Campaign 20,000 (PG)

By : Jeff 42

Archived on: Saturday, April 28, 2001

Mon Mothma, Emperor Palpatine, and Nom Anor engage in a political debate to decide who will be elected ruler of the galaxy--with hilarious results.

Note: This story was originally posted at the Fan Fiction forum of the Jedi Council message boards. After the end of the debate, the readers voted to decide who won the election.

"Hello, and welcome to Coruscant Cola Civic Arena. I am J-42, moderating droid. Tonight is the night for the final debate of this year's campaign for the Ruler of the Galaxy election. Here are our candidates:

"From the Freedom Party, Mon Mothma. She currently is the leader in the polls, with 59% of the vote.

"From the Imperial Party, Emperor Palpatine. He is second in the polls, although he leads the critical demographic of human males.

"And our independent candidate, Nom Anor. He trails far behind the two major party candidates, but remains in the campaign.

"Let's give a big welcome to our three candidates."

Mothma: Thank you, J-42.

Anor: I also thank you, although I actually believe that technology is evil and you should be destroyed.

"Right. Now then, we will begin with this question from one of our audience members. . . ."

"Candidates, we will begin this debate by asking: How do you plan to deal with the galaxy's crime problems? Senator Mothma, you may begin."

Mothma: I often wonder why sentient beings must at times treat each other so cruelly and unfairly. Can't we all just get along? If--

Palpatine: Young fool.

"Please, Emperor Palpatine. You will have a turn to speak as well."

Mothma: Yes, as I was saying. I believe that we must make an effort to change the basic attitudes of our galaxy's people in order to reduce crime. We need to educate our children, as well as our adults, that crime is bad.

Anor: I am in awe of your insight, Senator. If only I had realized before that crime is bad!

"Please, Mr. Anor. You may dispense with the sarcasm. Senator Mothma, do go on."

Mothma: Ahem. In addition to improved education, we should stress rehabilitation rather than punishment for the law-breakers in our society. By doing this, we can reduce crime over time and make the galaxy a happier place for all.

Palpatine: An idealistic plan, Senator . . . foolishly idealistic, if I do say so myself. When I am elected Ruler of the Galaxy, I promise to bring order to the Republic. A stormtrooper on every street corner, and a Star Destroyer in every system. No one will dare break the law, especially once my stricter crime control laws take effect. And the law-abiding citizens of the galaxy will have nothing to worry about.

Mothma: Emperor Palpatine, how, if I may ask, do you plan to deal with the increased number of criminals who will surely be arrested under your new laws?

Palpatine: It's simple. Wipe them out. All of them.

Mothma: You aren't suggesting we apply the death penalty for all crimes!

Palpatine: Oh, I suppose not for first time traffic offenses or other minormisdemeanors. But just what is wrong with putting major offenders to death? It will make the galaxy a safer place.

"Mr. Anor . . ."

Anor: When I am Ruler of the Galaxy, citizens of the Republic will have absolutely no reason to do each other harm. Crime will plummet, and within years be completely eliminated.

Mothma: You really expect us to believe that? Just how exactly are you going to accomplish this?

Anor: I, ah . . . can't go into details at the time, but I promise that under my new government, there will be no crime! Hey, that rhymes!

"And so does that. But now it is time for our first commercial break. Stay tuned to Galactic News Network for continuing coverage of this year's campaign."

Do you dream of a day when you won't have to worry about corruption and crime? A day when people of all sizes, shapes, and colors will live in harmony throughout the galaxy?

Then vote Mothma.

Because many Bothans died to bring you this information.

No matter who wins this year's election, one soft drink will always rule.

Drink Coruscant Cola. The official soft drink of Campaign 20,000.

"Welcome back to the debate. Now we have a couple of questions that have come in over the Galactic Holonet. First of all, what is your stance on smugglers?"

Palpatine: Smugglers are truly among the most vile scum in all the galaxy. I can't stand them, especially when they help blow up perfectly useful space stations.

Mothma: "Perfectly useful," my behind!

Palpatine: Senator, I don't think we want to hear about your behind. Now as I was saying, smugglers are a major problem in the galaxy. So they would, of course, fall under my stricter crime control measures. A few decades on Kessel will make them rethink their smuggling ways!

Mothma: While I agree that smugglers are, in most cases, bad, there are much worse problems in the galaxy. And some smugglers can actually be good at heart, such as ones who help blow up evil space stations. We should enforce the current smuggling laws, but I would not make stopping smugglers a focus of my policy.

