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Old March 31 2014, 10:32 PM   #76
USS Triumphant
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

There's also the idea - and I know this is going to seem like an archaic and barbaric notion to some of you, but even so - that there are some circumstances under which you WANT the president to be vulnerable to a degree. He/she is, after all, just another citizen, albeit one with a lot of power, and if he/she becomes a threat to the fundamental principles and freedoms of the people he/she is administering, it is almost good to know that a determined group of citizens can take them out. And so long as proper governance is maintained, they aren't irreplaceable - governments have a chain of succession in part to deal with such occasions.

(And no, I'm not a wingnut. But there was *a reason* for Jefferson's quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.)
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Old March 31 2014, 11:10 PM   #77
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
There's also the idea - and I know this is going to seem like an archaic and barbaric notion to some of you, but even so - that there are some circumstances under which you WANT the president to be vulnerable to a degree.
If you really come to the point of actually wanting this, historically the go-to solution would be to recruit a faction of his bodyguard... and then of course come up with a means of protecting yourself from them.*

You have to be pretty far gone from the kind of optimistic, democratic society the Federation is supposed to be to start thinking in those terms, though. (Just assuming we're still talking about the Federation here.)

[* EDIT: Good luck with that; I don't know off the top of my head of any examples of people successfully pulling off the second step.]
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Old March 31 2014, 11:48 PM   #78
USS Triumphant
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

BigJake wrote: View Post
If you really come to the point of actually wanting this, historically the go-to solution would be to recruit a faction of his bodyguard... and then of course come up with a means of protecting yourself from them.*
BigJake wrote: View Post
You have to be pretty far gone from the kind of optimistic, democratic society the Federation is supposed to be to start thinking in those terms, though. (Just assuming we're still talking about the Federation here.)
We are - I was thinking of scenarios like the TNG episode "Conspiracy", or possibly the "Fall of the Federation" plotline that seems popular in some of the fanfics.

(If we weren't, though, but instead we were talking about something more contemporary , then it would seem from recent evidence that you would be fine if you could keep the bodyguards supplied with hookers and liquor. )
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Old April 1 2014, 02:07 AM   #79
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
and no canonical source that I can recall has ever claimed that its Member worlds are the sovereigns
In two separate episodes the United Federation of Planets is directly referred to as a "Alliance."
Two lines of dialogue vs. a vast preponderance of evidence in which the Federation behaves like a sovereign state.

The preponderance of evidence goes towards contradicting those two lines.

Meanwhile, the Federation is sovereign in its own right
Problem there is it's never directly referred to as such.
But it consistently behaves as such.

As a allied assemblage of sovereign star nations, the organization's governing body (the Council) could have the ability to make group decision in the areas of defense and external diplomatic affairs.
Then they've already yielded their sovereignty de facto if not de jure. It is the nature of a sovereign that it is the one that decides its foreign and defense policies; this is fundamental to sovereignty.

You have already described a sovereign state in fact, even if it is not a sovereign state on paper.

The Council's presiding official could hold the title of "President," or even PotUFP. They would be elected by other members of the Council as the Council's leader.
This would seem to contradict "Homefront," in which Jaresh-Inyo speaks of having "run" for President, rather than as having been chosen by a couple dozen Councillors.

The Federation Council President would have the authority to declare a State of Emergency on the one Member world where the Federation governing body meet, but not necessarily on any other world in the Federation.
1. There is no evidence that the right to declare a State of Emergency on Earth does not exist for other Federation Members.

2. Alliances don't get to declare States of Emergency, period. This is by definition one of the traits of a sovereign state. NATO doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Brussels -- the Belgian government does. The Commonwealth of Nations does not get to declare a State of Emergency in London -- the British government does. The Organization of American States doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Washington -- the U.S. and District of Columbia governments do. Etc.

it has its own territory
The multiple territories of the various sovereign Members of the Federation, the home worlds and colonies.
The problem is that in an alliance, those wouldn't be Federation territory. Those would be territories of the members. But when we see the show, we don't see the Enterprise captain declaring, "You have entered the sovereign territory of the Commonwealth of Planet Zog, who is allied with the sovereign state of United Earth and whose territorial interests we will defend as though they were our own (even though they are not) because we're such nice allies!"

