The final debate of the election cycle aired tonight on The Panem Free Press, moderated by none other than presidential press secretary Polaris Septrix. The debate was a roundtable format that showcased all six of the major national tickets.
The participants were as follows:
- President Rick Canth/Representative Jackson Canth (Conservative Party)
- Senator Peeta Mellark/Governor Rebecca Tarson (Liberty Party)
- Governor Felicia Ren/Secretary Joan Kindred (Labor Party)
- Secretary Cecelia Paylor/Secretary Samuel Trenton (Civic Party)
- Mr. Robert F. Maxwell/Secretary Lynn Germaine (Independent)
- Fmr. Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck/District Representative Pauline Crystal (Independent)
This debate was the first debate appearance of former District 8 Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck, who is running as an independent. Her running mate Pauline Crystal, however, appeared in the VP debate a week ago.
Topics of the debate had to do with domestic policy (including economic policy) and on the recent scandals.
If a candidate’s name was invoked during another candidate’s response, the first candidate will be allowed a rebuttal.
Below are excerpts from the debate proceedings, based on subjects.
ON DOMESTIC AND ECONOMIC POLICY:
Question: “To the Liberty Party ticket, what is your plan to revitalize the economy following what is being dubbed the worst economic decline since the Great Depression?”
Senator Mellark: “Our three part plan is quite simple. First, we plan to significantly cut the spending promoted by the current administration. Under this administration our government has grown to triple the size it was under President Everdeen. This has caused our deficit and debt to increase drastically.”
Governor Tarson: “Second, we would cut taxes across the board. The idea that our tax rate is so high under the current administration is completely contrary to what Panem’s citizens need in a time of recession. Furthermore, we plan to remove the taxation of estates following the death of an individual. That money has been taxed throughout the individual’s life and it is ludicrous to tax up to fifty percent of the remaining estate after it was taxed already. Those who are grieving deserve every penny they inherit after their loved one’s death.”
Senator Mellark: “And finally, third, we plan to promote greater business growth to rebuild our economy. There is no greater way to build more jobs than to promote business. This would involve lowering the corporate tax rate along with incentivizing companies that keep business in Panem. Furthermore, we would remove the strict regulations imposed by this administration and previous ones in order to further promote business growth. A free business is a successful business, and a good business environment creates jobs for our citizens.”
Question: “To the Civic Party ticket, the Liberty ticket and other tickets allege that your plan for economic revitalization is too hinged on environmental causes and is thus unviable. Response?”
Secretary Paylor: “The protection of the environment is a cause that reverberates across the spectrum. A healthy environment promotes healthy citizenry, boosts the economy, and ensures that there are jobs for our citizens.”
Secretary Trenton: “Exactly; the amount of jobs created to ensure the protection of our environment would ensure that our economy booms.”
Question: “To the Labor Party ticket, what is your plan to revitalize Panem’s economy?”
Governor Ren: “First, we’ve got to end income inequality in this country. For far too long the rich have maintained a death grip on our economy, ensuring that it rises and falls like the tides when it’s good for them. The common man cannot succeed in this country as long as the middle class keeps being pushed down. That’s why I’m going to pursue a progressive tax policy as president to ensure that we can prevent further income inequality.”
Secretary Kindred: “We’ve also got to regulate the economy. This recession is the harshest in recent memory, and it’s punishing our citizens. We all know that the corporations brought this upon us, so we need to regulate them.”
Question: “To the Conservative Party ticket, given what is considered a lacklustre response to the recession, why should voters give you a second chance?”
President Canth: “Well, first off, this isn’t the Conservative Party’s fault. The groundwork for this recession was laid by the Liberty-controlled Congress and President Everdeen herself years before my inauguration as President. Second, we’ve hardly had time to respond. Issues like this take intensive efforts to fix.”
Representative Canth: “Our plan to fix this recession is already in place, unlike the hypotheticals of other tickets on this stage. Our plan to reduce taxation on businesses is causing an immediate bounce back in the corporate sector, which will encourage the economy as a whole.”
Question: “To Mr. Maxwell and Secretary Germaine: what differentiates you from the Conservative ticket on the economy?”
Mr. Maxwell: “Well, considering I was a businessman for the majority of my life, I’d say everything. Look, as a businessman, I loathed the government. It’s because there was red tape everywhere. Want to build a building? Red tape. Want to start a venture? Red tape. Want to breathe? Red tape. The Conservative ticket claims that their tax cuts will fix everything, but it’s a meaningless gesture to ensure that they can move attention away from the crisis at hand and the endless amount of red tape that they have strewn across the business world.”
Secretary Germaine: “I’m going to pass on my comments for this one, considering that Robert said it better than anyone could have.”
Question: “To Governor Steinbeck and Ms. Crystal: why do you think that your plan is the best to confront the economic issues facing Panem?”
Governor Steinbeck: “Because it is. I have an outsider’s viewpoint, as does Ms. Crystal. I’ve seen how the Conservatives affect my district negatively, and not just on economic policy. Like my opponent said, the red tape is strangling Panem. We’ve got to remove it not just for businesses, but for the average consumer as well.”
Ms. Crystal: “Our plan will easily lessen the burden of this recession on the consumers of Panem. That’s why it’s best. That’s why you should vote for us on Election Day.”
ON THE RECENT SCANDALS:
“While we originally planned to discuss foreign policy and the records of all the candidates in question today, the recent scandals involving the Conservative ticket and the Maxwell/Germaine ticket must be discussed.”
Question: “To all tickets excluding the Conservative Party ticket: the President of Panem, who is on this stage tonight, was recently the subject of a successful set of articles of impeachment that passed the House bipartisanly. Please give us a statement by one member of your ticket in regards to these events.”
