VP DEBATE: Tarson on defense as she faces challengers on all sides

The vice presidential debate, the first of two general election debates held this election season, was held last night in conjunction with the Panem Debate Council and The Panem Free Press.

Candidates that competed were required to meet standards set by the PDC, of which five candidates met the qualifications:

  • Vice President Rebecca Tarson (Liberty Party-District 12)
  • Senator Jace Walters (Labor Party-District 10)
  • Senator Quentin Kennedy (Civic Party-District 6)
  • Secretary Delia Sutherland (Conservative Party-District 4)
  • Representative Matthias Christian (Centre Party-District 10)

Topics of the vice presidential debate were separated into two sections: domestic policy and foreign policy. Questions were fielded from the audience in a townhall-style format moderated by Panem Free Press Capitol correspondent Carlton Beck. If a candidate’s name was invoked during another candidate’s response, the first candidate was allowed to respond.



Below are excerpts from the debate proceedings, based on subjects.



ON DOMESTIC POLICY:



Question: “Senator Kennedy, the nation of Panem is facing a serious morphling crisis, particularly in District 6. You have noted on the campaign trail that this crisis cannot stand, and that it must be dealt with immediately. What would be your solution to this drug epidemic?”

Senator Kennedy: “This crisis is abounding with no end in sight as it currently stands. The abuse of morphling destroys the lives of those who take it and those who are around them. Our best way to combat this, and the way that I championed recently in the Senate, is to limit physicians’ ability to prescribe such an addictive drug and to put oversight on the systems that distribute it. The majority of victims of morphling are not those who have been prescribed the drug. They are people who have suffered due to buying it on the black market.”



Question: “Secretary Sutherland, you have expressed discontent with the Mellark administration in regards to the size of the government. If you were elected vice president, what areas of the government would you champion to downsize?”

Secretary Sutherland: “It may be trendy to make new departments, but I don’t think it’s necessary. We have eighteen full-fledged departments, many of which cover small areas that could be covered by a larger overarching department. I would advocate to combine the Departments of Commerce and International Trade and the Departments of State and Global Development. This would not only downsize the size and scope of government, it would also save taxpayers millions.”



Question: “Senator Walters, do you believe that the federal government has done enough in regards to regulation of certain industries, such as the energy sector?”

Senator Walters: “I do not. The past two administrations have done absolutely nothing to protect industrial workers. We’ve seen coal miners and transportation workers engage in unsafe working environments, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Coriolanus Snow was ruling over Panem. It’s rather sickening to watch, considering that President Mellark and Vice President Tarson both are from District 12 and both dealt with the coal industry their entire lives. They should be concerned for the safety of these workers, and as vice president, I would look to help impose more stringent regulations on dangerous industries such as these to ensure that citizens are safer.”

Tarson’s response: “You’re right, Senator; I have lived around the coal industry my entire life. District 12 is undoubtedly the largest coal district in Panem, and we are proud of it. However, District 12 is also aware that by putting these regulations on them, that you are not making them any safer. Instead of being able to make a living, these workers are now out of a job because the coal mines can’t afford to employ them. While I appreciate your enthusiasm to make sure coal miners and all workers are safer, perhaps you should get to know a few of them first before making them political pawns. These workers know best, and they want to work.”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, your opponents have openly criticized you for your support of a tax cut for corporations, as signed into law by the President in his tax bill earlier in his term. What is the rationale for such a policy, and do you support corporations being so heavily involved in the political process through donations to campaigns?”

Vice President Tarson: “I don’t regret supporting that bill, not one bit. As you can probably tell, we no longer are in a recession. Our economic numbers are higher than they have been in a very long time, probably since Katniss Everdeen was in office. Clearly, cutting that tax rate spurred some much needed growth. As for corporations involved in the political process, I think that companies as a whole shouldn’t donate. I haven’t accepted any donations from major corporations. However, every person in Panem should have the right to participate in our political process, and if Senator Walters or Senator Kennedy or Representative Christian have an issue with that, they should really consider how that would be a violation of basic constitutional rights.”

Representative Christian’s rebuttal: “Madame Vice President, with all due respect, your donations may not directly from the corporations themselves, but the fact that company executives funnel millions into your campaign warchest is a clear indicator that you still aren’t any sort of independent from corporate interests.”