We see Captain Picard say, "You have entered Federation territory." Not allied territory. Federation territory. Meaning, the Federation holds sovereignty over this territory.

Plus additional territorial claims by the Federation.
Alliances cannot make territorial claims; only sovereign states can.

it has its own military in the form of Starfleet
Providing for a common defense would be one of the primary reasons for forming the Federation in the first place.
"Providing for a common defense" is a very different thing from having your own military. Possession of a military is one of THE defining traits of statehood.

it has a legislature capable of making binding statutory law
Are you bringing up that speed limit thing again Sci?
That is one example of binding statutory law. Another would be the relocation of Federation colonists from planets the Federation Council had conceded by treaty to other sovereign states -- a territorial decision no alliance could ever make for its members, but which a sovereign state alone may make.

its own citizenship
The people on the show clearly self-identify with their respective home worlds and species, and not with being Federationists.
1. You are attempting to conflate cultural identification with legal citizenship. I identify as English-American; this does not mean that I identify as a British citizen.

2. Then why did O'Brien assert his natural rights in the face of a tyrannical Cardassian tribunal by declaring, "I am a Federation citizen"? Obviously his Federation citizenship is important to him if he is using it in an ideological battle with an alien culture.

Some more:

Identifying by Federation citizenship.

More examples of the importance of Federation citizenship.

Being a "Federation citizen" is like being a modern day "citizen of the world."
As the above quotes demonstrate, Federation citizenship is a specific legal status that confers and protects certain specific rights for those who hold it. It is an important legal determinater for numerous conflicts.

The U.N., by contrast, contains none of these traits; it describes itself as "a tool of its Member States."
"A tool of its Member States." would be a excellent way of describing the Federation.
When have we ever seen the Federation letting one of its Members take the lead instead of taking the lead itself?


J.T.B. wrote: View Post
QUOTE=Sci;9413194]
If I'm the Director of the Federation Security Agency, I'm gonna want at least three Defiant-class starships permanently attached to defending Paris One wherever she goes.
Whoa, how wild a place is the Federation?[/quote]

The Federation does not need to be a wild place for a few lone political actors to undertake violence. Nor for interstellar borders to be very permeable.

We see the Galaxy class face the unknowns of the frontiers of explored space unescorted, but travel within the Federation is so dangerous a Galaxy can't defend herself without three Defiants? That seems fairly overblown to me.
Those ships in unexplored space aren't carrying the President. Of course it's overblown. That's the point.

Timo wrote: View Post
Whether the President really is worth protecting is another issue. Why should he/she/it be a high value target to anybody with the means to harm a spacecraft (as random nutcases would be deterred by the defenses of a runabout already)?
Considering how many United States Presidents and other heads of state have been the victims of assassination, I am honestly flabbergasted that you would imagine the risk of irrational political actors engaging in violence against the head of government of the most powerful state in local space would be so low.

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Well, the Federation *did* have the power to force residents to leave the colony worlds that they traded to the Cardassians to settle a border dispute. That doesn't sound like they ONLY have the power over sovereign members that is granted to them by those members. It sounds like a Federal system.
Exactly.

But honestly, I think this is useless to argue unless you're willing to bring the novels into play,
The novels have come down pretty definitively on the side of the Federation being a sovereign state in its own right.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Well, the Federation *did* have the power to force residents to leave the colony worlds that they traded to the Cardassians to settle a border dispute.
I don't think that territory was the Federation's to start with,
It was explicitly established to be Federation territory.

That doesn't sound like they ONLY have the power over sovereign members that is granted to them by those members. It sounds like a Federal system.
An alliance could authorize employing it's combined armed forces to expand it's territory.
What you are describing is an alliance in name only.

