The Liberty National Convention dominated network coverage for the past four days despite concerns that President Peeta Mellark and his party were losing support from the overall electorate. Along with that coverage came some new stars as well.
The LNC, hosted by District 14 from June 15th to June 19th, featured seventy-three Liberty Party officeholders and candidates from across the nation who spoke on the successes of the Mellark presidency and the effectiveness of Liberty policies. The convention speakers ranged from congressional candidates to governors, senators, and representatives, and of course to the nominees themselves.
Night one’s theme according to the LibNC was “Rising for a Greater World,” and the convention speakers made their message loud and clear: the Mellark foreign policy agenda, despite a slip-up in Greece, was an overwhelming success in the President’s first term. While many of the earlier speakers spoke to the successes of the administration in general, the primetime “headliner” speakers drove the point home with precision and accuracy.
It was no mistake who had been selected for night one; the Secretary of the Treasury (Rosalie Descoteaux), the Secretary of State (Celine Oswald), the Ambassador to the Council of Nations (Elizabeth Steinbeck), the Secretary-General of the Council of Nations (Trevor Patton), and the First Lady (Katniss Everdeen) all have incredible prowess in international affairs and have been credited with much of Panem’s success abroad since the Panem Revolution.
Aside from the speakers, the Liberty delegates conducted their rules meeting with little to no issue.
Excerpts from the headliners:
“Four years ago, I ran for president with the intention of bringing this country back to greatness. I had no doubt in my mind that this country deserved better than what we received under President Canth, especially in foreign policy. Under President Mellark, I have found that this administration’s policies have had a clear effect on the world: Panem is guiding the world to a clear, safe future, and we are going to continue that for the next four years.” — Ambassador to the Council of Nations Elizabeth Steinbeck (Independent-D8)
“When I was governor of this very district, we encountered attacks on the soil of District 14 of the likes we hadn’t seen since World War III. However, under President Everdeen, those attacks ended quickly. We saw that same swiftness with President Mellark. He delivered a strong message to our enemies: strike us, and we will ensure that you will never strike again.” — Secretary of the Treasury Rosalie Descoteaux (Liberty-D14)
“As secretary of state, I have long pushed for diplomacy with the nations of this great planet, expressing to them that Panem should be their ally, not a foe. I can tell you without question tonight: never have we had such success abroad than under the Mellark administration.” — Secretary of State Celine Oswald (Liberty-D13)
“For the first time since the end of World War III, we now have an international community that is actively working together to ensure that this world is a safe place to live in. The key to this success has been Panem’s leadership. Without a strong leader on the world stage such as President Mellark, we wouldn’t be at our most peaceful moment in recent history.” — Secretary-General of the Council of Nations Trevor Patton (Independent-D2)
“Beyond a doubt, my husband is prepared to serve you as president for four more years. We have had our turbulent times, but even in the worst of these past four years, they are infinitely better than that of our past. We are moving forward in to an era of world history with Panem at the front of the world stage, leading fiercely against tyranny and ensuring that our children are safe and that no person should ever have to suffer for their freedom. It doesn’t matter if you look here or if you look at our foreign policy: Panem, over the last four years, has become a true leader. We are truly rising for a greater world, and we are certainly rising for a greater Panem.” — First Lady of Panem Katniss Everdeen (Liberty-D12)
Night two’s theme according to the LibNC was “Rising for a Greater Future,” with speakers focused on Panem innovation and the economic success of the Mellark administration. It also was a test run for multiple officeholders who are regarded as Liberty’s rising stars, giving these politicians a chance to show off to a national crowd. Headliners such as Sen. Jacqueline Warner, Sen. Valère Descoteaux, Sec. of Defense Jonathan Madison, and Sec. of Intelligence and former President Dale Wilson testified to the belief that Panem’s best days are not behind us but rather in the future, and the best way to achieve success in the future is through a second Mellark term.
Aside from the speakers, the Liberty delegates conducted their formal nomination process for president and vice president. President Mellark was nominated for president by D12 Governor Lynnette Cortez, and seconded by D15 Governor Gale Hawthorne. As customary for the presidential nomination process of Panem’s major parties, Liberty delegates went district by district, declaring their delegate counts for their district’s choice for president. As Mellark stood unopposed, every district delivered all their delegates to him. As the President was set to go over the top of the delegate threshold with District 8, Districts 8, 9, 10, and 11 deferred their vote in favor of District 12 voting before them, allowing Mellark’s home district to push the President over the top. Mellark was nominated as president as the result. Following this, Vice President Tarson was nominated again for vice president by former D12 Governor Gertrude Hampton and seconded by seconded by Secretary Rosalie Descoteaux. As is custom with uncontested VP nominations, Tarson was nominated by the Liberty delegates by a unanimous voice vote.
