The Gallente. Self-righteous, meddling, pompous and tiresome, or virile liberalists and defenders of the free world. Love them or hate them, you simply can't ignore them. Everybody has an opinion on the Gallente Federation, it all depends from which side of the table you view them. For many, it is the Promised Land, where any dream can become a reality. The Gallente remain strong believers in free will and human rights, despite numerous setbacks in their long history.
It has been said that, once you have seen the Crystal Boulevard in Caille you've seen it all. True, the view is spectacular, but if there's one thing you can never see in its entirety, that is the Gallente Federation. You may travel its length and breadth, marvel at the Sunspiral on Troux, climb the Akat Mountains on tropical Intaki or thrill to the Mendre dancers on Sovicou. Wherever you go, you will always see something new and exciting, even when you visit the same place again. Gallente society is in a constant state of flux, vigorous, vibrant and progressive.
Few societies display such stark contrasts. Many of the wealthiest people in the world are Gallente, creating a constant demand for luxury goods. At the same time, the ranks of the poor number millions, because while the liberal market-driven economy and individual freedom may allow everybody the chance to advance to the top, they make it just as easy to plummet to the very bottom of the social ladder.
In the world of New Eden, the Gallente are the kings of entertainment, mass-producing everything from cheap porn-flicks to elaborate stage-shows for an ever-hungry public. They boast the most elaborate luxury space yachts, and the most glittering hotel reservoirs. Anything your mind or body could ever crave, the Gallente have plenty of it.
The Gallente are not alone in their Federation, whose boundaries are home to pockets of residents varying in size and representing all the other races of New Eden, most of whom left their own empires due to political or ideological differences, or simply in search of peace and prosperity. In addition to the natural born Gallente there are two races, the Intaki and the Mannar, both of whom the Gallente found while exploring and expanding their empire. Both were at a very primitive level when the Gallente found them, but since coming under their protection and guidance, both ave flourished and are now full-fledged members of the Federation.
The Caldari were initially part of the Federation but deep-seated differences and mutual animosity between them and the Gallente drove them out to found their own empire. For a time the two empires warred against each other, but as neither could gain sufficient advantage to claim victory, peace was settled in the end.
Championing freedom and liberty across the universe, the Gallente Federation is the only true democracy currently in existence.
Major segments of the Gallente Federation include:
The Gallente Federation was founded a little over 300 years ago. At that time the Federation consisted of 17 sectors or districts and four races. A district is a group of solar systems (of various sizes). The number of districts has steadily increased through the ages and now stands at 62. The four races at the Federation’s creation were the Gallente (by far the largest of the four), the Caldari, the Intaki and the Mannar. The Caldari left a few decades after the Federation’s foundation and set up their own empire. The other three remain and have since been bolstered by immigrants from all the races, most notably Minmatar, to the point where people of that ancestry now number almost a third of the total population of the Federation.
The core belief of the Federation is that of individuality and individual freedom. Its democracy is very open: it is common for major issues to go to a public vote instead of being solely decided on by the senate or president, thanks to actions long ago by lobby factions wishing to utilize public opinion. The lobby factionists felt it was much easier to sway public opinion on important matters via master propagandists than via the mind of the president. But in practice this has created a paradox as the individual freedom to do what you want constantly clashes with the individual freedom from being oppressed by other individuals. Any governmental interference to keep things in check through legislation and policing is naturally perceived as oppression of the rights and freedom of individuals, constantly creating tension. But the Federation and its populace have learned to direct and control this tension, making it in many ways a positive thing. The result is an exceedingly vibrant society, constantly scrutinizing itself and its principles, spurring creativity and ethical notions.
The Legislative Arm
The Federal Senate holds 881 members, with elections held every 5 years. The Senate is responsible for passing new laws and in supervising that the administration and the courts are behaving properly. The most important function of the Senate is in overseeing the taxation and fiscal spending by the government. In addition to the Federal Senate, each district has its own parliament (simply called district parliaments), whose official function is to advise and support the Senate on local issues, but in reality the parliaments wield a great deal of authority over the affairs of their district.
Lobbying plays a big part Gallente politics. The lobbying factions have become an integral part of the system, affecting and even regulating everything from the elections to what bills are presented before the Senate. The other races point to the entrenched lobbyists as a clear sign of corruption and in the supposed Gallente democracy, but the Gallente themselves regard the lobbyists as a robust system for keeping the Senate in touch with society, comparing their role to that of stock brokers in the trade hall.
The Executive Arm
A president heads the executive arm of the Gallente Federation. The president is elected every 5 years and, in the past, the same man could not be re-elected. The intent of this rule is to make the president and his administration focus on running the Federation rather than focus on their own popularity. Nevertheless, because the presidency is so closely linked to the lobbyism factions and thus to the Senate, the Gallente Federation is often a huge spectacle where appearance matters more than efficiency. Foiritan, however, successfully had the law changed and won a second, albeit aborted, term.
