Election Eve: Candidates' stance on issues

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IC Date: Thu Jun 3 2404

In advance of tomorrow's general election, we've asked the candidates for Galaxy Alliance Chancellor to provide us a few thoughts. Here are a few excerpts from frontrunners:

EDITORS NOTE: The following excerpts are, in some cases, truncated. Minister cho'Sheq provided only the following statements, whereas Senator M'rus' comments were quite substantial, and have been consolidated to provide parity. Effort has been made to ensure quotes are not taken out of context.

1. HOW WOULD YOU SOLVE THE ALLIANCE'S FINANCIAL WOES?

Minister of Defense cho'Sheq: We must make a firm commitment to our unity and strength. The time of handouts and pleas for financial redistribution are over: now, more than ever, our worlds must learn to live within their means while continuing to remember that our enemies are out there, waiting for us to show weakness.

Senator M'rus of Ferasa: We need to scale back our actions to fit our purse, as our people must, and we need to relinquish some of the power we took centrally during the Borg War to allow member worlds to decide on priorities for their own people, as it was in the days of the Federation and even in the Klingon Empire with its strong local Governors from their ruling houses.

2. WHAT IS YOUR STANCE ON RECENT BEERAXI SECESSION?

cho'Sheq: Let them leave. The so-called freedom of a tiny colony world are insignificant to the might of the Galaxy Alliance's trillions of lives. When the enemy comes upon them, they will regret their decision.

M'rus: Those who saw the committee debate know that I asked hard questions of the Beeraxi delegation, that I made it clear that I was unsure of the merits of it due to defense concerns. Unfortunately the committee's requests to Starfleet for expert witnesses so we might properly judge the strategic concerns were blocked by the Minister, and so we had to consider it entirely on theoretical and idealistic terms. The Alliance in many ways is a mother, it must regard all our member worlds not only as our friends, but as our children. We should guide and we should advise but if a member world wishes to strike out on its own, and if no reason is given to the Senate otherwise due to the obfuscation of those meant to serve the Alliance, then our hand is forced to permit them to do as they wish.

3. IS THE ALLIANCE BROKEN, AS L'VRALUS STATED? HOW WOULD YOU FIX IT?

cho'Sheq: The Alliance is only broken if we allow it. The time for parliamentary procedure and grandstanding is over. We must return to a time when we were decisive in action and purpose. Our government has become ineffective and weak, I will return us to effectiveness while allowing worlds their right to have a say in matters-- provided they speak with purpose and not trickery.

M'rus: Threats like the Civil War came from the vulnerability of a power structure entirely localized among people, a threat that cost many of us good friends and required us to fight to regain the dream of the Alliance. Now by insisting on holding power centrally we see protests across worlds that no longer see the need for this, on Bajor, on Beerax. This view is spreading and the Alliance can either accept that without the external threat, we must release the pressure by returning power to the member worlds and to the regions, or the Alliance can cling to power and die a slow death, allowing former worlds to split away.

4. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF STARFLEET AND THE ALLIANCE DEFENSE BUDGET?

cho'Sheq: Our military is the strongest in the known Galaxy, and is up to the challenges of any foe. The Alliance was bred in war, and has survived many conflicts, but we must not forget that conflict can occur at any time, and unexpectedly. We would be foolish to shrink our defenses because we have had a few moments of peace. Our budged must be overhauled, streamlined to ensure that our warriors are prepared for any challenge that may come next.

M'rus: We do need to review the Fleet and establish what we wish it to be, whether we wish it to be an aggressive force or whether we wish to return to the glory days of Kirk, of Picard, of Ambassador Class vessels, of Galaxy Class vessels - A fleet designed not just to defeat threats and seek them out, but one that understands alternatives and pushes forward the ideals of our culture. There is, perhaps, a need to focus the budget towards clear aims within Starfleet, to work with the leadership and the officers and enlisted people of the fleet to achieve this. It may be necessary to ring fence parts of the defense budget, it may also be necessary to transfer some assets and responsibility for system defense to member systems, but Starfleet will always have an important role within the Alliance.

5. FINAL COMMENTS

cho'Sheq: Qa'pla!

M'rus: I have served for many years in the Alliance's diplomatic service, as a civil servant and within the Ferasan delegation to the senate. I took up my position in the senate on the back of a tragedy, the death of my valued friend the former Senator for Ferasa. The same sense of duty, to help our Alliance, fuels me now. Many think my interests lie with my people, with the former-Federation worlds, but I tell you that what is good for my people, what is good for the former-Federation worlds, is for the Alliance to prosper and enjoy a new renaissance, to discover a new future for all of us within the Alliance, be us Human, Vulcan, Ferengi, Klingon or Caitian.

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