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Old October 5 2012, 06:12 AM   #107
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Re: TP: Brinkmanship by Una McCormack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

MatthiasRussell wrote: View Post
Shouldn't the fact that the negotiator was representing the Cardassian government show that she was a participant in a democratic republic?
It demonstrates that she is a participant in the democratic process, but not that she is in favor of democracy. Weimar Germany had a number of powerful political figures in its Parliament and administrations who did not actually favor democracy and wanted to bring back the imperial autocracy that Germany had held under the Kaiser -- which was part of how Hitler came to power.

It would be perfectly plausible for the book to depict anti-democratic factions within the new Cardassian government as having enough power to install one of their own as lead Cardassian negotiator.

Pointing out that she is a democrat seems partly irrellevant and partly judgemental of other political persuasions.
It is not irrelevant, because it would not have been implausible for an anti-democrat to be appointed to the position. It is judgmental of Cardassian politics, yes. After two major wars started by Cardassian militarism, the Federation has every right to be judgmental of the militaristic faction within the Cardassian power elite and to openly favor Cardassian democrats.

Plus, as I said, Romulans are democrats
Actually, up until Rough Beasts of Empire, we had no idea by which members of the Romulan Senate were selected. Rough Beasts established that the Senate is comprised of representatives from the Romulan aristocracy, the Hundred families, whose clans appoint one of their own as Senator.

Meanwhile, both the novels and the canon have established the existence of a Romulan monarchy. The Emperor or Empress usually ruled as a ceremonial head of state, with the Praetor as the head of government with real power. The Romulan throne has fallen vacant since the assassination of Shiarkeik, but there's been no indication that the Monarchy has been formally abolished.

So, no, the Romulan Star Empire is neither a democracy nor a republic.

and Klingons are militant.
Yes -- but the Klingon Empire have been a great deal less aggressive to the Federation in the past half-century than the Cardassian Union.

You might recall that in TOS's "Errand of Mercy," Kirk cited Federation democracy as a reason the UFP was better than the Empire. So when the Federation and the Empire were in a similar state of hostilities the prior century, Federates were just as likely to look down upon Klingon feudalism as Cardassian autocracy.

So does one form of government really incline a people to be friendlier with the UFP?
The Federation obviously sees the fledging Cardassian democracy movement as friendlier than the remnants of the old Central Command, yes. Probably has to do with that Central Command doing things like starting major wars.

They may be democratic, but they are still Cardassians. A culture doesn't change in a few years time.
But Cardassian culture has had democracy in the past, and has had an underground movement for democratic reform for a long time. Cardassians are perhaps the least homogenous of all Star Trek cultures.
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
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