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Old August 19 2009, 08:49 PM   #14
neozeks
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Re: Star Trek: Governance

Sci wrote: View Post
The Federation President, by contrast, has been consistently depicted as being both the head of government and the head of state. If the head of government is determined by or from amongst the legislature, then the head of government is a Prime Minister or President of the Government, not the President of the state. Ergo, the Federation President cannot be selected by the Council.
Heh, just to be picky, the President of South Africa is both a head of state and a head of government and is elected by the lower house of the SA Parliament.
Of course, this is an exceptionally rare case. In the end the point is that even though a president can be elected by a parliament, if you're going to give him substantial powers it's smarter and more democratic to draw his power directly from the people.

In fact, the canon has seemed to imply that the President shares a lot of power with the Council. It was the Council, for instance, that issued the Enterprise her orders in "The Defector," and it was the Council that determined Federation policy towards the Klingon invasion of Cardassia in "The Way of the Warrior."
Yeah, from time to time the Council does seem to micromanage a lot. Sometimes it seems it's not just a legislature but does some executive jobs as well. How exactly are it's member elected? Are they like US Senators or are they representatives of the member planets' governments?

Articles establishes that the Federation President must, amongst his/her duties, preside over full sessions of the Council, and always works closely with the relevant Councillors from a given issue's Council committee. The President is also responsible for nominating Councillors for a given committee, with the full Council then confirming it...
I really should read that novel.

A strict separation of church and state is not a necessary condition of liberal democracy. The United Kingdom is a liberal democracy, yet it has a state religion in the form of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland.
Yeah, well them Brits have always been peculiar, having no Constitution and all that. Heck, who knows what the Queen could legally do if she really wanted. Of course, tradition and convention are as strong as law in this case. Existence of a state religion is also much more a case of tradition than of any real substance.

I seem to recall than in some episode a political decision had to be made and aside from the secular government, the Vedek Assembly also held a vote. I could be wrong though, and in the end you're right, it's unclear.
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