^Sure the President has to win some sort of election but is it by popular vote of the electorate or does the council elect the President from their members?
I'll never understand why this is such a popular hypothesis when it stands in defiance of basic nomenclature. If he were elected from among the Federation Council by the Council, then why wouldn't he be called the Federation Prime Minister? There's only one presidency in the world where the President is elected by the legislature from among the legislators -- the South African Presidency.... which evolved from the old apartheid-era South African Prime Ministry. The clear outlier.
Every other state that has the head of government elected by and from among the legislature calls that head of government "Prime Minister" or something that translates to such. Hypothesizing that the Federation President is elected by and from among the Council adds another layer of needless complication with no evidence to support it.
Occum's Razor: The Federation President is an actual president, not a prime minister, and is elected by the people.
The Overlord wrote:
Besides the Federation is supposed to be a utopia, wouldn't a Utopian have civilian involvement in how the government is run? It be more like a dystopia if the civilians had no real say in how the government is run.
Which government, though? Starfleet doesn't seem to concern itself with anything smaller than the Federartion government. Perhaps elections take place from city government levels up to world government levels freely and purely democratically. But at the interstellar level, Starfleet picks the Federation President puppet, and makes sure some other operatives are available to pretend to be the Federation Council occasionally. Having the appearance of a democracy keeps the Federation population appeased, while the surrounding empires continuously underestimate the too-good-to-be-true Federation that is, in actuality, a military dictatorship!
.... so what's the point of Star Trek
, again, then? Because you might as well say that the "real" lesson of Batman
is "Become a criminal and mug people to support yourself" if you argue that's the point of Star Trek