The News-Review

A Service of the News Bureau of the Government of the Twelve Colonies

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Arcturus Negron Trial Begins, Will be Continued

Posted by Fleet News Service on May 4, 2008

Sunday, May 4, the trial of alleged assassin Arcturus Negron commenced. Negron stands accused of a number of charges related to the shooting of Vice President Vicky Vielle, who survived the attack.

The trial was presided over by a tribunal made up of Quorum Representatives Dollwife Pink, Ronon Maximus, and Saamia Mahana. The prosecution was represented by Datan Lanzet and the defendant was represented by attorney Haki Tiqiri.

Proceedings today included testimony from prosecution witnesses Lieutenant Echos Lockjaw, Rear Admiral Darsh Lucero, and Gunnery Sergeant Demitri Congrejo.

The trial was not completed and will be resumed at a later date, yet to be determined. The prosecution has not completed the presentation of its witnesses or its case, and the defense has not presented its case yet.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Secretary of Commerce – Owen Papp Resigns

Posted by Fleet News Service on May 4, 2008

Citing personal reasons, Owen Papp submitted his resignation today from his position as Secretary of Commerce on President Halberd’s Cabinet.

Mr. Papp was the first to hold this position in the fleet, and he accomplished a number of obectives related to fleet banking and commerce.

President Halberd said he will be missed and a replacement search will be initiated, but there is no need to rush into a replacement at the moment.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Arrest Warrant Issued for Arcturus Negron

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 20, 2008

An arrest warrant was issued for  Arcturus Negron, who was wanted in connection with the attempted assassination and attempted murder of Vice President Vicky Vielle.

He was arrested Thursday night by OPSEC and locked up on Pacifica until extradition was requested by Fleet Security, and is awaiting trial on River Delta.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Trial Date Set for Mason Bekkers

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 20, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Attorney General
April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 26 there will be a trial held to ascertain the guilt or innocence of  Mason Bekkers. Mr. Bekkers is charged as follows:

COUNT 1 – Kidnapping of the Innis Child
COUNT 2 – Kidnapping of Yveka Law
COUNT 3 – Illegal discharge of a firearm
COUNT 4 – Illegal Possession of a firearm
COUNT 5 – Felony Child Endangerment
COUNT 6 – Battery and Felony Endangerment

The location of the trial will be in the new courtroom on Celestra.

Datan Lanzet – Assistant Attorney General

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Source Identified – Quarantine Lifted!

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 17, 2008

News release – for immediate release:

Dr. Stacia Zabalata, Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced this evening the discovery of both the source and strain of the bacteria causing the outbreak on 7th Heaven and Pacifica. To date, there have been 643 confirmed cases on 7th Heaven, 134 on Pacifica and 57 cases on TQ and other inner ships.

Tech crews are busy synthesizing an effective combination of antibiotic that will cure those who are infected. Antibiotics will be administered to ill medical and military personnel first and then to those who have been infected the longest.  With in 24 hours, there will be enough medication for all who are ill.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Quarantine Update

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 15, 2008

At the urging of Dr. Whiteberry, President Halberd quarantined 7th Heaven. About 80% of the population is infected with the mysterious disease. The president called for all those who are symptomatic and are on other ships to go immediately to 7th.

Upon the inital quarantine order, a group of uninfected individiuals on 7th tried to get off and were spoke to by  Dr. Whiteberry, with help of several armed security agents. Calm was restored.

Afterwards, a heavy raider landed  on Pacifica and she was boarded. Cylons made their way to sick bay where Dr. Stacia Zabaleta was wounded. Uninfected, she was at Pacifica working with Dr. Schridde  to identify the infectious agent. She is in guarded condition.

A number of military personnel were wounded in this action.

Submitted by:

Leandrah Whiteberry-Schridde, MD

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7th Heaven Quarantined

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 14, 2008

The luxury ship 7th Heaven is under quarantine orders after a mysterious outbreak of some agent believed to be bacterial. The first symptom is the onset of a fever of approximately 101 – 103 degrees. The malady has affected approximately 80% of those on board.

The text of the quaranteen notice, issued by Dr. Leandrah Whiteberry, reads as follows:

===================================================

A mysterious bacterial infection has swept rapidly through the population of 7th Heaven over the last week to 10 days.