The Gallente president is nominally the head of state and the most powerful man in the Federation, but this is not always the case. Some presidents were puppets of political factions acting behind the scenes, but most of them have acted independently, although always within the strict framework set by the lobbyist factions.
For many the president is nothing more than the smiling face of the government; an actor playing the role of the kind, considerate and generous father of the people. This notion is supported by the trappings of the presidency, its fabulous palaces and space shuttles, purposefully aiming to awe and amaze foreign visitors and Gallente alike.
The Black Eagles are the Federal Intelligence service and report to the President. Their tactics, referred to as protocols, are named with the type of protocol, a symbol, and a number. Protocol Alpha-Three was the protocol executed in the apprehension attempt of Jacus Roden.
The Judicial Arm
The judicial system in the Gallente Federation is ever vigilant in keeping the Federation as wholesome as possible. The system is not known for being fair in their dealings with the Federation’s citizens, as it almost seems like there are two different penal systems in use depending on the wealth of the accused. But even if the rich can expect some leniency in sentences imposed by the courts they don’t get preferential treatment in the investigation of the crime, meaning that you are just as likely to be caught for a crime whether you’re at the top or the bottom of the social ladder. And history shows that the social rejection by their peers is even more efficient in punishing the rich than a few years more or less in prison.
The highest judicial power is the Supreme Court, which consists of 13 judges, appointed for life by the president and approved by the Senate. Beneath the Supreme Court are the District Courts, one for each of the 62 districts.
The citizens, soldiers, and leaders of the Federation are still reeling from the Caldari assault on Luminaire, trying to come to terms with the invasion and to understand exactly how this makes them feel. There's a lot of confusion and anger bubbling to the surface, along with the determination that this cannot be allowed to happen a second time.
The dominant emotion among the citizens of the Federation is confusion. There are a lot of questions to which they want answers – from their leaders, from their military, and from themselves. How did this happen? Why did we not see it coming? How is it that we couldn't stop it? Are we really that soft and weak and defenseless? Who can we trust? What should we do? What should we feel?
Some blamed Foiritan personally - which eventually led to his loss of the Presidential mandate, and to Jacus Roden's rise to power - and some blamed the political leadership as a whole, though few still truly understand what happened or why. Others lay the responsibility at the feet of the military, trying to ignore their own complicity in the shortage of resources and personnel. Some blame their fellow citizens – particularly those of other races, occupations, or walks of life – often due just as much to older and deeper misgivings than to the current situation. There are a very few who blame themselves.
But all of them curse the Caldari - them and their barbaric leader Heth.
This is in line with Gallente capitalism. For Gallente, the accumulation of wealth is something that is done on an individual level and personal wealth only matters in comparison to the wealth of other individuals - a stark contrast with Caldari capitalism for the people.
Rumors of Admiral Eturrer's defection and subsequent disappearance eventually trickled down the ranks. The consensus among those in the know was that he was the vilest of traitors, and solely to blame for the entire debacle; such was the fervor that when he was finally caught, he was fairly tortured to death in front of a nationwide audience.
Many of the Federation Navy's top personnel had spent years fighting for increased funding and additional recruitment, and the prevailing opinion is that the Navy could have made a credible stand in Luminaire had they not been betrayed. With the horrific actions of Admiral Noir still fresh in memory, there are many who have lost faith in the command leadership entirely.
As a result most remain angry and frustrated, itching for a chance to strike back. They recognized the wisdom in Foiritan's surrender but they fumed at his weakness (and, of course, eventually replaced him with the more militant Roden). The situation in the Luminaire system has had everyone on edge. The military establishment knows full well that the Federation is about three hours and a twitch away from having every planet in its home system rendered permanently uninhabitable. They are also aware of their resulting helplessness against the Titan looming over Caldari Prime, and the feeling greatly intensifies their desire to strike back somewhere else.
There's been great turmoil in the Federal government. Most of its personnel, much like the general citizenry, have been left in the dark. Only those at the highest levels appreciated the full scope of the invasion's events, and they spent quite a bit of effort frantically trying to predict even the most immediate consequences. The one thing already showing with crystal clarity is that the Federation is extremely scared, and that moreover this fear is likely to change soon, into extraordinary - and very dangerous - anger.
The President, the Senate, and the leaders of the various Federal institutions can see very clearly that they need to be ready for this seismic shift when it happens, and right now that's what everyone's spending every waking hour―and no one's getting any sleep―trying to anticipate. There's very little time for recrimination or finger-pointing, nor for any but the most basic politics; that will come later, and it will likely be a long and bitter struggle.
The habit of dividing the population up into broad blocs of voters is an old one in Gallente political circles, and five groups in particular have risen to distinction.
Most prevalent among the Jin-Mei and Mannar populations (though naturally well represented among military personnel across the Federation), this is the ever-present fraction of those who advocate a militaristic stance. Maintaining this position requires an uncommon mindset―the largest group among the hawks are the pureblooded patriots who believe passionately in the greatness of the Federation (and the need to spread its influence as far and wide as possible).
