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Canuckistan Run-off Election

Sal Paradise


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Last month, Canuckistan's first presidential election ended in a tie between the incumbent Peter Mansbridge and challenger Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim. According to the constitution of the Republic, in the event of a tie, a second election will be called between only the two tied candidates. Should this also result in a tie, the election will be decided through a vote in the National Assembly.

[b]Peter Mansbridge[/b] for the [color="#FF0000"]Liberal Conservative Coalition[/color]

Peter Mansbridge is currently the incumbent President of the Republic, elected by the regional assemblies of Canuckistan when the nation was founded. He is now seeking an official, constitutional mandate from the people. In his brief tenure as interim President, Mr. Mansbridge oversaw the establishment and consolidation of the nation, the strengthening of its armed forces and foreign relations. As one of the nation's founding fathers Mr. Mansbridge believes firmly in the core principles of Canuckistan: freedom, liberty and libertarity.

If re-elected, Mr. Mansbridge will continue with his program of strengthening the nation's military, promoting Canuckistan's interests abroad, and holding back the tide of government regulation, taxes and interference in citizen's lives.

[b]Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim[/b] for the [color="#FF8C00"]Free Canuckistan Party[/color]

Mr. Kim is the former president of the Omineca regional council before the foundation of Canuckistan and now leader of the Free Canuckistan Party. Mr. Kim believes that Paradise Government Systems is secretly in control of the government, that his opponent, President Mansbridge, and his former opponent, Vice President Ian Hanomansing, are corporate puppets, and that PGS and the media are fabricating defamatory stories about him to ruin his reputation and keep him out of the presidency.

If elected, Mr. Kim vows to quash corporate influence on the government, purge the bureaucracy and restore power to the people. His party's platform has been described as liberal.

[i]Mr. Kim's views on Paradise Government Systems are not shared by Canuckistan News Channel and, in the interest of fairness, CNC would like to point out that Mr. Kim has provided no evidence for these claims and is currently being sued by Paradise Government Systems for libel and slander.[/i]

Edited by Sal Paradise
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In the early days of the Republic of Canuckistan and its predecessor states, the 5 regions of Northern British Columbia, it was easy for the company to control national politics with money. But as the political culture of the nation matured and the state bureaucracy grew the manipulation of power became too complicated for bribes or campaign donations alone.

To compensate for this, the company created Section 13 of the Canuckistan Security and Intelligence Directorate. The SID was the state's intelligence agency, run on contract by Paradise Government Systems. All of SID's activities were supposed to be supervised by the government, but in practice, the company controlled everything. Section 13, in particular, was the company's government control arm of the directorate; knowledge of it's existence was known only to its operatives, the company president, Sal Paradise, and the PGS Intelligence Liaison and de facto head of the SID, Peter Mackay.

Among the many methods Section 13 used to control the government, by far their most powerful was Character Assassination. Unlike bribery, campaign donations, election rigging or real assassinations, character assassination didn't look suspicious and SID involvement was easily covered up. Character Assassins closely monitored the personal, public and financial lives of their targets, constructed profiles and devised ways to destroy them. When it was determined that the target posed a significant threat to the company, an anonymous phone call to a news agency revealed the target's dirty secrets and the public did the rest.

On the rare occasions that a target appeared clean, it was easy to simply fabricate a scandal. The media was lazy and compliant and the public would usually believe the worst without question. The government corruption Section 13 created and revealed had the added effect of keeping the people distrustful of the government and supportive of the libertarian politics that kept the company in business.

Section 13 was in the business of manipulating the powerful, but the government wasn't the most powerful organization in the country. So while character assassins monitored the government, they also monitored the company and made sure its employees didn't use their power against the interests of the board of directors. In turn, recognizing the need for this, but also recognizing the threat it posed, Sal Paradise, the President and CEO of Paradise Government Systems, hired his own personal Section 13 agents to keep an eye on Section 13 itself.

At the moment, the SID was trying desperately to destroy the electoral campaign of Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim and his Free Canuckistan Party. Previous efforts by the propaganda and media control wing of the directorate had failed and character assassination in the past had met with mixed results. The more the SID tried, the harder it was to make anything stick. It had already failed to destroy Kim's reputation in the first election.

