Princess's Spirit Trilogy:
2010s Culture Wars Trap
(c) TaraElla 2017. All rights reserved.
Princess's Spirit Trilogy #3: The 2010s Culture Wars Trap
finale, Angelle continues to pursue her dream to become Cultural
Royalty of Pacificland, while also trying to make her world a better
place for all, in the name of the Princess’s Spirit. But while
Angelle believes in the Princess’s Spirit vision of freedom,
dreams, love and fairness for all, many conservatives and
progressives alike simply do not share her vision. Similar to the
situation in many other countries, the 2010s are a divisive time in
Pacificland, and those who want their message heard have to navigate
wisely and strategically. But sometimes, strategy can backfire, and
everything can come undone. Just when her lifelong dreams seem to
come true, Angelle hits her biggest crisis ever. Meanwhile,
Pacificland gets caught up in a meaningless political stalemate, with
reforms like marriage equality stalled seemingly forever. Can Team
Princess’s Spirit come back from the dead to save Pacificland?
Life isn't meant to be easy, but are there rewards for the brave at
more Princess's Spirit Ideas
are more fiction and non-fiction titles by TaraElla relating to the
Princess's Spirit concept.
also maintains a blog and (upcoming) show inspired by the Princess's
Spirit, called The TaraElla Show.
to find out more.
events described within or in relation to Pacificland are fictional.
Any resemblance to real events are coincidental.
effort has been made to describe accurately the international
historical events referenced in the book, the accuracy of such events
described cannot be guaranteed.
Make Or Break
was feeling nervous as she and her team were on their way to Liberty
Hall, the venue they had booked for election night. This time, it's
either make or break. She could score enough nominations to become
Royalty, or she could miss out, which may mean she will never see a
better chance again.
worry, we'll do well. The polls have us in the top three,"
the last polls were taken a week ago, before my final speech and the
surrounding controversy," Angelle said.
was a masterpiece. It was a game changer. You should be proud of it,"
guess it represents what I want to say. I just don't know how it will
be received out there," Angelle said.
was referring to a final speech she had given just two days ago, in
which she said that she had never been enemies with 'conservatives',
that she welcomed everyone into her tent and hoped that everyone can
work together. In essence, this had always been true. She had never
sought to be enemies with the pro-Jashor forces, it was just that
they marked her out as an enemy. She had never sought to oppose the
conservatives' agenda for the sake of opposing, she was just standing
up for minorities who would suffer under that agenda. And if now the
'conservatives' are changing, so should her attitude to them. Her
vision wasn't a world permanently divided for the sake of division,
course, this has brought accusations of 'selling out' and 'pandering
to the enemy'. CTE is, as expected, leading the witch hunt. Not only
because Angelle is one of their major opponents in this election, but
also because they can paint themselves as the only 'true
progressives'. Right now, not only in Pacificland but also in many
other parts of the world, many young people out there are sick and
tired of the past three decades of conservatism, and would embrace
anything that looked like 'truly progressive'. Angelle is worried
that being seen as 'selling out' would play out badly among this
growing population, whether this perception actually represents
reality or not.
she has no regrets about taking the stances she has taken. Just as
she had believed almost a decade ago, the most important thing for a
Real Princess to do was to be true to her values and beliefs.
they walked into the entrance of Liberty Hall, there were already a
lot of reporters waiting outside. Team Angelle had become much more
important than in previous elections. This was getting real.
do you feel about your chances tonight?" one reporter asked.
feeling confident. I'm cautiously optimistic," Angelle replied,
trying her best to look happy.
Angelle entered the main hall, she could see that it was already well
decorated in yellow and purple. The refreshment bar was also ready,
with plenty of food for everyone.
already been set up?" Angelle asked, quite surprised.
course, we're big players now, so things like these are automatically
done for us. Besides, this is Liberty Hall, not some shabby venue in
the suburbs. We tell them how to do it, and they do it," Katie
felt slightly more relieved as the results came in. The Princess's
Spirit Party had won 40 seats, which would theoretically be more than
enough to make her Royalty. But nowadays, with the 'inflation' in the
number of nominations actually needed due to intense competition,
this number would be borderline. Still, there are likely to be
independents and minor parties she could negotiate with. She believes
she is still likely to get what she wants in the end.
we're the second largest party in there now," Natalie said,
guess so. Being second to CTE would be a weird position to play in,
though," Angelle said, still distracted by her calculations as
to which people she could win to secure enough nominations.
you're worried?" Mandel asked, almost surprised.
worry, CTE has no mainstream appeal, and it's not like they have an
absolute majority or can work with anyone else in there, so they are
still as fringe as ever before despite their 50 seats," Jordan
I believe the big story in this election is the collapse of the GHP.
Only 12 seats! Jenelle will certainly resign as leader now,"
thought made Angelle more optimistic. Not because she hated the GHP
or Jenelle. Frankly, she has bigger things to worry about nowadays.
But the splintering of the GHP vote has meant that there are now many
more minor parties and independents, that she can potentially court.