The medical staff are doing all they can to treat those who are infected, but are as yet unable to determine the source of the infection or the method of transmission.

With the health and safety of the entire fleet in mind, we are quarantining 7th Heaven immediately.  Everyone who is on 7th at this time MUST remain on board. Those who may have the illness and who are on other ships must immediately make their way to 7th for treatment and observation.

Symptoms include: fever, sore throat, swollen glands followed by a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet the rash progresses to a fully body rash and is extremely itchy and uncomfortable. It does not appear to progress to a life-threatening illness.

The medical team is working around the clock to find the correct agent to eliminate the infection. Until then, they can only treat the symptoms.

Your cooperation and prayers are requested.

The Fleet Medical Team
===================================================

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Presidential Press Release

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 13, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the President
April 13, 2008

I will begin by saying a most unpopular thing. We are not quite united. We have among us people who realize that this is a time when it is equally good to live or die, because we are at war. We also have among us a group of intellectuals who have no idea a fighting force is made up of people who are ready and able to fight for our survival. We are no longer fighting for our freedoms, we are fighting for our very lives.

Commander Syakumi has my full support. Her efforts to make Pacifica battle-ready come at a time when it is sorely needed. We must have discipline at a time when we are fighting a very capable enemy.

It may not be apparent to those among us who believe Pacifica is a resort ship or an art commune, but we sustained a total and unmitigated defeat when we lost the colonies. We were guilty of gross neglect and deficiency of our defenses. By the Gods, that will never happen again on my watch.

Insurrection and sedition have severe consequences. Direct orders cannot be disobeyed. Perpetrators can and will be shot, court martialled, or ejected permanently from military duty.

The orders Commander Syakumi gave are to keep us battle ready. There may be more such orders in the future. If you are unwilling or unable to comply with the military needs of readiness, perhaps civilian life would suit you better.

Here follows the full text of the regulation. Military personnel should read it carefully, since it contains a variety of options.

Tanya Halberd

Colonial President

(Click below to read the full, extended document)

Read the rest of this entry »

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President Halberd Addresses the Fleet

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 2, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 2, 2008

To All Fleet Citizens,

As you may know, I offered to meet with representatives of the terrorist group “The Hand of Apollo,” and publicly guaranteed their safety. I sincerely wished to discuss their position.

Since that offer was extended, they have attempted an assassination and have murdered a Quorum Representative.

Tonight, they asked to meet, and when the effort was made to ensure their safety, they responded by murdering Liana Inshan and by issuing a list of ridiculous demands.

I said that the offer would only be extended once, and I meant it. Their chance to be treated as legitimate is gone forever. From this point forward, members of this terrorist cult will be dealt with as barbarians. Anyone associating with them will be tried. If found guilty they will spaced in the slow airlock #3 on 7th Heaven. They will have several hours to think about their lives as the air slowly leaves the chamber.

If you are a member of the fleet and you have any contact with these people, you should be afraid. They are murderers. You should think very carefully what you are risking, and what it is worth for you to help them. If you want any chance of surviving this, you should contact Detective Byrna Frostbite” Pikajuna before she finds you, because if she finds you first, there will be no mercy.

Tanya Halberd
President

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Representative Inshan Found Dead, Hand Of Apollo Issues Demands

Posted by Fleet News Service on April 2, 2008

Inshan Found DeadA mysterious box was found on Celestra which purported to be from the Hand of Apollo. It suggested that the President check the Quorum Chamber for a list of demands.

A number of security personnel were subsequently summoned to the Quorum Room on 7th Heaven. Upon arriving, the body of Quorum of 12 Representative Liana Inshan was found with a note pinned to her body.

The note  was seemingly from the terrorist group calling itself “The Hand of Apollo.” The note listed a number of demands listed below exactly as received:

  1. The Imediate “spacing” of all known Cylon humanoids in the the fleet.
  2. The Quarantine of all Hybrid children.
  3. The Imediate resignation of the Admiral.
  4. More Food for the civilians.
  5. Immunity from any prosecution for any past crimes.

Representative Inshan’s body was taken to Pacifica for a forensic autopsy.

