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

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Old August 14 2012, 01:22 PM   #91
cbspock
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Sci wrote: View Post
ThePatriot1776 wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post


Yes, and the Electoral College is a horrible, undemocratic, and abusive institution that should have been abolished decades ago, along with Jim Crow, property requirements for voting, and state legislators picking Senators. It's absolutely not something a real democracy should copy.
We're not a democracy nor have we ever been.
Whether or not the United States is today a democracy is debatable (especially given the extreme power wielded over our government, without accountability, by unelected plutocrats), but I would agree that it was not a democracy in a meaningful sense until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed. But it ought to be, as democracy is the only legitimate form of government, and a non-democracy is by definition tyrannical. Governments only have the right to exercise power if they have the consent of the populace as a whole over which they govern -- and only democracy can deliver that consent.

The oligarchs who designed our government gave us a deeply flawed constitution that has required 200 years of constant adjustment and democratization, and this process needs to continue.
Our constitution isn't flawed, its progressives who have eaten away at it. Our system is currently BROKEN. Your history is severely flawed. You need to read Ameritopia, American Creation, Road to Disunion, Liberty and Tyranny.

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Old August 14 2012, 01:45 PM   #92
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Calling the Founding Fathers oligarchs? Yeah... not taking anything Sci says seriously anymore.
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Old August 14 2012, 05:28 PM   #93
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Sigh. When I started the thread, I was sort of hoping it wouldn't erupt into flame. Although I think we were doing pretty well until page 6...
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Old August 14 2012, 08:37 PM   #94
Sci
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Timo wrote: View Post
The ill-defined, wishy-washy structure of the Federation would be a natural habitat for a president or three, in the sense of "president of the society", "president of the board", "president of the council".
The problem with that is that he's explicitly identified as the President of the United Federation of Planets, not President of the Federation Council. He's explicitly identified as president of the state.

We can of course decide that the two onscreen Presidents, from ST4 and DS9,
Three onscreen presidents: the Human from ST4 (named Hiram Roth in the novels); the Grazerite from DS9 named Jaresh-Inyo; and the Efrosian from ST6 (named Ra-ghoratreii in the novels).

Not counting the onscreen-but-illegible biography of Jonathan Archer in ENT's "In A Mirror, Darkly," which established that he became an early Federation President.

cbspock wrote: View Post
We are a representative republic. We are not a democracy.
You need to re-check your political science vocabulary. A representative republic (that is, a republic whose officials are popularly elected) is a type of democracy.

Democracy is MOB RULE
I've never heard of a mob that gets in line to cast ballots after having been registered prior to a pre-scheduled decision-making period.

cbspock wrote: View Post
No the Electoral College is A GREAT SYSTEM.
No system that allows a person to become president without the support of a majority or a plurality of votes cast is "great" or morally legitimate.

We should go back to the way Senators were originally picked, by the STATES.
Yes, let's deny a voice to the people in the upper chamber of Congress and let the state elites make the decisions without their vote. It's completely rational and not the least bit un-egalitarian or ripe for corruption.

Now both the house and senate are formed from the same pool.
No, they are not -- not unless the state's population is so small as to only allow for a single at-large House district. A Senator by definition represents the entire state; a Representative, only her local district.

cbspock wrote: View Post
Our constitution isn't flawed,
Of course it's flawed. All political systems are flawed, because (to paraphrase Alexander Hamilton) if men were angels, no government would be needed. Trying to pretend that a constitution that allowed slavery and has had to be amended 27 times "not flawed" is just silly. This is nothing more than constitutional idolatry and ancestor worship.

You need to read Ameritopia, American Creation, Road to Disunion, Liberty and Tyranny.
Sure, if you read Lies My Teacher Told Me, A People's History of the United States, The Shock Doctrine, and Death of the Liberal Class.

R. Star wrote: View Post
Calling the Founding Fathers oligarchs? Yeah... not taking anything Sci says seriously anymore.
I'm sorry the thought bothers you, but they fit the definition just fine. They were wealthy, land-owning white men (many of whom, like Jefferson, had inherited their wealth and status), who had attained their roles in colonial governments by being "elected" by other wealthy land-owning white men, and who designed a government that only gave a voice to wealthy, land-owning white men. Hell, they even designed the Constitution with the specific intent of making sure one particular man (George Washington) would become the first president. They fit the definition of oligarchs to a T.
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Old August 14 2012, 08:42 PM   #95
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

cbspock wrote: View Post
They have a process to admit Planets into the Union, like the US has to add States.
Interesting thing there is, at least in Journey to Babel, it was ambassadors and delegates from the member homeworlds, and not the Council itself, that were making the decision as to whether to admit a new member.

Sci wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
The "President" could simply be the president of the council, appointed (elected) by the council itself ...
He is President of the state, not president of the legislature.
Sci wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
"President" is just a word in the end.
Words have meanings. They have very specific meanings.
Okay, and now if the Council elected one of their own members to preside over the Council, that person would then be the "president."

Preside: To occupy the place of authority or control, as in an assembly or meeting; act as president or chairperson.

(That's the specific meaning of "preside.")

Thus, it continues to require fewer extra assumptions to hypothesize that the Federation President is a president rather than a prime minister who is called a president.
But here aren't you making the assumption that the Federation Council is a parliamentary assembly?