In a reflection of the international picture, the conservatives are
now fundamentally divided by things like marriage equality, and they
surely can't come together again as a functioning bloc any time soon.
was confident that her strategy to bring people together would work
well in an environment like this. She decided that this should be her
'theme' for now on. Tonight's speech to the media will set the tone
of things to come.
you for being here with the Princess's Spirit Party tonight, as we
celebrate our gains in this election. I would firstly like to thank
my team, who have been working day and night to make this possible. I
also thank you for your loyalty to me, personally. I also wish to
thank my family, especially my mom, without whose support I wouldn't
be here today.
are well aware that our supporters come from all walks of life,
including struggling young people, everyday families who just want to
get on with their lives, the increasing number of people who are sick
and tired of the 'culture wars', and entrepreneurs and others with
new ideas who want a chance to make their vision come true, just to
name a few groups. Some people have questioned how a party supported
by such a diverse range of people can work effectively for all of
them. For us, it all boils down to two things: our vision of one
society that works for everyone, and our belief in liberty.
a Real Princess, we strive to work for the welfare of a wide range of
people. We simply don't leave people behind because we somehow judge
that we don't like them. We also believe that people are entitled to
be different, and society should be inclusive of all. Furthermore, we
believe that there can be unity in diversity, and peace in
difference, through a common commitment to liberty. A vision of
liberty and equal opportunity will benefit everyone in society,
whether you are a struggling single mother or an entrepreneur,
whether you are a social visionary or just someone who wants society
to leave your family alone. It is the core of our vision.
are grateful that a record number of voters have decided to support
us. To those who have come aboard our ship in this election, we
promise that we won't let you down.
you're OK with this plan?" Angelle asked.
of course. We're all in this together," Natalie said.
have always been my top advisor. I really need your help now. Will
our team accept the plan, or will they think I'm acting out of my
self interest? I can't afford any suspicion or division in our ranks
right now, with CTE ready to exploit any sign of those things any
minute," Angelle said.
I can't be 100% sure, but I think it'll work. I mean, in this complex
game we all need to use strategy, and even if there are critics in
the short term, in the longer term we will be vindicated, and that
will win us respect on a totally different level. We can only prove
CTE wrong once and for all that way," Natalie said.
honestly, do you think my asking for that something in return will
make it look bad?" Angelle asked.
really. Not asking anything in return will look much more suspicious
in fact, to both the GHP and our own supporters. On the GHP side,
they may start suspecting Jenelle of selling out, threatening her
already weak leadership, undermining the whole deal. In our camp, the
fact that we get something too makes everyone more comfortable with
the deal. And that something is not small, remember. I'm sure
everyone will understand that the status and clout of the
first-elected Cultural Royal will advance our cause a long way, and
will be made all the more powerful combined with our control over
Jenelle," Natalie said.
eased Angelle's mind a bit. Logically, this was both the best deal
for herself and the best deal for her party and cause. Letting
Jenelle be the new Chairwoman but using Team Angelle's votes to
control her from behind would be a much better strategy than going
for the Council Chair herself and risking being the common enemy in
this fractured Council. Asking something in return only makes the
deal less suspicious. But the fact that all this would also be the
route to provide Angelle with her lifelong ambition, the status of
Cultural Royalty, still made her fear any accusations of putting self
interest before the common good.
could know they were here, so it had to be quick. Of course, nobody
was likely to know, since this was the dorm room of a mutually
trusted friend, on the quiet top floor, no less. But still, they knew
they had to be careful.
all my people will nominate you to be Cultural Royalty by the
deadline at lunchtime today, and you'll receive your email notice
early this afternoon. In return, this evening your people will vote
as a bloc for me to be the new Chair," Jenelle said.
also all the other minor parties and independents that we've been
able to include in our deal too, so it's not just my people and your
people technically. But yes, that's the deal we discussed last week.
You have my word for it," Angelle said.
word? How can I trust that? How can I know you won't just vote
yourself into the Chair instead once you've secure the nominations,
so you'll have both things?" Jenelle said.
know, in politics, reputation is everything. For a Cultural Royal,
reputation is even more important. If I break my promise, you can
simply go out and tell the media about it, and it will sink my career
for good. Why would I do that?" Angelle said.
thought for a while.
know, maybe we should put the past behind us. Honestly, I don't hate
you anymore. You are a worthy adversary, but that doesn't mean we
can't form alliances sometimes too. In politics, there are no
permanent friends or enemies, after all," she said.
know, I've never actually hated you. I'm glad you're now mature
enough to understand that politics is about much more important
things than personal likes or dislikes," Angelle said.
guess we're not teenagers anymore," Jenelle said.
But for the sake of getting this thing done smoothly, I need you and
your people to keep up the usual show running for the rest of today
at least," Angelle said.
keep the show running, of course. And it won't just be for today. I
sense that we have to pretend to be arch enemies for a little longer,
just to keep self interests or extremism from being too excited and
spoil everything," Jenelle said.
and her team of 40 walked triumphantly to the pick-up point after
classes. In her hand was the new banner for the party, still purple
and yellow, but bearing their new name, 'Unity in Liberty'. The
notice of receiving 84 nominations for Cultural Royalty that she had
received just two hours ago sure did help her confidence, even though
it was something she had expected anyway.
comes the late MHC again. It looks like they have ditched the stupid
Princess brand, but guess what, your new name sucks just as much!"
Jenelle shouted, perhaps a bit too deliberately loudly, as Team
careful. If I were you, I would try to get along with the incoming
Chairwoman. We've got at least 60 votes locked in so Angelle will
definitely win this time," Natalie yelled back.
knows? Maybe someone else out there has more," Jenelle said.
looks like all the conservative forces are still with Jenelle, and
Jenelle still hates Angelle. I think we can win," Angelle
overheard a CTE member whispered to another.
ride to Heirs Council surely looks very familiar to Angelle now. The
ride does feel a little different today though, and not just because
she was on a big bus of more than 40 seats. Something important, and
quite exciting, was about to happen, and you could feel the tension
in the air.
led her team off the bus, to be greeted by a smartly dressed young
guess you're going to lead us to our new seats? By the way, I'm
Angelle, leader of Unity in Liberty, and this is Natalie, my deputy,
and the rest of the team," Angelle said.
a team of 40 too, I'm so honoured to be your host tonight! By the
way, my name is Mack," he said.