President Halberd declined to comment but said she would be issuing a statement very soon.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Quorum of 12 Representative Liana Inshan Missing

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 31, 2008

The following report was turned into authorities today, and this reporter was able to see a copy of it.

I was scheduled to meet with Representative Inshan in her quarters on the Virgon Rising to discuss her proposals related to food distributions on 03292008 at 0900SLT. When I went to her room, the door was unlocked. I went in and found the room was in disarray and Liana was not there. Her identity cards and personal items were still in the room.

Contact was made with the Captain who checked the ship log and told me that there was no departure record. She should still have been aboard. The Captain asked the crew members to look for her but were unable to locate her anywhere on the ship.

I thought maybe she had just been called away until I heard of the attack on Vice President Vielle. When I heard of this I realized there could be more to it and that this needed to be reported.

Casiopeia Catteneo
Representative of Canceron

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Representative Inshan, please contact Captain Serapis immediately.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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President Offers to Meet Hand of Apollo

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 30, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 30, 2008

In a move shunned by advisors, President Halberd has penned an open letter to so-called “Hand of Apollo” members, offering to meet them and hear their demands while assuring their safety.

Hand of Apollo Members,

In the interests of compromise and mutual understanding, I am willing to meet with you or your representatives to hear what your issues are. Your safety will be guaranteed by me.

You may respond with comments in the news, if you wish.

This offer will only be extended once.

Tanya Halberd
President

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Assassination Attempt on Vice Presidents Life!

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 30, 2008

Saturday, a day of mourning for our recently lost Pacifica hero, Heidi Stiglitz, was marred by violence by a lone assassin against the the Vice President of the Colonial Fleet, Vicky Vielle.

What started out as a fitting time of tribute and  heartfelt words about the recently lost pillar of the fleet, turned into violence and mayhem.
As the last few eulogizers were speaking, shots rang out and the Vice President dropped. On lookers were confused as to what had just occurred, looking at each other in silence momentarily until  the realization set in. Weapons we drawn by all the warriors in attendance. Quick orders to seal the Dome were to late, as it appeared that the perpetrator was later reported as being observed running from the scene.

All fleet officers were quickly surround by body guards and sequestered. Many individuals were rounded up and questioned. At this time, an individual is in custody. The suspect’s name has not been released.

The group calling themselves the Hand of Apollo has taken responsiblity. Before the shots were fired, someone yelled, “You have broken and betrayed the Truce and the Covenent now you have been Judged now feel the wrath of the Hand of Apollo”.

This reporter is still shaken by the events. I will follow with more updates as the investigation continues.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Wake for Major Stiglitz Planned, Saturday, 3/29 at 2pm SLT

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 28, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 28, 2008

Please join us as we honor our fallen CAG, Major Heidi Stiglitz, who died as she lived, in honor and dignity in the battle against our enemies.

We will gather at 2pm, SLT Saturday, March 29, 2008 in the dome in 7th Heaven.

Please attend if you can. Please bring pictures of the Major if you can.

Thanks.

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Poseidon Abandoned, CAG Stiglitz is MIA

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 27, 2008

This is without a doubt the saddest report I have ever written for the News.

In a surprisingly vicious attack that included at least 3 basestars, Cylons returned to retake the planet Poseidon with a vengeance. Pilots and Marines fought valiantly to hold our position, but the planet was not worth additional casualties and Admiral Nephilim ordered an FTL to remove the fleet from danger.

A tragic loss was revealed by President Halberd, who told me haltingly, with tears rolling down her face, that Major Heidi Stiglitz is missing in action. The President explained that the CAG was engaged by Cylons while flying the Stealth Star and went down over the planet. Rescuers determined that her beacon was not active or had been destroyed in the crash, and orders were given from Pacifica to abandon the search. “I consider her one of my dearest friends. We will do everything we can to go back and find her,” President Halberd said. “I cannot accept that one of the most heroic women who ever lived is missing.”

Admiral Nephilim, who is also one of Major Stiglitz’ closest friends, was forced to order the FTL jump away from the area. She is in seclusion and has issued no statements.

Major Stiglitz is a proud citizen of Aerelon. She lost her husband Hannes and daughters Thea and Tessa in a vicious slaughter of their family farm just days before a mission from Pacifica arrived to retrieve them.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Hand Of Apollo?