But honestly, I think this is useless to argue unless you're willing to bring the novels into play ...
I for one am not willing to do that.
Why not? Most of the novels these days are better than the TV shows they were based on, anyway.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
Well, you'd better tell Obama to stop using Air Force One then! Damn thing sticks out like a sore thumb!
The president will sometimes travel on a US government aircraft other than the traditional Air Force One 747, a smaller boeing 757 or big business style jet. just for the reason mentioned, security.

Whatever plane he on is still Air Force One, but it's less obvious.
Well, no. Whatever United States Air Force craft he's on is Air Force One. If he's on a Navy aircraft, it's Navy One; Marine plane or aircraft, it's Marine One; Army craft, it's Army One; civilian aircraft, it's Executive One.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Then again: Is there any real reason why the President would ever want to leave Earth in the first place? Technology is sufficiently advanced to enable absolute real-time teleconferencing. Throw in a holodeck and it's just like being in the same room with whoever the President wants to talk to. So why not stay on Earth, which is deep in Federation space and therefore a lot safer?
Because hiding your president away in an ivory tower where he or she never has contact with the people is pretty much a guaranteed way to ensure he/she loses touch with reality, to be frank. To say nothing of the fact that the leader of a people needs to actually go amongst them and connect with them.

ETA:

For the record, the recent Enterprise: Rise of the Federation novels have given us some background on the evolution of Federation political institutions.

When the Federation was first founded, there was no President, just the Council. Six months after the founding, the Council decided to create the position of President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, a position it appointed, giving the Council President the authority to act in the Council's name when it was not in session and granting to him the position of commander-in-chief of the combined Federation Starfleet (which had been formed by combining each Member world's space service, making each a separate branch of the unified Federation Starfleet).

By 2164, the Council had decided to establish a full-on office of the President of the United Federation of Planets, to be popularly elected to a four-year term. The first Federation presidential election was held that year, for a term commencing in early 2165.

The early Federation also had what was called the Federation Commission -- popularly-elected officials who served as the heads of the Federation's executive departments, a sort of elected cabinet. Soval served as the first Federation Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.

It also utilized what were called Ministerial Conferences for key decisions, convening the relevant ministers from its Member States along with the relevant Federation Commissioners at central locations to debate and decide on certain key issues.

By the time of the 24th Century, the Commission and the Ministerial Conferences seem to have ended, with the Federation Council assuming more of their functions.
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Old April 1 2014, 07:54 AM   #80
YARN
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

Sci wrote: View Post
Two lines of dialogue vs. a vast preponderance of evidence in which the Federation behaves like a sovereign state.
The response was fitting. You claimed "never." TGirl showed that this is not the case. TGirl did not indicate that these instances were exhaustive of the times the UFP is referred to as an alliance.

As for your alleged preponderance of evidence that the UFP acts like a sovereign state, I say produce your evidence, define your terms, and be warned that these things are subject to interpretation.

Sci wrote: View Post
Then they've already yielded their sovereignty de facto if not de jure. It is the nature of a sovereign that it is the one that decides its foreign and defense policies; this is fundamental to sovereignty.
You can voluntarily leave an alliance. What we've seen indicates that worlds may freely enter and leave the UFP.

In an alliance the laws of your nation are your business. In "Wolf in the Fold," for example, Scotty was put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Argellius II (Scotty faces death by slow torture which is not a UFP law, but Argellian law).

The UFP directs defensive measures through Starfleet only reveals that the UFP is, in part, a defensive alliance of worlds.

Sci wrote: View Post
2. Alliances don't get to declare States of Emergency, period. This is by definition one of the traits of a sovereign state.
Says who? You? Whose definition are we working from.

Sci wrote: View Post
NATO doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Brussels -- the Belgian government does. The Commonwealth of Nations does not get to declare a State of Emergency in London -- the British government does.
The UN has declared emergencies in starving nations. They have denounced actions by other nations. Sometimes they've even intervened militarily in sovereign states.

