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Old September 3 2012, 12:16 AM   #151
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
The debate over the merits of the Electoral College seems to me to hinge on whether one believes Bush stole the elections, regardless of it being called non-democratic by some here.
The merits of the electoral college have been debated since before any of us were born.
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Old September 3 2012, 12:30 AM   #152
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

And if I were a cynic, I would say long after you are dead.

And I thought one of the more important arguments was is it right that someone with fewer popular votes can be elected President. But like with any political system change tends to only come about if the governing party at the time things the change will improve their changes of winning/staying in power/getting more votes etc..

Good job I'm not a cynic.
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Old September 3 2012, 12:59 AM   #153
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
The debate over the merits of the Electoral College seems to me to hinge on whether one believes Bush stole the elections, regardless of it being called non-democratic by some here.
Believe it or not, it's possible for someone to hold a strong conviction about something without it being all about partisan gain. Do I view Bush's victory in 2000 as morally illegitimate? Yes. And I would argue just as passionately that Rutherford B. Hayes's victory in 1876, Benjamin Harrison's victory in 1888, and John Quincy Adams's victory in 1824, were morally illegitimate. I don't care if we're talking Bush versus Gore, I don't care if we're talking about Hayes vs. Tilden, I don't care if we're talking about Harrison vs. Cleveland, I don't care if we're talking about Adams vs. Jackson. (And I view Andrew Jackson as an American Hitler, mind you.)

I do not recognize the moral right of any group of elites -- even members of the United States Electoral College -- to give office to a head of government who has not been chosen democratically by a majority of the voters in a system of universal suffrage. Any such decision is morally illegitimate, and any such system is morally illegitimate.

But the US is not a one-man-one-vote-for-president type of Democracy.
Yes, we have established this. The question is whether or not it ought to be. Appeal to authority is an invalid argument.

It is a Democratic REPUBLIC. Is a Republic thus non-democratic by it's nature?
You seem to have a misunderstanding of the word "republic." A republic is merely a sovereign state which is not headed by a monarch. A republic may be democratic or it may be autocratic; it may be free, or it may be tyrannical. Hitler's Germany was as much a republic as Mandela's South Africa. "Republic," in other words, is a mostly meaningless categorization.

How does one prevent mob rule,
I hear about this concern a lot. What exactly constitutes "mob rule?"

and protect smaller representative groups' rights?
That's a very broad topic. Off the top of my head, things like affirmative action come to mind. In general, legislation can be passed to work to protect minorities' rights. But in the meantime, the rights of the minority do not include picking the President for everyone else, and the right of all citizens to an equal voice in choosing the only nationally-elected offices -- the President and Vice President -- is paramount.

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
So what National constitutions have express limitations of the powers of the Government in their Constitutions?

Could you educate me by naming names here?
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from the Constitution of Canada comes to mind. Title II of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The Constitution of the French Republic. The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany. Section VII of the Constitution of the Republic of Iceland. The Constitution of Ireland. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway. The Constitution of Sweden. The Constitution of the Argentine Nation. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. And there are more.
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Old September 3 2012, 02:21 AM   #154
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Mob rule=Rights of smaller states/groups trumped by raw majority based on short-term feelings of the moment, with not protections for groups.

As a representative democracy, the U.S. has the Electoral College as such a safeguard.
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Old September 3 2012, 02:31 AM   #155
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the guaranteed rights (constitutionally) simply say the Government cannot do X, Y or Z. But the Government can do literally anything else.

The US Constitution say, fundamentally, the Government can only do A, B and C, and cannot step outside of those bounds.

Limitations in my meaning are not simply prohibitions, but functional limitations.

A set of limited, enumerated powers. Not all powerful as long as it does not do X, Y or Z.

This is subtle, but fundamental and, as far as I'm aware, quite unique.
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Old September 3 2012, 02:48 AM   #156
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
Mob rule=Rights of smaller states/groups trumped by raw majority based on short-term feelings of the moment, with not protections for groups.

As a representative democracy, the U.S. has the Electoral College as such a safeguard.
No one's rights are trampled if one candidate or another wins the majority of votes for president. The Electoral College doesn't protect anyone's rights.

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the guaranteed rights (constitutionally) simply say the Government cannot do X, Y or Z. But the Government can do literally anything else.

The US Constitution say, fundamentally, the Government can only do A, B and C, and cannot step outside of those bounds.

Limitations in my meaning are not simply prohibitions, but functional limitations.

A set of limited, enumerated powers. Not all powerful as long as it does not do X, Y or Z.

This is subtle, but fundamental and, as far as I'm aware, quite unique.
1. Now you're moving the goalposts. You asked for limitations on governments' authorities; we gave you some. Now you ask for a specific kind of limitation. Stop changing the standards.

2. I don't know enough about these foreign constitutions to say that such a limitation doesn't exist; I would have to do much more research. But you clearly don't know enough to say that they don't exist, either, and should not make such a claim.

3. That "limitation" is meaningless in the modern world, because the states have become so interconnected that damn near everything can reasonably fall under the Commerce Clause. It has, as a result of how economically intertwined the states are, become a "limit" in name only.
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Old September 3 2012, 06:14 AM   #157
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

I could argue a great deal with what has been said here about the US system of government. Suffice it to say, I think Sci is factually wrong on just about every single assertion he/she has made. However, this is not Miscellaneous or TNZ. This is the TOS forum. And I fear that if I continue to engage in those arguments, I'll help derail what could be an interesting discussion about the government of the Federation.