Senators Kennedy and Walters ceded their response time following Representative Christian’s response.



Question: “Representative Christian, you have spoken at length during your campaign rallies on government accountability and ensuring that the government remains open and transparent. Under the Canth administration, you were notably open about their lack of transparency and their corruption. What do you have to say regarding the same subject for the Mellark administration, and what would you change as vice president?”

Representative Christian: “While the Mellark administration has undoubtedly improved from the Canth administration on government transparency and corruption, let me remind everyone that the bar was rather low under President Canth. This administration, though marginally better, still has acted brazenly in including lobbyists and corporate interests into the legislative and executive process, corrupting the system that was set forth after the Revolution. We need a reset; we need to remember that a government that conceals its actions is a government that has something to hide. As vice president, the first thing I would push for is a lifetime ban on lobbyists serving in the White House and a ten-year waiting period before public officials could join the lobbying sector.”



ON FOREIGN POLICY:



Question: “Senator Walters, you have stated that Panem’s involvement in Greece was a ‘massive overreaching mistake that never should have occurred.’ How would you have recommended the response to the Greek crisis occurred?”

Senator Walters: “My statement wasn’t necessarily geared at non-involvement in Greece. Our involvement, beyond that of ensuring the safe return of nuclear weapons, was the issue. President Mellark and his administration- and yes, that would include you, Madame Vice President- are responsible for the loss of hundreds of Panem citizens’ lives due to the bungled response. We should have been better prepared to deal with such a crisis, and we should have put forward a concrete plan for how things would be handled.”

VP Tarson’s response: “Senator, that’s just heinous of you to exploit the tragic loss of these brave men and women. Our response was not bungled. It was as quick as we could make it. I understand that you have never sat in the Situation Room and made the tough decision to put our soldiers in harm’s way, but I figured that you were intelligent enough to understand that this decision was not taken lightly by the administration.”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, you have expressed that the need for a nuclear Panem is clear and that Panem should remain a nuclear power in order to deter other nations from bellicose actions. However, some of your opponents disagree with you heavily on this subject. Why exactly does the nation of Panem need to remain a nuclear power?”

Secretary Sutherland: “Well, we can start out by looking directly at what just happened in Greece. Greece attempted to obtain nuclear arsenals during their conflict with the Grecorussian Empire, leading to a foreign nuclear crisis. ”



Question: “Senator Kennedy, you have previously criticized the Mellark administration’s approach to foreign policy as, in your words, it “goes much farther than it should into others’ affairs.” Please explain what you meant in this statement.”

Senator Kennedy: “That statement largely refers to the idea that is prevalent within the Mellark administration that we should intervene in other nations’ issues. I know that this may be a radical approach for some on this stage, particularly the Vice President, but we have enough issues at home that we don’t need to worry about making Greece our colony.”

Tarson’s response: “You’re right, Senator; we do have issues at home to focus on, and in our administration, we have tackled key issues such as education, the economy, and tax reform. However, we cannot simply avoid foreign policy, as popular as that may be. We need to make sure our nation is safe from all enemies foreign and domestic..”



Question: “Vice President Tarson, there are growing concerns over human rights violations in nations like Oceania and Greece. What is your opinion on how we should combat such violations, or should we even have a role in ensuring against such violations?”

Vice President Tarson: “Without a doubt such human rights violations are not appropriate or acceptable. However, you bring a very valid question to the table: should we intervene? My personal opinion would be that we should respond when our assets or interests are at risk. However, beyond that, we should be cooperating with the Council of Nations to implement strict sanctions against the nations involved.”



Question: “Representative Christian, the nation of Oceania has threatened a trade war with the nation of Panem following what they refer to as ‘invasive acts’ on their soil due to our offensive to defeat the Oceanian Empire. What is your view on how we should respond to such threats?”

Representative Christian: “I have no doubt that Panem is prepared for such a trade war, but we should consider diplomacy in this matter. If it possible to deescalate such a conflict, it should be done with the utmost haste. I’m not certain if the Mellark administration has done so; however, I certainly urge a diplomatic ending to this.”


ANALYSIS: Based on flash polling conducted immediately after the debate, the following results occurred:

Which candidate do you believe won the debate?

