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Old October 8 2012, 03:50 AM   #46
trekmom
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Going way back, in Spock's World, Vulcan had a vote on whether to remain in the Federation. And we learned that Vulcan has a 100% voter turnout.
I wonder why? Is it logical to assume that your one vote out of billions will make a difference? Or is it simply a Vulcan's civic duty to vote, and it is illogical to ignore your civic duty?
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Old October 8 2012, 02:58 PM   #47
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

^ From what we've seen of Vulcans, it's logical to assume that everyone voting is one of the strongest fulfillments of "Needs of the many..." Ergo, it's not just a logical mandate but a spiritual or moral one as well. "We can't accurately judge what is best for the all if not everyone votes."
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Old October 8 2012, 02:58 PM   #48
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think Paradigm was written before "In a Mirror, Darkly," though, so I'd be inclined to consider that as a continuity glitch, an assumption of a novel that was later superseded by canon. Granted, Sussman's bio screens aren't strictly canonical, but they're closer to it than a tie-in novel, and it does make more sense that they would've dropped the "Imperial" on joining the UFP.
Are we talking about the bio that only people with an HDTV who freeze framed it saw? I don't see how that would be canon unless your willing to believe that the Enterprise-D only had one bathroom on the entire ship based on the MSD.
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Old October 8 2012, 03:05 PM   #49
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

^I explicitly said it wasn't strictly canonical, didn't I? Let's not reduce things to useless absolutes. Reality is best understood in shades of gray, not black vs. white. As I said, as a tie-in novelist my preference would be to ascribe more weight to onscreen information than to something from a novel published years earlier, especially if the onscreen interpretation seems more reasonable to me. We tie-in authors are philosophical about the fact that what we write is simply a best-guess interpretation that can be overridden by canon at any time. It's our job to follow the lead of what's onscreen.
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Old October 8 2012, 03:47 PM   #50
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

For somebody who does not care about canon you certainly try to retcon everything you can.
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Old October 8 2012, 03:57 PM   #51
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

I think you mean "reconcile"
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Old October 9 2012, 02:42 AM   #52
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

On the issue of how long it takes to tabulate the vote, it amazes me that people assume that this is automatically an electronic process.

The Federation by its very nature is an amalgam of multiple species and worlds with varying cultures and traditions. For all we know there are multiples ways that one might cast a vote in an a Federation election. Just to use the US as an example, all elections are locally organized and rules and voting procedures vary from state to state. Some states only do paper ballots, some do electronic, some do mail in only.

In a multi species Federation, that process could be even more varied. There is NO reasons that elections have to be done on computers. For instance, Bajor might have cultural/historical reasons for deciding that all votes be done on paper. Some worlds might do the equivalent of a door to door census. Others might hold something like a caucus process with elaborate ceremonies that take days to complete. The hive mind on the Bynar home world might decided to take days to consider all of the potential outcomes of selecting who they as a species will vote for. Hell, for all we know, even on Earth there may be places that uses paper ballots. In a civilzation that truly respects infinite diversity in infinite combinations, voting might really be a long drawn out process.

Just because the Federation COULD have push button electronic voting does not mean that that is what it in fact does or is the only way. Remember, even today, in most developed countries, voting COULD be done electronically from your home or office via the internet. However, for a number of perfectly valid reasons, almost no nation does that and electronic voting has proven controversial.
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Old October 14 2012, 05:44 PM   #53
MacLeod
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

trekmom wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Going way back, in Spock's World, Vulcan had a vote on whether to remain in the Federation. And we learned that Vulcan has a 100% voter turnout.
I wonder why? Is it logical to assume that your one vote out of billions will make a difference? Or is it simply a Vulcan's civic duty to vote, and it is illogical to ignore your civic duty?
Yes it is logical to assume one vote can make a difference, after all in order to win an election all you need do to is get more votes than the other candiates.

It doesn't matter if thats 1 vote or 1 billion votes, the result is the same.

Elections have been determined by the cut of a deck of cards, because one or more candiates got an equal number of votes. So your one vote could have changed that result.
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Old October 14 2012, 06:02 PM   #54
Drago-Kazov
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

If there are any dumb vulcans they probably won't vote in the interest of democracy.
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Old October 14 2012, 07:07 PM   #55
TerraUnam
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

[QUOTE=DEWLine;7064953]
Christopher wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
You just need enough people to count the votes to return a result within a day or less.
Christopher wrote: View Post
And again, what is your rush? What is wrong with the idea of taking the time to be sure the results are trustworthy? It's not like the winners have to take office by the end of election day or something. There's naturally going to be a period of transition between election and inauguration. So no damage is going to be done if it takes an extra day or three to collate and verify the results. And plenty of damage could be done if the process were rushed for no good reason.
In our real 'verse, Canada is itself possibly paying for a rush to vote-count judgement right now. The results of several dozen federal ridings in the most recent national elections are under question at the moment, partly due to concerns over "robocall"-induced voter suppression. The investigations and court dates are not yet over and done...and that's just for a planet-bound nation of 35 million.
I watched the Supreme Court case on CPAC, the parliamentary/public affairs channel. Challenges of certified election results are extremely rare in Canada, winning a judicial overturn of an election result are even rarer, it has only happened five times in 145 years.