One particularly unscripted moment of the convention occurred between Secretary Madison and Secretary Wilson’s speeches. A video statement from President Mellark, which was not previously disclosed to attendees or to media, was met with great applause from the convention crowds. Mellark, in this statement, hailed the great innovation in Panem and announced that he would move forward in an ambitious plan to be the first country in modern times to send humans to space. “There’s no doubt that with our technology and the resources we have available that we can reach the heavens. We as a nation should lead, and humankind has much to benefit from exploring the vastness of the cosmos. That’s why I am challenging this great nation to lead in another way: in my second term, it will be my goal as president to see astronauts on the Moon in two years.
Another surprise was the moving of Governor Royce Melbourne from night three to night two. He remained a headliner, however.
Excerpts from the headliners:
“As citizens in Panem, we should always have our mind on the future. We should be deciding what will be best for this country not just now, but ten, twenty, fifty years down the road. What are we going to leave our children to inherit? My wish is for our children to inherit a country they can be proud of. One that is a leader in innovation, one that leads the world in every category of success.” — Senator Jacqueline Warner (Liberty-D7)
“The future of this country lies with our success in innovation. President Mellark is right: we should not be afraid to reach for the stars. We are Panem. We have jumped every hurdle in our path as a nation, and we should strive for greatness.” — Senator Valère Descoteaux (Liberty-D14)
“As governor, District 14 has seen exponential growth, with multiple European corporations deciding to move their businesses to the nation of Panem. This isn’t a fluke: it’s because Panem innovates. Panem is good for business. And together we can show the world that Panem leads.” — Governor Royce Melbourne (Liberty-D14)
“In the Department of Defense, tradition is a luxury. We cannot afford to be anything but up to date with the current technology. Let me tell you something: when the rest of the world starts to ask you if they can purchase your technology, you might be doing something right.” — Secretary of Defense Jonathan Madison (Liberty-D4)
“Peeta Mellark and Rebecca Tarson, at the root of it all, are innovators in the truest sense of the word. They have reformed Panem for the better, making it easier for Panem to innovate, to set our goals higher than ever thought possible. I have no doubt that in a second term, our nation will reach the moon and Mars. In fact, I think we can go even further.” — Secretary of Intelligence and former President of the Republic of Panem Dale Wilson (Liberty-D4)
Night three’s theme according to the LibNC was “Rising for a Greater Government,” with speakers focused on the success of the Mellark administration in making government more efficient and the cutting of government regulations. The speakers of night three were household names, such as Secretary Oaksmith, Governor Hawthorne, Governor Cersisa, and of course Rebecca Tarson.
A big surprise came when an additional unscripted headliner came to the podium: Chief of Staff Melanie DeFrancis. DeFrancis, a former Press Secretary and editor-in-chief of The Panem Free Press, has no formal political experience, and her appearance for a headliner speech was unexpected.
The final speech of the evening was given by Vice President Rebecca Tarson, who accepted her renomination by the Liberty Party for the vice presidency. Following her speech, she was joined onstage by her family.
Excerpts from the headliners:
“Under President Mellark’s administration, this country now has the ability to ascertain energy dominance for generations. We no longer need to rely on foreign imports of energy resources following deregulation, and that is a success in my book.” — Secretary of the Interior Amy Oaksmith (Liberty-D7)
“As one of this nation’s sixteen chief executives, I can testify to the fact that the Canth administration made it impossible for us to govern. The Mellark administration, however, has made it possible to lead again.” — Governor Gale Hawthorne (Liberty-D15)
“Panem’s businesses, from a mom-and-pop shop in District 9 to the largest corporation, are now free to fully participate in our economy. Strangulating our businesses and our industries isn’t the way to win, and President Mellark proved that.” — Chief of Staff Melanie DeFrancis (Liberty-D3)
“Our nation, after four years of the Mellark administration, is showing incredible signs of improvement over what we had four years ago. Now our nation’s children are well funded for their schooling, our economy is well on the rise, and the era of red tape is over.” — Governor, former Chief of Staff, and former Vice President of the Republic of Panem Harold Cersisa (Liberty-D4)
“Thank you, Panem! Madam Chairwoman and voters across this great nation, I gladly accept this nomination for Vice President of the Republic of Panem! Over the past four years, we have made great progress in our fight to bring Panem back to greatness. We have fought for a better life for our citizens, to ensure their safety, and to ensure that the future of this great nation is as great as the present is now. I can say here without a doubt that we have succeeded, and we can’t stop now.” — Vice President of the Republic of Panem and Liberty Party VP nominee Rebecca Tarson (Liberty-D12)
Night four’s theme according to the LibNC was “Rising for a Greater Panem.” The final night was meant to serve as the culmination of much fervor and excitement, featuring headliners from the districts that President Mellark’s opponents come from. Those headliners were Sen. Wesley Benson (Capitol), Sen. Michael Debroff (D11), Sen. Jacob Ellsworth (D3), and Gov. Trenton Escavel (D9). The four each made the case for the President against their district’s respective challenger.