Sci wrote: View Post
We see Captain Picard say, "You have entered Federation territory." Not allied territory. Federation territory. Meaning, the Federation holds sovereignty over this territory.
Or the Federation is an alliance, so when Picard says this, he's telling people that they have moved into territory which his held in the collective interest of that alliance.

Sci wrote: View Post
Alliances cannot make territorial claims; only sovereign states can.
Sure they can.

Sci wrote: View Post
2. Then why did O'Brien assert his natural rights in the face of a tyrannical Cardassian tribunal by declaring, "I am a Federation citizen"?
Because this alliance recognizes certain rights of individuals.

Also, I don't recognize Trek books as canon, so I'll only bicker about what we've seen on screen.
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Old April 1 2014, 08:57 AM   #81
Sci
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

YARN wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Two lines of dialogue vs. a vast preponderance of evidence in which the Federation behaves like a sovereign state.
The response was fitting. You claimed "never."
I said that Federation Member States are never referred to as sovereign. I did not say there is no evidence for the view of the Federation as an alliance; the latter implies the former but does not state it explicitly.

TGirl showed that this is not the case.
No, she did not. She cited evidence for a different (albeit related) claim.

As for your alleged preponderance of evidence that the UFP acts like a sovereign state, I say produce your evidence, define your terms,
This has been done in this thread, and it's been done countless times before on the BBS. But the most basic traits of statehood are possessing your own territory, possessing your own military, conducting foreign policy with other sovereign states, possessing your own constitution that enumerates and protects certain rights for all persons within your territory, and having a government capable of making binding statutory law. The Federation has been shown to possess all these traits.

Sci wrote: View Post
Then they've already yielded their sovereignty de facto if not de jure. It is the nature of a sovereign that it is the one that decides its foreign and defense policies; this is fundamental to sovereignty.
You can voluntarily leave an alliance. What we've seen indicates that worlds may freely enter and leave the UFP.
Actually, while the idea of democratic referenda allowing worlds to freely leave the Federation has appeared in several different novels, I'm not aware of any canonical reference to member worlds having the legal right to secede from the UFP. Please correct me if I'm forgetting such a reference.

In an alliance the laws of your nation are your business. In "Wolf in the Fold," for example, Scotty was put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Argellius II (Scotty faces death by slow torture which is not a UFP law, but Argellian law).
This really doesn't help either side of the debate, since federal sovereign states can also have a system where member polities have distinct laws and judicial systems. For instance, use and possession of marijuana is now perfectly legal in the State of Colorado, but remains illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and those caught using it will be put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Virginia.

The UFP directs defensive measures through Starfleet only reveals that the UFP is, in part, a defensive alliance of worlds.
Again, possessing your own military is one of the defining traits of a sovereign state. Alliances don't get to have their own militaries; they may coordinate their members' military actions with the permission of their members' governments, but those militaries always remain separate and answerable first and foremost to their own government.

What Starfleet does goes way beyond the kind of coordination we see in something like NATO. Starfleet is a single service -- period. Alliances don't get that.

2. Alliances don't get to declare States of Emergency, period. This is by definition one of the traits of a sovereign state.
Says who?
Says basic political science. No sovereign state would allow an alliance to usurp their authority like that. That's just reality. The Secretary-General of NATO wouldn't be allowed to declare a State of Emergency in New York City and land NATO-flagged German troops on the streets of Manhattan, for instance; it would be a direct attack on the authority of the United States government.

NATO doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Brussels -- the Belgian government does. The Commonwealth of Nations does not get to declare a State of Emergency in London -- the British government does.
The UN has declared emergencies in starving nations.
I am not aware of and can find no reference to the United Nations ever declaring a State of Emergency, nor, having read the U.N. Charter some years back, do I recall any indication that the U.N. has the right to do so. A declaration of a State of Emergency is a specific legal declaration from a government that allows it to alter the normal functioning of the executive or other branches of government.

