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The First Ponyville Mayoral Debate! (Open: Read the Rules)

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                                                                                                   mayor_mare_sig_by_dignifiedjustice-d49ik


The Mayor nodded as she searched for the next question. "Candidate Rich, If Ponyville is hit with an economic crisis, what is the first program you cut? Or, do you choose to raise revenues, and how?"

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spoiled.png.79a5adac26b4aa2af55d6279984da003.png

 

"By preference, a small but even cut across all expenditures."  Spoiled was quick to respond; this was very much in her wheelhouse, and an issue which she'd dedicated thought to even before considering being a mayoral candidate.  "It never struck me as wise to increase compulsory taxation during hard times, but special requests for donations to cover potential shortfalls would probably be employed in acute cases.  I am pleased to say that Ponyville's town government already runs without any great deal of unnecessary or inefficient expenditure, but that does mean that there are no non-essential programs that make for easy targets in a crisis.  That's based off the current budget, by the way; obviously any proposed investment or development spending increases I would enact would have to be put on hold to handle and stabilize the situation."

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It was something about the political scene that Strong Copper had never really understood; Why they couldn't just answer 'I don't know, but I intend to find out' if they legit didn't know the answer to the question? One would think that a small show of humility and honesty would be respected.

 

At any rate, the next question came and he cleared his throat a little before answering. "If you do not mind me asking, what exactly has caused the economic crisis in the first place?  Which businesses and industries in particular have been hit and are currently in more trouble then the others?" He paused for a moment before letting his gaze wonder over the crowd before continuing "As much as I would love to give a clear cut answer to the question, the truth is that my response would be dependent on the situation itself. The goal would be to try and stabilize the situation in Ponyville before it had a chance to spiral out of control and in the name of that sometimes budgets have to be tightened or new sources of revenue have to be found.  All I can promise is that if the situation arises, I will seek out the council of those more educated in how to bring the economy back into balance and try and develop the best plan possible for the circumstances."

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                                                                                                     mayor_mare_sig_by_dignifiedjustice-d49ik

"Candidate Copper," the Mayor began quickly to make up for lost time, "how would you rate the job performance of Princess Twilight Sparkle, and do you think there is more Canterlot can do to support our town?"

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"Considering that without Princess Sparkle there is a very real possibility that the Equestria most of us have grown up in wouldn't be here anymore,  I think it goes without question that she has done a pretty good job so far. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her myself, but from what I've been able to gleam she'll continue to try her hardest to do the best she can going forward." Was all that Copper felt like needed to be said in relation to the first part of that question. He did however take a moment to consider his answer for the second through.

 

"Do I believe that there is more that Canterlot could be doing to support Ponyville? Absolutely. Will it? That's... more complicated." The look on Strong Copper's face was that of someone who understood the issue from both sides... and there was a good chance that one side didn't want to hear what the other had to say. "While I have little doubt that Princess Sparkle's positive relationship with Ponyville will see it getting a bit more support then would normally be expected, she is now in charge of all of Equestria. From the smallest and most humble of hamlets to the sprawling cities, most of them will be trying to compete for her time, attention and resources... all three of which are limited resources and can only be spread so far."

 

"So while I will more then happily accept whatever resources and support that Canterlot can offer, but I strongly believe Ponyville should strive to be as self sustaining as possible. The less involvement we need from the Princess, the less stressful her job will be and the more she can focus on areas that aren't as well off as us."

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spoiled.png.79a5adac26b4aa2af55d6279984da003.png

 

Now here was an interesting question, but also a somewhat delicate one.  While Spoiled Rich had many and varied opinions about the influence of Princess Twilight upon Ponyville, she couldn't afford to be as free with them here as at the Rich family dinner table.  The purple pony was popular here, and it was altogether for the best to trade up on that favor, rather than waste political capital trying to tamp it down.  Fortunately, the way Mayor Mare phrased the question allowed her to take a tack on the question.

