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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 31 2012, 03:26 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Not an in-joke as the Soviet Union still existed when The Naked Now was produced.
But we could treat it as one.

I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea of Trek being an alternate reality where the Soviet Union simply didn't cease to exist.
The problem with that is that the dissolution of the Union in 1991 is a canonical fact, from VOY "Future's End".

Of course, we may speculate that the Union and its intelligence arm KGB were later reinstated, which is why Tom Paris fails to remember that there was no USSR as of 1996.

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Old July 31 2012, 03:30 PM   #32
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Timo wrote: View Post
Not an in-joke as the Soviet Union still existed when The Naked Now was produced.
But we could treat it as one.

I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea of Trek being an alternate reality where the Soviet Union simply didn't cease to exist.
The problem with that is that the dissolution of the Union in 1991 is a canonical fact, from VOY "Future's End".

Of course, we may speculate that the Union and its intelligence arm KGB were later reinstated, which is why Tom Paris fails to remember that there was no USSR as of 1996.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 31 2012, 05:45 PM   #33
Doug Otte
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
Obviously, the Federation as a whole is a democracy founded on American ideals, as demonstrated in the episode "The Omega Glory," Kirk can even recite parts of the Constitution!
Again, not really. Due to widespread pop culture, I can quote parts of the US Constitution, and I'm not even American nor I live in a country founded on "American ideals".

It would be useful if you defined what you mean by "pure democracy".
When I first read the original post, I almost asked the same question, but I looked up the term first:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti...re%20democracy

So, in a pure democracy, every citizen has an equal say in every vote. Extremely impractical, as you can guess. I don't think it's ever existed in the real world. In practice, we have varying flavors of indirect democracy.

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Old July 31 2012, 05:56 PM   #34
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
What is the Federation's system of government in Kirk's day? And what parallel track did history follow to reach that point?

We know, at any rate, that Soviet Russia must have survived into Kirk's day, even as a sub-state of the Federation. Chekov refers to Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg), which would indicate the the Soviet Regime had at least a nominal voice in the Russian government. Obviously, the Federation as a whole is a democracy founded on American ideals, as demonstrated in the episode "The Omega Glory," Kirk can even recite parts of the Constitution! Their history must have diverged from our own after the 1960s, because in the episode "Assignment: Earth," no visible difference can be seen. Obviously, Khan came out of the "Genetic Wars" placed sometime in the 1990s. Science seems to advanced hugely in some areas (interstellar travel!) and yet remained oddly primitive in others (tape-based computers?) Also, the Federation, for all its talk of equal rights of races, seems oddly dominated by humans. Consider the fact that Spock is the only non-Terran serving on the Enterprise!
Given the evidence, in comparison with later series, I would say the Terran Federation is not quite the ultra-pure democracy it is made out to be! Not only do Terrans dominate the corridors of the Enterprise, but every other ship that is seen in TOS has, (at the very least) a human captain.
I would also conclude that history probably diverged around the 1970s, with a scientific emphasis on physics over computerization.
Please reply, either if you agree with me or don't. I am always open to new evidence.
Given that Earth itself appears to have a Parlimentary based Government (i.e. Westminster). It could be argued that is the philosphy Earth would persue for the UFP council. With a simple one member one vote system.

As for the Federation President themself, there is no indication that they have any special powers not afforded to a Parlimentary style leader. Declaring martial law. When we did see it, he might still have needed final council approval or approval from the UE Government.

Earth it's self might have a President as a head of state, whilst the real power lies in the Prime Minister (Head of Government)
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Old July 31 2012, 06:31 PM   #35
T'Girl
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Given that Earth itself appears to have a Parlimentary based Government
Where is this from?

USSR might stand for something other than union of soviet socialist republics. Union and republics might still be the bookends, but the two S's are ...