Perhaps you're confusing a rhetorical device -- declaring that a specific situation is an emergency -- with the legal declaration of a State of Emergency.

Sometimes they've even intervened militarily in sovereign states.
I take it you are referring to the Korean War, and specifically to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 83, 84, and 85.

It is important to understand something about those resolutions: The U.N. itself did not intervene militarily in the Korean conflict. Rather, its Security Council adopted resolutions recommending that its member states intervene militarily and that they place their forces in Korea a unified command structure using the Flag of the United Nations with the U.S. in control of the United Nations Command.

The Security Council was only capable of passing these resolutions because the Soviet Union, which of course had veto power over UNSC resolutions, was boycotting the UNSC at the time.

It may seem like legalese, but it is actually a very important distinction. Recommending that its members intervene militarily in Korea under the direction of the United States forces in Korea, is a very different thing from, say, the Secretary-General directly raising a U.N. Army and ordering them in himself.

A Star Trek equivalent would be if, for instance, the Federation Council requested all Federation Members to intervene militarily in the war against the Dominion and to place their forces in the Bajor Sector under the command of the Andorian Imperial Guard.

We see Captain Picard say, "You have entered Federation territory." Not allied territory. Federation territory. Meaning, the Federation holds sovereignty over this territory.
Or the Federation is an alliance, so when Picard says this, he's telling people that they have moved into territory which his held in the collective interest of that alliance.
Alliances cannot claim territory. It is that simple, and it is basic political science; territories are claimed by states, not alliances. If Picard is defending territorial boundaries, he would need to cite the name of the actual claimer of the territory.

Picard and other Star Trek captains have never given any indication that they are holding a territory in the interest of an alliance; they have always directly named the Federation itself as claiming the territory. The one time we have seen a Starfleet captain holding a territory that was not claimed by the Federation.... it was Sisko and company on DS9, directly claiming the Wormhole in the name of Bajor rather than of the Bajoran-Federation alliance! (Meaning, again, they cited the claimer of the territory, the sovereign state that is Bajor.)

To say, "They mean this territory is held by a sovereign state in an alliance with other sovereign states called the Federation" is to literally just be making stuff up to justify a pre-existing conclusion that violates the preponderance of evidence.

Further note:

We hear often of the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. This also goes against the Federation-as-alliance hypothesis because alliances cannot conduct alliances! NATO cannot sign a peace treaty with Russia and then become an ally of Russia -- only the NATO members can do that. A alliance called the Federation could not conduct a peace treat with Qo'noS and then enter into an alliance with it -- only a sovereign Federation could do that.

Sci wrote: View Post
Alliances cannot make territorial claims; only sovereign states can.
Sure they can.
No, they cannot. To do so would be to usurp the legitimate powers and authorities of their member states, which would be viewed by those members as a threat to their sovereignty and national security.

An alliance has no more authority to claim its members' territory as their own than does your Rotary Club have the authority to claim your house as its own.

Sci wrote: View Post
2. Then why did O'Brien assert his natural rights in the face of a tyrannical Cardassian tribunal by declaring, "I am a Federation citizen"?
Because this alliance recognizes certain rights of individuals.
Alliances cannot confer citizenship. And while, say, NATO recognizes certain rights of individuals as a general principle (what with it being made up of liberal democracies), it can't confer those rights to me. And if I'm captured by North Korean troops and sentenced to death in a show trial in Pyongyang, it would be ludicrous for me to say, "I am a NATO citizen!" NATO does not have a constitution that enumerates and confers upon me specific individual rights -- only the sovereign state of which I am a citizen can do that.

Also, I don't recognize Trek books as canon,
Nor do I. "Canon" means "the works of art other works of art are based on." Obviously the novels are not canonical, as they are based on the TV shows and films.

