Subject:UFP Elections: TV Debate

Hello, and welcome to the Federation News Network. After a successful day of campaigning or the presidential candidates at the traditional ending spot of Vulcan yesterday, the campaign trail came to an end, on this, its last day, with a special televised debate that was broadcast from the Federation Council media room over subspace this afternoon. It had a simple formula, questions from the public were presented before the candidates, one of them would answer the question, the three would then debate the issue. This is how it went:

Question 1: Following the OOR attack, the Federation has fractured, its capital moving to Vulcan and the Interplanetary Coalition forming. What is the opinion of the candidates on how we should tackle further fracturing?

Jameson: "The attack on and the loss of Earth was a devastating blow, the aftershocks of which will certainly be felt for years to come. It was a blow to our morale, a blow to our confidence in our ability to defend ourselves. But I have hope -- no, I know with certainty -- that we will emerge from the ashes, and in our rebuilding form bonds stronger than ever. The Federation will thrive. Grow. Starfleet shall continue to operate under its principle mandate: to seek out new life and new civilizations, and through that mission increase our diversity and enrich our culture through exposure to new ideas, new perceptions of our wonderous universe. Friends, our Federation is a beautiful thing, and worlds will want to be part of it... and they are welcome, any and all."

Meldren then interceded, saying that relying on foreigners to 'enrich our culture' would make the Federation appear weak in the eyes of our neighbors. She then went on to say about how isolating ourselves to make us more self-sufficient was the right thing to do. Azar then interrupted, saying that it was not Meldren's place to decide what is right, only to advise the people's decision on what is right. He then added his own opinion to the mixing pot by saying that, though he believes in creating stronger unity in the Federation through rebuilding from the OOR attacks cooperatively, he did say that further declarations of independence are not something that the central government should inhibit, saying that if a state wishes to leave, they should leave on the principles of democracy.

Question 2: The recent situation regarding the Klingons is worrying many people. How do the candidates feel we should respond to the developing crisis on Bajor?

Meldren: "I, as President, would withdraw from the Khitomer Accords in protest against what the Klingons are doing. We shall not be allies with those who crusade against an innocent people, though we shall not take the Federation people to war again, it just isn't worth it."

Both Jameson and Azar objected to Meldren calling Bajor 'not worth it'. Jameson reminded that the Federation has never abandoned the Bajorans in the past, nor would it any ally, but the situation with the Klingons is delicate and she calls for a diplomatic solution. She also reminded that the threat of the OOR is still very real and that hope lies in the continued cooperation of the major powers. Azar then added that he would motion for the recognition of the Free Government of Bajor and then call the Klingons to the negotiation table to try and solve the situation diplomatically. If that failed, he said, further consequences may be incurred.

Question 3: The diplomatic situation in the quadrant is predicted to change drastically over the course of the near future. What position do the candidates feel that the Federation will take in the future?

Azar: "I believe that our role in the galactic region will greatly change over the next few years. Were I to be elected President, for example, I would reach out to the powers around us and personally strive to build stronger bonds of friendship with them, not for some perverse gain such as creating some kind of 'superfederation', but to mutually benefit the nations of the quadrant."

Meldren scoffed at Azar, saying that his dreams of galactic peace were foolish and that were she to be elected, the Federation would face it's neighbors and get what it wants from them, because 'we've helped them enough times already, it's time for them to pay up!'.

President Jameson took exception to Azar's statement, arguing that mutual benefit of peoples has always been the purpose of the Federation: stength through diversity. And though the crisis has left the Federation troubled, it will find its purpose again.

The Trill responded by saying "Do you know what I think in response to what the President and the Representative have just said? I say that we're messed up as a quadrant, with us all at each others throats and everyone in it for their own gain. It's time that someone which a social conscience got up there and made a point for the people of the Federation, and every other nation here; the Romulans, the Tholians, the Breen, the Gorn, the Bajorans, the IPC, the Tzenkethi, the Unicans, the First Federation, and yes, even the Klingons. And I think it's clear, from what's been said today, who of our presidential candidates will not do that!" The audience received this speech well and as the debate continued on to new questions, Representative Meldren's points were often taken apart by her opponents, with Jameson and Azar doing some verbal battle. At the end of the debate, it was unclear who had come out top between Jameson and Azar. The results of the election will surely tell.