Rebecca Tarson – 40 percent

Matthias Christian – 29 percent

Delia Sutherland – 12 percent

Jace Walters – 5 percent

Quentin Kennedy – 3 percent

Undecided – 11 percent

If the general election were held today, which candidate would you be most likely to vote for in the election for vice president?

Rebecca Tarson – 32 percent

Matthias Christian – 22 percent

Jace Walters – 16 percent

Delia Sutherland – 14 percent

Quentin Kennedy – 12 percent

Undecided – 4 percent


The results show clear movement for Vice President Tarson; the Vice President now leads the field following the debate by a stark ten points over her nearest competitor, Matthias Christian. While the race is expected to narrow, this is certainly a good sign for Tarson as she continues in her race for reelection.

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Campaigning resumes following Amelia devastation

The general election campaign has officially resumed today following a week-long pause due to the threat of Hurricane Amelia and the devastation that followed in District 4.

President Peeta Mellark, First Lady Katniss Everdeen, and Vice President Rebecca Tarson flew by hovercraft to District 4 to view the destruction and offer on-site assistance to officials in District 4. The three worked with emergency personnel to help clear wreckage in one of the towns on the coastline and later served food to evacuees further inland. The presidential and vice presidential candidates of all major parties extended their well-wishes to those in the line of the storm, putting forward offers to help in any way possible.

Coming up very soon, however, is the vice presidential debate, followed by the presidential debate. The two debates will mark the very end of the election season, and for the five candidates for each position, everything is on the line as it remains too close to call at this time.

Panem Debate Council releases debate information

The Panem Debate Council, the federal government’s nonpartisan commission on presidential and vice presidential debates, released the information surrounding this year’s debates. The information included times, dates, and locations.

According to the information released, the Council is deviating from the typical process, mandating two debates be held- one presidential, and one vice presidential. Last election featured a ticket debate, but it appears that the Council has chosen to scrap that due to time constraints that occurred four years ago.

The vice presidential debate will occur on October 1st in District 1. The debate will focus on multiple topics, including the records of the candidates, domestic policy, and foreign policy. Questions will be fielded from the audience in a townhall-style format with the lowest polling candidates to the left and right respectively moving in toward the highest polling candidates toward the center. The moderator will be Panem Free Press Capitol correspondent Carlton Beck. To compete, candidates must be of a major party (Liberty, Labor, Civic, Conservative, or Centre) or reach at least ten percent in three major polls. As it stands, the current participants will be:

  • Rebecca Tarson, Liberty Party nominee
  • Jace Walters, Labor Party nominee
  • Matthias Christian, Centre Party nominee
  • Delia Sutherland, Conservative Party nominee
  • Quentin Kennedy, Civic Party nominee

If the debate were to be held today, the seating arrangement would be:

Kennedy — Sutherland — Tarson — Walters — Christian

The presidential debate will occur on October 15th in the Capitol. The debate will also focus on multiple topics, particularly the candidates’ records, foreign policy, domestic policy, and economic policy. Questions will have been previously fielded from Panem citizens and will be asked by the moderator, who will be former White House press secretary Polaris Septrix. The debate will be held in traditional formatting, with the lowest polling candidates to the left and right respectively moving in toward the highest polling candidates toward the center. The polling standard to debate is the same as that of the vice presidential debate. As it currently stands, the participants shall be:

  • Peeta Mellark, Liberty Party nominee
  • Iris Canstrom, Labor Party nominee
  • Julie Roydon, Centre Party nominee
  • Kaitlyn Jones, Conservative Party nominee
  • Patrick Newsom, Civic Party nominee

The order of the candidates, if the debate were to be held today, would be:

Jones — Roydon — Mellark — Canstrom — Newsom

 

EXCLUSIVE: Presidential hopeful Kaitlyn Jones sits down for interview with Polaris Septrix

Following a major dispute featuring two of the Conservative Party’s most prominent leaders, the debate for the Conservative Party’s presidential candidates was cancelled on Saturday. Today Polaris Septrix sits down with former governor and Conservative presidential hopeful Kaitlyn Jones in an exclusive one-on-one interview with The Panem Free Press.

PS: Let’s get started, shall we? Governor, you were the last remaining Conservative governor in the nation following Governor Xavier Hansen’s abandonment of the Conservative label. How does your time as governor contribute to your ability to potentially serve as Panem’s next president?