Mack, where has the King assigned us to sit this year?" Natalie
asked, as they walked.
just changed it to alphabetical order this time," Mack said.
was relieved to hear. One less thing to care about.
the way, Angelle's running for Chairwoman, right?" Mack asked.
don't know, we haven't discussed it. I guess it's her choice,"
running, right, Angelle?" Mack asked Angelle.
sorry, I'm not supposed to discuss this matter in this context. You
know, I'll be disqualified if I did," Angelle said.
you're running," Mack said.
never said that," Angelle said.
evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to Heirs Council! My name
is Jack, I'm the chief secretary of the Heirs Council Clerks, but I'm
not your new Chairman, don't worry. As you know, as former Chairman
Peter Waters lost his seat in last year's elections, we don't have a
Chair right now, so our first order of business is to elect a Chair.
The inauguration of new Royals will take place afterwards, because a
Chair's discretion is required for that task, even though I need to
remind everybody that the discretion is ceremonial only and the five
people with the most nominations will as a rule be crowned,"
we have two candidates for Chairperson, Jenelle Lacey representing
the Grand Heritage Party, and Nadia Leah representing Change The Era.
Without delay, I invite Miss Lacey to take the stage to make her case
was gasps around the room, followed by loud chatter. They were
surprised that Angelle was not running. Previously, everyone had
thought it would be between Angelle and Nadia. This expectation also
meant nobody else thought they had a chance, so nobody else
nominated. Everything was going to plan, Angelle thought.
turned to address her team.
as leader, who do you advise we vote for?" Natalie asked,
already knowing the answer.
didn't you run yourself?" Katie asked, also knowing the answer,
but doing it for the benefit of the newer team members who don't know
you can see, this is a fractured and divided Council, and it's risky
to put yourself out there, as you can become the common enemy. It
would be much better to have one of these two clowns take the
poisoned chalice. As for which clown should have it, I vote Jenelle.
Because right now, CTE is our main enemy, and we don't want to give
them any edge in any sense. Besides, it will set up Jenelle and the
GHP as CTE's main enemies for this term, meaning they have less time
to attack us," Angelle said. "Any other opinions?"
team agreed in unison.
results are in," Jack announced, after reappearing on stage.
"There were a lot of blank ballots, but as per the rules, the
candidate with the most valid ballots win. Candidate Leah, 39%,
Candidate Lacey, 61%. I hereby announce that Jenelle Lacey is the new
Chairwoman of Heirs Council. And with that, my duty today is done. I
should hand over to your new Chairwoman,"
were both cheers and boos, but mostly boos. Angelle instructed her
team to join in the booing, as part of the 'show'.
evening ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to be your new
Chairwoman," Jenelle said, as the booing continued.
first order of business is to inaugurate new Cultural Royals, the
Class of 2013. As per usual practice, I have used my ceremonial
discretion to select five new Cultural Royals from the many
nominations. Your new Royals are, in order of selection, Princess
Angelle of House Easterner, Prince Luke of House Blueboard, Princess
Rosie of House London, Prince Martin of House Roy, and Princess Lisa
of House Lee. I welcome them on stage for the crowning."
Angelle walked towards the stage, she almost cried. She had worked so
hard for this, for the past ten years. But she knew that this was
just the beginning. A Cultural Princess has to act like a real
Princess and serve the community accordingly. Angelle knew that her
real work had only just begun.
per our tradition, the new Cultural Royals will each give a Maiden
Speech as part of their induction, to let them tell the world what
they intend to use their new status for. The speeches are to be
scheduled over the next few meetings, to be held where time permits,
and in order of selection. As we still have plenty of time remaining
today, I think we should begin the speeches. So let me invite
Princess Angelle to the stage again!" Jenelle announced.
walked up the stage again, and shook Jenelle's hand before taking the
microphone. They smiled briefly at each other, in a 'mission
accomplished' kind of way.
evening ladies and gentlemen,
am honoured to be selected as a Cultural Princess. You can have trust
in me that I will use my position to serve our community.
am a big fan of the idea of unity in liberty. In fact, this is the
new name of our party, as approved by the whole team, as it is the
clearest statement of our mission. I will work for a society where we
bring people together to solve our collective problems, and uphold
the liberty of each individual to pursue their vision otherwise. In
fact, I also believe that as a society we should provide adequate
opportunities for everyone to become their best in life, this is one
important aspect of liberty that is often forgotten. Through all
this, we can achieve unity in liberty.
need unity because, to achieve progress, it is vital that we bring
people together. Right now, in both the UK and New Zealand,
conservatives, moderates and progressives alike are working to
progress the issue of marriage equality, which looks set to be
achieved later this year in both countries. On the other hand, a
picture of divisiveness, a state of culture war between so-called
progressives and so-called conservatives, have hampered moves towards
the same reform in countries like the US and Australia. It's clear
which model Pacificland should follow. As responsible adults, we
should recognise that we are not kids anymore, and to serve the best
interests of our society and indeed our world, we need to stop the
bickering and pointless rivalry and come together in rational
discussion. When you've experienced enough of this world and its
political shifts, you realise that there are in fact very few people
in this world that you can never work with, that you can be sure will
never be helpful to you one day.