Anor: Like Senator Palpatine, I can't stand smugglers. Of course, I don't like any, um, hehe . . . criminals. But under my new government, smuggling will soon be eliminated from this galaxy.

Mothma: That's--

Anor: And don't ask how, just believe me, dammit!

"Very well. The next question is: What is your stand on killing Jedi?"

Anor: I do not harbor any particular feelings of resentment toward the Jedi. Like all beings, some are better than others. I see no reason to single out the Jedi for destruction, and I would not have any policies specifically targeting the Jedi under my government.

Mothma: The Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice in the Republic. The mere notion of killing them is preposterous! We should build up, not cut down on, the Jedi Order.

Palpatine: Unlike my colleagues, I must say that I find the whole idea of Jedi rather distasteful. Do you really want superbeings in your midst who can read your minds? I certainly don't.

Mothma: There are rumors that you, Emperor Palpatine, once had Jedi training. . . .

Palpatine: I didn't inhale. Um, I mean . . . I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations. But the point remains: do you want people meddling with your thoughts? The Jedi can do this. They should all be destroyed.

"Thank you candidates. Now here's a treat. Our next question comes from Mara Jade herself. . . ."

Mara Jade: I'd like to ask the candidates about their position on health reform. My HMO won't cover Jedi healers, and considers their work with incurable molecular wasting diseases as alternative medicine. What do you have to say about this situation?

Anor: I didn't have anything to do with it! That is, um, with those lousy HMOs. Yes, that's it. I hate HMOs, and if elected I would wipe them from the face of the galaxy.

Mothma: That may be a bit extreme, but we certainly do need health care reform. I myself know that Jedi healers can be quite helpful, and I assure you, Mara, that I will not forget your plight if I am elected.

Palpatine: What my fellow candidates seem unaware of is that you, Mara Jade, are traitorous scum. I'm glad that your HMO won't cover Jedi healing. You can rot, for all I care, and I hope you do!

Mothma: Emperor Palpatine, your dislike for Mara Jade is widely known, but what is your stance on this issue?

Palpatine: When I said the Jedi should be killed, that does include Jedi healers, you know.

Mothma: But--

Palpatine: Do shut up.

"That's quite enough. Now our next topic is certainly a contentious one. What are the candidate's views on discrimination in the galaxy?"

Mothma: Discrimination is just plain wrong. No one should ever miss out on opportunities because of his or her species or gender. We have made progress in giving all beings equal rights, but I still see signs of prejudice around me everywhere. If elected, I would push for new laws that would mete out stricter punishments for those found guilty of discrimination. I would also support programs to assist members of species who have been harmed by discrimination in the past.

Anor: I agree with Senator Mothma that there is no need to discriminate among the various species. My government would treat all races and genders exactly the same. All citizens of this galaxy are equal in my eyes. Except for droids, that is. But they aren't really citizens, are they? . . . Well, are they??

"I . . . suppose not, sir. Emperor Palpatine?"

Palpatine: I'm afraid that my fellow candidates both have rather foolish views on this issue. It's obvious that humans, especially human males, are superior to all other races of the galaxy. In fact, one of my first acts as Ruler would be to take away the vote from all inferior species.

Mothma: What?!? How could you say such a thing? And how could you possibly retain popular support with policies like that?

Palpatine: Fear will keep the non-humans in line.

Mothma: I find that policy to be despicable, although I admit it might work. But how can you hope to win this election?

Palpatine: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

"All right, this next question is for Nom Anor. Mr. Anor, there are rumors that you have made cryptic remarks about conquering the galaxy. Any comments?"

Palpatine: Ha! Like that pathetic excuse for a human could ever hope to conquer the entire galaxy!

Anor: I'm afraid that my colleague is quite correct. I alone could never conquer the whole galaxy. My masters--er, I mean . . . my campaign advisors, um . . . and I . . . would never devise such a ridiculous scheme. I am appalled that anyone would even suggest it!

"Very well. It is now time for our second commercial break. Keep watching Galactic News Network as Campaign 20,000 continues."

Made with the purest water from the glaciers of Hoth...

It's cool, it's refreshing...

If you haven't grabbed a Coruscant Cola yet, what are you waiting for?

He has the answers on all the hot issues that affect you.

On crime...

"Under my government, crime will be eliminated from the galaxy!"

On jobs...

"All beings in this galaxy will have work when I am Ruler."