 

"It all depends on if you're asking about Canterlot the city, or are specifically referring to Crown initiative and funding.  The best thing that Canterlot the city ever did for ponyville was give us it's..."  She paused to try to think of a better word than 'rejects', which some political instinct warned her would not go over well.  "Shall we say, it's refugees?  There are many here today for whom the Mountain City of Marble was just not a good social or economic fit, Princess Twilight being technically among them!  Many take a house here because they actually can, and quite a few of our signature businesses are run by urban exiles.  All of whom have integrated themselves very well.
"If I were to give a suggestion to the Crown side of the question, I would make such resettlement an act of policy, rather than a happy accident.  Celestia knows that Canterlot is not short of ponies who would do much better in less... rarified environments.  Not all are aware of the opportunities which would await them in a growing country town.  It has the double benefit of also relieving pressure in that city, making it much more likely that such a policy will actually be enacted!  The easiest deals to cut are those which benefit both sides, after all."

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Strong Copper actually turned to look at Spoiled and raised an eyebrow at her, a look of actual anger starting to grow but keeping things civil in tone. "Oh I'm sorry. Are you honestly suggesting that Canterlot is in a state of political crisis? That it is so unstable and dangerous that ponies have no choice but to flee it? "  A deep breath to collect himself and stop things from growing into a shouting match, but when he continued there was a steel of warning in his tone. "You might try to hide it behind pretty words, but deciding to leave Canterlot to live elsewhere is not a personal failure. And trying to make resettlement a crown policy? Are you truly that mad?"

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The vehemence of Copper's response was unexpected; Spoiled hadn't been so naive to think that absolutely everything she said would be interpreted charitably, but that certainly sounded like a leap of logic to her!  With a genuinely surprised reaction, she leaned a little away from him behind her podium.  Apparently, her research upon Strong Copper hadn't uncovered all his triggers, but fortunately, her research into the issues under discussion gave her what she hoped was an unambiguously exonerating reply:

"All I am saying, Mr. Copper, is that what several citizens fear will happen to Ponyville if growth is not managed properly, namely pricing out and class pressure, is already happening in Canterlot.  That is why it is feared, because it does happen.  The capital's loss has in many cases our gain, but that doesn't mean that everypony who's barely scraping by has the wherewithal to foot the bill for their own moving expenses, or have any reserves to support themselves until they find a productive place in their destination.  I had thought it obvious enough that the Crown would have every reason to open the treasury to assist in such movements, for the mutual benefit of Canterlot, Ponyville, and other towns besides.  But do tell me your objections to this idea, Mr. Copper.  Are you prepared to maintain that everypony has the resources to alleviate their own misery, with no need for the Crown or Mayoral Office to bother about them?  Do you think that Canterlot is simply the shining city in which nopony could possibly face social exclusion from the local nobility and their clients?  If not, them please explain your issues, with either my words or myself, as it is clear that you have them."

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For a moment, it looked like Strong Copper was going to verbally lash out at Spoiled in anger. Her choice of words had triggered memories of a period in his life where... well, he didn't know who he was or where he was meant to be in the world. He had come into his cutie mark years later then most. While the world hadn't really cared at the time, Copper had always been his own harshest critic... and for a long, long time the idea of being a failure of a pony had haunted him.

 

However, instead he managed to reign himself in. One hoof came down on his speakers podium hard to steady himself while another hoof was raised in a motion to silently say to the current Mayor that he was fine, he just needed a moment. Breathing deeply, the fire that had been sparked faded until he was finally in a place where he was confident in talking again. "I would like to apologize.  Miss Rich's remarks brought to mind my last few years of living in Canterlot;  I'm sure many of you have learned by now, my special talent is in dealing with dangerous animals... and as you can imagine, there aren't that many dangerous, wild animals running around Canterlot. I didn't discover my talent or earn my cutie mark until years after everyone else my age had earned theirs. It got so bad that I was visiting distant relatives to see if I could find my talent... and the fact that I had to leave Canterlot in order to find my talent at all made a number of Canterlot nobility view me as a failure. Oh, they never said it to my face because that would be rude, but it bled into how they acted and talked with me."

 

"That doesn't excuse my outburst through. It was unprofessional for me to get angry and even more so for doing so towards my opponent for something she honestly had no way of knowing about." Turning to Miss Rich, he bowed his head remorsefully as he muttered "I am sorry."

 

Turning back to Mayor Mare, he politely requested "Please continue with the next question. I believe it was for Candidate Rich.

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