by Max Barry

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Region: Raxulan Empire

The Issue
While planning the party convention for your re-election campaign your advisers have come to disagree on what the overall feeling of the event should be. They have turned to their natural means of making a final decision: bothering you about it.

The Debate
“One word: fireworks,” states Xanatos Latham, chairman of your political party, holding a wickedly thorned rose to the light. “Banal political speeches and rhetorical niceties just aren’t doing anything; the people have grown tired of it all. Come to think of it, I’m sick of it myself, and that’s really saying something. We really ought to put on an honest to goodness show here. Lasers! Music! Celebrity appearances! That should really push us up in the polls—and more importantly, your opponents down.” He bends the rose until the stem snaps.


“By all means, do that,” sarcastically quips your Minister of Finance, Chip Sandler. “You can give people all the bread and circuses you want, but when it comes time to follow through, no amount of flash will solve the real deficit: the deficit of trust. Give them the unvarnished truth, and spare them the unnecessary pomp and circumstance. I propose you read off a list of factual bullet points provided by my, and other, departments. For example, did you know that in the last year, no fewer than 39,280 deaths have been attributed to that marshmallow bill you approved a while back? Fascinating!”


“WHAT?!” bellows your Secretary of Defense, Iris Amin. “Millions of good, decent Raxians are fearful. They face the perils of globalism and an uncertain world order. Now’s our chance to show Rost Dreadnorramus what a REAL leader does in a time of crisis. Ride into the convention atop a tank, at the spearhead of a full armored vehicle convoy. Mount a three-story tall podium draped in a giant Raxianian flag, and promise our people the world!” She pauses for a moment as a vaulting grin creeps up her face. “Literally!”


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