Result challenges of this kind do not have a normal appeal procedure. Challenges of the result due may be heard by the Federal Court (a small court, actually) or the Superior Court of a province (the workhorse, heavy-lifting courts that do most serious things around here). An appeal goes directly to the Supreme Court in Ottawa without a stop at a provincial court of appeal.

When I watched the Supreme Court arguments, I knew exactly what the problem was. Same-day additions to the Voter List with insufficient documentation. The voter needed to provide photo ID or two pieces of ID with a photo and address between them, or be vouched for by another voter.

The vouching in particular has rules that you have to be on the list in that poll (300 people) and can only vouch once. Then you have to fill out documentation on amendments to the voter's list, and on vouching. All of this then gets entered in the Poll Book. Lack of complete documentation here left doubt as to whether the voter lived in the poll, proved their identity or their voucher were themselves ineligible to vouch. Oh, did I mention if you vouch you have to swear an oath?

Some DRO's and Poll Clerks got hasty and didn't do their paperwork. The result was sent to the Supreme Court of Canada. As I watched the case, all I could think was "There except for the Grace of God go I" as I was doing the same job on the same day. This case will come up in election staff training in the future.
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Old October 23 2012, 07:07 AM   #56
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

While the Federation Council may be a democratic body I would imagine that not all of the member planets are what we would call democracies. Ardana in The Cloud Minders was a Federation member but the Troglytes certanly were not casting votes either on their planet or in the Federation Council. In Amok Time T'Pau asks T'Pring if she is willing to become the property of the victor. Perhaps married Vulcan women don't vote either, letting their husband deal with such matters. The Federation would be pretty boring if all the planets looked like mid 20th century American their politics.
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Old October 23 2012, 08:43 AM   #57
Sci
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

RPJOB wrote: View Post
While the Federation Council may be a democratic body I would imagine that not all of the member planets are what we would call democracies. Ardana in The Cloud Minders was a Federation member but the Troglytes certanly were not casting votes either on their planet or in the Federation Council. In Amok Time T'Pau asks T'Pring if she is willing to become the property of the victor. Perhaps married Vulcan women don't vote either, letting their husband deal with such matters. The Federation would be pretty boring if all the planets looked like mid 20th century American their politics.
And it would be morally disgusting if it did not protect the inalienable right of all of its people to participate in the democratic process and to be equal citizens before the law.
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Old October 23 2012, 01:05 PM   #58
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

Sci wrote:

And it would be morally disgusting if it did not protect the inalienable right of all of its people to participate in the democratic process and to be equal citizens before the law.
Not so much.

Federation law would dictate how it's members interact with each other. Not the rights of citizens on individual member worlds.

Isn't that what the Prime Directive is all about? Making sure societies aren't interfered with and are allowed to evolve in their own way.
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Old October 23 2012, 04:39 PM   #59
RPJOB
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

Sci wrote: View Post
RPJOB wrote: View Post
While the Federation Council may be a democratic body I would imagine that not all of the member planets are what we would call democracies. Ardana in The Cloud Minders was a Federation member but the Troglytes certanly were not casting votes either on their planet or in the Federation Council. In Amok Time T'Pau asks T'Pring if she is willing to become the property of the victor. Perhaps married Vulcan women don't vote either, letting their husband deal with such matters. The Federation would be pretty boring if all the planets looked like mid 20th century American their politics.
And it would be morally disgusting if it did not protect the inalienable right of all of its people to participate in the democratic process and to be equal citizens before the law.
That sounds like the arguments people are using against same sex marriage. It's not the way our ancestors did things. It was good enough for them. It's good enough for us and we say it's good enough for you too.

Aliens are not us. We are not them.

From TUC

CHEKOV
We do NOT impose democracy on
others. We do believe that every
planet has a sovereign claim to
human rights.

AZETBUR
(spits)
"Human rights." Even the name is
racist. The Federation is
basically a "homo sapiens" only
club...

So the Federation does not demand that every culture be democratic but they still haven't gotten to the point of realizing that every culture will have it's own idea of what constitutes a right.
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Last edited by RPJOB; October 23 2012 at 04:57 PM.
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Old October 23 2012, 11:52 PM   #60
Sci
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Re: Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Sci wrote:

And it would be morally disgusting if it did not protect the inalienable right of all of its people to participate in the democratic process and to be equal citizens before the law.
Not so much.

