Charles L. Harness, Former Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union and President of the MAFC Interstellar Coordination Committee
Charles L Harness is from a distinguished New Mars family with a long history of public service. Members of his family have served on the Senate and the Council of the Martian Union. Charles graduated from the prestigious Amway College in 3160 with a degree in Law, and went straight into politics, initially as a city councillor in Crater City. He first successfully stood for the Council of the Martian Union in 3172, and has held his seat there at every election since - now some seven successive victories. Many argue that it is his sheer staying power (and the backing of his wealthy family) that has guaranteed his slow but sure rise through the ranks of Martian politics. Certainly his career has been unusual in that he has never stood for the Senate, concentrating instead on stamping his authority on the Council of the Union. A centrist by instinct, he has always been part of the Central Democratic faction, and came to lead it in the 3190s after the previous leader retired.
Harness is famously laconic - he has often frustrated interviewers by exchanging only half a dozen monosyllabic words in ten minutes. His wife, Nancy, herself heiress to a mining fortune, one famously bet him at a dinner party that she could get at least three words of conversation from him during the evening. His reply was simply: "you lose." Likewise he is also notorious for his relaxed attitude to work and long holidays. Nevertheless, he kept in touch with the voters of the Martian Union by an exhausting series of visits to all of the MAFC worlds of Q0, rather than remaining on New Mars. Intially this helped to keep public support for him and his party, and he always scored highly with the voters on issues of trust and integrity, important in the wake of the scandal that brought down the Pickles Administration. However, questions were asked about his judgement following the Douglas Affair, and Councillor Harness chose to take early retirement from politics.