Well, I don't know that I can condemn the Federation as whole-heartedly as you have, Thor - yes, it is arrogant, but I think for the most part, its representatives are trying to do the right thing, and that counts for a lot. That's what makes them so annoying: that they are often - though certainly not always - so sure they know what the right thing is. For everybody.
But I don't know that I much like the idea of the AQ without them, either! The quadrant could do worse.
Yeah, maybe I'm being a bit to harsh on the Feds. The UFP is after all a interplanetary democracy that has played a huge role in protecting the AQ from the Borg and Dominion and provides peace and stability for it's citizens, which does deserve some respect.
But that does not make the UFP the be all and end all, it's still one nation amongst many.
Besides if the Federation was not there we might have the Klingons as the dominant AQ power