Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 25,
Volume 8,
12 November 301 AP

The Story behind the news.
The trouble with Starlight's satellite
Economic figures: the world opens up!

Lasanne, all the latest polls
Governor Hope's uneasy deal

It's Cryer's town, Pardner.

International Rovens: the census begins
"Blackland" to get independence

Moves in Team Savant
Football: The players' revolt?

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Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported news.

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)
Lasanne's state election

The first state election in Lasanne since independence was bound to be different to the provincial elections before it, and would test the metal of Governor Hope. It would seem that at this stage, the Governor has nothing to fear.

Governor Hope, say his supporters and minders, has never looked so Governor-like. Approachable, friendly, with a strong determination to continue the role he has, the Governor is looking more like the President he briefly was last year for a whole nine months.

Governor Hope is still well-ahead in the polls And despite a valiant charge by latecomer Rupert McKay, the Governor is looking like the sure bet in this Saturday's state election.

To be fair, Rupert McKay only got the job in the middle of the year, yet managed to cobble together a viable coalition of opposition parties behind him before the Governor called the election. Unlike previous years, this year there is no socialist or Unionist candidate for the Governor's position, and none from the Utani nationalists. This year, there is the Governor, the opponent, and a small challenge from an independent, and animal rights activist, Allan Lystrom.

Mister Presidential
That Governor Hope wins this election is no more vital than to his Presidential hopes. Though behind in all Conservative Party polling, the Governor is still the second force in the Conservative Party, behind federal opposition leader Thomas Kemp. Yet, if he is not Governor of Lasanne, he hardly stands a chance in convincing the united Conservative and Cruistian-Democrat membership to make him their candidate for President in late 302ap.

What is more, the Governor is not only doing his best to win the election, he is trying to swing voters in Lasanne behind him as THEIR candidate, so that IF he is running against President Okarvits, he at least has majority support in his own state.

And he is getting help in reminding people he was once their President. Rupert McKay's campaign is focusing heavily on the admission by the Governor that given the chance, the Governor will ditch the state and join federal politics, "that means", declares the McKay advertisement, "you won't have Governor Hope, but Governor Sheen again." Sheen was an unpopular Governor while he ruled the roost while the rooster, Hope, was in the capital.

Yet, McKay's campaign is foolish to remind people about Hope's ambitions, for polling suggests they are more supportive of him for it.

"Every man has ambitions", said one manufacturing worker from Gyum'th, "and I think it would be good for the country to have one of our own in the Presidential Building. I support Governor Hope because of that. He's been good to us."

It may matter little. According to the latest Kapur-Zeitgeist poll, Governor Hope is eight-points ahead of McKay, and unlikely to drop below 53% of the vote before Saturday.

The real question is whether he will have House support after Saturday.

House of Representatives
The state parliament has been in the hands of the Conservative-Democrat lead coalition since the '97 dissolution of Parliament after years of corrupt National Party governance. It was during those years that a certain Banker, Max Boornal, lead the charge to have the Karizcek regime ousted by the Tsar. Boornal succeeded after several years, and several attempts on his life, and returned a hero. Making him more the hero, he swore not to challenge the Conservative-Liberationist Movement (CLM, the Conservative Party's name back then) leadership. Governor Hope was a shoo-in.

DSP Rep USP PPP Lib UPP Dem LNP CDP Con UNP Gov't Total

Table 1; The current state Parliament, the parties that ran for office, and the number of seats they won. Government held seven seat majority.

But, now?

With Boornal a Burovian, and McKay's opposition parties no longer challenging amongst themselves to win the same seats, fears are that the Governor might win, but the Government may lose.

Faced with this prospect, the government parties have also divided up the state's ninety-three electorates and allocated them amongst the four parties based on their ability to win them. They have also co-joined candidates from parties where support is divided -- such is the case in several electorates where the Liberal Nationalists and Democrats are equal forces -- so that BOTH party's candidates tour about together. A show of unity.

Yet, it may not be enough. The latest Kapur-Zeitgeist poll shows the government holding 44 seats, three short of governing majority. Worse yet, the Liberal Nationalists, who were a small force in the previous government, have improved their vote.

Yan DSP Rep USP PPP Lib/UBM UPP Dem LNP CDP Con UNP Gov't ???

Table 1; The current polling, and likely winners. "???" means the result is too close to call, leaders within or close to the margin of error of eachother. Only major contesting parties shown.

The wild card seems to be the Liberal-Burovians. No, they're NOT a united party, not yet, but they are uniting their candidates, too. And having in their midst the hero of four years ago, Max Boornal, the coalition of the Liberals and Burovians is stronger, and could pose a danger to the government.

Maybe not. While the government may poll three seats short of majority, there is twelve hanging in the balance, five or six of which are likely to fall the Government's way. This would put the government over the line once again, holding a likely 50 seats in the new Parliament, a margin of three MPs.

...And after this?
So, Governor one day, President the next?

Perhaps not. Governor Hope may pass this test ably, but there is two, probably three more hurdles to jump before he can claim the ultimate prize, the Presidency. Firstly, he must convince the Conservative and Cruistian-Democrat membership that HE is their man, rather than Governor Cryer, who will most certainly be running, and Thomas Kemp. If he succeeds, he must win first or second place in the Presidential election, defeating some very popular candidates, including (likely, not certainties) Max Boornal, Kyle Langley and James Angorit. And finally, the greatest challenge of them all: defeating the unassailable President Okarvits in the Presidential run-off.

And if not, with his personal approval strong, he could have a go at beating the record of the longest serving Governor in Utania, his mentor's rival, Charles Durning, who championed three elections, and served nine years. Still, that has several hurdles of its own, including the same challenge that brought Durning down: a challenge from within.

Many a slip between a cup and a lip.
In this Edition:

It's Cryer's town, Pardner.

Previous Editions:

Angorit wooed for his influence

Rovens: an analysis of the chances for peace

Stock Exchange:
Luka Stock Exchange, March 23rd

Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?

Belson, Utania's largest food processing company. Link to homepage.