also need liberty because we are all equal, in a moral sense. We are
all morally imperfect, and we can all make important moral
contributions on the other hand. To limit the moral agency of another
human being is potentially to force another into immoral behaviour,
and therefore something we should refrain from. I believe that in a
free market of ideas, the best will ultimately win out. Moreover, the
only sustainable unity that we can have is in liberty. If we allow
some people's beliefs to override others', there will never be peace
for long. On the other hand, in a system that we agree to sometimes
disagree and let everyone have space to follow their own moral
compasses, we can nevertheless unite to both solve our collective
issues, and also to protect liberty itself.
today's rapidly changing world, there is often too much cultural and
ideological tribalism, where people of a certain group just blindly
follow their group, and fight against other groups in cultural and
identity type battles. This phenomenon is most clearly seen in
identity politics, but is not even limited to that area. With unity
in liberty, I offer something different: where a strong culture of
liberty for all means an end to such tribalism, and in turn allow us
to come together as one society defending liberty and equal
opportunity strongly, negating the need for identity politics.
again, I am humbled by the huge responsibility now placed upon me,
and I will work hard to bring my values to fruition, making
Pacificland and the world a better place in the process."
were both cheers and booing, and Angelle could make out that the
loudest boos have come from the CTE area. No surprises there, she
wish to announce that I will soon publicly endorse the Ramstown bid
for the throne, by the way," Angelle told her team.
do we really need to take sides? And should we actually do so,
strategically?" Mandel asked.
of all, it's me who is taking sides, not all of you. Unity in Liberty
remains neutral in this year's election, but I myself, as a Cultural
Princess, have decided to give my endorsement to Senator Ramstown's
bid to become our new King," Angelle explained.
why would you have to take sides, anyway? Isn't it risky?"
decision in politics comes with certain risks, and trying to stay
away from risk all the time won't work either. As a new Cultural
Princess, being the first Cultural Royal to give an endorsement in a
national election will certainly help my profile. It will also be a
good chance to highlight the many things that I agree with Ramstown
on, like the need to provide our youth with better educational
opportunities, the need to increase welfare payments to liveable
levels, and the need to legislate for marriage equality as a
priority," Angelle said.
would you be forced to then agree with him on everything else?"
don't think so. An endorsement basically just means he is better than
the other guy and can be given on a number of limited grounds, it
doesn't have to mean total agreement. Past Cultural Royalty
endorsements have often left space for substantial disagreements in
policy," Angelle said.
Angelle walked into the Pacificland Press Club Building to make her
speech, reporters were already waiting outside with their cameras and
microphones. Angelle suddenly realised how much more important she
had now become. In fact, all this attention was beginning to make her
you giving your endorsement to a candidate today?" one reporter
you'll find out soon," Angelle said.
it true that you hate King Jashor?" another reporter asked.
don't hate anybody. But I've really got to go now, as I'm already
running late," Angelle said, as she made a dash to the right to
break free from the reporters.
soon as she got inside, Angelle was received by a staff member, who
took her up to level five, where press conferences are usually held.
you nervous?" he asked.
a bit," Angelle said.
know it's normal to feel a bit nervous. It's your first press
conference, after all," he said.
almost felt surreal, as Angelle stepped into the press conference
area. She had seen this place on television so many times throughout
her life, and now she was there. The royal blue curtain, the wooden
stage, the rows of chairs where the reporters sat, everything looked
so familiar. Yet it all looked a bit different, now that she was
seeing the whole place in real life, from a different perspective
than the one shown on TV. The whole room was definitely smaller than
she had always imagined it to be.
took her place at the center of the stage.
evening ladies and gentlemen,
I am announcing my endorsement of Senator John Ramstown in his bid to
run for election as our new King.
three months' time our nation will make a very important decision. To
stick with King Jashor, or to elect a new King, and if we are to
elect a new King, who to get behind.
I must say that I have no ill feelings towards King Jashor. However,
I do not agree with many of his policies. Opinion polls have also
shown that his policies, which have stayed mostly the same since the
beginning of his reign a decade ago, have lost majority support in
recent years. In the past decade, much of the world including many
Pacificlanders have become much more forward looking, regarding a
wide range of issues, including the need to provide better
opportunities for our young and our disadvantaged, the need to invest
in computer and internet related infrastructure to meet new demands,
and the need to seriously address the rights of long suffering
minorities, such as in marriage equality. The King is a conservative
man, and he apparently does not want to change his mind. I believe
his refusal to let Pacificland evolve, even in the face of rapidly
changing global situations and attitudes, means that Pacificland will
become a backwater where its citizens no longer enjoy the freedom and
opportunities people can soon take for granted in other developed
nations. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I believe
we need a change in leadership.
to which candidate we should get behind, I think we should all get
behind the candidate who will address the aforementioned issues and
who has the best chance of winning the race. While many candidates
are serious about progressing a variety of issues, it looks like this
year it will mainly come down to a two-horse race between King Jashor
and Senator Ramstown. It is therefore my belief that the best path
forward to get the progress many of us want will be to get behind
Senator Ramstown together.
have time for two questions."
was a brief pause.
Angelle, I know you have been a long term supporter of gay marriage.