This political leaning often brings together retired generals and entertainment moguls, since the spread of cultural influence is clearly a valuable weapon. In light of yesterday's attacks, the hawks are calling for measured consideration of the situation, with an eye to the subsequent deployment of as much military force as is necessary to push the Caldari back and, following that, undertake a sustainable counter-attack.
Foiritan had never been a friend to the hawks―they tend to find much more in common with Blaque― and it was with a sigh of relief that they saw him out of office and welcomed the far more militant Jacus Roden.
Comprised mostly of Intaki and common among artists of all stripes, this group opposes military action in all but the most clearly defensive cases, although they're less averse to spreading Gallente beliefs through "cultural warfare." The recent history of the Gallente has made protesting against military action something of a challenge (there having been very little to protest), but the dove mindset has shown remarkable resilience over the years and still represents a relevant percentage of the population.
This group's popularity may in part be attributed to the considerable effort expended over many years by the movement's proponents to define a consistent and coherent position without lapsing into irrelevant extremism. They were, of course, appalled by the unprovoked Caldari assault, but were equally appalled by calls among their fellow Gallente for unrestrained retaliation. Most acknowledge the need to reclaim Luminaire, although with the caveat that any action should be managed as peacefully as possible. At the same time, fringe members of this group actually sympathize with the Caldari position rather more than is politically fashionable at the moment.
The doves had always accorded well with Foiritan although they never fully trusted him, but they are going to have a hell of a time with President Rodent..
One of the more predictable blocs, made up of military contractors and financial despots; Jin-Mei and ethnic Gallente; and others from all walks of life, right down to individual shop workers. This group will pounce on any opportunity to turn current events to their own advantage, usually without considering the true ramifications or the cost to others. If there's money to be made or power to be gained through a particular course of action, they'll lean hard on anyone they can pressure until they get their way. Unsurprisingly, they're by far the most effective lobbying community in the Federation.
For most of the vultures, the prospect of a full-blown war is the most exciting thing that's happened in the last fifty years, and they're already figuring out exactly what needs to be done to extract maximum returns from the situation. This is the group that is pushing hardest for the most extreme options; indeed, some are advocating simply piling the entire Federation Navy into Luminaire and damn the consequences. They'll support whoever looks to be most useful to them at any particular moment in time―Jacus Roden's militarism looks eminently profitable, but they'll get behind Mentas Blaque in a heartbeat if he looks more likely to accommodate their demands.
The magpies are easily the largest and most fickle group in Gallente politics. Though comprised of people from just about every profession and walk of life in the Federation, they are united by their short attention spans, a superficial understanding of politics, and the ability to become suffused with theatrical outrage at the drop of a hat. Typically they form a huge mass of fragmented interest groups, dissolving and reforming in a seemingly random manner as old causes become stale and boring and new ones sprout. The strongest force in Gallente politics occurs when a critical mass of these sybarites unite behind a particular cause, at which point support rapidly snowballs and they become nigh-unstoppable. This, thankfully, is a rare occurrence.
This group are still collecting themselves after recent shocks, but the smart money says they'll throw their support behind some kind of counter-attack. The exact form this effort might take is open to speculation, but the retributive mood swing seems inevitable. The political and military leadership knows that these opinions will likely not endure once casualties start to mount―but they also know that this group cares not one jot about which leader gets them what they want, so long as they get it.
These are likely the second largest bloc, encompassing a disproportionate number of ethnic Gallente, low-paid workers, and high-flying success stories. They have no real interest in politics or events on the federal stage. They're either happy enough with their lot or too busy to care, but the end result is the same. As many a politician has found out to her considerable cost, however, they cannot simply be ignored― a fair number of them vote, if only because they feel they ought to, although typically they just vote for whomever they've actually heard of (or failing that, the one with the most interesting name). Woe betide any would-be leader who actually manages to get their attention by interfering with their lives; a number of aspiring statesmen have destroyed a rival merely by insinuating to the right people that the rival is planning to reduce worker protections, clamp down on wild parties, or just interfere unnecessarily with peoples' lives.
This group's interest in the war extends only to muttering over headlines or having expansively irrelevant arguments about it, and most individuals in this group couldn't even tell you the current President's name―which is likely seen as a good thing by all concerned.
The Federation Senate spent three years in a silent war starting in YC 103 following the election of Souro Foiritan to the presidency. The point of contention was where the ultimate power within the Federation lay. The Senate, having become accustomed to prior presidents with little backbone, had the opinion it was the true leader of the Federation.
The Supreme Court was also dragged into this conflict as the champion of truth and reason, becoming a beacon of common sense between the other two sides.
A number of other political events which would otherwise be insignificant were blown out of proportion when the feuding sides used them as pretext to attack each other. Each side also employed use of propaganda in an attempt to claim victory. Their lawyers, PR stunt men, and the media became conduits for their deceit, sleaze, and hatred, leading to a general opinion that the only casualties of the conflict were truth and reason.
Senate leadership used lobbyists and moneymen to build a formidable position against President Foiritan during the power struggle, though some opinions felt this “fortress of special interests” became an ivory tower over time.
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