The Labor Party National Convention was held in District 9 over the past two days. Labor Party officials hoped to provide a convention that would not only show a clear-cut alternative to the Mellark administration, but also provide enough newsworthy moments to catch voters’ attention.
The LabNC managed to get wall-to-wall coverage after all. Held June 24th and 25th, the convention caught attention first for the heated battle for the vice presidential nomination and then for the speeches of D4 Rep. Sylvenia Denton and presidential nominee Sen. Iris Canstrom.
Night one featured nine speakers, all speaking to the vision of a united Labor Party with a clear and conclusive vision. Three of these speakers were candidates for governorships: Shannon Barker (D1), Haylie Shepard (D6), and Ashton North (D11). By having these districtwide candidates speak, it became clear that Labor was showing the nation that they were serious about providing a true alternative to Liberty policies.
Between the districtwide candidate speeches and the vice presidential speeches, delegates on the floor conducted business as planned. Following the primaries, no candidate for vice president reached the needed delegate count of 1,925 to become the nominee. As such, Rep. Teraton Wendle, former Gov. Thomas Stemp, and former. Sen. Ophelie Murray were left to battle for the nomination on a second ballot: something that has only happened once before, and something that is notoriously volatile. Sen. Murray was nominated by former senator Katrina Rowland (D4) and seconded by Vera Adler, former D3 governor. Gov. Stemp was nominated by Senator Jace Walters (D10) and seconded by former governor Walter Delta (D11). Rep. Wendle was nominated by Sen. Lindsay Richards (D10) and seconded by former senator Zena Gates (Capitol).
The first ballot, as expected, was as follows:
Teraton Wendle – 1,850
Thomas Stemp – 1,550
Ophelie Murray – 500
Following this ballot, delegates were released from the binds placed upon them by the party and were able to switch their votes as they saw fit. The second ballot ended up inconclusive as well, with movement towards Stemp:
Teraton Wendle – 1,745
Thomas Stemp – 1,690
Ophelie Murray – 465
Stemp’s campaign went into overdrive as they saw an opportunity to flip delegates to win the nomination. Wendle’s team went into crisis mode to prevent their lead from collapsing. Murray found herself as a kingmaker in the nomination fight; should she endorse either side, it’s likely that the candidate she chose would easily win due to her delegates. However, Murray chose to withhold an endorsement until after a third ballot. The third ballot results were as follows:
Teraton Wendle – 1,705
Thomas Stemp – 1,675
Ophelie Murray – 415
Jace Walters – 105
The worst fears of Wendle and Stemp’s campaigns had materialized; without an endorsement prior to the third ballot from Murray, some delegates had become dissatisfied with their choices, resulting in the nomination of a fourth candidate in Senator Jace Walters. Walters decided to let the nomination stand, despite his previous refusal to run for federal office. The fourth ballot was now set to become a test on if Walters could manage to strip more delegates to make himself a full force for the nomination. The fourth ballot results were as follows:
Teraton Wendle – 1,490
Thomas Stemp – 1,435
Jace Walters – 670
Ophelie Murray – 305
With the fourth ballot, Walters clearly stripped of delegates from each opponent, causing him to catapult ahead of Murray in the delegate count. Murray as a result withdrew from the contest, endorsing Walters.
“We now have a clear choice on who our vice president should be: Jace Walters. While I would love to serve, I cannot secure this nomination. Senator Walters, however, can. He can lead this party into a new era, one that will bring true leadership to the Capitol. I strongly urge you to vote for Walters on the fifth ballot.” — former Senator Ophelie Murray (Labor-D3)
The results of the fifth ballot were as follows:
Jace Walters – 1,330
Thomas Stemp – 1,325
Teraton Wendle – 1,245
Murray’s departure, as expected, rocked the race. Her 305 delegates provided a boost to Walters that encouraged many of Wendle and Stemp’s delegates to balk for Walters. Walters, as a result, then held a five-delegate lead over Stemp heading into a sixth ballot, with Wendle in third. The result of the sixth ballot was as follows:
Jace Walters – 1,825
Teraton Wendle – 1,110
Thomas Stemp – 975
Following the sixth ballot, it became clear that Walters was likely to end up the nominee. Stemp’s delegates ditched for Walters heavily on the sixth ballot in a surprise to observers. Despite the significant momentum of Walters, Wendle and Stemp refused to leave the field, stating they would ride this out to the end. The results of the seventh ballot were as follows:
Jace Walters – 1,980
Teraton Wendle – 1,005
Thomas Stemp – 925
On the seventh ballot, Senator Jace Walters secured the vice presidential nomination of the Labor Party with 1,980 delegates. For the second time in Labor history, one of their nominees would be someone unexpectedly selected at their convention after a competitive primary in which no candidate would end up the nominee.