Kim and his supporters were what was left of the opposition after everyone who could be easily bribed, blackmailed or publicly discredited was disposed of. And while these efforts had led the people to cynically distrust most politicians, it had the double-edged effect of making the members of the Free Canuckistan Party a class of untouchables. All people, despite the brutal truths inflicted on them still want to believe in something better. And so, along with and because of, the corporate-cultivated cynicism, a counter idealism sprouted up from between the cracks. Kim and the Free Canuckistan Party tapped into this and fed their anti-company movement. Few in a country so easily persuaded to eviscerate their leaders for their personal inadequacies, dared to attack the FCP for anything but their political policies. The FCP was the only party that seemed honest, even if an individual disagreed with their policies, and to take their criticism to the customarily petty level of Canuckistan politics would be an assault on the very existence of hope and the possibility of change.

Section 13 was projecting a Kim victory in the run-off election and while the company was howling at them to find a way to bring him down, one Section 13 Character Assassin saw opportunity in helping Kim win.

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Despite the possibility of war, the Canuckistan Presidential Run-off election will still go ahead as planned. There is no provision in the constitution for the postponement of elections and all parties feel that postponing the nation's first presidential election would set a dangerous precedent for the new democracy.

Both candidates have expressed their support for the government's pronouncements regarding the crisis in the former South Tahoe, and remain committed to Canuckistan's allies.




Aom Fisterra Lertcheewakarn sat waiting outside of Peter Mackay's office twirling a pen in her left hand. It was heavy in her hand, thick and custom designed, blue casing, silver-tipped on both ends, and had "Paradise Government Systems" written along the body. With little thought, she put the button end up to her mouth and held onto it with her lips and then removed it from her mouth like she was smoking a cigar.

She hated waiting, but not like most people hated waiting. She wasn't impatient; she was, in fact, abnormally patient. What she hated about waiting, at least in this particular case, was the power it expressed. The powerful did not have to wait, and in order to demonstrate their power, they forced it on the less powerful.

Aom saw everything in these kinds of power relationships and while her waiting made a public display of her apparent lack of power, she knew it was not reflective of her true power in the Canuckistan Security and Intelligence Directorate. On the contrary, she thought as she placed the pen back in her mouth, it only shows just how more powerful I am when compared to those that are making me wait.

Aom had two official positions in the SID. According to the government, she was as a Section 6 Field Agent Liaison, which meant she communicated with agents and assets in the field on behalf of the Directorate. Her other position, the one kept from the government, was as a Section 13 mid-level Character Assassin. But she was more than that.

Aom was a power junkie, who lived for the manipulation of power and the powerful; and the most important form of power to her was information. When she joined the SID, she set out to find out as much information about the SID as she could, where she stood, who was in her way and how she couls gain as much control over the directorate as possible. She learned, in short order, of the existence of Department F, the company's secret office within the government agency, what it did, who it employed and how it recruited. She recognized the department as the key to control of not just the SID, but the company and ultimately the nation.

Department F secretly recruited only new and bright agents of other departments to mold them early on into perfect agents. Aom had no problem impressing the department with her skills and intelligence, but made sure the right people saw what she was doing, just in case. When she joined Section 13, she gained access to much more information on how the department was run as well as better access to information she wasn't supposed to know. She learned of the power struggle between the SID and the company and sought to inject herself into it.

Department F was, to put it mildly, dysfunctional and its success controlling the government for the company's benefit was due mostly to the momentum of company's previous efforts to control the nation before it formally united. The creation of Department F was a mistake in that it not only added a new level of bureaucracy, but by its very nature turned on itself and the company. Instead of becoming the mechanism of the company's control over the state, it became a third power centre. It wouldn't be long, Aom figured, before the whole apparatus of state control collapsed and one of the three (the state, the company or the SID) would emerge from the struggle as the true power in Canuckistan. That or the nation would fall into anarchy.

Aom wanted to make sure that when this happened, she would not only find herself on the winning side, but be key to that side's victory. She didn't just want power; she wanted to play with it. In fact, even if she failed to come out on top, so long as it was she who brought the system down, she would be satisfied.