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 19, 2008

This letter was just dropped to Fleet News offices this afternoon

hand-of-apollo1.jpg

Posted in Gov't and Politics, Rumor Mill | 19 Comments »

Press Release: President Names Additional Cabinet Members, Staff

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 18, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 18, 2008

President Tanya Halberd today named two new Cabinet members and two new staff members to her administration, selecting a Secretary of Agro & Hydro and an Assistant Press Secretary as well as an Aide and a Presidential Security agent.

The appointees are:

Presidential Cabinet:
Kazrak Dryke, Secretary of Agro & Hydro
Taylor Peralta, Assistant Press Secretary

Presidential Staff:
Antonia Waco, Presidential Aide
hehe “Tom” Papp, Presidential Security

Including new selections, the full membership of the Executive Branch is listed below.

President Tanya Halberd
Vice President Vickie Vielle

Press Secretary – Kiltcheck Douglas
Secretary of Science – Doctor Jiminy
Secretary of Health and Human Services – Stacia Zabeleta
Secretary of Education – Leandrah Whiteberry
Attorney General – Derin Swenson
Secretary of Commerce – Owen Papp
Secretary of Agro & Hydro – Kazrak Dryke

Assistant Press Secretary – Taylor Peralta
Assistant Secretary of Education – Jayce Raymaker

Aide to the President – Antonia Waco
Presidential Security – hehe “Tom” Papp

Posted in Gov't and Politics, Who's Who | 2 Comments »

Quorum of 12 Meets, Discusses Critical Issues

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 8, 2008

In a productive meeting today in the Quorum Room on 7th Heaven, Representatives discussed a number of issues ranging from mining on Poseidon to selection of a replacement for recently deceased Quorum Representive Conell Dagger.

Colony Representative Attended
Aerelon Paxan Freck Yes
Aquaria Dollwife Pink Yes
Canceron Casiopeia Catteneo Yes
Caprica Bigggy Smalls No
Gemenon Erianthe Elvehjem No
Leonis Ronon Maximus Yes
Libris Cathiee McMillan Yes
Picon Conell Dagger Deceased
Sagittaron Gibley Goldblatt Yes
Scorpia Saamia Mahana No
Tauron Eyea Aya Yes
Virgon Liana Inshan Yes

Also in attendance were President Halberd, Vice President Vicky Vielle, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Stacia Zabeleta.

The meeting began by appointing the senior member, Gibley Goldblatt of Sagittaron, as the moderator. Following that, a long list of issues was raised by the recently ill and still recovering Virgon Representative Liana Inshan, who spoke from a wheelchair.

The first issue raised by Representative Inshan was whether to send 3 Quorum of 12 Representatives to the planet Poseidon to visit with citizens and assess the situation. The motion passed.

The second issue was concern for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among civilians, and the matter was deferred to Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Zabeleta. Likewise, the third issue of adult education to promote skills of civilians was also referred to the Executive Branch and Secretary of Education Andi Whiteberry.

The fourth issue raised by Virgon Representative Inshan concerned prisoner’s rights. This is a concern of hers since she has personally experienced a run-in with the judicial system recently. President Halberd briefly described the circumstances of the arrest, as related here in the news, stating that charges were dropped since the problem was related to a medical condition. The President also referred to legislation from the previous session of the Quorum to protect citizen’s rights. Other representatives did not share Representative Inshan’s concerns and the matter was dropped.

The fifth issue raised by Representative Inshan was whether for the good of the fleet people should be encouraged to have children. The discussion was found to be rather divisive and was deferred to a later date.

Issue six was the proposal to create emergency bulkheads to protect shuttle bays during an attack. This was determined to be a military matter and out of scope for a Quorum discussion.

Issue seven suggested that there is a shortage of civilian medical personnel and resources, and that an office be created to manage the situation. A motion carried to ask for the Cabinet to establish a medical control and training center.

At this point a brief discussion came up of what to do about the Picon seat in the Quorum of 12 vacated by the death of Conell Dagger. It was decided that the citizens of Picon would be encouraged to find another representative.

