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Old May 27 2014, 10:16 PM   #23
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: What should be the minimal requirements for Federation members?

Canonically, the criteria are vague. We know that Federation Members have to have a unified planetary government ("Attached") and must ban caste-based discrimination ("Accession"). Given the various references to a society's "maturity," I suspect it is safe to infer that Federation Member candidates must have achieved the kinds of social progress outlined as Earth's accomplishments after First Contact in ST:FC: Abolition of war and poverty, improved health care, etc.

Personally, if I'm writing the Articles of the Federation, my criteria would be:

- Presence of a unified government encompassing at least one planetary surface if a planet-based society
- Presence of a unified government encompassing the culture's entire territory if the society is not primarily planet-based (a society of astroid colonies, for instance)
- Minimum and maximum population levels, to ensure relative equality of representation on the Federation Council
- Government must be a constitutional liberal democracy (meaning, it must function according to law, it must guarantee certain inalienable rights, and it must obtain a democratic mandate which regularly expires and must be renewed)
- Universal adult suffrage
- Maintenance of a welfare state ensuring minimum wealth for all citizens and residents
- Maximum limit to the amount of wealth any citizen or resident may accumulate to prevent the evolution of an oligarchy
- Presence of either an advanced social democratic economy (capitalism with strong socialist programs to curb excess inequality) or a democratic market socialist economy (socialism with capitalist traits to curb excesses), both designed to minimize economic oppression
- Adoption of a strong program of ecological sustainability in the functioning of the economy and of technology, or serious attempts thereof
- Absence of social structures built around or perpetuating privilege, racism, bigotry, sexism, heterosexism, classism, religious oppression, or other forms of oppression
- Renunciation of militarism, jingoism, or other forms of war-mongering
- History of social policies of serious reparations and restitution if such oppressions have existed in the past
- Overall a relatively egalitarian social order
- Presence of a strong mechanism to enforce and protect civil rights and liberties
- Presence of a vibrant civil society
- Absence of any form of slavery or forced labor
- Presumption of innocence in criminal cases
- Absence of capital punishment
- Willingness to abide by the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution

Of course, there's the question of just what the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution actually consist of.
Democratic socialism is the hope of human freedom.
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