OPINION: CAN CONSUL SCAEVOLA WORK WITH EMPEROR AUGUSTUS?
By: Helvidius Tantalus Priscus, Urbem Sol Today
His Majesty and Empress Aurelia speaking with Sen. Gaius Tulius Malinius, senior senator from Stabiae.
The 2016 Senatorial elections came as a shock to the Urbem Sol cognoscenti, with the formerly-majority Populares receiving a crushing defeat at the polls. With the Optimates and their conservative coalition now firmly in control of the Senate, Sen. Quintus Mucius Scaevola elected Consul, and a mandate from the Eurasia people to enact more conservative policies, the question now becomes: can Consul Scaevola and the Optimates work with Emperor Augustus? The opinions of experts vary.
One the one hand, sources within the Imperial Palace have indicated that His Majesty does in fact sympathize with Scaevola on many an issue. One source, which I can confirm to be very high within the Imperial bureaucracy, said "His Majesty has wanted to persue a number of agendas that the liberal nature of the Senate prevented him from doing."
The source went on to say "Don't misunderstand me, His Majesty and Sen. Robledo had a very close working relationship, but Robledo was a committed noninterventionist, and Augustus isn't."
Could this mean seeing an increased Eurasian presence around the world, more so than since the Populares gained a supermajority in the Senate almost ten years ago?
On the other hand, the Optimates wil have a difficult time implementing many of their domestic policies, as Emperor Augustus is a well-known domestic leftist and is unlikely to allow any threats to his domestic agenda to pass. This puts the Optimates in the position of needing to compromise with His Majesty to achieve any of their domestic goals. Whether this will affect their standing in the next election is anyone's guess, but it is unlikely they will lose the faith of the electorate.
Scaevola will also need to forge a personal relationship with His Majesty if he wants to implement his agenda, a feat which may be more difficult than thought. Emperor Augustus and Sen. Robledo maintained a close working relationship, and this allowed Robledo to push his platform through the Senate with little complaint from His Majesty. Scaevola will need to show the Emperor that he can, in fact, work on both sides of the aisle to enact his policy goals, lest he be hammered into submission with an Imperial veto.
There is, however, a benefit to Scaevola's election for Augustus. While he and the new Consul may often bicker on domestic issues, they are united in their foreign stance. It was no secret in the upper echelons of Urbem Sol political society that His Majesty sought increased diplomatic and military presence across the world, but was hampered in this regard by the noninterventionist position of Robledo. As was mentioned above, many believe that Augustus may well take an increasingly active role for Eurasia abroad. Analysts believe that the recent announcement of Prime Minister Trudeau of the UKZ to visit Urbem Sol was a result of this ability of His Majesty to maneuver diplomatically. Were he to have attempted to enact a policy of reconciliation with the UKZ with Robledo as Consul, any treaty that he attempted to push through would likely have been blocked. With Scaevola as Consul, a treaty is far more likely to pass, due both to Scaevola being unwilling to spend political capital blocking it and due to the Optimates and their coalition being largely apathetic towards the UKZ and OMNI as a whole.
Further proof of this can be seen in Augustus' recent, and unexpected, decision to send a large contingent of Imperial troops to Blukon to aid New-Zealand in its fight against insurgents therein. His Majesty had refused to comment on the situation for some time, with many analysts now believing this tight-lipped policy was in anticipation of the Senatorial election; His Majesty did not want to enact a major change in foreign policy during the throes of upheaval that are Eurasian elections. The anouncement, which came not even a week after the Populares' defeat, signals an increase in military activity across Eurasia.
If increased cooperation is the goal of this new Consular administration and of His Majesty, he should press for it with all stead. If it is to reinvigorate Eurasia's military and colonial presence abroad, he should most certainly press for it.