Secretary Paylor, on behalf of Civic: “I think it’s pretty clear when my party’s representatives vote with Liberty on an issue that it’s pretty serious. I not only support the impeachment of the President, I welcome a conviction.”
Secretary Kindred, on behalf of Labor: “The idea that the President can stand at a podium to speak to millions and tell them that this impeachment is a sham is vile. No, Mr. President. It’s not a sham. It’s coming for you, and you deserve every minute of jail time that you’re gonna get.”
Governor Steinbeck, on behalf of her ticket: While looking at the President, “How dare you betray your country in this way, in the pursuit of personal gain. As a citizen of Panem, I ask for your immediate resignation.”
Mr. Maxwell, on behalf of his ticket: “This is why I left the Conservatives. Not for personal gain, but to leave those pursuing personal gain. It’s the same reason for Secretary Germaine to leave. The Conservatives represent corruption and the higher echelon of society that is attempting to inhibit a free society.”
Senator Mellark, on behalf of Liberty: “While I do wish that this event were not occurring, and that the President would uphold his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of Panem, that is not the case. I will personally be voting next month in his impeachment trial, and I plan to vote to remove the President from his position. Though I believe in most circumstances this vote would be a conflict of interest due to my campaign, my duty as a public servant and as a Panem senator supercedes that of any personal gain that I may achieve through my actions.”
Question: “To the Conservative ticket: what is your response to these statements?”
President Canth: “I respectfully decline to answer on the grounds that this answer could be used against me in a court of law.”
Representative Canth: “Though my brother may decline to answer, I will not decline. How dare all of you. My brother is innocent, as am I. This is a political witchhunt, pure and simple, and every one of you is a participant.”
Question: “To all tickets excluding the Maxwell/Germaine ticket: please give us a statement, delivered by a single member of your ticket, regarding the scandal of the Maxwell/Germaine campaign document dump.”
Secretary Trenton, on behalf of Civic: “I think that these documents indicate that an investigation would be merited.”
Governor Ren, on behalf of Labor: “Robert Maxwell and Lynn Germaine are now shown for what they really are: disgruntled, power-hungry Conservatives that just changed their party to win an election.”
Ms. Crystal, on behalf of her ticket: “I think this should make this election much easier for the people of Panem. Liberty represents corporate interests, not the citizens. Conservatives are corrupt as hell. Labor is heading towards socialism on a massive scale. Civic is obsessed with the environment, not the citizens of Panem. Maxwell and Germaine are in it for themselves. That leaves me and Governor Steinbeck, who are in this for the citizens of Panem, not for any interests, whether that’s personal gain or for our donors.”
President Canth, on behalf of his ticket: “What I said after the convention still stands: Mr. Maxwell and Secretary Germaine are simply infuriated that the Conservative Party did not pick them, and now it shows that we didn’t pick them for good reason.”
Governor Tarson, on behalf of Liberty: “My opponent is correct: this is an easy choice for Panem. It’s a choice between four legitimate tickets and two tickets that represent corruption at its finest. It’s important to note that while the Liberty Party, the Labor Party, the Civic Party, and the independent ticket of Governor Steinbeck and Ms. Crystal all represent legitimate options for voters in November, the Conservatives, represented by their official ticket and their knockoff ticket, simply aren’t legitimate options any further. They’ve ruined any trust among voters and honestly, they should both withdraw for the dignity of our nation.”
Question: “To the Maxwell/Germaine ticket: what is your response to these statements?”
Mr. Maxwell: “I resent these characterizations and would like to state that this is a misunderstanding on all accounts. I have not done, nor will I ever do, anything illegal, unlike our President.”
Secretary Germaine: “Our ticket is legitimate. We will not withdraw. We still represent the citizens of Panem, and we will still fight for you.”
Unlike in previous debates, closing statements were not given due to time constraints.
ANALYSIS: Focus groups were convened following the conclusion of the debate and concluded the following:
Winner(s) of the debate: The Liberty Party ticket
Loser(s) of the debate: The Conservative Party ticket and Maxwell/Germaine
Breakout candidate(s): Steinbeck/Crystal
Stagnant candidate(s): The Civic Party ticket and the Labor Party ticket
A general vote of who won the debate was taken.
Liberty Party – 76 percent
Steinbeck/Crystal – 16 percent
Labor Party – 4 percent
Civic Party – 3 percent
Maxwell/Germaine – 1 percent
Conservative Party – 0 percent
The Liberty Party ticket sealed the deal tonight in the final debate. They meshed well together, unlike the Labor ticket, and appeared pristine in comparison to the tarnished Maxwell/Germaine ticket and the crushed Conservative Party ticket. Labor needed a home run tonight to ensure any sort of competitive election, and instead, the Steinbeck/Crystal ticket ensured that wouldn’t happen. Instead of Civic or Labor rising as expected, Governor Steinbeck and Ms. Crystal gave viewers what they wanted and vaulted themselves into a tier of their own. The Conservative Party ticket and the Maxwell/Germaine ticket failed to present themselves as anything but what their opponents alleged tonight, cementing their fates.
A flash poll following the debate was taken of the presidential general election.
Senator Peeta Mellark – 56 percent
Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck – 25 percent
Governor Felicia Ren – 7 percent
Secretary Cecelia Paylor – 4 percent
Mr. Robert F. Maxwell – 1 percent
President Rick Canth – >1 percent
Undecided – 7 percent
A flash poll following the debate was taken of the vice presidential general election.
Governor Rebecca Tarson – 55 percent
Dst. Rep. Pauline Crystal – 26 percent
Secretary Samuel Trenton – 6 percent
Secretary Joan Kindred – 5 percent
Secretary Lynn Germaine – 2 percent
Representative Jackson Canth – >1 percent
Undecided – 6 percent