On the other hand, it might be trivially simple for the technologically savvy Federation to arrange a popular vote on every issue, from the formulation of points of law to their interpretation in court to the scheduling of public transportation to the color of the sky today. Governments might have been abandoned as an outdated concept, the profession of politician regarded as not only petty but downright criminal.
In practice, that would mean people would be voting about 100% of their waking hours, of course. But a bit of technology would certainly make that possible, just like it makes it possible for me to spend 100% of my waking hours arguing Star Trek if I wish. And the technology collecting and analyzing the votes could and should also be rigged to pass statistical judgement on which votes from which voters are admissible, eliminating the problem of age of majority: a young kid's votes would count on certain issues for which he or she had demonstrated sufficient maturity, while a virile man of sixty-four would be banned from voting on issues where he had been declared immature. It would all come down to merciless number-crunching and iteration of voter satisfaction through repeated revoting, leaving little room for counterarguments in the banning process.
Yet in Star Trek, the point stands that we have never seen
anybody vote on anything, and have only heard of Ambassadors (or their planets, depending on the interpretation) ever passing a vote of any sort. Yet Kirk considers "us" a democracy...
Kor, Commandant of Organia: "You of the Federation, you are much like us."
Kirk: "We're nothing like you. We're a democratic body- "
Is he perhaps saying that Starfleet
is a democratic body, which is why the UFP (despite not being a particularly democratic head for the body) is better than the Klingon Empire?