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For All Nails #48:  A Near-Run Thing

Closing Statement of Governor-General Carter Monaghan
C-PAN's National Election Vitavision Debate
8 February 1973

My fellow North Americans and my friends,

I thank the moderator, Mr. Agnello, for his service, and I thank both of
my opponents for a spirited debate and a contest conducted to the highest 
standard.  Our debate tonight has made one thing very clear.  I could go 
on at some length about how our government has made our nation the most 
prosperous, best educated, and healthiest in the history of the world.  
And that would all be true.  But I will not say those things [1], because I
would be criticized, and rightly so, on the ground that all our achievements 
are for nought if our nation is not secure.  And tonight, my friends, we are 
not secure.  Several nations have the capability of exploding atomic
bombs anywhere in the world, and several others, including our great 
neighbor, are developing that capability.  Our world is beset by conflicts 
between nations and within nations, conflicts that could bring the atomic 
powers into tragic confrontation.  And finally, I must admit, our military 
was unable to successfully carry out the intervention mission assigned to it 
last month, and thousands of our soldiers are dead, wounded, missing, or 
taken prisoner.

The only real issue tonight, then, is how our nation should deal with our new 
insecurity.  One the one hand, Professor Volk has told you that others' 
atomic bombs are no threat to us, as such a weapon has no rational use in 
war, particularly given our own ability to retaliate.  We should act 
solely on the diplomatic and economic fronts, he says, since any military 
action is necessarily counterproductive.  I honor Professor Volk's 
idealism, but I am afraid that we do not live in an ideal world.  Even if 
atomic weapons cannot be used in war, other weapons can and will be.  
We need a non-atomic military second to none, and as I have pledged 
tonight a new People's Coalition government will build that military.  Our 
troops in Puerto Rico were not cowards, nor was the failure theirs.  There 
was a failure of organization, planning, and intelligence, for which I have 
accepted full responsibility.  As I outlined earlier tonight, we are 
undertaking a top-to-bottom review of all military procedures and increasing 
spending on new weapons, old weapons, logistics, and training.  Yes, we 
_will_ act diplomatically and economically as Professor Volk recommends, but 
under our government any power who confronts us militarily will find us ready 
for any eventuality.

But what of my other opponent's arguments?  Governor Skinner also pledges to 
reform our military, and says that since the ultimate failure in Puerto Rico 
was mine, that he rather than I should be trusted to lead this reform.  He 
promises to 'raise our profile on the global stage', as he puts it.  To hear 
Governor Skinner tell it, all the CNA has to do is let out a loud enough 
holler, and the rest of the world will come to us like hogs to the feeding 
trough [2].  The European powers [3] will give over their efforts to expand 
their influence in the Western Hemisphere.  The developing countries of the 
Far East will open their doors to our goods, but will cheerfully allow us to 
keep our own door closed to theirs.  The Jeffersonistas in Puerto Rico will 
tremble at our wrath, and hand over our men without a murmur of dissent.  Our 
great neighbor will cease its attempts to harness atomic power, and meekly 
accept a place among the lesser nations of the world.

Now, Governor, I've greatly appreciated the colorful country expressions
you've used in the campaign, and I've got one for you.  My daddy back in
Dickinson County, SV [4] was a hog farmer by trade, and he always used to 
say to me, "Don't never slop the swine in your go-to-meeting shoes". [5]
Slopping the swine is a tricky business, and there are no simple answers
down there in the waller -- you've got to be ready to get down in the muck
and do the job right.  Now I wish that I could believe that Governor Skinner
was ready to get down in the waller that this dirty world sometimes amounts
to.  But he's still got his go-to-meeting shoes on -- if his proposals don't
work out nice and clean, what's he gon' do with those shoes down in the 
muck? [6]

There is a sensible middle course, my fellow North Americans, between the
rash actions of inexperience and the unrealistic expectations of lofty
idealism.  It is the course of tested leadership that has earned the trust
that is the birthright of the citizens of our great Confederation.  It is
the course of Ezra Gallivan and of Perry Jay, the course of the long proud 
history of the People's Coalition, the course of prosperity at home and
of prudent initiative abroad.  It is the course that I have followed as your
Governor-General, and the course that I will continue to follow if you will
honor me with your votes.  May God bless the Confederation of North America.

