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Old July 1 2013, 06:49 AM   #110
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Poli sci geek that I am, I'm especially intrigued by the differences in how the Federation government functioned in the 2160s vs the 2380s. In particular, the Federation Commission reminds me (intentionally, I'm sure) of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (aka, the Council of Ministers). The Federation at this point is a slightly stronger version of the E.U. in some ways.
I did use the EU as a model, yes. But the analogy for the Council of the EU would be the Joint Ministerial Conferences, such as the defense ministers' conference on Deneva.
Ah, okay -- I conflated the Federation Commission with the Joint Ministerial Conferences in my memory, probably because of Noar's invoking the ministers in his threat to remove Admiral Shran.

I see the Babel Conference in "Journey to Babel" as being another example of that, although with planetary ambassadors rather than ministers per se (although UFP ambassadors seem to have a different role than ambassadors today).
Well, they seem to be Ambassadors of the Federation Member to the Federation itself, rather than Ambassadors of the Federation to non-Federation states -- which certainly seems to imply a fundamentally different role from representatives of two truly independent states to one-another, yeah.

The idea that the Federation had regular JMCs throughout its early years is interesting, and does explain what exactly was going on in "Journey to Babel." Though I would point out that Kirk's opening narration in that episode seems to imply that the Federation is in the midst of a constitutional crisis over the admission of Coridan. So I would suggest that the events of that episode may not represent standard constitutional procedure, depending on how you interpret things.

I'm also intrigued that Thomas Vanderbilt is the President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, rather than being President of the United Federation of Planets. I'm wondering what the substantive difference in executive powers are between the two offices; to make a comparison, the old President of the United States in Congress Assembled (aka, the President of the Congress) under the Articles of Confederation was a very different office than the President of the U.S. You would think that this would mean that Vanderbilt was, in essence, the Federation Council's presiding officer rather than an actual head of state and head of government; yet his role in the novel is virtually identical to that of the Federation Presidents in other novels and films/episodes. He's even referred to as the "commander-in-chief" of the Federation Starfleet.
Yeah, I was kind of hedging there, suggesting that maybe he was a different category of president, that the rules were different at the time. But I was kind of winging it. I suppose any ambiguity could reflect the piecemeal nature of the UFP government at this stage.
Hmm. I'm intrigued by some of the story possibilities this apparent evolution of the office suggests.
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