But most of the books for the past 15 years have been better than the ST canon anyway, so who cares?
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Old April 1 2014, 09:14 AM   #82
Timo
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

Considering how many United States Presidents and other heads of state have been the victims of assassination, I am honestly flabbergasted that you would imagine the risk of irrational political actors engaging in violence against the head of government of the most powerful state in local space would be so low.
Not the risk, but the fallout. The US could afford to lose four Presidents to crime without descending to chaos or tyranny, which is more than can be said of most nations but probably indicative of how things would play out in the UFP as well. Overreaction would have been the real danger and downside there - losing a few working years out of a maximum career of eight would hardly matter.

Except to the late politician him/her/itself, of course. But if said politician insists on a private army for protection, saying "no" is probably only prudent.

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Old April 1 2014, 10:02 AM   #83
YARN
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

Sci wrote: View Post
YARN wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Two lines of dialogue vs. a vast preponderance of evidence in which the Federation behaves like a sovereign state.
The response was fitting. You claimed "never."
I said that Federation Member States are never referred to as sovereign. I did not say there is no evidence for the view of the Federation as an alliance; the latter implies the former but does not state it explicitly.



No, she did not. She cited evidence for a different (albeit related) claim.



This has been done in this thread, and it's been done countless times before on the BBS. But the most basic traits of statehood are possessing your own territory, possessing your own military, conducting foreign policy with other sovereign states, possessing your own constitution that enumerates and protects certain rights for all persons within your territory, and having a government capable of making binding statutory law. The Federation has been shown to possess all these traits.



Actually, while the idea of democratic referenda allowing worlds to freely leave the Federation has appeared in several different novels, I'm not aware of any canonical reference to member worlds having the legal right to secede from the UFP. Please correct me if I'm forgetting such a reference.



This really doesn't help either side of the debate, since federal sovereign states can also have a system where member polities have distinct laws and judicial systems. For instance, use and possession of marijuana is now perfectly legal in the State of Colorado, but remains illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and those caught using it will be put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Virginia.



Again, possessing your own military is one of the defining traits of a sovereign state. Alliances don't get to have their own militaries; they may coordinate their members' military actions with the permission of their members' governments, but those militaries always remain separate and answerable first and foremost to their own government.

What Starfleet does goes way beyond the kind of coordination we see in something like NATO. Starfleet is a single service -- period. Alliances don't get that.



Says basic political science. No sovereign state would allow an alliance to usurp their authority like that. That's just reality. The Secretary-General of NATO wouldn't be allowed to declare a State of Emergency in New York City and land NATO-flagged German troops on the streets of Manhattan, for instance; it would be a direct attack on the authority of the United States government.



I am not aware of and can find no reference to the United Nations ever declaring a State of Emergency, nor, having read the U.N. Charter some years back, do I recall any indication that the U.N. has the right to do so. A declaration of a State of Emergency is a specific legal declaration from a government that allows it to alter the normal functioning of the executive or other branches of government.

Perhaps you're confusing a rhetorical device -- declaring that a specific situation is an emergency -- with the legal declaration of a State of Emergency.



I take it you are referring to the Korean War, and specifically to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 83, 84, and 85.

It is important to understand something about those resolutions: The U.N. itself did not intervene militarily in the Korean conflict. Rather, its Security Council adopted resolutions recommending that its member states intervene militarily and that they place their forces in Korea a unified command structure using the Flag of the United Nations with the U.S. in control of the United Nations Command.

The Security Council was only capable of passing these resolutions because the Soviet Union, which of course had veto power over UNSC resolutions, was boycotting the UNSC at the time.

It may seem like legalese, but it is actually a very important distinction. Recommending that its members intervene militarily in Korea under the direction of the United States forces in Korea, is a very different thing from, say, the Secretary-General directly raising a U.N. Army and ordering them in himself.

A Star Trek equivalent would be if, for instance, the Federation Council requested all Federation Members to intervene militarily in the war against the Dominion and to place their forces in the Bajor Sector under the command of the Andorian Imperial Guard.



Alliances cannot claim territory. It is that simple, and it is basic political science; territories are claimed by states, not alliances. If Picard is defending territorial boundaries, he would need to cite the name of the actual claimer of the territory.