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Old July 31 2012, 07:01 PM   #36
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Union of Self-Styled Republics? Union of Self-Serving Republics? Union of Super Safe Republics?
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Old July 31 2012, 08:20 PM   #37
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Union of Self-Styled Republics? Union of Self-Serving Republics? Union of Super Safe Republics?
Union of Super Sexy Republics!
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Old July 31 2012, 08:47 PM   #38
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

As the name of the science vessel Tsiolkovsky was spelled in Cyrillics, one would actually expect the rest of the text in that plaque to follow form. So, no USSR there, but SSSR, which would look roughly like CCCP in Cyrillics.

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Old July 31 2012, 08:53 PM   #39
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Timo wrote: View Post
As the name of the science vessel Tsiolkovsky was spelled in Cyrillics, one would actually expect the rest of the text in that plaque to follow form. So, no USSR there, but SSSR, which would look roughly like CCCP in Cyrillics.

Timo Saloniemi
Given the 80's budget issues, they probably added to it after the fact and couldn't afford the Russian translator for a second day.
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Old August 1 2012, 12:16 AM   #40
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
We know, at any rate, that Soviet Russia must have survived into Kirk's day, even as a sub-state of the Federation. Chekov refers to Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg),
No doubt referring the the Leningard Oblast (province) that encompasses St. Petersburg!

which would indicate the the Soviet Regime had at least a nominal voice in the Russian government.
This makes no sense. When the Soviet Union still existed, Russia was part of the USSR. The Soviet Union was not part of Russia. Certainly, Russia dominated the Soviet Union -- in the same way that Serbia dominated the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for instance, or similar to (though much more extreme and oppressive than) how England dominates the United Kingdom -- but the Soviet Union was never a division of Russia.

Obviously, the Federation as a whole is a democracy founded on American ideals,
Well, that depends on what you mean by "American" ideals. Certainly the Federation seems to be based on the values of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism -- freedom, self-determination, etc. The Federation probably believes in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and that governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed. And we know that the Seventh Guarantee of the Federation Constitution protects individuals from self-incrimination, a la the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment.

On the other hand, the Federation Constitution probably also encompasses other rights besides those generally enumerated and agreed-upon by Americans. Universal healthcare and a guaranteed quality of life come to mind as probable rights in a post-scarcity economy. And I cannot believe that a Federation that encompasses interspecies marriages like Sarek's and Amanda's wouldn't protect something as mundane as same-sex marriage.

So I'd imagine the Federation system is also influenced by non-American traditions -- the economic rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for instance. And probably by Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite values, too. Between the ushaan and the kal-if-fee, I imagine the Federation Constitution protects the right to consensual homicide, for instance.

Obviously, Khan came out of the "Genetic Wars" placed sometime in the 1990s.
Eugenics Wars, not Genetic Wars.

Science seems to advanced hugely in some areas (interstellar travel!) and yet remained oddly primitive in others (tape-based computers?)
No doubt they're using the same name to describe their highly-advanced computer systems that was once used to describe early 20th century systems. Sheer coincidence. Or maybe it's sort of like how we call it "dialing" a telephone and say a telephone "rings," even though we're actually pressing buttons (no actual dial to be seen) and listening to pre-recorded music samples.

Also, the Federation, for all its talk of equal rights of races, seems oddly dominated by humans. Consider the fact that Spock is the only non-Terran serving on the Enterprise!
That only tells us that 23rd Century Starfleet practiced species segregation (perhaps as a concession to difficulties alien worlds had in integrating as single crews in an era when those worlds were still in the process of integrating themselves culturally even after uniting under a single federal government).

And we have no idea what other Starfleet crews are like, since we only ever got a good look at a few 23rd century crews.

Given the evidence, in comparison with later series, I would say the Terran Federation
The Terran Federation is from Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Star Trek's crews are citizens of the United Federation of Planets.

is not quite the ultra-pure democracy it is made out to be! Not only do Terrans dominate the corridors of the Enterprise, but every other ship that is seen in TOS has, (at the very least) a human captain.
A fairly meaningless statement, given how vast Starfleet must be and how few crews we encountered.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Given that Earth itself appears to have a Parlimentary based Government (i.e. Westminster).
Well, it's probably more a parliamentary republic than a straight-up Westminster system. Think less Britain, Canada, or Denmark and more Ireland, Germany, or Israel.