Is your decision to endorse the defeat of King Jashor to do with this
issue mostly? And if so, don't you think you're paying too much
attention to a side dish?" a reporter asked.
never endorse anybody based on one policy alone. My endorsement is
for the overall benefit of our nation and its future. However, I also
don't agree with the characterisation of marriage equality as a side
dish, and many people of my generation both in this country and
overseas would agree with me. Equal civil rights before the law is
something we should uphold keenly, and the attitude of seeing it as a
side dish is frankly offensive. Unfortunately, you are definitely not
alone in thinking this way. Plenty of commentators both here and
overseas have described marriage equality as nothing more than a
distraction from so-called more important issues, and it's time those
of us who disagree spoke up," Angelle said.
you're telling people to get behind Senator Ramstown, just because
he's the front-runner at the moment? Shouldn't it be a fair race, let
the best guy win?" another reporter asked.
am doing what I think is best for the nation, others can agree with
me or decide otherwise. But here's my plea to all of you: everybody
out there who wants change, please come together and find a way
forward together, and don't let our energy splinter in a dozen
different directions," Angelle said.
has been just two days since Angelle's endorsement of Ramstown, but
right now there's trouble for both of them. A viral video, likely
made by people associated with CTE, is spreading on the internet. It
alleges that Angelle only became a Cultural Princess because she
agreed to be a lap dog of Jenelle's, and by extension, because
Angelle endorses Ramstown and Jenelle endorses Jashor, they are
effectively one and the same.
have to right this wrong, if only to be fair to Ramstown, whatever
the price to myself," Angelle declared.
what exactly are you going to do? There are so many things you can do
to make it worse for both of you," Natalie said.
thought for a while.
do have a point. So what do you think I should do?" Angelle
guess we can start safely, by publicly demanding a chance to clarify
this matter with CTE," Natalie said.
People, Three Questions
evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Two
People, Three Questions, where we invite two polar opposites and let
our audience come up with three questions for them to answer.
is a special episode. Heirs Council based political party Change The
Era has been associated with recent accusations that newly elected
Cultural Princess Angelle Easterner got her position after doing a
deal with her traditional enemy, the newly elected Heirs Council
Chairwoman Jenelle Lacey. Princess Angelle has since been demanding a
chance to publicly clarify the matter with those accusing her, and
we've decided to get her what she wants. So tonight we have Princess
Angelle of House Easterner, together with Change The Era leader Nadia
go to the first question."
both say that you are interested in progress for our society, and now
you are at each other’s throats, even as Jashor is regaining
ground in the polls. Why should we trust either of you?" an
audience member stood up and asked.
you for your question. As you mentioned, Jashor is in front in the
polls again, and it's thanks to people like Change The Era, who are
smearing his only serious opposition. I don't know why they are doing
this, but Change The Era is effectively acting as a friend of Jashor,
which is why they shouldn't be trusted. As for Senator Ramstown and
myself, we only want what's best for our future, which is also what
the people of Pacificland want for our future. Think about this: a
Ramstown administration will see us moving in the right direction
straight away, but Change The Era wants to prevent this from
happening," Angelle said.
you can always trust Change The Era, as we always stand up for
justice. Unlike Princess Angelle, who has sold out her values to
become a Princess. And we've just proven to you that Jashor and
Ramstown are not that different, so Jashor regaining in the polls is
not the most important thing. The most important thing is to get
behind the people really fighting for progress, and that's us, and to
avoid the trap of business as usual masquerading as progress, and
that's Angelle and Ramstown," Nadia said.
funding for university places, marriage equality within three months,
and doubling pensions, and you call that business as usual?"
are still plenty of things that are not good enough..." Nadia
let's get back on track. Let's go to the second question," the
whole fight seems to be about Princess Angelle's endorsement of
Candidate Ramstown. So let's focus a bit there. Why do you think
Ramstown being King is a good idea, Princess, and why do you think
it's not a good idea, Miss Leah?" another audience member asked.
I've said many times before, a Ramstown administration will move us
forward in the right direction immediately. Even if things don't
change overnight, we will be making plenty of progress. Unlimited
funding for university places, marriage equality within three months,
and doubling pensions, these are all just the beginning. There will
also be a program to upgrade our computer and internet
infrastructure, a review to identify new national parks that should
be declared, and more. It really is an opportunity that's too good to
miss," Angelle said.
The Era has decided that we will endorse Candidate Sumon, because he
stands for making society the wonderful place it should be. A Sumon
administration will make university free, legislate that everyone
must accept marriage equality rather than just the government
allowing it, and they will also double the pensions and build new
infrastructure, so in every way he either equals or exceeds
Ramstown's offers. And then, unlike Ramstown, Sumon will also take in
a hundred thousand refugees per year, sue companies that don't have
enough female directors, remove culturally appropriating art from our
museums, set a code of acceptable speech for parliament and
universities to protect our minorities from hate speech, and so on.
Things that people like Ramstown are too scared to do, because they
offend the status quo. But offend the status quo we must, if we are
to have a wonderful and just society," Nadia said.
don't you notice that Candidate Sumon isn't doing too well in the
polls? He cannot bring people together to create a mandate for
change, instead he alienates people left, right and center. I
appreciate his idealism, but his authoritarian policies are causing
people to run scared. His campaign is dividing the country more than
anything," Angelle said.
because people with vested self interests and bigots don't want
change generally. It's not his fault," Nadia said.
is a process of compromise, and I agree that vested interests are a
sad thing. I'm sure Candidate Ramstown feels the same way, as he
tries to get the best deal for all of us. But as it stands, every
vote for Candidate Sumon is a vote wasted, that could have otherwise
caused change if it went to Candidate Ramstown. So isn't this helping
Jashor, more than anything?" Angelle asked.
ends, to depose of Jashor in this case, do not justify the means.