KJ: Thank you for having me today. My time as governor was no walk in the park, as many will easily tell you. However, what my critics won’t tell you is that we got a lot done in District 11 under my tenure. Our legislature was a Conservative majority, but we regularly worked with Liberty and Civic members in order to get what our citizens wanted passed and on my desk. We passed tax reform, welfare reform, environmental reform, you name it. In four years, we passed some of the most meaningful legislation in the District’s history. It goes to show that I have ability to govern and to work with people to get to the goal of a better nation.

PS: However, you only got a single term.

KJ: That’s true, unfortunately. The recession hit during my tenure. While we worked as best we could under that pressure, there’s only so much a district government can do to alleviate the issues that come from the Capitol.

PS: So you are blaming your loss on the recession and on President Canth?

KJ: I do think that the recession was a key factor, since many families were hurting and many remembered that the economy wasn’t bad under Liberty Party rule. I think it’s a big factor as to why we have President Mellark right now instead of President Canth. And look, Rick is a nice guy, but I don’t agree with him on many things. I think he lost sight of his values when he got into the White House. You started to see things like higher taxes and poorer decisions, which put us in a bit of a bind. It definitely didn’t make my life any easier.

PS: Well, he’s certainly not far from many people’s minds when they think of the Conservative Party. How do you plan to revitalize the party and its image following Rick Canth’s impeachment?

KJ: I think that Panem currently associates the Conservatives with corruption and with flip flopping. I mentioned previously about President Canth heading the opposite direction with taxation, and people see that and say, “How is this any different than Liberty politicians, or Labor politicians, or Civic politicians, or Centre politicians?” It looks terrible on us when we campaign on a promise and deliver another party’s platform plank. It certainly hurts us deeply as a party when our leaders engage in corruption as well. President Canth isn’t the only one either, it’s Robert F. Maxwell as well. Voters remember his email scandals, and that’s what they remember about Conservatives. They associate our party with everything that our previous leaders have done wrong. That’s why I am running. We need a fresh start, and we can’t have someone who is the image of corruption or even remotely associated with corruption in the case of Secretary Pierce in charge.

PS: Which brings me to my next question: What is your opinion of what happened on Saturday?

KJ: To put it bluntly, I think that Secretary Pierce is right in one way: Mr. Maxwell is simply trying to remain in the lead like the rest of us, and he knows that he can’t be in the lead if the Conservative voters see who he really is. He can’t answer the tough questions and so he sticks to his campaign rallies where he gets to mandate what is discussed. However, the same can be said about Secretary Pierce. I was fully ready to take on Secretary Pierce with Mr. Maxwell in attendance, with an empty podium in place of Mr. Maxwell, or even in just a one-on-one debate. However, Secretary Pierce avoided the fight, just like Mr. Maxwell. It goes to show that there is a real choice in our primary this election season. You can choose Secretary Pierce, who is effectively who President Canth would have wanted to win. You can choose Mr. Maxwell, who is just as corrupt as President Canth was, despite the fact that he says that he wants to change the face of the party. And last and I hope not least, you can choose Governor Kaitlyn Jones, who is none of the above. If you want a real revamp of our party, you can join me and my campaign in fighting for the true Conservative platform, in fighting against corruption regardless if it’s from a Liberty, Labor, Civic, Centre, or Conservative politician, and in fighting for a greater freedom for Panem.

PS: Well, there you have it. Rising star Kaitlyn Jones, former governor of District 11 and potential Conservative nominee for President of the Republic of Panem. Thank you for joining us tonight.

BREAKING: Spat between Maxwell and Pierce forces Conservative debate cancellation

BREAKING: The Conservative Party presidential debate, which was planned to air this Thursday and to be hosted by The Panem Free Press, has been called off with no intent of rescheduling according to sources within the Conservative Party and within the campaigns of the three main candidates.

The debate, which would have featured businessman Robert F. Maxwell, former Secretary Kurtis Pierce, and former Governor Kaitlyn Jones, was cancelled following a row between Maxwell and Pierce. Maxwell alleged that he was being treated unfairly by the debate staff and by the Pierce campaign and declared that he would have no part in a Conservative debate under the conditions that were set forth. When debate staff refused to leave an empty podium in place of Maxwell’s position onstage, Pierce also declined to participate.