Picard and other Star Trek captains have never given any indication that they are holding a territory in the interest of an alliance; they have always directly named the Federation itself as claiming the territory. The one time we have seen a Starfleet captain holding a territory that was not claimed by the Federation.... it was Sisko and company on DS9, directly claiming the Wormhole in the name of Bajor rather than of the Bajoran-Federation alliance! (Meaning, again, they cited the claimer of the territory, the sovereign state that is Bajor.)

To say, "They mean this territory is held by a sovereign state in an alliance with other sovereign states called the Federation" is to literally just be making stuff up to justify a pre-existing conclusion that violates the preponderance of evidence.

Further note:

We hear often of the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. This also goes against the Federation-as-alliance hypothesis because alliances cannot conduct alliances! NATO cannot sign a peace treaty with Russia and then become an ally of Russia -- only the NATO members can do that. A alliance called the Federation could not conduct a peace treat with Qo'noS and then enter into an alliance with it -- only a sovereign Federation could do that.



No, they cannot. To do so would be to usurp the legitimate powers and authorities of their member states, which would be viewed by those members as a threat to their sovereignty and national security.

An alliance has no more authority to claim its members' territory as their own than does your Rotary Club have the authority to claim your house as its own.


Because this alliance recognizes certain rights of individuals.
Alliances cannot confer citizenship. And while, say, NATO recognizes certain rights of individuals as a general principle (what with it being made up of liberal democracies), it can't confer those rights to me. And if I'm captured by North Korean troops and sentenced to death in a show trial in Pyongyang, it would be ludicrous for me to say, "I am a NATO citizen!" NATO does not have a constitution that enumerates and confers upon me specific individual rights -- only the sovereign state of which I am a citizen can do that.

Also, I don't recognize Trek books as canon,
Nor do I. "Canon" means "the works of art other works of art are based on." Obviously the novels are not canonical, as they are based on the TV shows and films.

But most of the books for the past 15 years have been better than the ST canon anyway, so who cares?
OK, you win. I concede.

I would, however, suggest that it is plausible that the UFP really was an alliance in TOS, hardening into your de facto sovereign by TNG.
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Old April 1 2014, 03:52 PM   #84
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
There's also the idea - and I know this is going to seem like an archaic and barbaric notion to some of you, but even so - that there are some circumstances under which you WANT the president to be vulnerable to a degree. He/she is, after all, just another citizen, albeit one with a lot of power, and if he/she becomes a threat to the fundamental principles and freedoms of the people he/she is administering, it is almost good to know that a determined group of citizens can take them out. And so long as proper governance is maintained, they aren't irreplaceable - governments have a chain of succession in part to deal with such occasions.

(And no, I'm not a wingnut. But there was *a reason* for Jefferson's quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.)
You are entirely correct in one thing: that DOES seem like an archaic and barbaric notion.

It is never "good to know" that the President, or any politician for that matter, can be "taken out" by a "determined group of citizens". That's mob rule and anarchy. Everyone who holds office is entitled to the basic protections that the law allows. Nobody should ever be forced to be vulnerable to attack.

There are already checks and balances in place to ensure that the President (whether it be ours or the Federation's) doesn't become a tyrant. That should be all we need. I mean, come on, as unpopular as some Presidents have been lately, nobody with any shred of human decency should ever want them to be assassinated. That's barbaric and inhuman.
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Old April 1 2014, 05:48 PM   #85
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

anh165 wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Wouldn't it be a bad idea for the Federation president to always travel on the same starship? Word would get out quick. Everybody would know where the president is. And that would make their ship an awfully convenient target.

Seems that it'd be much more secure if the president travels on a randomly selected starship. If nobody knows where the president is, they're likely to be that much safer, innit?
Well, you'd better tell Obama to stop using Air Force One then! Damn thing sticks out like a sore thumb!

Not quite the same thing.