After this the meeting was adjourned, with participants thanking those who helped with the meeting.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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Fleet Sweep for Transponders Detects 7 So Far

Posted by Fleet News Service on March 5, 2008

Secretary of Science Doctor Jiminy developed a detector for Cylon transponders with the help of one of the Cylon defectors. Using the device, Tylum Queen, Celestra and 7th Heaven were swept and two transponders per ship were located for a total of six. In a very troubling development, a seventh transponder was found on Pacifica, too.

Even though Pacifica was not occupied by Cylons during the fleet separation of recent weeks, a sweep made of the battlestar revealed one transponder. When asked how a transponder could have been planted on Pacifica, Admiral Nephilim replied, “no comment.”

“This is both very troubling and very reassuring,” said President Halberd. “We found the devices and disabled them. I am anxious to finish the sweep of the rest of the fleet before we have to jump again. We need to be alert.”

Cabinet Member Jiminy has agreed to distribute the new transponder detectors to Marine and OPSEC units.

Doctor Jiminy shows a Cylon transponder

The transponders are described as white ovals about the size of your hand. If you see one, please contact the bomb squad on Pacifica immediately, and do not touch or move the devices.

Sable Babii – Fleet News Reporter

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She’s our new President – ‘So Say We All’

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 28, 2008

It’s official – Tanya Halberd is President and her running partner Vicky Vielle is Vice-President.

By Geranna Aeon

In the wake of a no-holds-barred campaign, Tanya Halbert, the pollsters’ favourite, has emerged victorious as President of the 12 Colonies.

In the end, the result was an easy endorsement of the Halberd/Vielle team with 38votes to 13 votes.

A jubilant President Halberd said, I want to thank all of my supporters, and promise that all people in the fleet will be represented well by our administration.

“I never thought that when I worked as a room maid 14 years ago that it would come to this. I’m so happy. The really winners will be the citizens of the fleet. I will serve them to the best of my ability.

“I have accepted Zarta’s congratulations, and I hope that we can put this campaign behind us and all work for the good of the fleet”.

Conceding defeat, the rival, former President Vargas had the following to say: “Now that the election has ended, my time to assist the fleet has also ended. Many of you may not know that my husband who was lost during the attack on Caprica made his way to New Aerelon and rejoined me afterward. Since we have no place in the fleet any longer, we have contracted with a rogue TQ pilot to take us to a nearby uninhabited planet, where we will live out our days–hopefully without Cylon attack. I wish you all well in your journey to your destination, and I thank you, once again. It has been wonderful working with all of you”.

That missive seeingly signals an end to Zarta Vargas’ involvement in Fleet politics.

Colonial Freedom Party Chairman and vice-presidential candidate Gerome Aeon said he was pleased that the people had had their say. “I wanted to be one of the first to congratulate President Halberd on her win. She has been elected by the people and in my view, in all fairness”.

Now the leader of a party in Opposition, he said his party’s role now is to watch the Government and keep it accountable. “Colonial Freedom will encourage the Government at all times to do a good job. I expect the CFP to serve as Opposition – the alternative government – so that the people will always know that if they do not like what the Government does, they can replace it at the next election.”

The Geminese refugee did not comment on some of the campaign tactics of the Halberd campaign but said he hoped it would not become any more personal. “This first election has been a learning curve for all of us … none of us have campaigned before. Now it’s over, I feel sure we will all regain our perspective. I look forward to good working relations with President Halberd’s team”.

Colonial Freedom’s campaign style was laclustre compared to the strident advance of the Halberd team. “They were far more aggressive than us and we sought not to dignify some of their tactics with a response, preferring to let people vent their anger for themselves,” said Aeon. “In retrospect, had I known what they were capable of doing and saying, I might have been tempted to adopt some of their tactics, but I would have been very uncomfortable doing so”.

Aeon would not speculate on future roles for Zarta Vargas or himself in the Colonial Freedom Party, saying that the party membership will be asked to vote on the leadership next week.

Posted in Blogroll, Gossip, Gov't and Politics, OOC (Out of Character), Rumor Mill, Uncategorized, Who's Who | 3 Comments »

Election result countdown

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 27, 2008

T minus 7 hours and counting – Time is running out to cast your vote in the first free elections since the Fleet began its odessy to Earth.

By Geranna Aeon

Since the automated voting station was set up by Election Ombudsman Captain Starbuck Serapis in the arrivals/security area of the 7th Heaven yesterday, the turn-out has been steady with a large number of the registered electors having already voted. If you have not voted yet, you have until midnight tonight (Sunday).

