Feature: Five dubious elected officials in video games

Conveniently left out of Steven Spielberg’s 2012 Oscar winning autobiographical movie charting the final months of the US’ 16th President was his subsequent return to form a group of seasoned soldiers, plucky children and cowardly lions to battle an icy insectoid threat to all of creation.

Largely keeping Abraham Lincoln‘s oratory powers for the odd cutscene this president opts instead to let giant mechanical fists and semi-automatic weapons do the talking in Codename S.T.E.A.M.  A fitting tribute to a character that has generally changed the real world for good you might ask?  Well he does command a crack squad of warriors that brandish extendable boxing glove cannons and exploding penguin bombs.  In a better world that would settle argument.

Pluses: Deft piloting skills, controlling a humongous golden steam powered mecha known as A.B.E that is built in his own likeness that provides a less than subtle means of punching and blowing away creatures of pure darkness.  Also the inspiration for a bombastic sing along theme tune and armed with the latest in steam technology.  Carries mostly positive real life qualities of self sacrifice and general selflessness, not to mention a bitchin’ hat.


Minuses:  Egomaniac, he does controls a humongous golden steam powered mecha known as A.B.E that is built in his own likeness, bombastic theme tune et al. Unwilling to get stuck in, despite the aforementioned golem Honest Abe stays free of the slightly messy turn-based ground work.

William MacPherson was an U.N.  envoy who led an international effort to rid the small island nation of Sercia from the millenia long Garo monarchy. With the help of VSSE the tyrannical regime was overthrown and ‘free’ elections where held and, as man not from the country and backed by foreign partners, MacPherson won. History is written by the victors, because it sounds like he instigated a coup. Two or three years after the Garo loyalist kidnap MacPherson’s daughter kicking off the event of the first Time Crisis. Wherein, he again calls on foreign powers to rescue his daughter and restore order.

Pluses: International support, MacPherson is the U.N. backed candidate. Connections to covert agencies, maybe its undemocratic but he has the ability to call on international secret services to maintain his power in times of crisis.

Minuses: Jingoism, we don’t know enough about his political opponents but the ruling party wasn’t allowed to run in the first fair elections in Sercia’s history. Ineffective command of the military, sure the VSSE were in place to safeguard his rule but a group of mercenaries should have been stopped be the group was able to secure MacPherson’s daughter where is his support from the existing forces on Sercia.

Dour is one of several mayors the titular character meets in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Turning to an outside Italian contractor to deal with Mayor Dour‘s ‘pig problem’ should ring warning bells for anti-corruption watchdogs. Furthermore, the electorate seem very downtrodden like the sun has never shone on there little corner of (Paper) Mario Land.

Pluses: Understands the electorate, normally a shabby ragdoll-like appearance wouldn’t pass in the image-consciousness world of political spin but here its what the voters want! Revolutionary transport policies, infrastructure costs loads to maintain and tolling is never popular so this mayor has implemented a favour-for-access system.

Minuses: Connections to the mob, I’m not saying that Mario is a gangster but he does work infrastructure and does alot of jobs with members of a family turning to him might be a mistake. Is now a pig, Mayor Dour’s ineffective management of Twilight Town’s pig problem saw him and his only chit go decidedly porcine.

In Saints Row IV, The Boss has been sworn into the office of President of the USA. He’s brought his rag tag band with him and appointed them in worryingly powerful positions for  a group of psychotic gangsters. On the plus side, The Boss has had the time to either cure cancer or end world hunger and been the first president to make contact with extraterrestrials – shortly before the aforementioned aliens destroy the Earth.

Pluses: Business nous, The Boss took a lowly street gang and made it an international multi-media empire. Celebrity endorsements, Burt Reynolds; David James (?); Rowdy Roddy Piper all approve of this candidate.

Minuses: Cronyism, filling your cabinet with gangland pals doesn’t breed confidence. Apocalyptic, unless your Morgan Freeman being the last president of the Unites States is never going to go down well in the history books.

Emerging in an era when men like Bruce Springsteen ruled the world, Final Fight’s Mike Haggar was largely a no nonsense hero for a city riddled with corruption, homoerotic gangs and seemingly endless street battles.  Armed only with a rugged, yet sensible moustache and some rugged, yet rather less sensible green dungarees, Haggar literally took cleaining up the streets into hos own violent hands

Leaving behind the grimy world of professional wrestling for the public sector, Haggar took a no nonsense approach to being the Mayor of Metro City.  However, the Mad Gear gang, fed up with his unspecific, but effective anti-corruption work and unparalleled tache kidnapped his daughter for leverage.  Hundreds of gang members would be killed by Haggar’s bare-hands assisted by his daughter’s boyfriend and a guy in pyjamas. His hardline approach to violence is also divisive with hundreds of bodies that he brutally put down left on the city’s streets, subways and restaurants in the name of rescuing his daughter.

Pluses: A hands on mayor, Haggar is no fan of delegating or wasting taxpayer money on a shirt, a gun, a hit squad or even his own well being, Haggar is a civil servant whose devotion to his daughter is unflappable as his dungarees.  Green credentials, with a zero tolerance approach to waste, eating food he finds on the street or in bins and being able to make absolutely anything into a weapon.  When pushed he can also hold out his hands and spin around really quickly while legitimately doing damage to wrong doers.

Negatives: Poor community relations, whether traipsing through Metro City’s rundown public transportation network, downtown or the run down slum areas Haggar appears to forgo conversation instead of straight up brutally putting down the problems of street gangs and undesirables. Pig-headed, like all classic toughmen you are either with him or against him, whether man, woman, mutant or just about anything breathing.

Featured image is sourced from an article titled “Election 2015: Sunderland aiming to be first to declare results for sixth time in a row” on the International Business Times. Used without permission, please contact squareblind (at) email (dot) com if you are the copyright holder and wish this image to be removed.


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