It could be argued that is the philosphy Earth would persue for the UFP council. With a simple one member one vote system.
But who's to say Earth would get to dictate how the Federation Council would work? Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar are a lot older space powers than Earth.

As for the Federation President themself, there is no indication that they have any special powers not afforded to a Parlimentary style leader.
Then why is he called "President of the United Federation of Planets" rather than "Prime Minister?"

Declaring martial law.
I'm fairly certain that PMs can't directly declare martial law themselves, but must instead advise the head of state (be it a monarch or president) to do so. We distinctly saw Federation President Jaresh-Inyo sign a declaration of a state of emergency on Earth himself, straight up, with no one else's approval.

When we did see it, he might still have needed final council approval or approval from the UE Government.
There is no evidence whatsoever that he needed anyone else's approval. Indeed, if he did, then Leyton would have had to appeal to THEM instead of Jaresh-Inyo. But that's not what happened -- we saw Jaresh-Inyo sign the declaration, and then we saw Starfleet troops beaming into the streets immediately thereafter.

Earth it's self might have a President as a head of state, whilst the real power lies in the Prime Minister (Head of Government)
This is how the novels have gone with it -- there's a United Earth Prime Minister and a United Earth President, and they continue to function within the Federation much as German länder still retain their own ministerpräsidents or to how Canadian provinces retain their own Lieutenant-Governors and Premier.

* * *

For whatever it's worth, the novels have established that Federation Members each get to chose their own Federation Councillor by whatever mechanism they want; the Federation Councillor from Betazed is popularly elected, for instance, while the Federation Councillor from Bajor is appointed by the First Minister with the approval of the Chamber of Ministers, and the Federation Councillor from Andor is appointed by the party that wins a majority of seats in the Parliament Andoria as part of the Andorian Cabinet.

The Federation Council is comprised of one Federation Councillor from each Federation Member, and meets on the first floor of the Palais de la Concorde in Paris (the Federation capitol), with floors three through eleven devoted to their office space. The Federation Council must approve anonymous petition for presidential candidacy based upon whether or not the potential candidates meet the legal requirements for the Federation Presidency.

The Federation President is popularly elected, with every single Federation citizen entitled to a vote; counting the votes often takes up to two weeks. The President serves a four-standard-year term, and is not term limited, but no Federation President has served more than three terms. There is no Federation Vice President, and in the event of a vacancy from office, the Federation Council appoints one of their own as President Pro Tempore; the President Pro Tempore serves for one standard month while a special election is called. The President appoints a Cabinet and appoints Federation ambassadors. Floors 13 through 15 of the Palais are devoted to the President and Cabinet officers' offices, with most of Fifteen taken up by the Presidential Office.

The relationship between the President and the Council is a sort of hybrid of the presidential and parliamentary systems. The President is legally required to preside over sessions of the full Federation Council except in extraordinary circumstances (usually interpreted to refer to the President being off-planet). The Council is organized into sub-councils, which are the equivalent of Congressional or Parliamentary committees; bills must pass through the relevant sub-council to be voted upon by the full Council. The President must appoint all members of a sub-council, with the approval of the full Council. (The only exception to this is the Federation Security Council, the legislative committee charged with national security, to which the Federation Councillors from Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri are automatically appointed as the founding Members; this is an anachronism that is controversial.)

The President has the option of presiding over sub-council sessions, but usually leaves that to the sub-council's chair. The exception is the Federation Security Council, sessions of which the President typically presides over. The President is expected to work closely and actively seek the advice of the relevant sub-councils and of relevant Federation Councillors, leading to a much closer relationship than exists in the U.S. system. There is no Federation Prime Minister. The Federation Security Council shares the right to issue binding orders to Starfleet Command with the President.

The President retains access to a dedicated civilian transport called Paris One, though he or she sometimes uses Starfleet vessels such as the U.S.S. Venture. (In at least one alternate timeline that diverged from the Prime Timeline when Spock was killed as a child, Starfleet vessels of any size carrying the President assumed the call sign "Starfleet One" in the 2280s.) The President also has access to three dedicated Palais-based shuttlecraft for intra-system travel, named after early UFP Presidents: the al-Rashid, the T'Maran, and the sh'Rothress. The Palais itself was in place by the mid-to-late 22nd Century.