The Maxwell campaign only had this to say about the spat:

“Mr. Maxwell will not participate in any debate that does not give him a fair shot of delivering his message to the voters. Instead, Mr. Maxwell will be rallying in District 2 with his supporters and raising money that will be donated to charities that donate to causes that help our nation’s veterans.”

Conversely, the Pierce campaign responded to the story as well, taking a different approach:

“Robert F. Maxwell showed his true colors today, running away from a fight he was destined to lose. However, as long as The Panem Free Press avoids allowing voters to see that Mr. Maxwell isn’t prepared to show up for the job that he is running for, Secretary Pierce will not participate in what Mr. Maxwell describes as an ‘unfair’ debate.”

While the Jones campaign declined to comment when contacted, Governor Jones will participate in a one-on-one interview with former Press Secretary Polaris Septrix here on The Panem Free Press in the place of the Conservative debate.

Civic debate sets record for primary debate viewership

Sen. Patrick Newsom (left) and former Sec. Samuel Trenton enter the stage for the first Civic presidential debate.

The Civic Party held their first presidential debate, and it broke barriers in the political world.

The Civic Party, for one, has never held a debate before nor has it had a contested primary up to this point. The previous nominee each election was former President Cecelia Paylor, who founded the party. She stepped aside this year after multiple failed attempts to regain the office she once held. This year, her VP nominee, Samuel Trenton, faces off against firebrand Sen. Patrick Newsom for the nomination. Trenton brings experience to the table, while Newsom has gained a cult following with the base of the party.

The party’s debate last night set a record for viewership, reaching over thirty million viewers across Panem’s media. This is the highest viewership for a primary debate of any party in Panem’s electoral history, with the previous record holder being the first Liberty presidential debate during the last cycle. This record shows an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm for the Civic primary, despite historically abysmal polling.

Candidates were allowed two minutes per response plus an additional minute of rebuttal time under the condition that their name was mentioned by another candidate. Below are highlights of the debate:


ON THE ECONOMY:

Question: While the economy has improved since the beginning of the Mellark administration, both of you have criticized the economic policies used to encourage financial growth. Explain why, and explain what changes your potential administration would implement.

Trenton: “It’s simple: President Mellark has left behind any normal citizen of Panem. Sure, the economy is better for our big corporations, but go ask any Panem citizen if their wallet feels any bigger. My plan would ensure that corporations are held accountable for the monstrosity of a recession that occurred and further propel growth for our middle and lower class citizens. Everyone needs a break.”

Newsom: “As was previously said, we’ve left our citizens behind. The President campaigned in the last election on dropping the corporate tax rate. Why? Because ninety percent of his campaign donations come from big business, who would benefit from such a decrease. He did cut taxes, but the effects of those cuts have been minimal for any citizen who doesn’t make millions of dollars. We need to raise our corporate tax once again, ensure through extensive regulation that Panem corporations cannot allow for such a disaster such as this past recession to occur, and we need to implement a tax system that actually makes sure our richer citizens pay their fair share.”


ON FOREIGN POLICY:

Question: President Mellark has faced increasing controversy over his decision to seek boots on the ground in the region of Greece following threats of nuclear proliferation. What would you do as president to counter the new nuclear threat and to deal with the Greek conflict?

Newsom: “I’ll answer this very quickly. Number one: to counter the nuclear threat, I think that we should counter it with a broad coalition of nations and with the goal of completely denuclearizing this planet. That means every nation with weapons, including us, should rid themselves of nuclear weapons. Number two, the Greek conflict is not ours to fight. We should not intervene in a foreign nation’s affairs.”

Trenton: “This is where I disagree with my opponent. We should not dismantle our nuclear stockpile. There’s no incentive to do so. In fact, we fought a war against a group of nations that sought to do that for us, so let’s not become the IANO and try to denuclearize the world against the world’s wishes. We need to focus on finding the nukes- with a coalition- and getting them back into stable hands. As for the second point, we have no reason to be in Greece beyond the weapons. We should withdraw at that point.”


ON THE CANDIDATES’ RECORDS:

In this section, candidates were asked individualized questions and allowed three minutes for response. If a candidate’s name is mentioned in a response, they are not allowed to respond as with the rules for standard debate.

Question for Sec. Trenton: Secretary Trenton, your opponents and critics have labeled you as a stand-in candidate for Cecelia Paylor, claiming you are no different and that you are destined to lose in the same way as her. What is your response to these attacks?