On discrimination...

"My policies will not discriminate against any citizens of this galaxy."

He's Nom Anor. A new leader for a new galaxy.

"We now continue with the final debate of this year's campaign for Ruler of the Galaxy, live from Coruscant Cola Civic Arena. And now we have another question from a celebrity audience member, the great pilot Wedge Antilles."

Wedge Antilles: Since the Republic and Empire are now at peace, there's been a lot of talk about cutting the budget for the military. What is your opinion on this?

Palpatine: Cutting the military's budget? Someone find the people who were saying that, so that I can order my stormtroopers to shoot them! But seriously, folks . . . what, you didn't know I was joking? Oh, come on, now. . . . Seriously. A strong military is necessary to keep the unruly inhabitants of this galaxy in line. Cutting back on military spending would also leave us vulnerable to outside threats. If anything, the military budget should be increased! Wouldn't any sane citizen of the galaxy feel safer knowing that there's an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer orbiting above his head as he sleeps at night?

Mothma: Increase the military budget? We have much more important things to spend the money on.

Palpatine: Not if you're dead.

Mothma: Point. But there are many programs to help our galaxy's citizens where the cash would be better suited to go. At the same time, however, it is true that we never knew when a new threat might arise. Some minor cutbacks might be suitable, but we should still keep a strong enough military presence to defend the Republic's people.

Anor: My fellow candidates, how, um, silly of you. We all know that it is highly unlikely any sizable new threat would arise. It would be quite wise of us, if you ask me, to make major cuts in the military's budget. And then it will be all the easier for . . . um, never mind.

Palpatine: By the Force, what is wrong with you?

Anor: Absolutely nothing. Believe me, under my government it will be completely unnecessary for the Republic to even have a military.

Mothma: I'm afraid that I have to agree with the Emperor here. Are you insane?

Anor: Wh-why are . . . are you guys always so . . . mean to me? I . . . d-d-don't . . . like it.

"Um, I think that's enough of that. Let's move on the next question, from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. . . ."

Luke Skywalker: I'm a Jedi and I am paid virtually nothing, and what I get goes towards helping others. I deserve a tax break!

Anor: Thank you, Jedi Skywalker. This gives me the perfect opportunity to unveil my new tax plan. You see, under my plan, you would not get a tax break compared to the other citizens of the galaxy. That's because there will be no taxes when I'm Ruler of the Galaxy! Yes, you heard right, you won't have to pay any of your hard-earned credits to the government. That's none, zip, zero, nada. . . .

Mothma: I'm not even going to comment on that one.

Anor: And just what is that supposed to mean?

Mothma: Nothing.

Anor: Are you sure about that, Senator?

"Mr. Anor, please settle down."

Mothma: Thank you. Well, Luke, you make an interesting point. I think that a tax break for Jedi might very well be suitable.

Palpatine: Under my government, the Jedi won't have to pay any taxes. They'll be dead! And for all the living citizens of the Republic, I will cut away at the bureaucracy and simplify the endless lines of tax code to one simple flat rate.

Mothma: And what might that rate be?

Palpatine: Oh, somewhere in the vicinity of . . . sixty percent.

Anor: How can you justify that? Why, that's . . . sixty percent higher than what the tax rate would be under my government!

Palpatine: I obviously know much better what to do with the money of our constituents than they do. It's for their own good.

Mothma: Oh really? Well, perhaps if having to be constantly on the watch for trigger-happy stormtroopers is "good."

Palpatine: Of course it is! You disagree?

Mothma: As a matter of fact, I do!

"Please, candidates, let us move on to the next question. This one comes from an astromech droid. What about discrimination against droids and our galaxy-wide status as second-class citizens?"

Anor: Second-class citizens? That's a much higher status than those cursed mechanics deserve! Droids are clearly tools of evil. It's obvious that anyone who depends on mechanical beings is weak, and must change their ways. Repent, sinners! Let us destroy the mechanical scourges of our existence!

"It's a good thing that you have no chance whatsoever of being elected."

Anor: What's this? Now the blasted moderating droid is ganging up on me too? I protest! And when I'm elected, you, J--um, whatever the hell your name is, will be the first one to go!

"I'm sure. Senator Mothma, Emperor Palpatine, what are your opinions on the subject?"

Mothma: That is a very interesting question. While some droids are simple, nonsentient automatons, I know that others can have true feelings of their own. We could, perhaps, explore ways in which these beings can gain rights that organic citizens of the galaxy take for granted.