By remaining a mid-level agent, Aom was more powerful than most senior agents. She could have easily become a senior agent by now, but due to the cannibalistic nature of Section 13 and Department F, she realized that not advancing to a more senior status removed her as a target of other ambitious agents. She kept her official portfolio satisfactorily up to date and refrained from showing off. Secretly though, her bosses recognized her talent and employed her for less official jobs keeping her official promotions. In this way, she had become one of Peter Mackay's personal spies. She kept an eye on both the company and other agents for him; and she knew who Sal Paradise had hired to keep an eye on Mackay and the SID as well. At the same time, unknown to Mackay, she made sure to spy on him too. All accounted, with her knowledge and the trust given to her, she could destroy anyone in the SID, or conversely severely disrupt the company's control over it. This is how Aom believed she was one of the most powerful persons in the country, because if she wanted to, she could play kingmaker, or even break the nation apart.

She wasn't sure which she preferred. Either way, the thought gave her a visceral thrill.

And as she waited for Peter Mackay and the other senior agents to call her into their meeting, she knew that because she had to wait, they didn't know just how powerful she was, and that made her even more powerful.

She smiled, biting down hard on the pen.

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Peter Mackay's assistant had finally called Aom into the meeting. Mackay and Department F's three most senior agents were waiting for her inside.

"Welcome Agent Fisterra," said Mackay as Aom entered the room, "I trust you are already acquainted with Agents Mueller, Amorelli and Krushelnisky." Mueller and Amorelli nodded, but Krushelnisky didn't move.

"Good afternoon gentleman" said Aom stopping in front of the table.

"Oh," said Mackay gesturing to a chair, "please sit down Agent Fisterra." Aom sat down. Aom wasn't told what the meeting was about, but before she even entered the building that morning, she was sure to find out for herself. The SID was in crisis with the possible election of Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim. They had failed to secure his defeat in the first election and he looked poised to win the run-off election. Propaganda had failed and so had character assassin. This was known by everyone in Department F, but what wasn't known was that Mackay was convinced that the problem was a stagnation of thought in the SID's senior ranks. The three senior agents Mueller, Amorelli, and Krushelnisky weren't living up to the expectations of their positions. Mackay wanted to bring in bright, young agents to rejuvenate their efforts, and Aom's flawless record and seemingly permanent status as a mid-level agent made it appear obvious that she was just the bright young agent kept down by institutional stagnation that needed to brought up.

And, of course, Mackay was well aware of Aom's abilities, as she was his own personal spy. Given the crisis, he knew her input may be just what the SID needed to survive. He could no longer keep her to himself.

Aom knew that Mueller, Amorelli, and Krushelnisky were all SID loyalists that side with Mackay over the Sal Paradise. Mackay put them in their positions for that very reason. They were his most trusted agents, but it was obvious to Aom that her being asked into this meeting was a threat to them, and likely a deliberate one from Mackay himself. She would have to be sure to assuage their fears, while at the same time dominating whatever decision was made.

"As you know," Mackay started in, "we've been having trouble with this Lawrence Kim fellow. The propaganda department failed to change public opinion of him," Mackay looked over at Krushelnisky, who looked at Mackay then quickly over to Aom, "and he's become even more popular during the run-off election. Obviously, we doesn't play ball with the company and we need to get rid of him. His party's rhetoric, that the company has been trying to sabotage his candidacy, is resonating with the people and so whatever we do, it can't be obvious or it will only fuel the conspiracy theory. We asked you here because you have an excellent record in character assassination and we're looking to generate ideas."

"Well," started Aom, "the thing about conspiracy theories, Mr. Mackay, is that their adherents will not accept counter-evidence. All counter-evidence is only woven back into the theory. Either the theory adapts or the existence of the counter-evidence becomes a conspiracy itself. There's nothing we can do to stop it. The people want to believe."

"The problem," said Agent Amorelli interrupting, "is that there is no counter-evidence, because we [i]are[/i] trying to sabotage his campaign."

Agent Mueller also saw a chance to chime in, "are you saying, Agent Fisterra, that we shouldn't care about these theorists? We should use stronger methods because we can't convince them anyway?"

This, Aom thought, would be an incredibly stupid thing to suggest, and Mueller knew this. He was, in Aom's estimation, probably making the suggestion to take Aom down a notch. Even if she disagreed with the suggestion, he still attributed it to her. They were reacting more strongly to her presence than she had anticipated.

