Nerys Ghemor wrote:
I would really hate to see them join the Federation. It would be nice to see someone manage to reform and yet NOT feel this burning need to subsume their culture and independence to the almighty Federation. In fact--you know what would be REALLY cool? To see someone rival the Federation not in military might but in a "friendlier" sort of competition. I'd like to see the Federation face the fact that they're no longer looked to as the galactic be-all end-all. I think a post-war, reformed Cardassia could be exactly the right sort of challenge: a society that is no longer expansionistic, but also refuses to embrace relativism/pluralism, and that stays conservative. I think it could cause a great deal of discomfort in the Federation and near it, maybe shake up that self-righteousness a bit.
I'd like to see them in the Federation, as commentators on the smug self-assurance of the Feds, even as they find that the values held by those obnoxious humans, Vulcans, and so forth are actually their own. I'd like to see a Cardassia that's on the brink of realizing they need not be "conservative" in order to prosper--that they need not be afraid in order to survive.
Of course, I also think the novels dropped the ball off the roof of the Sears Tower when they decided not to have a Cardassia occupied for years or decades by the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. I couldn't believe the Cards already had their own government independent of an allied commission. Good God, in Destiny they've already begun rebuilding their fleet.
I mean, I can almost see the Feds doing something this reckless, but the Klingons and Romulans would have torn the corpse of the Union to pieces in the absence of a Federation presence.