Jashor will get deposed of sooner or later, but it's not right to
endorse someone like Ramstown, who won't make society wonderful
enough. We cannot legitimise a lesser evil," Nadia said.
sounds like my way or the highway. As a responsible Princess who
wants the best for her people, I cannot help but think about how many
will miss out on much needed progress, because of your attitude,"
we're running out of time. Let's go to our final question," the
question goes back to the very reason we're here tonight. Princess,
did you do a deal with Chairwoman Lacey, and if so, why do you think
it's justified? On the other hand, Miss Leah, what evidence exactly
do you have that there is a deal between Angelle and Jenelle, and
what exactly do you know about it?"
do everything after careful consideration, for the best outcomes. In
the case of Heirs Council, yes I did vote for Jenelle, and also
directed my party members to do so. This is because, out of the two
candidates, I thought she would make the less worse Chair. I did
discuss with Jenelle beforehand of my decision, as I generally do in
similar circumstances, so make whatever you want to out of this. But
the fact is, I cannot allow someone like Nadia Leah, who thinks that
people should wait for so-called real justice to come while suffering
injustice without end, to use the Chair of the Heirs Council to
legitimise their stance. That was the basis of my decision,"
we know is that Angelle would have the numbers to win if she ran, but
she chose to support Jenelle instead. That is evidence enough of a
deal for me, and for many people. The real mystery is why you did not
run, and you aren't addressing that," Nadia said.
didn't run because it wouldn't have been in the best interests of my
party," Angelle said.
me in the eyes, and tell me, did you do a deal or not?" Nadia
I of course bargained for the best position for my party as a
condition of support, as is a leader's duty. You may call it a deal
if you wish. I am also not at liberty to reveal the terms of any
bargain. But the fact that I continue to support what I've always
supported shows that I haven't become a lap dog of anybody. In fact,
I can tell you that in 2006 CTE wanted to make a deal with us, and we
refused. But it wouldn't have made CTE a lap dog of ours if we
agreed, right? We all make our offers to work together, and that
doesn't mean anyone has to sell out their values.
let me put it this way. If I struck a deal with you instead, you
wouldn't be complaining, right? I could have struck a deal with you
instead, and I didn't. Why? Because I always do what I think would be
best for our future. And that was keeping you out of the Chair.
Because I couldn't run myself, Jenelle was the lesser evil,"
may think this is the way to real progress, but it's really a trap.
Yes. Rather than providing a path to real progress, going for
Candidate Ramstown this election will doom our momentum towards real
progress, in exchange for some consolation prizes.
fact, the point of Ramstown's candidacy is to keep real progressive
ideas out of government. No, this is not a conspiracy theory. In
fact, one of Ramstown's biggest supporters, Princess Angelle, has
openly stated that this is her intention.
fact, I can tell you that in 2006 CTE wanted to make a deal with us,
and we refused.'
could have struck a deal with you instead, and I didn't. Why? Because
I always do what I think would be best for our future. And that was
keeping you out of the Chair. Because I couldn't run myself, Jenelle
was the lesser evil.'
fall for this trap. Support real progressives this election. And if
Jashor wins again, at least we've sent the likes of Ramstown a strong
message, that it's real progress or bust.
no mistake. We don't want the crumbs from your table. We'd rather
wait for what we deserve."
was so angry that she turned off the TV instantly. She was still
surprised that this advertisement had been allowed to run for a week
now. Didn't the electoral laws prohibit blatant slander like this?
pouring rain really didn't help. Angelle was already both tired and
feeling bad. Tired because she had travelled all the way across town
after classes, just to make this apology, and feeling bad because she
felt that it was mostly her fault that Ramstown was going to lose
Angelle entered the front of Ramstown's electoral office, her heart
felt heavy. What was he going to say, she wondered. Was he going to
be angry? If so, he did have a right to be. These thoughts kept
swirling in her mind, as she waited for her appointment.
senator is ready to see you," the receptionist finally said,
after what seemed like an eternity.
receptionist led Angelle through the office, and into a room at the
back of the office, where Ramstown was waiting.
sat down, facing Ramstown, as the receptionist closed the door and
left them alone.
evening, Princess, I am Senator Ramstown. I am of the impression that
there is something you want to talk to me about?" he said.
just came here to say sorry. I am very sorry for wrecking your
campaign, for destroying your chances. Next time you run, I will keep
my mouth shut, I promise," Angelle said.
thought for a while, but did not appear upset at all.
of all, there isn't going to be a next time. Once a candidate loses,
he should let someone else, someone fresh have a go, for the sake of
the common good. It shouldn't be about any one of us personally,
anyway. We are all servants of the greater good. Second of all,
please don't think it's your fault. Something like this was always
likely to happen. I took a chance that it wouldn't, but it was always
more likely that it would," Ramstown said.
do you mean?" Angelle asked.
know, the people behind Change The Era were hellbent on getting
Jashor his landslide victory, using whatever means. If you didn't
come into the story, they would just have used another reason. In
fact, many of those who are personally more keen on being King than
myself have decided to stay out of the game for now and wait until
CTE burns out. I've only decided to run because, well, tough as the
situation is, we've got to try something," he said.
so you're not angry at me?" she asked.
course not. In fact, I'm sure nothing you did changed the outcome.
