Welcome to Kaizen, the show helping you set a course to financial solvency. I’m your host, Aaron Schere.
As promised, joining us today is Imperator candidate, Mira Ngo, who’s a Transitionalist Senator from Terra. Born into a political dynasty, her grandmother and father both represented Terra in the Senate before her. Ngo spent a significant chunk of her childhood on Earth when her father was a Senator, and when he retired, Terran voters elected her to his seat. Ever since, she’s distinguished herself as a skillful legislator, deft politician, and torchbearer for modernizing the empire in Terra’s image. While her campaign may not focus on the economy as much as Titus Costigan or Paul LeSalle, candidate Ngo’s cornerstone campaign promise to move the UEE capital from Earth to Terra could arguably have the most significant effect on it.
Senator Ngo has been gracious with her time and agreed to join us for the entirety of today’s show. Each segment will focus on a different topic to give us the chance to get specific. Senator, thanks for joining us. How are you doing?
Mira Ngo: Happy to be here.
It’s been an interesting few weeks for your campaign as you’ve enjoyed quite a surge in a number of polls around the empire.
Mira Ngo: Yes, I’d like to think that voters are responding to how I plan to actualize my promises and rejecting the cryptic and stale proposals presented by the other candidates.
It’s quite the coalition you’re building; up nearly ten points over last month.
Mira Ngo: Got to credit my team for helping provide context and clarity to my initiatives. It’s vital that voters know exactly where I stand and understand how I plan to accomplish my objectives. It also helps to come on shows like this so more people get a chance to hear the specifics.
Your message has inspired many, including critics who’ve labeled you a ‘single issue’ candidate intent on altering the empire’s balance of power. Which brings us to tonight’s first topic, and the cornerstone of your campaign, moving the UEE capital from Earth to Terra.
The Government Modernization Act of 2793 was the Senate’s first attempt to move the capital to Terra. It famously failed by just three votes. Subsequent legislative attempts, including one that you drafted in 2942, have garnered less support.
Mira Ngo: The bill in ‘42 did better than anyone expected. The positive response not only inspired me to run for Imperator, but make the issue the center of my campaign.
Considering the current war with the Vanduul, rising crime rates, and Synthworld construction (which you pledge to continue fully funding), why is this the best use of the Empire’s resources?
Mira Ngo: It’s a historic opportunity for the empire. A chance to reshape ourselves and inspire future generations to do the same. Evolution is as essential for empires as it is for nature. You must shape the sands of time or the sands shape you.
You’ve released a lengthy policy paper explaining exactly how you’d tackle such an undertaking. It’s quite detailed, but seems to avoid specifying an overall cost projection.
Mira Ngo: The proposal acknowledges that such a massive and important project would be done in conjunction with not only the Senate, but with the involvement of local governments. We’ve done our best to present several options on how to handle various aspects of the move and provide budget estimates for each, but with so many variables that could affect the cost, like whether the move takes three or five years, it felt misleading to settle on one number.
Why not provide a potential range?
Mira Ngo: In situations like this, the concern was that people would lock onto the highest number, so the sense of scale gets lost.
Well, one thing’s certain, it’s an incredibly expensive proposition, but one you argue will be economically beneficial.
Mira Ngo: Building new government facilities in Terra will create a significant number of jobs and be a boon for haulers delivering resources or transporting vital equipment from Earth. But the economic benefits aren’t confined to Terra. Moving the capital from Earth also allows us to institute new measures to preserve our homeworld. Many of the planet’s historic buildings would be converted into museums to protect and display priceless artifacts and teach future generations about our origins and subsequent expansion into the stars.
That’s a wonderful idea, but let’s take a step back and address the most pressing concern that I hear from those opposing your plan. From both a political and economic perspective, this move would have incredible benefits for Terra and severe drawbacks for Earth.
Mira Ngo: Look, this is a comprehensive plan to modernize the government for the benefit of the entire empire. It’s not about hurting one system to benefit another. That explanation only frames the debate around pitting Earth versus Terra in a way that makes voters feel like they have to choose a side. That’s not the goal here. The decision is about what type of empire we want to leave for future generations.
And the modernization you propose needs to happen in Terra? Can’t it be accomplished on Earth?
Mira Ngo: Some, but not all.
What specifically can’t be done on Earth?
Mira Ngo: Well, an important aspect I haven’t touched on yet is the symbolism of moving the capital. The move signals to both our alien allies, and I’d argue more importantly to ourselves, that we can honor and preserve our past, but still move on from it.
And why is moving on from Earth such an important message to send?
Mira Ngo: Because it acknowledges how far this empire has come. Earth is and always will be the most important planet in the UEE. We must preserve it at all costs and this proposal helps us to do just that. But we must also admit that this Empire has expanded to intriguing new horizons. Humanity’s new home is the wider universe and no other location better embraces that exciting evolution than Terra.
I’d like to ask you about the story that broke a few days ago. It started last October when your house in Terra was robbed during Citizen Day.
Mira Ngo: Yes, it happened when I was announcing my candidacy for Imperator. It was a scary situation for my entire family, one that I hoped would be behind us.
My sympathies for all that you and your family have had to deal with.
Mira Ngo: Thank you. I wish my opponents and their operatives extended my family the same courtesy.
Today the New United published an investigation into some financial records that were anonymously sent to them. They revealed that over the last year you’ve invested heavily in Terra-based construction concerns.
Mira Ngo: As I’ve said, since being elected to the Senate, I’ve used a blind trust to keep my financial and political affairs separate.
The story notes that, but records also indicate that your spouse commed your financial advisor on or in the days before several of these transactions.
Mira Ngo: In the days before? What does that cover? Three or four days? Ten?
I don’t believe they specified.
Mira Ngo: So if Johari spoke with our advisor anytime in the week before one of these transactions, it could potentially fall into that category?
Don’t know what criteria they used. But I am still interested in your response.
Mira Ngo: There’s nothing to respond to because there’s nothing there outside of the fact that, clearly, the robbery of my family home was actually an attempt to steal private information to use as political ammunition. Any chance the article can tell me what other businesses I’m invested in?
Believe it only focused on the construction concerns, but I have to say, considering all that you and your family have been through recently, it’s good to see that you can maintain a sense of humor about it.
Mira Ngo: Running for Imperator isn’t for the thin-skinned, that’s for sure.
We need to take a quick commercial break. When we return, candidate Ngo and I will shift our conversation onto the safety and security of the empire. We’ll discuss her proposed criminal justice reforms and strategy for handling the Vanduul war.
That and more when Kaizen returns.