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Old August 16 2009, 07:20 PM   #6
neozeks
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Re: Star Trek: Governance

Verteron, I salute you for this very fine analysis.

I have just a few points to make:
Verteron wrote: View Post
This seems to indicate the Federation President is elected, but this could still be an 'election' among members of the Federation Council as opposed to a general election and popular vote. Still, I lean towards the former.
I think I actually lean towards the indirect option. The direct option would be more democratic but considering just how huge and diverse the Federation and it's population are, the difficulties of campaigning and voting also seem quite huge. Computers and advanced communications could solve the problem, though.

The Federation government is pretty obviously headquartered on Earth, but this is analogous to the Federal government of the U.S. being headquartered in one of its constituent states rather than the District, as it is now. One could argue this might be a better arrangement (as it does seem the Federation President has a tendency to meddle in what would otherwise seem to be Earth-specific affairs), but nonetheless this does seem to be the model we have.
I guess Earthers choose to accept a greater federal influence on their planet because in return they also get prestige and a somewhat larger and more direct influence on the federal institutions themselves.

I imagine there is a multi-level government on Earth that includes leaders for each town, each region, each country (who might still be called 'Presidents' of their respective countries, i.e. there might still be a POTUS) under the leader of United Earth, who might also be called the President (of Earth) and democratically elected. We've never seen him or her, but this person may well be responsible for the day to day running of Earth.
In a story in the (non-canon, of course) book 'Tales of the Dominion War', a UE Prime Minister is mentioned which would suggest Earth uses a parliamentary or at least semipresidential system. There was also a Minister in an ENT eoisode.

In terms of the 'invisibility' of the Earth government in the 24thC, this is really to be expected.
It's also important that we actually VERY rarely see 24thC Earth in the series. We're usually following Federation ships and personel. Kind of like, if you watched a series about a US navy ship, you won't hear very much about the government of say, New York State.

What we're actually seeing is a 'post-scarcity' society, which is a fundamentally different form of society that cannot exist without ST's magic technologies, but seems like a natural way for things to go once anyone can have anything they want for free.
Energy, land and means of transportation are still finite though. I'd imagine that while everyone still freely gets enough credits (there was this site that had a nice, detailed theory on this) for comfortable living (sufficient housing, enough energy for replicating most stuff you need, ordinary transportation needs, medical coverage), you still have to earn, by working or saving, additional credits for more luxury stuff like a really beautiful house on a very good location, buying a more-energy-demanding or handmade object (didn't Scotty buy a boat?), a trip to the other side of the Federation and such.
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