So, veering back to that topic... It seems clear that the Federation is not really analogous to any modern government. It certainly has elements of the United States in it, as well as elements of the United Nations. The key, though, is that they seem to have ironed out whatever flaws exist. And they also have some peculiarities that have never been explained. For example, it seems clear that each member world maintains it's own government. Yet in DS9, we see the President of the Federation -- not the President of Earth -- declare martial law on Earth and put troops in the streets.
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Old September 3 2012, 06:24 AM   #158
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

1. I apologize for misstating them. But prohibitions and limits are different things, are they not?

2. You seem to know more than myself, so I guessed you might have other examples.

3. Factually incorrect. The recent PPACA case in the supreme court actually establishes that there ARE limits on Commerce Clause power, and the Necessary and Proper Clause do NOT, in FACT, give virtually unlimited power. Section 5000A of the PPACA only survived being struck down due to the fact that it could be interpreted as a tax. IMHO, THAT was wrongly decided, as a Direct Tax is ALSO unconstitutional. Medicaid expansion was also deemed unconstitutional due to it's coercive status.

Bad collective legal interpretation does not a constitutional text or design make.

RE: Trampled rights.

It is not explicit, but implicit, that there should be a balance in some fashion. Electoral College serves that function.
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Old September 3 2012, 06:28 AM   #159
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

2. Let me know what your research reveals.
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Old September 3 2012, 07:02 AM   #160
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

CoveTom wrote: View Post
I could argue a great deal with what has been said here about the US system of government. Suffice it to say, I think Sci is factually wrong on just about every single assertion he/she has made.
He. I have the "Male" symbol sitting right there on each post.

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
1. I apologize for misstating them. But prohibitions and limits are different things, are they not?
Not if you don't establish greater context. You gave no indication that you were looking for more than the standard prohibitions on government infringements on individual rights.

3. Factually incorrect. The recent PPACA case in the supreme court actually establishes that there ARE limits on Commerce Clause power, and the Necessary and Proper Clause do NOT, in FACT, give virtually unlimited power.
Of course there are limits. But we also shouldn't pretend that the old "reserved to the states" thing is anywhere near as relevant to modern life as the Founders intended -- nor should it be. The states simply are not as separate from one-another as they once were, and it's silly to pretend that that rule is anywhere near as relevant -- or ought to be anywhere near as relevant -- as it once was.

RE: Trampled rights.

It is not explicit, but implicit, that there should be a balance in some fashion. Electoral College serves that function.
"Balance" of what? Allowing a minority of people to decide the president is not balance. It's just undemocratic, period. Nor does it protect anyone's rights -- because the rights of the minority are not violated if the candidate they did not vote for becomes president.

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
2. Let me know what your research reveals.
No, that's not how this works. You've made the assertion, now it's your obligation to back it up. If you don't want to do that research, then you are morally obliged to withdraw your assertion.
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Old September 3 2012, 07:03 AM   #161
T'Bonz
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

This needs to be Star Trek-related, guys.
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Old September 3 2012, 07:39 AM   #162
OneBuckFilms
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

1. What else would I have been referring to? Tell me, because freedom of speech is such a universal concept in liberal democracies, as is the right of protest.

2. I cannot prove a negative, but I can say that the defined-role-only model of the 10th amendment is the only example of it's kind I know of.

I have attempted to find contrary examples, but encountered none.

I guess nobody raised the question as to the uniqueness of the concept or implementation.

3. Sovereignty is absolutely relevant, regardless of interconnectedness.

Anyway, back to the real issue at hand:

I still believe the Federation is a union modeled on the UN, as all of the member worlds seem to have their own political structures, and there are mentions of member worlds being in charge of themselves.
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Old September 3 2012, 07:40 AM   #163
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
This needs to be Star Trek-related, guys.
Sorry, don't want to become a Tellarite.
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Old September 3 2012, 04:07 PM   #164
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
This needs to be Star Trek-related, guys.
Let see if we can.

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Besides the Federation is supposed to be a utopia, wouldn't a Utopian have civilian involvement in how the government is run? It be more like a dystopia if the civilians had no real say in how the government is run.
If communications were up to it, the (hopefully well educated) general populace of the Federation could be involved to the point where they directly ran the governance of the Federation, leaving the Council to handle only fast paced problems. Certainly by the 24th century the populace would be directly deciding what the Federations general policies would be.

Soon after the Federation enter into one of it frequent wars, there would be a referendum as to whether to continue at all, or what the Federation's "exit strategy" would be.

There could be a Federation wide plebiscite to permit a new member (like Bajor) to join. Or to expel a member species homeworld.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Starfleet doesn't seem to concern itself with anything smaller than the Federartion government.
When T'Pau told Starfleet to stay off Kirk's back at the end of Amok Time, Starfleet listen up rather quickly. And Starfleet was less than all powerful in the Face of Ardana's government.

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1 September 1949: Invasion of Poland by the German Reich. Start of World War II in Europe.
Sci, correct me if I'm wrong, but Germany's invasion of Poland was in 1939.

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Old September 3 2012, 04:25 PM   #165
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Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

My history books also 1939, must be a typo.
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