Here’s how it will play out:

The moment the polls close , the Ombudsman will count the vote. There are only two candidates and this is a first-past-the-post contest. There are no preferences in this election. There is an odd number of registered voters so there cannot be a tie. Even a majority of one is enough to elect either woman.

Captain Serapis will announce the result to the Fleet and the winner will formally accept the appointment.

What’s not so clear is when the newly elected President officially takes over the post. How long with Acting President Vielle remain in place?

Other questions include, how long will this President’s term of office be? (We seem to have over-looked that detail). Both sides have described a cabinet of officials to manage health, defence, education etc. How soon before those jobs are filled and will they be filled by party faithful or the person considered best suited to the job?

Then there’s the question of who swears in the new President? Should it be a priest, oracle, judge, government official, the Interim President (that might be embarrassing, swearing in your partner – or worse, swearing in the woman who beat you). A favourite for that particular ceremonial role is the Election Ombudsman and architect of the voting system, Starbuckk Serapis, who was unavailable for comment when we went to print. Who will make that decision, nobody yet knows.

Both parties are planning an election get-together in their respective venues but given the hour of the night, it remains to be seen how many will turn out to cheer or commiserate with their candidates.

Posted in Blogroll, Gossip, Gov't and Politics, OOC (Out of Character), Rumor Mill, Uncategorized, Who's Who | 1 Comment »

Election Result Tonight — But did we really want this election after all?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 27, 2008

Only 12 hours before we get the much-anticipated results from the Fleet’s first general election to choose a President of the 12 Colonies.

By Geranna Aeon

Looking back over the campaign
In a campaign sometimes tarnished by finger-pointing and name-calling, none of the candidates seems to have escaped entirely from the slings and arrows cast by both sides in what will be remembered as maybe not the finest example of Democracy-in-action. But, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, Democracy it is – Fleet style – and the results are only hours away in the biggest game in town.

There are only two political parties contesting the prize. Seizing on the stirrings of a democratic movement in the Fleet, the fledgling Colonial Freedom Party was formed last year. The Party was the first to be formed and wasted no time declaring its ambitions for the Presidency. They recruited former President Zarta Vargas as star candidate. She resigned suddenly late last year from the Presidency citing inreconcilable differences with certain Quorum members and some high-ranking officials.

Often criticised for lengthy absences and only low-level involvement in the business of Government during her Presidency, Vargas has received a tongue-lashing by her rival for her low profile during the campaign. Some members of the Colonial Freedom Party (there are 22 of them) have even questioned whether Party Chairman Gerome Aeon may have blundered in recruiting Vargas as his senior partner in the campaign.

Far more active and high-profile in the campaign is acting Vice-President Captain Tanya Halberd (a reminder that she is the Presidential candidate and acting President Vickki Vielle is the VICE-Presidential candidate). Halberd is best known as the hostess of the Afterburners Bar. I described her in a previous article as the ‘smiling’ hostess, for which she fiercely tore strips off me. Anyone who has ever been to Afterburners (and that’s got to be almost everybody) knows Tanya is a gracious and very friendless hostess. Maybe after these weeks of campaigning, she’s not smiling so much these days.

But given her unquestioned dominance in this campaign, it is hard to understand why she isn’t smiling. Her ‘So Say We All’ campaign has been far more organised and energetic than Colonial Freedom with a number of news conferences, public Q&A sessions and loads of media coverage. The style of Halberd campaign has also been much more aggressive. She challenged her opponents to a public debate yesterday at very short notice at a time of day when her rivals ((were indisposed in real life due to moving house or asleep because of international timezones)) had no chance of attending.

The response from the electorate to these campaiging techniques has included some heated criticisms posted in the Fleet News for being too ‘personal’ and ‘unfair’. Perhaps the old political maxim rings true, that “Any publicity is good publicity” – everyone is talking about Halberd. Curiously, the response from the Colonial Freedom Party has been silence and yet more silence.

Are we better off for having had this election?
Has it been good for the Fleet or has it hurt us? We certainly have had a democratic process but talk to people around the Fleet and some will tell you that there has been some damage to people’s feelings, that the campaign has polarised the Fleet and has sometimes brought out the worst in some of us. Perhaps when this is all over, there will need to be some healing.