And, of course, the DSN episode "Dr. Bashir, I Presume?" established the existence of a Federation Supreme Court with the right of judicial review; that same season, the episode "The Ascent" also established the existence of a system of civilian Federation courts and of a Federation Grand Jury system.
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Old August 1 2012, 02:04 AM   #41
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

[QUOTE=iguana_tonante;6725462]
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Actual make a certain amount of sense. Right from the first pilot, we see alien cultures being able to access the Enterprise's computers, keeping some information (obviously not all) physically separate from the computer on individual drives ("tapes") would prevent them from being casually read if the computers aboard the Enterprise were to be hacked.

In TNG and VOY, look how often information is physically walk around the ship on handheld Padds, instead of being messaged electronically.
Good point. The same was seen in the recent Battlestar Galactica, with corded phones and no computer networks.
Thank you for mentioning BSG!! Not enough Trek fans are aware of this show, and it's nice to know that some of us can follow both Captain Kirk and Cmdr. Adama at the same time!
However, I would point out that in the Battlestar universe, every Battlestar but Galactica had modern computerized systems. Only Adama's stubbornness kept Galactica being modernized too (and consequently hacked and destroyed by the Cylons.) As far as I know, the Enterprise was never hacked in TOS. The computers may have been shut down, but never hacked.
Anyways, thank you for mentioning Galactica! (And I'm still going through it, so don't tell me how it ends!)
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Old August 1 2012, 03:18 AM   #42
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
Thank you for mentioning BSG!! Not enough Trek fans are aware of this show, and it's nice to know that some of us can follow both Captain Kirk and Cmdr. Adama at the same time!
However, I would point out that in the Battlestar universe, every Battlestar but Galactica had modern computerized systems. Only Adama's stubbornness kept Galactica being modernized too (and consequently hacked and destroyed by the Cylons.) As far as I know, the Enterprise was never hacked in TOS. The computers may have been shut down, but never hacked.
Anyways, thank you for mentioning Galactica! (And I'm still going through it, so don't tell me how it ends!)
In TOS the Enterprise was more likely to be hijacked than hacked. Though IIRC correctly, it could be said Norman hacked into the E's system when he hijacked it.
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Old August 1 2012, 07:00 AM   #43
Timo
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Also, the Redjac entity hacked into the computer system to exploit it as a hideout, a rare infiltration in that the act did not grant it complete access to the entire system or allow it to control all of the ship's functions.

More conventionally, the Maquis hacked into USS Malinche and USS Defiant in "For the Uniform". And various clever enemy operatives performed partial hacks of DS9 or Defiant systems in that show, including Klingons, Mirror Universe visitors, Garak and our heroes-turned-resistance-fighters during the Dominion occupation.

Only Adama's stubbornness kept Galactica being modernized too
I thought that was more due to Galactica being a museum piece that wasn't intended to be used in action ever again?

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Old August 1 2012, 07:49 AM   #44
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
Thank you for mentioning BSG!! Not enough Trek fans are aware of this show, and it's nice to know that some of us can follow both Captain Kirk and Cmdr. Adama at the same time!
Are you sure? During its run, BSG was one of the most featured series on this board. Also, most Trek fans I know in real life are aware of BSG.

Captain Shatner wrote: View Post
(And I'm still going through it, so don't tell me how it ends!)
The butler did it.
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Old August 1 2012, 07:58 AM   #45
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

T'Girl wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Given that Earth itself appears to have a Parlimentary based Government
Where is this from?

USSR might stand for something other than union of soviet socialist republics. Union and republics might still be the bookends, but the two S's are ...

Harry Groener played "Minister" Nathan Samuels in Enterprise, a representative of the Earth government... Now you can argue that he was a religious Minister rather than a Minister of Parliament or even the prime minister, but that's neither here nor there.
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