This is the subversion post. It sits in the middle and is uncomfortable and usually will be quite dreary, like a more poorly written Lemony Snicket novel, without all the great humor. Writing it was depressing. You've been warned.
Unfortunately Padme was right: she can't convince the Senate, but not because of her lack of ability. The Senate is so bogged down by corruption that it can't hear her. There's nothing to be done, so long as everyone's deadlocked. Palpatine then plants the bug in her ear about demanding a vote of no confidence and his plans begins to emerge: this whole incident is his attempt to become leader of the Republic. He plays on Padme's greatest strength, her compassion, and leverages it against her for his own gain. Padme's hope that the system will save her people is well-known to Palpatine, who is very aware of her young and impressionable age. Far as he's concerned he's sidelined her for the rest of the conflict by having the Senate first find a new chancellor.
It's moments of realization like these that make me half wish that Episode III had been rated R for violence against the Jedi. Fortunately Lucas had more restraint than I would have had.
To call the subversion of Episode 1 bleak is an understatement. There are no good guy or bad guys, just people who ignore others' pain and those that inflict it. As Palpatine states, there is no justice, only vicious politics from sociopaths all dressed up in pretty clothes. The Sith are right to want to tear the whole thing down, really. Their motives are certainly not good but the realization that something must be done to fix the system is certainly valid. And more often than not the Overworld doesn't want to fix things. We're comfortable in our shells and our cruelty is socially acceptable, so why not let things go as they are? But be careful, because by hating the Jedi we hate ourselves. We may very well want to be Luke, but most of us are far more like the Council than anything else. Complacent and arrogant to the point of ignorance we move along in our little enclosed worlds, self assured that the way we're living is the right way to live.
Oh, how the Shadow and Sith disagree.
Fortunately Padme has other plans. And thank God, too. I need a bit of a break from such relentlessly pretty darkness. Oh wait, she's not the hero either. Crap.