The Political Situation in the 'Verse
After the Miranda Broadcast, the Alliance is shaken. Very few believe the official story: the broadcast was a prank during a test of the emergency communications system (“Those responsible are being held for questioning,” a representative assures us). But they have not yet lost control.
Of several threats to the Alliance, the most promising is the New Alliance. It is a political party, headed by the attractive and charismatic Tsen Lung Finway. The Tsen Lung clan have been the outcasts of the Core high society for two generations, due to several rather outspoken comments against tariffs on raw goods imports from the rim. Now, taking advantage of the political upheaval, they have made a bid for power, encouraging anti-Alliance sentiment through a vigorous ad campaign and multiple broadcast interviews with Finway (urging the central planets not to lie down and take the abuse! Elect the New Alliance!). The official platform: the New Alliance will assure each citizen’s safety, will maintain constant contact with the public concerning governmental activities, and will work to facilitate interplanetary trade. Though many of the ’verse’s respectable and wealthy still support the Alliance, Finway continues to gain ground as the Miranda Broadcast goes without creditable explanation.
The border planets do not go without their champion. Rush Bracken, ex-Independence officer and respected shepherd, has rallied much of the former browncoat supporters under his flag. He promises to out those “no-good, meddling Alliance,” and restore religious more-ality; his speeches continuously attempt to play on the old hatred and fears of the border inhabitants. Since the Tsen Lung are receiving most central planet anti-Alliance support, it seems unlikely that Bracken will gain enough followers from the sparsely populated border to compete.
Military hardships for the Alliance have come in two forms. Recruitment has sunk to record lows, and guerrilla attacks are occurring at increasing rates on the Rim. Small groups of what seem to be ordinary village youths take on Alliance patrols, guards, and any other small group of soldiers that show their faces. Consequently, military lawkeepers are stretched thin, with no promise of relief in the near future.