Counting the Vote

   “The apology went better than I thought it would.” I said to myself as I left the mess tent and walked over to the base of Windmill Hill where as expected Burt Buchanan was waiting. There were robots charging up on top but no one other than Burt within eyesight.

   “How’s it going Burt? Do I win?”

   “Gotta lock on it. Travis going public with his demand for a space jockey on the board will cinch it. Without him saying anything his candidate would have gotten ninety, ninety-five percent. Now he still gets some one on the council but he’s not a force with a huge block of votes to direct elsewhere.

   “Conner Benjamin gets some support but is not a sure thing. His daughter Jaisa will help to win a few votes and hurt with as many or maybe more. Those who figure it’s a lousy parent that has a wild child. His public positions from all the recordings our people have made in conversation with him, or when near enough to catch what he was saying to others, show him to be politically in about the same spot as your public persona. Using targeting software we have gotten position papers generated under your name directed at any that seem destined to vote for Benjamin. The people delivering them are naturally pointing out that two like minded people on a board can accomplish more than one. No one is organized against us so this is almost too easy.”

   “The Historians in… if he wants to be. Not sure he does though. Due to all his work in the E/A, the software, to coin a phrase, ‘Reads him like a book’. We’ll make sure everyone cross referenced as a natural supporter gets something from you showing similar opinions. He comes off fairly neutral and middle of the road at first glance but is actually a bit more complicate but for our purposes that is of little concern.”

   “What should have been a concern looks like it wont be. The small government types, almost half the population, aren’t putting up a fight. Neither Stuart, nor Bartlett, their strongest candidates have any interest in even running. Either or both of them would have gotten elected easily. As it is they will put up someone to act as a puppet who might not even make it. We will do what we can to get a few of those voters to go with us too. Originally I had planned to have proxies nominate a few more small government types to split the vote but the program says without a strong candidate to give em just one to vote for. Many in that camp who would once have given a vote to Travis will now send it our way.”

   “Damn! After this is over we really need to thank the good Captain for coming off as such an out and out authoritarian.”

   “There will be a few more fringe nominations. I even hear there is some support for Kara. We’ll get Jack the Blade up as a distraction cause he makes you look nice. Our hard core supporters will just vote for you and not even cast the rest of their votes thus limiting the total vote count an opposition candidate can receive. Before the nominations close we’ll know if we need to put up one or two more to insure the best mix for splitting up the rival parties and maximizing your count…. The key to this whole thing Les is that we are organized, and have the right political software. In politics organization trumps ideas every time.“

   “Burt you never cease to amaze me with your insight. If you had been running my campaigns back on Earth I would have been the Governor. I never knew those kinds of computer programs even existed”

   “You weren’t supposed to know they existed Les. And yeah your right about being Governor, but back on Earth you couldn’t have afforded me. Let’s finish this up. Here is a list of people you need to talk to between now and when the meeting reconvenes. And here is another for afterwards.”

   I took the papers, glanced at them then shoved them into my pocket. Burt was already heading back to the meeting area. I gave him a few minutes then followed.


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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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