Did we ever see anyone vote in the Federation?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Drago-Kazov, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Britain still has a throne -- and a monarch sitting on it -- but no longer has an empire. So the same could go for the Andorians.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    True. But on the other hand, Andor might be an empire only in the same sense that Britain is a kingdom -- a ceremonial sense. It might just be an empire in name rather than actuality.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Or it might not be an empire at all. I don't see any reason to assume it still uses the name after 2161, unless you can cite some text in which it actually does.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    All we know with any certainty is that the Andorian Imperial Guard is still called such in 2376 in Andor: Paradigm. I'm inclined to interpret that as indicating that their state is still called the Andorian Empire, but your mileage may vary.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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Darkly," though, so I'd be inclined to consider that as a continuity glitch, an assumption of a novel that was later superseded by canon.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.
     
  6. trekmom

    trekmom Ensign Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  7. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    ^ 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."
     
  8. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  10. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    For somebody who does not care about canon you certainly try to retcon everything you can.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think you mean "reconcile"
     
  12. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    If there are any dumb vulcans they probably won't vote in the interest of democracy.
     
  15. TerraUnam

    TerraUnam Commander Red Shirt

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  16. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  19. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    False. Chekov makes no such reference to democracy.

    The actual lines are as follows (source):

    Chekv can be reasonably criticized for using the phrase "Human rights" rather than the phrase "sentient rights." At no point is democracy mentioned.

    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.