Trenton: “My name is not Cecelia Paylor. While she’s a dear friend, she’s got very different views from me, starting with foreign policy for one. As for this election, every candidate is different. Everyone campaigns in their own way. I’m not running for vice president, I’m running for president.”

Question for Sen. Newsom: Senator Newsom, your opponents have attacked you for being inexperienced and radical. What is your response to this?

Newsom: “My opponents pick on my experience because they have nothing else to run on. That’s right: I haven’t been a standard-bearer for this party for twenty years. That’s why I’m here. That’s the point. This party literally has been represented by the same wing that Samuel Trenton represents today for four elections. We have lost four elections with this wing of the party, and we desperately need a new face. So, sure, come after me about my inexperience. I’d say that not being known in this case would be a plus. As for ‘radicalism’, that’s just another way of the establishment attempting to discredit true reform of the Civic Party. It has always appeared that the leadership of this party is intent on talking a big talk, only to take the easy way out. It was only after my insistence with my former colleague, Sadie Myers, that we create a true force of opposition in the Senate and House by banding together with the Labor Party. Instead of opposing conservative policies, Secretary Trenton was content to push conservative policies with the Everdeen and Canth administrations. So let me be clear: there’s one choice here that actually represents change, and that would be me. If you want to keep on this disastrous path for our party, Secretary Trenton would be more than happy to guide you down that path to get his lofty appointment in the next Mellark administration.”


We took a flash poll following the debate regarding who won this debate and who lost it.

Questions: 

  • Going into this debate, who were you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?
  • Who do you think was the overall winner of this debate?
  • Who do you think was the overall loser of this debate?
  • Following this debate, who are you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

The results are below.


Going into this debate, who were you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

Sec. Trenton – 54 percent

Sen. Newsom – 40 percent

Undecided – 6 percent

Who do you think was the overall winner of this debate?

Sen. Newsom – 78 percent

Sec. Trenton – 16 percent

Undecided – 6 percent

Who do you think was the overall loser of this debate?

Sec. Trenton – 83 percent

Sen. Newsom – 14 percent

 

Undecided – 3 percent

Following this debate, who are you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

Sen. Newsom – 48 percent

Sec. Trenton – 39 percent

 

Undecided – 13 percent


ANALYSIS: This debate definitely provided a major setback to Secretary Trenton’s campaign. While he had been riding high prior to this debate with a lead in the most recent poll of fourteen points over Senator Newsom, Trenton crashed and burned in this debate, providing Civic voters with a preview of what could come in a future presidential debate. Particularly bad was his handling of his answer on his connection to former President Paylor, which only muddled the issue and showed complete ineptitude according to our focus group, who described the moment as “completely unpresidential.”

Meanwhile, Newsom shined, particularly with his answer on what his critics say about him. This debate rejuvenated the senator’s campaign, bumping him to a nine point lead over Trenton (which amounts to a twenty-three point bump in the polls overall). Our focus group particularly appreciated the fresh ideas and how he was intent on going a step further than what the Civic platform historically has said.

Make no mistake, a major shift happened here today. Newsom proved that his rallies aren’t just show business. Trenton, however, should be very worried right about now.

Labor presidential debate shows deep divides

Sen. Iris Canstrom speaks at the Labor presidential debate in District 5.

The Labor Party presidential debate kicked off debate season tonight, showing the deep internal divisions within the Labor Party.

Four candidates appeared onstage tonight, comprising the multiple factions of the Labor Party:

  • Former Transportation Sec. Joan Kindred: represents the mainstream liberal view of the Labor Party, championing the vision set forth by previous nominee Felicia Ren.
  • Rep. Sylvenia Denton: represents the progressive wing of the Labor Party, championing universal healthcare, open borders, and is particularly critical of military intervention by the Mellark administration.
  • Former Agriculture Sec. Walter Delta: represents the populist view of the Labor Party, championing the rights of “middle Panem”.
  • Sen. Iris Canstrom: represents the centrist wing of the Labor Party, championing a vision akin to that of previous Labor nominee and ex-president Rick Canth.