Be that as it may, politics in this Fleet will never be the same again. We have had our first taste of a democratic gloves-off stoush. We won’t be seeing anyone just appointed to a senior post because they know the right people. There is the expectation of accountability now. There is going to be a Government and an Opposition and the politicing is not about to stop – it’ll only escalate. And stand-by for the upcoming Quorum elections.

Whoever wins the Presidency tonight can look forward to constant bombardment from the Opposition, from the media, from comments posted by anyone and everyone in the News Service, being talked about behind their back, factions and rivals – topped off nicely by the next election campaign. Given what they are getting themselves in for, it’s difficult to accept that anyone would want the job. Thank the gods someone does.

But what if we had not had an election, what then? Someone would be placed into the Presidency by some anonymous power clique. They would have been elected by nobody and they would be accountable to nobody. The people would not have a say in who leads the Government, whether they are interested in politics or not. “Freedom Isn’t Free” and the burden is not on the next President alone (whoever she is) to carry the responsibility of the Fleet all by herself. The responsibility is shared by all of us who call the Fleet home.

I for one am grateful for this election campaign warts and all and I remain optimistic that from this bumpy and sometimes painful start, we will gradually acquire a more involving, fulfilling and rewarding experience for all of us in this Fleet of ours.

Posted in Blogroll, Gossip, Gov't and Politics, OOC (Out of Character), Rumor Mill, Uncategorized, Who's Who | Leave a Comment »

Zarta Vargas wants to be President – again.

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 26, 2008

Some say she’s had a fair turn at the helm of the Presidency. But there is no human alive with as much experience as President as she has. So does Zarta Vargas get your vote?

By Geranna Aeon

Talk to people in the Fleet about the outcome of Sunday’s election and speculation varies widely from ‘foregone conclusion’ according to conspiracy theorists who believe the election is rigged in the Government’s favour, to a photo finish, too close to call. So who can say who has the advantage at this time – ‘So Say We All’ or ‘Colonial Freedom’?

Essentially the outcome will be decided by the people who registered to vote, who will have to choose between the experience of Zarta Vargas versus the popularity of 7th Heaven barmaid, Captain Tanya Halberd. They will balance the conscientious involvement of Halberd in the forum against the conspicuous absence of the ‘Where’s Zarta’ Vargas. There are plenty of citizens who ask, why should Vargas get a second turn at the wheel?

The Colonial Freedom Party whom Vargas represents has been growing in membership and some political observers are not ruling them out of the race altogether. “I don’t think my political opponents realize the strength of my position,” said an up-beat Vargas, who resigned the Presidency last year to make what she called a very loud statement. She said she wanted to return to the post of President “… in order to straighten out the problems, for the good of the people. I have reason to believe that my chances are very good and that the people are frustrated with the current government”.

Vargas says that a top priority for a second Vargas administration would be the Mining Ship Tylium Queen. The woman who calls herself ‘the People’s President’ relocated to the TQ even before leaving the Presidency last year bringing with her medical supplies in a move that she hopes was seen as symbolic of her empathy with the people. “The ship needs to be cleaned up. The people there have every right to reasonable conditions, just as the rest of humanity does. I took quarters on the TQ because I recognized the needs of the people there and truly felt for them. I want to give these people hope… as well as giving people on other similar vessels the same. Conditions in the fleet of this sort need to be cleaned up”.

The Colonial Freedom Party’s policy includes the creation of additional ministerial roles such as Secretary of Agriculture post, created by the Vargas administration last year and occupied by the current Acting President Vicki Vielle. The Party says it would create similar positions in:
– Health
– Housing
– Education
– Orphan welfare (a personal priority for Zarta Vargas)
– Defence and Cylon Research – another project begun by Vargas during her first administration.

 

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Can mud boomerang?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 25, 2008

Intended to be playful and make light of what many consider a serious situation, little jibes against former President Zarta Vargas may have boomeranged on the Presidential candidate Tanya Halberd.  Did Tanya Halberd miscalculate when she chose to tease Vargas in public?

