. This is their town - they should take a super active role in it. And some do! Like I said... maintain.?
Such utterly groundbreaking political ideology perhaps warrants a name change from ?Scatterbrained? to Rekah ?Seat-Warmer? Silverblades. While riding on Helston?s coattails is certainly a legitimate governing tactic ? after all, the GAC would not exist without the influence of Driscol?s failed attempt at community participation with the Council of Ministers ? Silverblades so far has proven she is not only hopelessly over her head in the governorship, but cannot even pantomime a leadership decently.
?A governor is supposed to govern and make sure things stay in order. I'm not a politician. So, maybe my ambiguity is just me saying I can only suggest ideas for change... but without the support of the community I can't make them happen. Did that sound govern-ish enough?"
In one word? No. She claims ?not to have all the answers, but many questions.? Unfortunately, though an election is the time for ideas, office is the time for plans, and those plans are not only few and far between, but absolutely none of them come from Silverblades. One hour in a ?GAC meeting? (if it can be called that) is more than enough to corroborate the utter pointlessness of Silverblades? position, and truthfully speaking, more legitimate work may even be carried out if she made herself conveniently absent from the meetings altogether.
Given RhyDin?s penchant for pizazz, it?s not unexpected that the outcome of the election can be chalked up to popularity. Matt Simon?s real weight is carried in the Outback, and though the R.A.S.G. netted him a few approving nods in the past, little else on his end has been presented in the way of new ideas. Popularity alone does not a good governor make, and after the past few elections (most notably Driscol?s), one might expect RhyDin to have learned that lesson. However, it seems that this year?s joke candidate experiment backfired. Where the political maneuver usually ferrets out the strong among the weak, this year?s selection appears only to be a glaring example of the dim electing the dimmer.
By this time in office, Silverblades? predecessors already began carrying out campaign promises. Simon had the R.A.S.G., Driscol had the Ministry, and Fionna Helston was promptly making up for the failure of the naval guard by reconstructing an advisory council. What has Silverblades done? Stocked the Great Hall with pancakes.
A slow-witted puppy with its head stuck in a jar may be endearing and adorable, but you don?t charge it with sightseeing duties unless you are willing to be guided into traffic. In short, delegating tasks to someone unsuited for them is setting up a scenario for dismal failure. In her case, electing Rekah Silverblades into a position of authority is as colossal a mistake as soliciting Alain DeMuer for fashion advice. The heart and the hope is there, but without the head to back it up, the public will doubtlessly suffer when criticism (or disaster) hits. In the past the presence of the advisory committee may have offered some comfort, but seeing as the meetings so far have been nothing short of farcical, it?s unlikely it will be of much use.
Given how early it is into the governorship, this may be an unfair assessment, and it would be a relief for such an impression ? that Silverblades is nice to look at, but never lead ? to be proven wrong.
For now, though, joke candidate or not, all of RhyDin could probably do with a slug of Aaron Marshall?s free beer.