All four of these candidates engaged in a war of words against the others, revealing the deep divisions that Labor is currently engaging in at this moment. Candidates were allowed two minutes per response plus an additional minute of rebuttal time under the condition that their name was mentioned by another candidate. Below are highlights of each of the candidates:


ON THE ECONOMY:

Question: The economy under the Mellark administration has certainly improved from that of the Canth administration. However, debate persists on this topic in regards to the sustainability of this boom and the repercussions of such economic policy. Is this a sustainable policy, and as president, what would you do in regards to economic policy to ensure that Panem never falls into a deep economic crisis again?

Kindred: “This economic boom is certainly not sustainable, and if we do not recognize it, the collapse will be worse than the last. The president’s fiscal policy is nothing more than a bandage slapped on a problem that needs surgery to fix. As president, I plan to reverse the tax cuts on businesses and raise overall taxes to a reasonable amount in order to ensure that our government is funded. We must further regulate our economy in order to ensure our stability. We must also ensure that no corporation or bank is too big to fail and we must make sure that no corporation is able to own our government.”

Denton: “Ms. Kindred is correct that it’s not sustainable, but Ms. Kindred also neglects to tell it like it is, as per usual. We are in dire straits here! If we continue down this path, we won’t have the money to fund our government. We won’t be able to keep our economy up and running without a government! We absolutely need to raise our tax rate, for the good of our people and for the good of our country. And as for the banks and corporations, we certainly need to reduce their influence. The amount of money that goes into our political system is a disgrace, and that’s why my campaign, unlike any other candidate’s up here, only is taking money from individual donors, not corporations.”

Kindred’s response: “In response, Representative Denton doesn’t tell it like it is. She tells us all that she is the only real candidate against the banks and corporations; that is false. I can say for a fact that I am not receiving money from any corporate entity. However, this talk of taxing businesses into oblivion is ludicrous. We cannot afford to destroy our business environment. We can, however, hold our officials accountable and ensure transparency.”

Delta: “The whole deal here is that our government isn’t by the people and for the people anymore. The citizens of this country, despite our so-called boom, aren’t feeling any better. I’ve talked to them. Hell, I don’t even feel better. As president, you can bet that I’ll take on these too-big-to-fail businesses, but you can bet your bottom dollar as well that I’m going to be working to make small businesses great again. The little guy has suffered far too much.”

Canstrom: “My plan is this: work to improve small businesses, raise the corporate tax by ten percent, and keep our tax rate low. That’s a winning strategy to economic growth.”


ON FOREIGN POLICY:

Question: President Peeta Mellark promised that as president he would tackle major foreign policy threats from the Oceanian Empire and other terrorist groups. However, he now faces the nuclear threat of the rebels in Greece and other entities that have stolen nuclear weapons from their stockpiles. Do you support military intervention in Greece, and what would you do in this situation as president?

Denton: “I would absolutely not intervene in Greece, and the President is out of his damn mind for asking Congress for intervention. Not only is it none of our business, it’s another war to involve our troops in. It’s another chance for the Liberty Party to please their warmongering donors. It’s another chance for the President to raise his approvals before we get to face off against him. As president, we’d stay out of it.”

Delta: “I would need to see all the information on the table and then make a decision. War is something no one takes lightly, and I’m not going to feel comfortable sending troops to war until I know for certain we need to.”

Canstrom: “I personally believe that the President was correct in asking for intervention, and I would have done the same. It’s far too risky to allow such dangerous weaponry from falling into the hands of a maniac.”

Kindred: “If we are going in for an extended period of time, I do not support intervention. If we are going in solely to collect the nuclear weapons and then leaving, I would support that decision.”


ON THE CANDIDATES’ RECORDS:

In this section, candidates were asked individualized questions and allowed three minutes for response. If a candidate’s name is mentioned in a response, they are not allowed to respond as with the rules for standard debate.

Question for Mr. Delta: Secretary Delta, you have a long history in Panem’s government, serving as a governor and as the Secretary of Agriculture. However, your opponents have campaigned against you on the grounds that you have little to no foreign policy experience. What is your response to this?

Delta: “Well, let me put it this way. As secretary, I was deeply involved with coordinating with the Commerce Department in order to get trade done with foreign nations. This idea that I’m not aware of what the United Kingdom or South Africa is like is simply dumb. In fact, I’d say that virtually all of our candidates this election are good with foreign policy- except for Ms. Denton. She’s probably the least qualified candidate here.”