Palpatine: Mechanical beings, like all nonhumans, are obviously inferior. And besides, droids can't vote, so who really cares?

Luke Skywalker: I care.

Palpatine: I wasn't asking you!

"All right, let's move on to the next question. What are your feelings on galactic overpopulation? With things going the way they are now, we could soon find ourselves out of space! Do you think extragalactic exploration is the answer? If not, what is?"

Anor: No! We should definitely not explore outside of our galaxy! There is still plenty of space in this one, and who wants to face unknown dangers in the extragalactic territories? I think it is best to leave the people of other galaxies to themselves.

Palpatine: There are still many regions of this galaxy that we have not explored, and there is also still plenty of room on most populated planets. There is certainly no overpopulation problem! Why waste money exploring outside our galaxy, money that could go instead to the construction of more Star Destroyers?

Mothma: Well, I'm happy to say that this is a topic we can all agree on. There is currently no--

Palpatine: All agree on? Well, in that case, I think we should explore outside our galaxy.

Anor: No! That's a very bad idea!

Mothma: Mr. Anor, well I agree with you that extragalactic exploration is unnecessary, I find myself wondering why you are so vehemently opposed to the idea.

Anor: Do you have to scrutinize everything I do and say? Why don't you just give me a break for once? You know, I'd be happy to infect--er, um, I mean . . . investigate . . . your . . . numerous so-called . . . business meetings with, um, Admiral Ackbar!

Mothma: What the hell are you taking about?

Anor: I must have hit pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, eh?

Mothma: This is a disgrace!

Anor: Not as disgraceful as--

"SILENCE!!! . . . There, that's much better. Now let us continue onto the next topic in this political debate, shall we?"

"The next topic is unemployment. What would the candidates do to provide work for the numerous jobless beings in the galaxy?"

Mothma: Unemployment is certainly a serious problem. I believe that we need a new welfare program to assist our jobless citizens. This will help them survive without a job, and give them training so that they can soon be able to make a living on their own.

Palpatine: What a waste of taxpayers' money!

Mothma: You're the one who wants a sixty percent tax rate.

Palpatine: And every cent will go to things more important than stupid welfare programs. If people can't get a job, it's their own fault! And besides, my Imperial Navy would always be glad to give them work.

Anor: Well, under my government, there will be no unemployment in the galaxy! All the Republic's citizens will have work to do . . . whether they like it or . . . um, uh . . . never mind.

"Now we again have a question from over the Holonet. I quote: 'What about slavery? We all know it still exists in the galaxy; but I'm sure none of the candidates can support a practice which so flagrantly violates so many human and non-human rights!' Candidates?"

Anor: Slavery is a very, um, sensitive issue. I wouldn't want to, uh, hehe, offend anyone, so I'm afraid that I must refrain from answering this question.

Palpatine: Mr. Anor, dare I say that you are something of a . . . wimp? Well, I, for one, am never known to dodge an issue. Slavery? I will make it legal.

Mothma: How could you so blatantly violate the rights of so many people?

Palpatine: Rights? Senator, how many times do I have to tell you this before it gets through your hopelessly idealistic little mind? Nonhumans . . . are . . . inferior! We, as the superior race of the galaxy, would be fools not to exploit them as slaves!

Mothma: Do you hear that? Anyone out there who is not a human, I don't think you want to vote for my colleague here!

Palpatine: But wouldn't being a slave be preferable to being dead?

Mothma: Well, Emperor, how would you like it if someone enslaved you?

Palpatine: Like anyone could do that!

Mothma: You're missing the point of the question.

Palpatine: Whatever.

"Senator Mothma, you're obviously against slavery, but what would you do as Ruler of the Galaxy about the perceived problem?"

Mothma: IMHO--

Anor: Well, I suspected as much, but I'm certainly surprised to see you admit that you are indeed a ho.

Mothma: What?!? That means "in my humble opinion," you . . . you--um, well then, I think that we need to take stronger measures to prevent slavery in the galaxy. Therefore, I would enact penalties against planets that allow this despicable practice to continue.

"Okay, the next question is: What about the many fringe nations that exist on the edge of Republic territory? What will your foreign policy be when it comes to emigration and trade with such nations?"

Palpatine: We should expand and conquer these fringe nations so that the entire galaxy can feel the glory of my New Order!