An excerpt from Senator Walters’ acceptance speech:
“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and my friends in the Labor Party, I hereby accept the nomination of the Labor Party for Vice President of the Republic of Panem! While I know that I did not run for this, I feel that it is my job to unite this party. I thank Senator Murray, Governor Stemp, and Representative Wendle for their hard campaign and their devotion to the values that the Labor Party holds so dear. I will undoubtedly seek their counsel in the challenges I will soon face.
The Labor Party has hit a defining crossroads. We can either choose to move forward as a party that is defined by our past, one that is defined by our present, or one that is defined by our future. My friends, we cannot afford to be a party of the past. We must avoid our previous mistakes. We cannot afford to dwell on the petty divisions of the present either. We must look to the future, to that bright future on the horizon. We must continue to look to unite our party in order to get the ideals of this party across the finish line.
There is too much at stake in this election. We cannot afford another four years of catastrophic failure abroad. We cannot afford any more failure for our children on the front of education, or any more abuse to our citizens by the corporations of Panem.
We cannot afford to let this country falter in the face of a president who is clearly in over his head. We must rescue this country. We must unite for the greater good, and we must win this election.” — Senator and VP nominee Jace Walters (Labor-D10)
Night two featured the remaining eleven speakers, featuring some of the most prominent members of the Labor Party.
The most noteworthy speeches belonged to Sec. Walter Delta, Sec. Joan Kindred, and former nominee Felicia Ren; however, the most noticed one belonged to Rep. Sylvenia Denton. Denton did not endorse Canstrom following her victory, and the offer for her to speak at the convention was considered to largely be a formality. However, Denton accepted against the odds, leading many to wonder if she would endorse in the speech.
That, however, did not occur. In fact, Denton decided to bash the Labor Party and alleged that Canstrom had stolen the nomination. Following this, she then decided to announce she would not be endorsing Canstrom for president or Walters for vice president, leading to the firebrand representative being booed off of the stage.
Senator Canstrom was nominated to be the Labor presidential nominee by former governor Felicia Ren (D8) and seconded by both former senator Patricia Mann (D9) and former Secretary of Transportation Joan Kindred (D5).
Below are some excerpts of the notable speeches.
“For too long the Liberty Party has ignored you, the working people of this country. After four years of this president, let’s not make another mistake by letting these policies continue.” — Former Secretary of Agriculture, governor, VP nominee, and presidential candidate Walter Delta (Labor-D11)
“You know, I won this race. I should be accepting this nomination. Instead, I’m here, where I was informed that I’d be endorsing the Labor nominees. Let me tell you: after the hell this party put me through in the primary, I’m not endorsing either nominee. This process was fraudulent. Iris Canstrom and especially Jace Walters are frauds.” — Representative and former presidential candidate Sylvenia Denton (Labor-D4)
“Well, I definitely do not agree with Representative Denton, and I sure hope she apologizes for accepting a speaker slot just to bash the party that she’s supposed to be a part of.
