Oh, they were just outright evil.
I prefer a little conflict.
Road to Hell paved with good intentions... I mean look what happened to the Vulcans, they just stopped off to warn Zephram that his tail light was broken, and two hundred and 50 years later they're not just holding mans hand but propping up 150 worlds too timmid to nut up.
Dala built the foundations of the federation as a pozy scheme, but fatre that all collapsed, someone could have still used those alien ideal to build a new empire not bases on the protection of a tiny scout vessel like Voyager... How on earth coul the writers forget how unimpressive Voyager was when writing live fast and prosper?