Mothma: The problems with that idea should be obvious, although I'm sure you wouldn't admit they exist, Emperor Palpatine. Personally, I think that we should have laws enabling freer trade with these nations, and should admit them to the Republic if they wish to become members.

Palpatine: You're just jealous because you aren't powerful enough to take them by force--pun intended, by the way.

Mothma: I will not be drawn into an argument like this! Mr. Anor, why don't you tell us what you think?

Anor: Leave the fringe nations to themselves! Who really cares what's happening on the edge of the galaxy? I know I don't! Yeah, that's it, just ignore them, and then if anyone inva--er, invites us to, um, trade with them . . . then I guess we can discuss it at the appropriate time! Sounds like a plan, huh?

Mothma: I'm sure it does, but it seems to me, Mr. Anor, that you may be hiding something.

Anor: Me? Hiding something? Never!

"Now this next question is for Emperor Palpatine. Emperor, you have been accused of violating campaign finance laws. Any comments?"

Palpatine: This is my Minister of Finance, Darth Maul.

cue ominous music

Palpatine: He will find your lost campaign funds.

Anor: That hideous freak?

Maul: Maybe it is you who are the hideous freak.

Mothma: Come on, now, do we always have to argue like this?

Anor: Shut up, b****. And you, Palpatine, you and your little sidekick here . . .

Palpatine: Why don't you just take your pathetic self and go back to wherever it is you came from?

Anor: All right, I will! And then I'll come back here and kick all your sorry behinds!

Palpatine: You and what army?

Anor: What army, eh? Well wouldn't you just love to know that?

Palpatine: You have made me angry. Bad idea. Now feel the power of the dark side!

"Please, everyone, settle down! No, Emperor Palpatine, no lightning! Will I be forced to bring in the ysalimiri?"

Palpatine: That's another thing I'd do as Ruler, order the extermination of those damn animals!

"Let's go to a commercial break. Now!"

You will vote Palpatine.

You will vote Palpatine.

You will vote Palpatine.

So you still haven't picked up a cool, refreshing Coruscant Cola? Look, how many times do I have to tell you . . .

Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you! Oh, what was that? You wanna make something of it? Don't make me come over--

"Welcome back to Coruscant Cola Civic Arena, where we will now have the conclusion of this year's final debate in the campaign to decide who will be Ruler of the Galaxy. We have time for one more brief question. This viewer says, 'It seems to me that Senator Mothma is the only non-evil candidate.' What do our three candidates have to say about this?"

Mothma: Well, some people might say that good and evil depend on one's point of view. Still, I can assure you that I have the best interests of the Republic's citizens at heart, well I am not sure that this is the case for my fellow candidates here.

Palpatine: Ooh, so now Senator Mothma is the 'only non-evil candidate.' Well what's wrong with being evil?

Maul: One look at me makes it obvious that evil is much cooler.

Mothma: How do you define 'cool'?

Palpatine: You wouldn't understand.

Anor: Well, the short answer to the question posed is that I'm not evil, just misunderstood. The long answer--

"I'm afraid that we don't have time for the long answer, Mr. Anor."

Anor: Damn droid!

"Now each candidate will be able to make a closing statement. Senator Mothma, you may begin."

Mothma: Thank you. Well, citizens of the Republic, if you want to be constantly living in fear, or if you want to believe in fairy tale promises of no crime, taxes, or unemployment, then go right ahead and vote for one of the other candidates. But if you want the galaxy to be a better place for all, then I would appreciate your vote on Election Day.

"Mr. Anor?"

Anor: Um, uh . . . vote for me, or else!

Palpatine: Or else what? Pathetic fool . . . but I must echo my fellow candidate, when I say vote for me . . . or else!

"Thank you, candidates. That is the conclusion of tonight's debate, brought to you live from the Coruscant Cola Civic Arena by Coruscant Cola. Remember, the election for the new Ruler of the Galaxy is tomorrow. Keep your viewer right here on Galactic News Network for comprehensive coverage of this year's vote."

"Citizens , today is a truly glorious day! At last, with my election, order has been restored to our galaxy. A shining new Empire will now rise out of the chaos that was the Republic!

"I must acknowledge my fellow candidates, Nom Anor and Mon Mothma, for making the campaign interesting. . . . although I assure you both will soon pay the price for their lack of vision! And to all those beings who voted for me, thank you. To all those who did not, you can expect a visit from some stormtroopers soon.

"That is all. And remember: never underestimate the power of the dark side!"

--Emperor Palpatine, acceptance speech

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