Notes:

[1] As all classicists know, the rhetorical figure _praeteritio_, a 
    favorite of Cicero, consists of saying something by pointing out
    that you're not going to say it.

[2] A subtle dig at the Mason Aid programs of Skinner's party?  Surely not 
    from plain, simple Carter Monaghan!

[3] That is, the German Empire.

[4] Referred to briefly in #10.

[5] "That's a strange expression, Bruce."  "Well, Bruce, I heard the
    Governor-General use it just the other day..."

[6] The GG's dialect may be getting away from him a bit here, but Skinner's
    similar dialect is infectious.  Monaghan seems to have been able to 
    return to his usual cultured tones for his peroration.

*****************

Council Results of CNA National Election, 15 Feb 1973

State   PC (Monaghan)  Lib (Skinner)   PJP (Volk)

NC      10              11              14
SC      13              26               0
IN      21               8               1
SV      11               4               0
NV       7               6               0
MB       8               2               8

Total   70              57              23


Detailed NC Council Results by Province:
[note retcon from original posting moving seat from MA to DE]

Province       1968(PC-L-PJ)       1973(PC-L-PJ)

ME              0  1  0             1  0  0
NH              0  1  0             0  1  0
NY              5  3  4             3  2  7
MA              1  0  2             0  1  2
RI              1  0  0             0  0  1
CT              2  0  0             2  0  0
NJ              2  2  1             1  2  2
PA              3  3  1             2  4  1
MD              1  0  1             0  1  1
DE              1  0  0             1  0  0
               -------------------------
Total NC       16 10  9            10 11 14

First Ballot Council Vote for GG, 24 Feb 1973:

70 PC's vote 58 for Monaghan, 12 blank
57 Libs vote for Skinner
23 PJP's vote for Volk

Second Ballot Council Vote for GG, 25 Feb 1973:

70 PC's vote 67 for Monaghan, 3 blank
57 Libs vote for Skinner
23 PJP's vote 14 for Volk, 9 for Monaghan

Carter Monaghan is reelected GG with 76 votes.

The nine PJP votes for Monaghan were 8 from the NC (6 NY, MA, RI), 1 from 
IN.  All are allies of Brooklyn mayor Miriam Levine.  Soon after the GG
vote first-term Councilor Vernor Dean of NY province is elected PJP 
floor leader by a 14-9 vote (he is endorsed publicly by Mason and Volk).

The deal puts Sir Benjamin Anthony, the distinguished jurist from #25,
currently a PJP provincial chairman and widely respected as a civil rights*
activist, as chief of the CBI (the CNA has the CBI report directly 
to the GG rather than through the Attorney General/Justice Minister).
Anthony has full authority to investigate any past wrongdoing by the
CBI under former head Timothy Liddy, who resigned "for personal reasons".  
(I hope we may see backdated vignettes of such wrongdoing, from Carlos 
or otherwise.)  Liddy is rumored to have become head of the "black" 
foreign intelligence service of the CNA, an organization whose existence 
is not publicly acknowledged.  (Overt foreign intelligence is the mission
of both the CBI and divisions of each of the military branches.)

Monaghan also pledges to the PJP Nine that he will continue with his 
announced peace initiatives.  The Nine pledge in return to support the
government's first-year defence bill (increased funding, reorganization, 
reform commission) without reservation, and informally not to bring down 
the government in the foreseeable future (two years?).

BTW, a vote of no confidence would lead to a midterm election if _either_
the outgoing GG wanted one _or_ the outgoing Council were unable to
agree on a new GG.  This would be the constitutional crisis that Jay
avoided when Mason went gaga, by waiting for the next regular election.
Clearly Monaghan is now left hanging by a thread -- after this deal and
the campaign preceding it he can now kiss away the option of a national 
unity government with Liberal support...

*The phrase "civil rights" in the CNA means what in OTL are called
"civil liberties" -- no connotation of race necessarily follows.  Anthony's
chief concern is protecting citizens from excessive government power.

Dave MB

(thanks to Johnny Pez for considerable help with the speech)