"No, Agent Mueller," she said, "we absolutely cannot resort to anything stronger. What we need to do is use the conspiracy to our advantage. We take our weakness and put it on the enemy."

Mackay leaned forward.

"The conspiracy is that we are trying to bring down Kim, but that he is trying to steal the Presidency."

"You think we should make it look like he's using the conspiracy against him to bolster his rhetoric and popularity and at the same time appear to be rigging the election?" ask Mueller, this time sincerely.

"Not quite," said Aom, "I think we should help him win the presidency and then reveal that he cheated. The evidence would be real and undeniable. The ensuing drama will not only bring down his party, but strengthen the libertarian bent of the nation. Under the constitution the Vice President will be Peter Mansbridge, and he'll take over after Kim is disgraced."

There was silence for a few seconds as everyone considered this.

"That's a risky move," said Mackay finally.

"I believe it will work, Mr. Mackay," said Aom, "we can't keep him from winning now, not without a national uprising. Even rigging voting machines would lead to Kim's supporters demanding they be investigated. Everyone is expecting Kim to win. We need to make it look like that win was illegitimate, but first we need to let him win."

"This would be a major strategy change," said Mackay, "we'll have to run it by the company first, but I think we should flesh it out a little more and see how we can get it done. I like it, Agent Fisterra. We're moving on it."

Aom noticed that Mackay hadn't asked the opinions of the other agents before making his final decision. This kind of public display was not what she wanted. She would have to lay low a little on this one. Letting the other agents have their opinions validated. The plan wouldn't be difficult to pull off and they weren't totally incompetent. She pushed for what she wanted and, if she manipulated it correctly, could turn the plan against either the SID, the company or go along with it and take down Kim.

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The company was easily convinced of the plan, but Sal Paradise was sure to express his displeasure at the SID's performance. "I would warn you, Peter, that if this doesn't work you will be out of a job," Paradise said to Peter Mackay when the spy master approached him with the plan, "but if this doesn't work, I just might be too." Either way, the least damaging solution now, Paradise was convinced, was to let Kim win and deal with the problems that generated as they came, but Aom's plan to make him win suspiciously and then take Kim down that way, would be much better, if it worked.

Rigging Paradise Government Systems voting machines was easy. Each unit was designed with the secret ability to be remotely accessed through a company satellite. Even before polls opened on election night, the machines had already been programmed to produce the desired result.


"Canuckistan News Channel is ready to call the presidential run-off election. With all districts reporting, the winner is... how in the he... err.. the winner is Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim of the Free Canuckistan Party.... in a landslide. Mr. Kim won 87% of the vote with incumbent Peter Mansbridge coming in with a meager 13%."

[b][color="#FF8C00"]Byung-chull "Lawrence" Kim[/color] - Second President of Republic[/b]

We now take you to FCP headquarters in Omineca for Mr. Kim's victory speech."

"Tonight, the corporate thugs of Paradise Government Systems could not stop the Canuckistan people! Tonight, the dull cookie-cutter establishment politicians were not good enough for a people crying out for change! Tonight, the promises of our fledgling nation have been kept, kept by you the people. Tonight, Canuckistan has shown itself to be a true democracy!

But we are not yet free, my fellow Canucks. Even now, the forces of corporate rule are moving against us. They failed to put us down during the election, but make no mistake, they will not quit. Their lust for wealth and power is great, but the people's lust for freedom is greater, and the people will prevail. This is the Canuckistan revolution!

The constitution will be the first casualty in our war for liberty. Written by corporate lawyers, it was designed to neuter the state and keep the company rich. While it remains the law of the land, no act of the government can save us from company rule. We will write and ratify a new constitution. One that truly expresses the freedoms desired by the people!

Then we will move to investigate every member of the National Assembly and the bureaucracy for corruption and conflict of interest ties to the company.

PGS contracts will dry up. The monopoly will be broken and company and state officials guilty of the treason that kept us under their heel will be brought to justice.

In the coming years and well into the future, Canuckistan will become the great democracy is claims to be. 'The Freest Nation on Earth' won't be uttered sarcastically in the streets anymore. It will ring true, from the shores of Haida Gwaii to the plains of the Peace River Valley, from Bella Bella to Sipatau. From this generation to eternity!"

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