The final speech of the convention was given by President Peeta Mellark, who accepted his renomination by the Liberty Party for the presidency. Following his speech, he was joined onstage by the First Lady (who also serves as LibNC chair), the President’s son and daughter, Vice President Rebecca Tarson, and her family as balloons showered the audience, leading the convention to a close.
Excerpts from the headliners:
“Let me tell you something about my colleague in the Senate: Patrick Newsom may be a great guy, but he’s not ready to lead this country. He constantly pushes for causes that the people of Panem do not want, and those policies would not just be bad for Panem- they would be a million steps backward from the success that our party has shown over the past four years. President Mellark knows how to govern, and he’s prepared to govern again with your help.” — Senator Jacob Ellsworth (Liberty-D3)
“Iris Canstrom continues to tell this nation that we need higher taxes and more regulation. She tells us that we need a more hands-off foreign policy. She has chastised me personally as governor because I didn’t advance the initiatives of the Labor members of our legislature in District 9. Iris Canstrom is all about big government and intervening in your life. If she can’t even let me govern my district, why would she keep her hands off your tax dollars?” — Governor Trenton Escavel (Liberty-D9)
“As much as I enjoy serving with Julie Roydon, I’ve learned one thing about her in particular: Julie is not good at finding a true position on anything. That’s not just her, though, it’s the entirety of the Centre Party. They don’t know what they want to do with this nation, and they are simply not prepared to lead. Meanwhile, I can tell you for a fact that President Mellark is ready to lead, and he’s got a plan that will help Panem rise.” — Senator and former Chief Executive Wesley Benson (Liberty-Capitol)
“After four years, I would hope that Panem can see what the Conservative Party is about. The Conservatives have been nothing but secret in everything they do. There’s a reason that Panem sent virtually every Conservative officeholder home four years ago, including Kaitlyn Jones. It’s because their leadership was a failure for this country. It’s because their leaders lied directly to our faces. We damn sure should make plans not to allow that again.” — Senate Majority Leader Michael Debroff (Liberty-D11)
“Thank you, Panem! To my lovely wife and voters across this great nation, I gladly accept this nomination for President of the Republic of Panem! We as a nation have made great strides towards bringing this country back from the brink. We have won the war in Oceania, removing the threat of the OE forever and stabilizing a region that has not been truly stable since the third World War. We’ve seen a major economic rebound, one that sets record highs in our stock market and provides the lowest unemployment rate in nearly a decade. We’ve tackled issues such as infrastructure and education, ensuring that our future is ready for our children.
However, we have much to do. Our work cannot end here, and that is why we need each and every one of you to go and vote not just for me, not just for the Vice President, but for every Liberty candidate on the ballot to make sure that we have the ability to govern and provide the best results for the people of Panem.
Together, over the next four years, we plan to ensure the long-term stability of our economy to prevent disasters such as the last recession from occurring again. We will see our finest scientists exit this planet’s atmosphere with a destination that hasn’t been reached in nearly a century. And together, we will work with our districts to create record levels of innovation, as our districts are truly the laboratories of democracy, providing our nation with individual ideas to make government more effective and better for their citizens.
I have no doubt that the best days of this country are ahead of us. While my opponents continue to attempt to make partisan attacks on my record, I’d like to point to the success we’ve had over this term. No president, aside from my lovely wife, has ever had such a productive term. Do not let them fool you: Panem’s government is up and running, and it’s working directly for you.” — President of the Republic of Panem and Liberty Party presidential nominee Peeta Mellark (Liberty-D12)
If you were to vote today for Panem’s next president, who would you choose?
Peeta Mellark (Liberty): 30 percent
Patrick Newsom (Civic): 21 percent
Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative): 20 percent
Julie Roydon (Centre): 13 percent
Iris Canstrom (Labor): 10 percent
Undecided: 6 percent
If you were to vote today for Panem’s next vice president, who would you choose?
Rebecca Tarson (Liberty): 32 percent
Matthias Christian (Centre): 20 percent
Civic nominee: 19 percent
Delia Sutherland (Conservative): 18 percent
Labor nominee: 5 percent
Undecided: 6 percent
The flashpolling, taken following the convention’s close, indicated a significant boost for the Liberty ticket that was sorely needed. Mellark received a boost from a statistical dead heat (Mellark 23%, Newsom 22%, Jones 20%, Roydon 17%, Canstrom 14%, Undecided 4%) to a lead of nine points in this poll, a gain of seven points across the two. In the VP race, Tarson went from a very narrow lead of two points (Tarson 24%, Christian 22%, Sutherland 21%, Civic 17%, Labor 14%, Undecided 2%) to a lead of twelve points, a change of eight points between the two. It is now imperative of the other four parties to make sure that their conventions can hold up to the ratings and fervor of Liberty’s, a hard (if not nearly impossible) task. However, if they can do that, they can wear down the post-convention bounce and return this to a competitive race.