COLELIE - Kelen Ontbad, the noted Federation-born Vherokior artist, held an election holorally this morning from the Algintal Complex on Colelie X, the sprawling political megaplex housing the holographic artwork that first brought him to prominence in YC99. Speaking before an eclectic crowd of politicians, academics, artists and media personalities, and holocasting to millions across the Federation, Ontbad opened by touching on his motivation for running.
"I heard a calling that has being growing in intensity since I had the great honor to be a part of this magnificent structure's grand opening," he declared. "In the years since my work was chosen as the centerpiece of this building, I have been inspired by the fundamentals that motivate a political life and encouraged by the support of my people. I will take our aspirations and make them real."
A celebrated artist and philosopher whose topical works made him a spokesperson for one of the largest districts in Colelie, Ontbad's unique perspective on events and the popularity of his work has led to a groundswell of support. Political analysts have been quick to point out that a significant part of Ontbad's appeal has been his ability to speak unguardedly, and sometimes controversially, about political events.
"While polls have always remained positive despite reception to some of his more controversial works, and he has been a charismatic speaker on media networks, Ontbad may find it hard to censure his tendency to speak from the heart rather than the head," states University of Caille sociologist and political analyst, Dercel Ambrotte. "He's characteristic of the sort of political figure that has emerged in the past couple of years. Ontbad is someone who has not been stymied by political decorum and, unfortunately, this will influence voter assessment of his ultimate suitability."
Ambrotte commented further that Kelen's heritage has played a significant role in his campaign. Ontbad's recent speeches in favor of integration and reconciliation with expatriate Matari, following tensions in the region, have gained him considerable favor and financial support from citizens within his district.
"Gallente citizens have appreciated Ontbad's efforts to promote community relations with the Minmatar population, particularly in the aftermath of Karin Midular's assassination and the Colelie Incident," Ambrotte noted. However many commentators are not confident that this support will be as strong outside the Algintal constellation or the Minmatar community.
In the course of his holorally speech, Kelen Ontbad also drew attention to his campaigning, which began in an earnest, if rather unconventional manner shortly after the official announcement of the election timetable. "As you all know, I've already had success speaking with the wider Gallente community in the Vormwire virtual world," Ontbad pointed out. "This is an entertainment I have already enjoyed a great deal personally as an artist. I have always wanted to capitalize on the ability to address citizens across all regions, using virtual entertainment's palette of tools to lend ideas and concepts a clearer expression."
The ability of Ontbad to influence an audience beyond the worlds of virtual entertainment and digital art remains unclear in the run up to close of voting at midnight on Thursday 29th.