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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 5 2012, 01:44 PM   #1
Hando
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Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Do we know why Thomas Vanderbilt went from a Minister for Defense in 2155 to Minister for Environment in 2161?
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Old September 5 2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Hando wrote: View Post
Do we know why Thomas Vanderbilt went from a Minister for Defense in 2155 to Minister for Environment in 2161?
No, but it's not unprecedented for cabinet officials to change jobs. For instance, James Baker was Reagan's Treasury secretary and Bush Sr.'s Secretary of State, and George Shultz made the same transition between the Nixon and Reagan administrations after previously being Nixon's Labor secretary and OMB director.

The character of Thomas Vanderbilt was first mentioned in production art for Picard's family album in Generations, where he was alleged to be the first Federation president. The novel continuity has not yet established him as holding that role, but perhaps the intention of including him in the Romulan War novels and having him jump between posts was to lay the foundations for his future presidency by showing he had a range of experience in government.
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Old September 5 2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

I don't know earth politics since I don't read enterprise books, but if it's anything like british politics it's totally normal. We just had a cabinet reshuffle the other day. Prime Ministers do them to:

-Re-energise the government
-Keep the party guessing(divide & rule)
-Promote liked/loyal/competent MP's/Ministers
-Demote/Sack disliked/disloyal/incompetent Ministers

Defense to Enviroment would be seen as a downgrade, or at best a lateral move - depending on how important the enviroment is to the government of the day.
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Old September 5 2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Well, Vanderbilt was Defense minister during the Earth-Romulan War and had become Environment minister by the time of the Federation's founding ceremony. Maybe he stepped down from Defense after the war because he felt his work was done, or that it was a new era with different priorities, or something.
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Old September 5 2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

To be honest, if the political system of Earth is based on non-American cabinets, for example British or British-derived political cabinets (like South Africa), or French Cabinets, or other systems, minsters do not have a permanent brief and can be 'shuffled' around.

Indeed in the UK, we just underwent our first Cabinet Reshuffle of this government (2010-present). In the last government they were almost annual events. You can read about it on many uk news sites, for example the Telegraph or the Guardian.
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Old September 5 2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, Vanderbilt was Defense minister during the Earth-Romulan War and had become Environment minister by the time of the Federation's founding ceremony. Maybe he stepped down from Defense after the war because he felt his work was done, or that it was a new era with different priorities, or something.
Yeah, the labour government did a similar thing in the uk in '45, campaigning on the welfare state.

Also, if a minister has sufficient clout within the party, they can pretty much create their own fiefdom - ten years ago our deputy prime minister created his own department called the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, eating up several smaller departments and portfolios in the process. So I guess he could have made it a powerful department.
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Old September 5 2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Hm, something that has been floating in my mind while I was thinking about this, just what is the United Earth Environment minister responsible for? Mining? Colonization?

And if Starfleet was basically transfered to the Federation, may be, there was no longer any need for a Defense minister.

On the issue of importance/strength of ministries, wouldn't you consider the Foreign and Defense ministries to be the least important pre-2150s? Earth having contact only with Mars, Vulcan and Centauri and Starfleet only having a handful of ships.
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Old September 5 2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Hando wrote: View Post
On the issue of importance/strength of ministries, wouldn't you consider the Foreign and Defense ministries to be the least important pre-2150s? Earth having contact only with Mars, Vulcan and Centauri and Starfleet only having a handful of ships.
There's always a need for a foreign service, for specialist training in languages, cultural tropes, and so on. And defense may have been tasked with maintaining order on Earth colonies, such as Mars with issues like the later Terra Nova-ness.
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Old September 5 2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Re: Thomas Vanderbilt, minister for what?

Hando wrote: View Post
Hm, something that has been floating in my mind while I was thinking about this, just what is the United Earth Environment minister responsible for? Mining? Colonization?
Environment ministers are just what they sound like -- they're responsible for environmental protection and wildlife conservation. The American equivalents are the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Interior.


And if Starfleet was basically transfered to the Federation, may be, there was no longer any need for a Defense minister.
Depends on how the early Federation was organized. If it was like the European Union, then each individual nation (planet) would've retained its own individual ministers, and the union-wide institutions would be run collectively by the individual national (planetary) ministers.


On the issue of importance/strength of ministries, wouldn't you consider the Foreign and Defense ministries to be the least important pre-2150s? Earth having contact only with Mars, Vulcan and Centauri and Starfleet only having a handful of ships.
Pre-2150s, there had been contact with a few other inhabited worlds than those, such as Draylax andTrillius Prime (which Star Charts equated with Trill).

And Starfleet wasn't the only institution with ships out there. The Earth Cargo Service had quite a lot of low-warp vessels plying the spaceways for decades (including the ship where Travis Mayweather was born and raised).

But yeah, I think it's safe to say there was a pretty huge increase in military spending after the Xindi attack in 2153.
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