And why would someone elected (hypothetically) from the Federation Council to lead the Council be called Prime Minister, when there is (iirc) no indication that the members of the Federation Council are themselves called "ministers?"

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Old August 14 2012, 09:07 PM   #96
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Okay, and now if the Council elected one of their own members to preside over the Council, that person would then be the "president."
President of the Council, not President of the Federation. It's like the difference between the President of the United States of America under the Constitution and the President of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation; one is the president of the state, and the other is the presiding officer of the legislature.

In ST4, the President is explicitly identified as President of the United Federation of Planets. He is the president of the state.

Thus, it continues to require fewer extra assumptions to hypothesize that the Federation President is a president rather than a prime minister who is called a president.
But here aren't you making the assumption that the Federation Council is a parliamentary assembly?

And why would someone elected (hypothetically) from the Federation Council to lead the Council be called Prime Minister, when there is (iirc) no indication that the members of the Federation Council are themselves called "ministers?"
Because that's what an executive elected from the state's legislature is -- a Prime Minister. And most members of legislatures in countries that have prime ministers aren't called ministers themselves; the most common term is "Member of Parliament," or MP.
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Old August 14 2012, 09:20 PM   #97
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Everyone knows the Fed Council is a myth perpetuated by the Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet. The President is just the figurehead that Starfleet trots out for public appearances.

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Old August 14 2012, 09:24 PM   #98
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Well I don't see how the electorial college system can be considered that great when in theroy a person who gets fewer votes can lose. Hardly seems fair.

From a democratic point of view, the council is most likely to be Parliamentary in style, one member one vote. We can infer from ENT that the UE Government appears to be parlimentary based on the title Minister used in the "Terra Prime". But until we actually see it we can't know for sure.

The Federation Council might be a mixture of styles, i.e. a Parliamentary style chamber with a directly elected President.
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Old August 14 2012, 09:38 PM   #99
Pavonis
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Why one member, one vote? If there are 10 billion humans but only 1 billion Andorians, why shouldn't the humans get 10 votes to the Andorians' one? One member, one vote hardly seems fair.

You know, I bet the Founding Fathers of the US had similar discussions. I just bet they did.
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Old August 14 2012, 11:49 PM   #100
T'Girl
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Why one member, one vote? If there are 10 billion humans but only 1 billion Andorians, why shouldn't the humans get 10 votes to the Andorians' one? One member, one vote hardly seems fair.
Well just look at the United Nations, America pays 22 percent of the budget, we have 4½ percent of the world's population, and we only get one stinking vote in the general assembly? Of course we do receive our just rewards by having a veto in the security council, so actually the UN general assembly can really suck on it.

I wonder if the Federation's governing body also has something like the security council? Composed of the half dozen original members, plus a few temporary want-na-bees.
Might explain how worlds like Earth and Vulcan continue to be major power player even after adding another 150 plus members.

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Old August 15 2012, 10:38 AM   #101
MacLeod
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Why one member, one vote? If there are 10 billion humans but only 1 billion Andorians, why shouldn't the humans get 10 votes to the Andorians' one? One member, one vote hardly seems fair.

You know, I bet the Founding Fathers of the US had similar discussions. I just bet they did.
One Member, one vote is entierly fair. It means each member of the UFP has exactly the same voting power.
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Old August 15 2012, 11:00 AM   #102
Timo
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Why should they?

As pointed out, that gives unfair advantage to certain members. The citizens of others are poorly represented as the result, and deserve better.

"Members" are just abstractions. It's the people that count.

In any case, as already mentioned, Bajor in "Rapture" was said to have to choose representatives to the Federation Council, plural. It could definitely do with just one if there was only one vote. (And no, it wasn't a reference to Bajor having to choose a succession of people to the single position of Bajoran FCM - Admiral Whatley spoke of what has to be done at the point of entry specifically.) So we have a good reason to believe that members get more than one representative and more than one vote, although we also have a good reason ("Journey to Babel") to believe that members typically cast uniform votes. And we have no idea how the number of Council Members / votes is determined, although it would stand to reason that this is somehow related to the total population represented by the member.

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Old August 15 2012, 11:14 AM   #103
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Ok lets say we have a 10 member Federation

One Member has a population of 10bn and each of the other nine had 1bn. That would mean one member would always hold the balance of power, hardly fair. If you weighted voting based upon population.
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Old August 15 2012, 01:08 PM   #104
Timo
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Why not? The heart of democracy is that minority has no say.

What "member" those people belong to is not relevant. No doubt they can move between member worlds freely, too. The Federation has trillions of people, but just 150 members at the last count - an excellent argument for dismissing the members altogether as they have no chance of fairly representing the multitude of citizens. If two out of five Bajoran FCMs want to vote for a new tax and two against while one abstains on religious grounds, that's at least a tad fairer than having "Bajor" vote one way or another and thus disregard what more than half the population is thinking!

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Old August 15 2012, 01:13 PM   #105
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

No the heart of democracy is that it is as fair as it can be. If it's pre-loaded so that one side is always in dominance (i.e who has the largest population, esp if that popualtion is greater than the others combined) than it's almost a dictatorship.
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