The relevant unknown was always whether the people behind CTE are
well organised enough and persuasive enough, to get enough people to
be willing to put off change," he said.
don't understand," she said.
see, I see. You don't really know what we're up against at all. Let
me tell you then. Now, promise me you won't tell anyone that this
came from me," he said.
promise," she said.
see, CTE aren't really who they say they are, and don't really want
what they say they want. The people behind CTE, I know them well
actually. I have known them since my Royal College days," he
that's impossible. Nadia Leah and the rest of the leadership are all
around my age," she said.
see, Ms Leah and the rest are nothing but puppets, but even they
aren't supposed to know it. CTE is, in fact, run by a bunch of old
people my age. They have always had this agenda of revolution. They
believe in a revolutionary change, resulting in an authoritarian
government that will implement their utopian agenda. They also
believe that any smaller progress is not worth it, and can only be a
distraction to their grand plan. So they will raise the expectations
of young people, while they keep conservative governments like
Jashor's running. They believe the resulting frustration will mean
that a critical mass of people in society will one day accept their
revolutionary proposal, and vote them into power accordingly,"
took some time to absorb it all. She couldn't believe what she was
CTE only exists as a party in the Heirs Council," she said.
that's true, for the time being. They are building their base among
young people, for now," he said.
would they do that?" she asked.
authoritarian radicals believe that young people is where they will
make the most inroads, for several reasons. Firstly, both here and
internationally, the young people today are the most progressive
cohort since the 1970s, and they are very frustrated about the past
three or four decades of relative conservatism. This makes them
receptive to radical ideas. Secondly, young people generally haven't
seen first hand how social change is made, step-by-step, and don't
know the value of gradual progress and compromise. They are less
likely to have faith in the ability of rational discussion and
persuasion to change social attitudes. Therefore, they are more able
to be persuaded against the effectiveness of the liberal
enlightenment values of freedom, rational debate and gradual but
effective progress as a result," he said.
you said that the authoritarian radicals are old people. They surely
would know the value of freedom, rational debate and gradual
progress?" Angelle asked.
guess it's something they've believed in since they were young and
naive, and they just can't let go of it emotionally. Or maybe they
haven't opened their eyes enough to see the changes in the past
several decades and how they have come about. I guess some people
never evolve from the ideals of their youth, even if evidence says
they were misguided," he said.
paused again, to process it all.
something else I want to ask you. Since CTE is already using me to
destroy other people's election campaigns, am I already being a
burden on the common good?" she asked.
that's a question only you can answer yourself. I don't know Heirs
Council politics that well, really. But as a general principle,
strategically you should put the least controversial people on the
front line, so to say, to minimise any weakness you may have,"
told you all that?" Natalie asked.
can't give you any names. I swore to keep it secret. But it was an
authoritative source," Angelle said.
what are we going to do now?" Natalie asked.
am going to resign from the party leadership and from Heirs Council,
even though I will still be available for advice. You will lead the
party and continue to bring people together the way I did. You should
also use our new knowledge of the CTE in your leadership, but don't
share it with too many people for now," Angelle said.
can't resign. We need you," Natalie said.
a general principle, strategically we should put the least
controversial people on the front line, to minimise any weakness we
may have, especially in these important times. You were always the
brains behind the party, you can do it," Angelle said.
do my best, I promise," Natalie said.
one more thing," Angelle said.
should challenge Jenelle for the Chair at the next meeting. Whether
you get it or not, at least this will help put CTE's accusations
behind us," Angelle said.
say that graduation day, especially at Royal College, should be a
proud occasion for everyone. But right now, for Angelle, this day is
anything but proud. She was still feeling guilty about the recent
national elections, for one. Despite what Ramstown had told her, she
couldn't help but think of what might have been, if not for her
'role'. When Jashor delivered the opening speech at the graduation
ceremony, she couldn't help but feel guilty. Jashor may no longer be
King, if not for her, after all. Now that the ceremony is over, she
really couldn't wait to leave.
Angelle," Jenelle said, coming towards her.
sight of Jenelle made Angelle feel even worse. Should she have told
Natalie to challenge for the Chair of the Council? Was that really
the right thing to do? Couldn't she have just kept her promise this
once? She had tried to avoid thinking of how bad Jenelle must have
been feeling, having to sit and listen to Natalie deliver the Heirs
Council speech at the ceremony, when she had expected all year that
this would be her moment. But there was no avoiding it now.
sorry," Angelle said, not knowing what else to say.
are you sorry for?" Jenelle asked.
not going to hide it. I suggested to Natalie that she challenge for
the Chair, to put all the rumours behind us," Angelle said.
really think I would feel bad for not giving that speech? Let Natalie
have it, this may be her biggest moment of all time. But for me, I
will have many bigger and better opportunities. I really couldn't
care less," Jenelle said.
You're not angry at me?" Angelle said.
say the truth, I was a bit upset when you caused me to lose the GHP
leadership, as a result of losing the Chair. But then I realised that
the GHP were all just self-important Jashor lackeys, and I didn't
want to be a part of that anyway. I've been so much happier ever
since becoming an independent. In a way, you gave me the best gift
ever," Jenelle said.
you're not just saying this to make me feel better?" Angelle
would I? I've never wanted to make you feel good, right?"
today's graduation day," Angelle said.
don't make any such exceptions from my policy of always telling the
truth," Jenelle said.
went back inside to join Natalie and her group. She felt that she had
to at least say goodbye to them properly.
Natalie," Angelle said.
Angelle," Natalie said. "Haven't talked to you all day.