Federation law would dictate how it's members interact with each other. Not the rights of citizens on individual member worlds.
Except that: TNG's "The Drumhead" establishes that the Federation Constitution guarantees certain rights for all Federation citizens throughout the UFP (with the Seventh Guarantee established as the right to refrain from self-incrimination); DSN's "Accession" establishes that the Federation Charter bans caste-based discrimination on UFP Members; and VOY's "Author, Author" established that the Twelfth Guarantee defines an artist and the rights of an artist.

So the canonical evidence is very clear: Federation law enumerates the rights of citizens on individual Federation Member worlds.

Isn't that what the Prime Directive is all about?
The Prime Directive is about foreign cultures, not about saying that anyone in the UFP itself gets to oppress others under the excuse of cultural diversity.

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
RPJOB wrote: View Post
While the Federation Council may be a democratic body I would imagine that not all of the member planets are what we would call democracies. Ardana in The Cloud Minders was a Federation member but the Troglytes certanly were not casting votes either on their planet or in the Federation Council. In Amok Time T'Pau asks T'Pring if she is willing to become the property of the victor. Perhaps married Vulcan women don't vote either, letting their husband deal with such matters. The Federation would be pretty boring if all the planets looked like mid 20th century American their politics.
And it would be morally disgusting if it did not protect the inalienable right of all of its people to participate in the democratic process and to be equal citizens before the law.
That sounds like the arguments people are using against same sex marriage. It's not the way our ancestors did things. It was good enough for them. It's good enough for us and we say it's good enough for you too.
Nonsense. I did not make an "appeal to tradition" argument -- in fact, I would argue that there's almost no "tradition" to appeal to when it comes to democracy, because true democracy -- that is, universal adult suffrage -- did not exist anywhere on Earth until the mid-20th Century. (Indeed, the United States of America was not a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.)

I argued, instead, that all sentient beings have a right to democratic governance; the implication of my argument is that no government that is not democratic has any moral legitimacy and that thus the Federation should not accept non-democracies as Members.

This is not an appeal to tradition; this is an insistence that all people deserve equal representation in their government, and that no government has a right to exist without obtaining a democratic mandate. And it is certainly not an attempt to in any way limit or inhibit the rights of the individual or to perpetuate a system of oppression the way opposition to marriage equality is.

Aliens are not us. We are not them.
Sure. And the Federation has no right to impose democracy upon foreign cultures. But that doesn't mean that the Federation should let non-democracies into the club, either.

To make a comparison: The United States has absolutely no right to impose feminism on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But if Saudi Arabia were to apply, the U.S. should absolutely not allow it to become a U.S. state without a guarantee of equal rights for women.

And what makes you think democracy is a uniquely Human idea? ENT's "Home" establishes that before the High Command took over the government, Vulcan was led by a First Minister -- implying a democratic government that was overthrown by a military coup. (And goodness knows that Vulcan under V'las is a good example of the negative consequence of undemocratic governance.)

It's more likely that democracy is a system that's arisen on numerous worlds independently. A system that ensures everyone has an equal voice in their government and which obtains a popular mandate for the government is eminently logical and practical. It makes perfect sense for Vulcan and Andor to have been democracies long before contact with United Earth. (In fact, since this is Trek lit, the novel Andor: Paradigm establishes exactly that about Andor.) And God knows democracy lends itself to exactly the sort of argumentation that Tellarites love so much.

From TUC

CHEKOV
We do NOT impose democracy on
others. We do believe that every
planet has a sovereign claim to
human rights.

AZETBUR
(spits)
"Human rights." Even the name is
racist. The Federation is
basically a "homo sapiens" only
club...
False. Chekov makes no such reference to democracy.

The actual lines are as follows (source):

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country wrote:
CHEKOV: We do believe all planets have a sovereign claim to inalienable human rights.

AZETBUR: Inalien... If only you could hear yourselves? 'Human rights.' Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club.

CHANG: Present company excepted, of course.
Chekv can be reasonably criticized for using the phrase "Human rights" rather than the phrase "sentient rights." At no point is democracy mentioned.

So the Federation does not demand that every culture be democratic but they still haven't gotten to the point of realizing that every culture will have it's own idea of what constitutes a right.
Of course every culture will have its own idea of what constitutes a right. And that's why the Federation has been established on numerous occasions -- especially in episodes like TNG's "Attached" and DSN's "Accession" -- not to allow just anyone as a Member. By the 24th Century, they carefully evaluate applicant cultures to determine if their values are compatible.

Remember, if every culture has its own ideas about what constitutes a right, that includes the Federation. The Federation has no obligation to allow cultures in as Members whose values violate the Federation's.
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