Author Topic: Popularity is Not Politics  (Read 128 times)

Darien Fenner

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Popularity is Not Politics
« on: October 09, 2013, 12:35:46 AM »

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

Popularity is Not Politics
October 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.

Darien Fenner

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Re: Popularity is Not Politics
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 12:39:52 AM »
On page thirteen of The RhyDin Post, October the ninth, is a published reference copy of the Silverblades interview transcript.

Post: Thanks for meeting with me, Governor. Would you prefer Illyriana, or Silverblades?

Silverblades: Uh. You can just call me Rekah. It's okay if you do.

Post: Rekah, then. If you don't mind a little recap, why did you decide to run for governor in the first place?

Silverblades: Well! Funny you ask, because I woke up one day and thought to myself. 'Hey Rekah, you can probably do a lot for this town since the town has helped you a lot.'  It sort of went from there. Oh! Look cake!

Post: It's been a little over three months since the election. How are you settling in?

Silverblades: There's a lot of paperwork and meetings. But, I think I'm settling in nicely. I have a lot of help!

Post: What changes should we expect, if any, from this governorship compared to the last?

Silverblades: I?d like to maintain what Fionna has put into place. 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.

Post: How do you plan to accomplish that?

Silverblades: Getting community leaders involved, supporting their ideas,  There's always room for improvement!

Post: What kind of ideas? Those promoted in the GAC?

Silverblades: Those and any put forth by non-GAC members.  Do you have any ideas?

Post: Several, but then I'm not GAC. Have you had any meetings yet?

Silverblades: Just one. Last month I spent going through paperwork and getting myself situated. I also took a few naps. And, that's okay if you're not GAC. Ideas are ideas.

Post: Let me rephrase. Did those in attendance contribute?

Silverblades: Short, sweet and only one threat of death. And yes, they did!

Post: Backing up a bit. You wanted to run for governor because you felt you could enact change. What makes you any different from Fionna Helston or Matt Simon?

Silverblades: Well, I think once a person steps into politics, they become similar to their predecessors. What makes me different? I don't know! I just am. I look at things differently than the rest, I suppose.

Post: This ambiguity is sounding a little like an interview with Matt Simon during his second term. If you have any new, fresh ideas, I'd be very interested. Or are you keeping them under wraps until you sanction them?

Silverblades: How about giving the people more responsibilities? 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?

Post: Sounds plenty political. Well done. Out of curiosity, what sort of experience do you have, and is there anyone who you have replaced on the GAC?

Silverblades: Experience... Uh. I'm pretty inexperienced.  And I haven't replaced anyone. If anyone wanted to step down, I would have made a sad face. But I would have understood. So everyone is still in place. If they want to be.

Post: Why do you think you won?

Silverblades: Because people liked what I had to say and they believe in what I can do! That and I am pretty cute. Well sometimes... not really in the mornings. Or after I take a nap.

Post: How's your family life? As I understand it you are quite busy. Are you sure you can handle a governorship?

Silverblades: I am busy. But, I can. There's a reason for a council. Things get delegated, jobs and tasks.  Do you want to see a picture of the twins?!

Post: I'm alright, thank you. I'd like to move on, if it's alright with you. If you don't mind my asking, what are your thoughts on the latest Nexus flux?

Silverblades: Oh. Well. They're pretty cute.  Nexus flux. Huh. Well, it's mildly problematic. You know? Lots of people filing complaints. But, I'm not sure how to go about fixing it. Right? So, I am trying to be reassuring. Plus, it's this town. Strange things happen a lot.

Post: That's the most refreshing opinion I've heard yet. Since we didn't have a chance to interview you before the election, I just have to ask this. If some catastrophe occurred in RhyDin, say, like outbreak of fever in recent years. How would you react?

Silverblades: Well, after a brief freak out period. Because, I won't lie. I have those. I would rally the troops, or something like that. Basically, I'd get people together and we'd come up with a plan of attack. I don't have all the answers... So, I try to have a lot of questions.

Post: I think that'll do it for now, then. Is there anything you'd like to add? A comment for RhyDin?

Silverblades: I'd like to tell them to stay sporty. But, that doesn't really work. So, I'll tell them I have an open door policy! Come see me. Unless the door is closed, then I'm probably not there. And bring cupcakes or cake. Or both.