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Old October 16 2013, 05:59 PM   #115
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: USA and UK surviving into the Trek era

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
If Earth's hundreds of nations did remain sovereign in the 22nd, 23rd and 24th centuries, what would United Earth's duties, responsibilities, and restrictions be?

The sovereign national governments of Earth would each send a representative to the United Earth body. The Prime Minister or President (or whatever) of a nation might themselves select a subordinate directly, or simply leave the selection to their Secretary of State, or legislature. The representative to the United Earth world government from the United States might be titled the "Undersecretary for United Earth Affairs," or something like that.

United Earth's duties as a non-ruling world government /international entity, subsequent to the formation of the Federation, would be to decide upon and sending a representative (or representatives plural) to the Federation Council.
So what you're saying is that both United Earth and the Federation would, in essence, not be answerable to the people -- that the people would not actually be able to vote for their own representatives in either U.E. or the UFP. Both would end up like the European Union or United Nations, with severe democratic deficits.

Sounds pretty awful to me. If I'm a 24th Century American, I want to be able to vote for my Member of the United Earth Parliament and my Federation Councillor, thank you very much.

Subsequent to the Federation, the UE would receive and send ambassadors directly with other Federation Members (we've saw this in TAS). And direct diplomatic relationships with political entities outside the Federation (we saw this is DS9).
We never saw United Earth "direct" diplomatic relations with political entities outside the Federation on DSN. In fact, DSN rather consistently depicted the Federation as being in control of foreign policy -- it was the Federation government that condemned the Klingon invasion of Cardassia, for instance, not the U.E. government.

Domestically, United Earth, as a limited international governing body, could be of use in diplomatic matters between sovereign nations here, the (limited) world governance would orchestrate and facilitate trade matters, disaster relief, and other activities.
On an Earth with national borders as necessarily porous as a society with transporter tech would create, I really don't see how a national polity could retain its sovereignty in any meaningful sense. The sheer amount of border-crossing and intercultural mixings would be guaranteed to eliminate the psychology of perceiving themselves as meaningfully separate from other nations.

There will also be a need for something like the US Coast Guard in space. Inside the solar system, on pathways between Earth and trading partners, and between colony worlds. After the establishment of the Federation it's possible that Starfleet could do this, but it might make more sense for it to be locally managed.
I think it makes sense to assume that most Federation Members have their own local space forces capable of providing local and in-system emergency response services, independent of the Federation Starfleet.

The ability of the Earth's hundreds of sovereign nations to control the purse strings of the UE governing body will be one of the ways to ensure that it remains within it's internationally agreed upon boundaries.
It is also a way to guarantee it would fail and go the way of the Articles of Confederation.
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