Where have you been?"
been around," Angelle said.
look sad. Is anything wrong?" Katie asked.
sorry to have ruined everything for everybody," Angelle said.
sorry for my role in keeping Jashor as King, for one, and for making
things so awkward for all of you, for two," Angelle said.
firstly, CTE decided to do their best to help Jashor, and that was
none of your fault. I guess we'll need to defeat the Jashor-CTE
alliance in three years' time, and we'll definitely need your help
again. Secondly, nothing's awkward for anyone here," Jordan
I mean Heirs Council and the whole situation there," Angelle
Council? I'll have to say that you're the best thing that's ever
happened to that stuffy, old place ever. We're all in there only
because of you, and now they are saying that Natalie is the most
respected Chairperson in decades, because she's willing to stand for
something, against the old vested interests. All of this wouldn't
have happened if not for you," Katie said.
really need to be prouder of yourself. Look at all of us. You were
the key ingredient that brought us together. As for Jashor, a
Princess never gives up, right? What's three more years in the whole
scheme of history?" Natalie said.
not even this was able to cheer Angelle up.
was sitting alone in a cafeteria, somewhere in the city. Besides
writing her novel, which she was doing now on her computer, she
doesn't have much to look forward to these days. Life without College
and without Heirs Council seems very empty indeed, and her entry
level job really doesn't interest her much. The dire social and
political situation in this country is making her angry and sad all
the time, and she has been unable to do much about it.
that Ireland and the whole of the US have marriage equality too, why
don't we have it too?" someone near her asked.
they don't have Jashor, and when you have Jashor, you can't have nice
things?" their friend replied.
we go again, Angelle thought. That the pro-equality side in Ireland
had to work hard in the recent referendum to win their rights, or
that the US Supreme Court decision only came after lots of hard work,
don't seem to matter to these people. Only that they don't have
Jashor. In fact, in Pacificland in 2015, it seems that everyone can
just blame Jashor for everything that goes wrong, without having to
do anything to help bring about change themselves. The answer for
everything that's wrong seems to just be 'because of Jashor'.
Otherwise, they expect change to be delivered to them on a silver
platter, when Jashor finally leaves. Which is, somewhere in the
Angelle," Natalie said.
Natalie," Angelle said, having almost forgotten why she was in
the cafeteria in the first place. Apparently Natalie had invited her
to this appointment, and had something to say. What it was, she
others are coming in about half an hour," Natalie said.
are others?" Angelle asked.
course. The whole team is coming," Natalie said.
what is it that you want to tell me?" Angelle asked.
put it this way. We think you need a cause to fight for,"
cause?" Angelle asked.
just a cause. You like to work to better society, you like to work
for liberty, to bring people together, if my memory serves me right.
You are also particularly passionate about marriage equality, a cause
whose time has come but politics has frustrated in this country. And
in the two years since our graduation, you haven't had a real fight
in any of these areas. Isn't it time you put on your armour again?"
can I fight, if nobody is willing to join me? All I even hear is
'because of Jashor', on every topic, everywhere I go. In fact, I
literally just heard it again ten minutes ago, in relation to why we
still don't have marriage equality," Angelle said.
why do you think this is happening?" Natalie said.
course, it's because the likes of CTE are teaching people to think in
this way. Not that I can change that, they have heaps of funding and
I don't," Angelle said.
what do you think would need to happen for things to change?"
Natalie asked Angelle.
only route I see is to have Jashor removed, by having him defeated in
next year's election," Angelle said.
would you say we support one candidate for that election, out of
those available?" Natalie asked.
trouble is that, they are all uninspiring, and can't win. I would
pick the one most likely to win, but that person just isn't there. I
guess they are all waiting for CTE to burn out before they would run,
maybe in five or nine years' time, to avoid suffering Ramstown's fate
themselves," Angelle said.
guess you're right. But would you just give up there?" Natalie
would hate to give up just like that, but what else can I do? It's
what is making me sad and angry almost every day, in fact,"
me put it this way: if none of the candidates are suitable for your
backing, why don't you run yourself?" Natalie asked.
Are you crazy?" Angelle asked.
course not! Where's that Angelle that I used to know, the 14-year-old
who ran for Heirs Council, when the odds were totally against her?
Where's the Princess who would never give up, despite what people may
say?" Natalie said.
you need funds to run for the top job," Angelle said.
know, we've been raising a fighting fund for you these past two
years," Natalie said.
brightened up. "Really?"
course. Make no mistake. You're our only hope now," Natalie
said. "I have to say though, many people who care about our
future have pitched in, including Senator Ramstown. In fact, I have a
note from him, just for you. I don't understand it, but maybe you
took the folded note, and began reading.
our conversation in 2013? Nobody's going to put their hand up this
time, so I agree you'll have to try. At the very least it will dampen
both Jashor and CTE quite a lot."
that moment, the others came into the cafeteria. Katie, Jordan,
Mandel, Jenny, Angelle saw them approach, one by one.
then, there was Jenelle.
know, you're our only hope now. You need to run for Queen in 2016,
because otherwise Jashor will have a historical landslide,"
beg you to take up this offer. We will support you, all the way,
remember. It will be just like when we were in school," Katie
really need to run. There's no good alternative," Jenelle said.
Don't you support Jashor? Why would you want me to ruin his
landslide?" Angelle said.
know, people grow up. When I was younger my parents had me convinced
that Jashor was right. But I don't think so now. He really is an
authoritarian pretending to be a libertarian, and I can't stand
that," Jenelle said.
when I run, I will run strongly on marriage equality. Will you be
okay with that?" Angelle said.
wouldn't I? Everyone supports marriage equality now. Do I look like
such a dinosaur to you?" Jenelle said.
don't know. In the past you were against it," Angelle said.