In the fictional ST universe, there is nothing to stop a bunch of enemy ships decloaking in front of an media friendly willy waving vessel that the "president" is well known to spend much of his/her intergalactic travels within.
Look up "intergalactic", then look up "interstellar". Then come back and use the right word.
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Old April 1 2014, 09:36 PM   #86
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There are already checks and balances in place to ensure that the President (whether it be ours or the Federation's) doesn't become a tyrant. That should be all we need.
Isn't that rather the point, though? When those checks and balances do fail, things have already gone so far that death is likely to be too good for the President...

I mean, come on, as unpopular as some Presidents have been lately, nobody with any shred of human decency should ever want them to be assassinated. That's barbaric and inhuman.
How so? They are directly responsible for thousands of deaths - surely their own life has no real moral basis for being more sacrosanct than that of their victims. The real issue is whether the killers would arise from the ranks of those who factually benefited from the thousands of deaths, no doubt resulting in moral outrage of some sort, or from the ranks of those the Presidents wanted dead, resulting in a few shrugs.

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Old April 1 2014, 09:44 PM   #87
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

Jaresh-Inyos line about having run for President doesn't automatically mean a General Election amongest the populance. It's just as feasible that the Federation Council elects the President from amongest it's members, but they first have to choose to run for the position.

In a democracy you don't need to take the Head of Government out to enforce a change. In this year alone we have seen a revolution in the Ukraine were some of the populance caused the President to resign, because they were unhappy with the direction he was taking the country.
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Old April 1 2014, 10:44 PM   #88
Timo
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

And in many a case, violence against the leadership strengthens the position of the leadership, by giving at least some popular support to the harsh punitive measures that follow...

That's the essence of democracy, really: it's no better than other types of governance in getting the right people to positions of power, but it's the only one with a built-in mechanism for getting the wrong ones out of such positions without the need for violence. If that mechanism fails, then it's really back to basics, and murdering of government officials is actually a significant pro-democracy move: "See, rotation of people in political positions is the only thing we want, and now you have taken from us all but this one way to accomplish it!".

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Old April 2 2014, 12:05 AM   #89
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

well to quote Churchill

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"
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Old April 2 2014, 03:43 AM   #90
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Re: Starship of the Federation President

Sci wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
and no canonical source that I can recall has ever claimed that its Member worlds are the sovereigns
In two separate episodes the United Federation of Planets is directly referred to as a "Alliance."
Two lines of dialogue ...
Two clear and unambiguous lines of dialog.

The Council's presiding official could hold the title of "President," or even PotUFP. They would be elected by other members of the Council as the Council's leader.
This would seem to contradict "Homefront," in which Jaresh-Inyo speaks of having "run" for President, rather than as having been chosen by a couple dozen Councillors.
Because people never in fact run for the president of councils, where the decision between multiple candidates is made by other council members voting? City councils do this all the time.

Nothing in the terminology Jaresh-Inyo used precludes this.

There is no evidence that the right to declare a State of Emergency on Earth does not exist for other Federation Members.
Earth is the only world in the Federation to have a state of emergency declared on it, and it's the world that holds the council.

[Possession of a military is one of THE defining traits of statehood.
From 1775 through 1785 there existed the Continental Navy, this military force was collectively possessed by the (then) thirteen separate countries that formed the united States of America.

Multiple nations, joined in an alliance, with a single Navy.

"A tool of its Member States." would be a excellent way of describing the Federation.
When have we ever seen the Federation letting one of its Members take the lead instead of taking the lead itself?
That one's easy.

The Undiscovered Country, where the Planet Vulcan instructed the Federation Council to opened a dialogue and negotiate with the Klingon High Council.

Another would be Journey to Babel where the Federation Members made the decision as to whether a new Member would be added to the Federation. The decision wasn't made by the Council.

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
it is almost good to know that a determined group of citizens can take them out
BigJake wrote: View Post
If you really come to the point of actually wanting this, historically the go-to solution would be to recruit a faction of his bodyguard...
That how Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.

Murder most foul to be sure, but who can deny that India was better off without her "guidance."



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