Against a background of gunshots and explosions, an election in Panem will be held. In fact, it’s probably the most important set of elections since the Republic of Panem was founded: a presidential election without an incumbent. It will be accompanied by a VP election, senatorial elections, and congressional elections as well.
Meanwhile, candidates are using this new war as a good opportunity to promote foreign policy and war policy. While it is typical for candidates for the nation’s highest two offices to discuss foreign policy, it isn’t normal to do so for war policy, as the answer is always a stern “I’m not looking for war, I’m looking to keep the peace” answer. This, however, is not the case against the backdrop of WWIV. Panem has been attacked and is at war, and this alone changes the race.
President Katniss Everdeen is not running for a third consecutive term. However, others have begun to take to their positions to win her position:
Vice President Celine Oswald: The incumbent VP is a top contender for the Liberty nomination for president and has repeatedly stated that her commitment is to the “protection of Panem soil and citizens, regardless if this must be accomplished by force or diplomacy.” It is of note that Oswald previously served as Secretary of State, making the war approach more worrisome.
Secretary Gale Hawthorne: The Secretary of Defense and former D2 Governor has lucked out in getting his prime experience in war pushed to the forefront. Like Oswald, he agrees that war must be an option since peace wasn’t. However, he also states that total defeat of the Oceanian Alliance must occur before the Fourth World War is to end. Also, it’s important to note that as SecDef, he is primarily in charge of war operations, making his campaign much more difficult to run, leaving two options: stay SecDef and hope for a higher appointment in a possible Liberty cabinet, or resign and run for president on a platform that favors him. One would benefit him while devastating the Panem war effort while the other would do the opposite.
Governor Amy Oaksmith: The D7 Governor is not well-known except for her run for VP last election that crashed and burned. However, her statement on WWIV said: “I do not favor war, but it is occasionally necessary when others drag a nation into it. I support the Panem war effort wholeheartedly and would continue the effort as President.”
Secretary Tyler Thompson: The former VP was selected for his impartiality and for his policy decisions after Plutarch Heavensbee’s resignation. Thompson issued the following press release about WWIV: “WWIV is in itself peculiar as to the reasoning behind such a large war over small borders between two countries, but one thing is certain: South Africa, nor Australia, and certainly not the nation of Panem acted belligerent in any way against the Oceanian Alliance, and it is beyond comprehensible to believe that nations that are continuously under attack by a tyrannic power like Oceania and its affiliates will not strike back to protect themselves. I fully support Panem’s war effort and an unconditional surrender by the Oceanian Alliance.”
Fmr. Governor Felicia Ren: The former D8 Governor may have lost closely to Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck last year, but she’s rising quickly as a contender for the Labor nomination. She stated this: “Domestic affairs have always been a high part of my beliefs, even more so than foreign affairs. However, I, like many others, support the Everdeen administration in the war effort. We cannot afford to be attacked continuously.” This goes against Labor platforms that promote domestic affairs over foreign ones.
Secretary Joan Kindred: Last election’s Labor VP nominee is another contender, and she said: “I disagree with Governor Ren. This war will be scarring, this war will be expensive. This war allows for all sorts of injustice. We should defend ourselves, but not have a huge involvement.”
Fmr. Senator Ophelie Murray: The former Labor leader in the Senate was defeated a year ago for reelection and trails badly in presidential polling as a result. She said: “To say withdrawal is what we need would be a lie to everyone, as we all know about Calais and the damage done. Personally, I believe that the Everdeen administration’s interventionist policies are a tad too much and should be pulled back a little to spare us from the expenses that come along with war.” Murray was attacked for the “interventionist” comment, as the majority of people believe that the attack on Calais was reason enough to go to war and therefore is not intervening.
Secretary Cecelia Paylor: The former President of Panem and former D8 rebel leader stated: “As a former military leader in the Panem Rebellion, I understand war. I understand the horrors, I understand the costs. While I do support a decrease in military spending on a normal day, this isn’t a normal day. This is the day that we are at war, and this is the day that we need to continue our efforts to eliminate the threat that is the Oceanian Alliance.”
Secretary Rick Canth: A former Senator and Labor presidential candidate, Canth surprised everyone by switching to the complete other side of the political spectrum, founding a right-wing party called the Conservative Party that is based on the ideals of libertarianism. However, his party is split on the issue between isolationism and interventionism and protectionism. He cleared the way for a certain stance for the party in this election by this statement: “While the Conservative Party is without a definite stance on foreign and military policy, let me be clear: as the presidential nominee for the Conservatives, I WILL campaign on protectionism. It is without a doubt that Panem’s borders were breached in an attack of aggression. It’s insane to believe that a country should PULL BACK when they’re being attacked by the most dangerous political entity since the alliance with Russia in World War III. Therefore, the Conservatives, whether all of them like it or not, will campaign with me to support a protectionist policy.”
Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck: The new D8 governor has been in office for a year and is already running for president. She’s a little different on her policy: “The war is not in our best interests at the moment. A war would promote further expansion in Europe with possible new districts, and that is not what we need. We need to focus on ourselves, not fighting a petty nation from the Southern Continent.”
Fmr. VP Plutarch Heavensbee: The disgraced VP is running for president without a running mate, a first in Panem politics. However, he’s pretty certain on his foreign policy: “Governor Steinbeck is dead wrong. Labor is wrong. Secretary Paylor is much closer, the Liberty candidates are getting there, and Secretary Canth is almost in line with me on this: this war is ours to lose. We’re one of the greatest nations on Earth. We’ve defeated superpowers with a military that was considered useless in comparison to theirs. We keep getting better and better, and guess what? We need to set the record straight to the rest of the world like we did to Europe- Panem is a superpower, and there is no tolerance here for disrespect.”