Question for Sen. Canstrom: Senator Canstrom, your opponents have characterized you as an ineffective Senate leader who doesn’t fight for the platform of the Labor Party. What is your response to this?

Canstrom: “I’ve gotten a lot done as leader, far more than any of my opponents would care to know. However, they also don’t see the grueling process of the Senate. They have never had to deal with so many one-track minded people at once. As for their comments regarding my supposed disloyalty to the party line, that is their way of saying that I am bipartisan. I have not abandoned the Labor Party. In fact, I’m a staunch defender of its values, and I’m also a believer that anyone is welcome in this party. Bipartisanship should be a virtue, not a vice.”

Question for Ms. Kindred: Secretary Kindred, you have a long history in the Labor Party, having been the previous vice presidential nominee twice and the subject of constant speculation as to when you would launch your run for president. However, with that comes the attack that you represent a failed approach to Labor politics and that you are too much of the “Old Guard.” What is your response to this?

Kindred: “Just because I am a former nominee does not mean that I am not able to lead Labor into a new era. If you don’t remember, Walter Delta over there is also a former vice presidential nominee. Under this definition, he also is a member of the “Old Guard.” So is Iris Canstrom to my far left. The only person here who doesn’t represent the so-called “Old Guard” is Ms. Denton over there, and she’s hardly fit to be dogcatcher. Just because I was VP nominee to Felicia Ren does not mean that I can’t bring a new version of the Labor Party to voters. I can do that, and I will do that.”

Question for Rep. Denton: Representative Denton, as stated by two of your opponents here, you entered the race as the candidate with the least governmental experience. You are also attacked for what your opponents call “hot-headedness.” What is your response to this?

Denton: “My opponents would say that I eat babies in order to get themselves across the finish line. Look, experience isn’t what is needed for this job. We need someone with a solid head on their shoulders. My opponents are exactly what’s wrong with the party today. They are so incredibly out of touch with what voters are wanting in the Capitol. So excuse my passion and “hot-headedness,” if you will. I don’t think that the scum that resides in the Capitol is used to anything that isn’t a cold carcass.”


We took a flash poll following the debate regarding who won this debate and who lost it.

Questions: 

  • Going into this debate, who were you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?
  • Who do you think was the overall winner of this debate?
  • Who do you think was the overall loser of this debate?
  • Following this debate, who are you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

The results are below.


Going into this debate, who were you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

Sec. Kindred – 24 percent

Rep. Denton – 20 percent

Sec. Delta – 19 percent

Sen. Canstrom – 17 percent

Undecided – 20 percent

Who do you think was the overall winner of this debate?

Rep. Denton – 30 percent

Sec. Delta – 27 percent

Sen. Canstrom – 24 percent

Sec. Kindred – 11 percent

Undecided – 8 percent

Who do you think was the overall loser of this debate?

Sec. Kindred – 41 percent

Rep. Denton – 30 percent

Sec. Delta – 17 percent

Sen. Canstrom – 5 percent

Undecided – 7 percent

Following this debate, who are you planning to vote for in your respective district primary?

Rep. Denton – 22 percent

Sen. Canstrom – 21 percent

Sec. Kindred – 20 percent

Sec. Delta – 20 percent

Undecided – 17 percent


ANALYSIS: The results of this debate are largely inconclusive. Voters from the Labor Party have been left with the same divisions and less answers from their candidates than when they started. However, some details can be deduced from our polling.

First, Joan Kindred bombed with viewers. Her response to representing the “Old Guard” did not play as she had hoped. Instead, it played to Sylvenia Denton’s advantage with our focus groups. However, Denton still perturbs many in focus groups with her demeanor. Nonetheless, Denton’s performance tonight helped her, moving her to the top of our post-debate flash poll.

In addition, Sen. Canstrom and Sec. Delta had successful nights tonight. Both played well (Canstrom for her bipartisanship, and Delta for his overall folksiness and his talk of protecting the little guy) on screen with viewers, and both were bumped in the polls as a result. However, Canstrom had the most to gain, rising to second while Delta tied for third.

This debate, if nothing else, complicated matters. Now, polling shows a very tied field for the nomination with the leading candidate, Denton, only two points away from the last place candidates, Kindred and Delta. This race is anyone’s game at this point.