What I do know is that Iris Canstrom is no fraud. She’s the real deal. I may have been wanting this nomination, but I’ve got to say that I’m glad that Iris won. She’s an incredible worker, one that will actually represent Panem well. She’s going to make sure our foreign policy is stable and that our country is at least here for our grandchildren.” — Former Secretary of Transportation, representative, VP nominee, and presidential candidate Joan Kindred (Labor-D5)
“When I decided not to run for the Labor nomination for a third time, many were surprised. I’ll tell you why I did that: so we could get a new face, one that shows Panem we mean business. No one shows that more than Iris Canstrom. She’s represented District 9 tremendously in the Senate and the Labor Party as our leader in the Senate. She is capable of crossing the aisle, as we did to unite with Civic to create the Red-Green Coalition. She’s prepared to take the White House by storm and evict Peeta Mellark. She’s ready to help us take this country back!” — Former governor and two-time Labor presidential nominee Felicia Ren (Labor-D8)
“Mr. Chairman, delegates, Labor Party members, and all those who are watching tonight, I am glad to accept the presidential nomination of the Labor Party of Panem!
Boy, it has been an exciting convention process, hasn’t it? I’d like to take a moment to congratulate my running mate Jace Walters on his nomination yesterday. You know, when I asked him to consider running earlier this year, he told me that he wouldn’t dare consider it. I can say without a doubt that I’ll be proud to have him as my vice president.
Panem is at a fork in the road. Behind us are eight years of hapless right-wing policy under two different presidents. Our country is still recovering from the shock of a president who cheated his way into the presidency, and one who is clearly in over his head. Ahead of us are five different paths, and I’d like to detail where those paths lead.
First there is a path that leads to President Peeta Mellark being reelected. It involves four more years of destructive foreign policy, useless domestic policy, and misguided economic policy.
The second path leads to a President Kaitlyn Jones. We would see no accomplishments under a President Jones, simply failure. It would be simply returning to the Canth administration, except perhaps with less scandal.
The third path gives us a President Julie Roydon. A President Roydon is an incredible enigma, for not even she knows what she believes. It would all fall to which lobbyists reach her first.
The fourth path is lucrative, but isn’t the right one. A President Patrick Newsom may sound good to progressives, but he is not nearly prepared to deal with the politics of the Capitol, nor is he prepared to deal with this country’s foreign policy. He’s misguided in many of his policies, and it would lead to no left-wing party holding the presidency after him for at least a generation. It would be an incredible step backwards not just for Labor, but also the entire left.
The final path is the correct one. With me as president, you will see true progressive reform. We will hold corporations accountable for their actions. We will ensure that lobbyists aren’t involved in government decision making. We will reign in our overreaching foreign policy. We will make sure that this country is run FOR the citizens and BY the citizens, not for the highest bidder like these other parties would prefer. It’s high time that we have an administration that is transparent, open, and accountable to its electorate. Let’s take back Panem together.” — Senate Labor Leader and presidential nominee Iris Canstrom (Labor-D9)
If you were to vote today for Panem’s next president, who would you choose?
Peeta Mellark (Liberty): 26 percent
Iris Canstrom (Labor): 24 percent
Kaitlyn Jones (Conservative): 17 percent
Patrick Newsom (Civic): 15 percent
Julie Roydon (Centre): 13 percent
Undecided: 5 percent
If you were to vote today for Panem’s next vice president, who would you choose?
Rebecca Tarson (Liberty): 25 percent
Matthias Christian (Centre): 20 percent
Jace Walters (Labor): 19 percent
Delia Sutherland (Conservative): 18 percent
Civic nominee: 12 percent
Undecided: 6 percent
The flashpolling, taken following the convention’s close, showed a massive boost for the Labor ticket, mostly at the expense of the Civic ticket. It also demolished the large lead that Liberty had accumulated from their convention, putting both races within sight for every candidate running. Jace Walters, however, is not quite polling as well as Canstrom is; this is likely due to that he was just introduced to the electorate as the nominee and lacks name recognition. Due to this, the race for VP, if conducted right now, would lead to a runoff between Vice President Tarson and Matthias Christian, the Centre nominee; however, Walters is already closing that gap.
With the jump for the Labor nominees, the Liberty ticket should be very concerned. If such jumps occur for Civic, Centre, and the Conservatives, it’s incredibly likely that another candidate will eventually take the lead before election day and almost certain that we will see this nation’s first runoff election for president and vice president.