Geranna Aeon reports

The proposed “Where’s Zarta” game, which forms part of the policy platform of the “So Say We All” Party was intended to be just a joke, according to some of Halberd’s staunchest supporters, such as election Ombudsman Starbuckk Serapis and Commander Angelica Sephilim.  They were busy recently writing explanations and defences of the “Where’s Zarta” game and were at pains to point out that the policy platform contains a joke and therefore item #7 should not be treated seriously.

Fleet News has received comments posted by readers who are annoyed by what they characterise as Tanya Halberd’s apparent trivial treatment of the campaign and the election process.  However, comments such as “…that’s what happens when a frakkin’ barmaid runs for President”, posted by one reader on the Fleet News Comments recently, are equally personal and offensive to Tanya Halberd and equally irrelevant to the election.

Tanya Halberd is undeterred by such reactions, which she dismisses as the views of only two people.  “Many more like it”, she said.  And quoting ((Henry Kissinger)), she said, “University Politics are so viscious precisely because the stakes are so small.”

So is it an effective strategy to run campaigns based on personalities?  Halberd would not be drawn on whether her campaign would continue in the same vein but was quick to point out that it was just a joke.  However, the woman who personally played a significant role in the authorisation of many Quorum resolutions added that the lengthy absences of President Vargas during the last administration was no joke and is a serious election issue.

The election is on Sunday.

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Who is Gerome Aeon anyway?

Posted by Fleet News Service on January 24, 2008

Sure he has lots of friends and members of the ‘Colonial Freedom’ know him well enough, but who is this guy who wants to be Vice President?  A profile of Gerome Aeon, Founder and Chairman of the Colonial Freedom Party.

Gerome Aeon - Chairman, Colonial Freedom Party

He was Head of Security of the Commonwealth Parliament on Gemenon when the Cylons all but wiped out the human race.  Later, Gerome Aeon became a Freedom Fighter attached to the Geminese Resistance, who carried on the struggle against the Cylon occupation.  The Geminese Resistance finally caught up with the Fleet after its last stand on that war-torn planet in a remarkable escape lasting two gruelling weeks.

Once settled in Fleet life, Gerome Aeon found himself involved in politics.  “I was assigned by Captain Serapis to the Security Unit aboard Colonial One and found myself working with the then President Zarta Vargas.  At that time I became aware of the lack of democratic process in the Fleet.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault really.  Survival was the order of the day and Democracy seemed to have taken a back seat.  So seeing the need for a democratic movement, I formed the Colonial Freedom Party”. 

No sooner had he created the Party, President Vargas resigned from the Presidency citing inreconcilable differences with certain members of the Quorum and some high-ranking officials.  She joined the Colonial Freedom Party, agreeing to lead it in a Presidential election, assuming such elections ever took place.

Gerome Aeon saw elections for the Fleet as his Party’s core mission.  “We immediately started campaigning to push for free elections whereby the people of the Fleet could choose who leads them.  Membership of the Party grew quite quickly because there are plenty of people in the Fleet who also want to have a say on who sits in the President’s office”.

Despite some early gains, the Colonial Freedom Party was only successful up to a point.  The election was called soon after the creation of the Party and Aeon claims that as a score for his Party.  “I believe we played a role in bringing about elections and that is what we wanted more than anything else.  But voter registration was very poor – only about 10% of the eligable voters actually registered.  No matter what the outcome on Sunday, I am sad because I don’t think the true voice of the people will have been entirely heard”.

And yet the democracy campaigner rejects claims that the people of the Fleet don’t care about democracy.  “I am sure that the electors want the people choose their President.  They do not want a cosey unelected clique helping itself to power.  But this value that we prize so high, this symbol of what sets us apart from the Cylons – Freedom – has been overwhelmed by the sheer necessity for survival.  The Military are busting their guts every day to defend our way of life and we honour them.  So we should also honour the democratic values for which they put their lives on the line”.

Accepting that his Party is the ‘under-dog ‘ in this political tussle, Gerome Aeon feels that there is already a winner.  “Only in this sense – that win or lose, there are now two political parties in competition for the people’s vote.  No matter who wins, there will be an effective Opposition that will continue to campaign and keep the Government honest and accountable.  So the winner is already Democracy.  In that sense, I feel as though my Party has made a useful contribution to Fleet life”.

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