Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Point?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Captain Shatner, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    "Capital." A capitol is a building wherein a legislature sits, not the city where a government is located.

    And that's irrelevant. You shouldn't merge those states because they have distinct, separate political identities and do not want to be united. Neither Maryland nor D.C. wants retrocession.

    No, it wouldn't. It would be shoe-horning a distinct political community into another state, and it would violate the clearly-expressed democratic will of the people of the District of Columbia, who have twice voted for statehood.

    Why is equality so offensive?

    What's so unfair to the other states? No one's violating their right to statehood.

    D.C. has more citizens than the State of Wyoming. Are you going to advocate a revocation of Wyoming's statehood on the grounds that it's unfair to the larger states, too?

    Of course it's not, but "canon" just means "the stuff other stuff is based on," that's all. It's a meaningless statement.
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    Of course by the 24th century USSR could mean somthing else.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    Might be another world, even...

    Sounds like they'd do just that! If there's something they can't access, they tell Spock to play it for them, and he complies, while dreaming that he is trying to stop the hacking.

    Although it doesn't seem as if any of this stuff usually is on those portable memory squares; Spock can call it up simply by pressing keys on his console. The data cartridges in the episodes seem to carry data pertinent to specific scans or other temporary things, just as one would expect today.

    On the issue of UFP Council representatives, have we ever heard of such a character? T'Pau turned down a seat there, and Bajorans were supposed to select reps (in an unspecified manner - probably, they ask the Prophets to choose!), but has any named or otherwise identified character actually been a UFP Council Member?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    The Federation Council is a myth. Starfleet is actually in control of the Federation, but the top brass maintain the fiction of a civilian-controlled Federation Council to placate the masses.

    Admiral Leyton's crime wasn't in trying to overthrow the Council, it was in trying to bring the truth of the situation to the masses!
     
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    No, not really. We just saw that Admiral Leyton used his considerable influence (and the fact that Jaresh-Inyo was such a pushover) to get Starfleet troops on every street corner. And of course that they didn't want to create new uniforms that they weren't ever going to use again. ;)

    I'm sure that United Earth security forces could have been 'federalized' to deal with the crisis (in fact, they were actually going to show that, but it got cut for time).

    Actually I believe that there has been onscreen mention of Federation member worlds retaining their own militaries for purely local matters. Most of them would indeed be absorbed into Starfleet, but not all.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    If Ohio gets to keep its own Ohio Naval Patrol, and Maryland gets to keep its own Maryland Defense Force, I see no reason why Federation Members can't get to keep their own space forces, too.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    This from rapture is what I am talking about.

    Of course the hilarious thing is that "absorb" probably means paintjob.

    Private citizens, companies and religious orders can... Paris when he was a kid wanted to join the US(?) Coastguard because he really liked messing about in boats.

    Do the Coastguard and Starfleet have overlapping responsibilities? Or is the coastguard purely ceremonial considering transporter technology makes sea rescue almost effortless since there are probably thousands of satellites maintaining %100 coverage on earth of their Transporter Network for site to site beaming.

    Although, the reason that there are so many star ship designs is that there are shipyards all over the federation who have their own local design teams pitching new ideas which the local powers want to cling to preserve their small town values.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    This might be like when a new member in NATO have their military command structures put in line with other NATO members so as that they can co-ordinate joint operations. But the NATO member retains direct control over their military.

    The multiple series have shown us that there are a lot of different ways to build a starship, lots of different configurations. If Starfleet simply took over total control of all of it's 150 plus members starships, then we wouldn't just be seeing a few different types of starships in Starfleet, we would be seeing a incredible wild assortment of ship types.

    Which we did not see, not even during the big battles of the Dominion War.

    Both Betazed and Vulcan come to mind. Betazed was able independently to fight off the Dominion for a time, And the Vulcans quickly went to intercept the Romulans, when they crossed the the NZ.

    :)
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    One would imagine that all the Federation worlds started using common designs for the sake of logistics. If you have a Vulcan ship putting into a Betazed starbase for repairs, that's going to be difficult to expect them to keep parts for however many planets ships on hand.

    So while those Bajorian ships would be Federation, you probably wouldn't see them used much outside of the Bajorian system and they'd be gradually phased out.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    This argument is seemingly somewhat undermined by the great variety of ships used by the Federation already. But the real differences and commonalities would probably be found at deeper levels: ships using a specific common type of isolinear chip would be serviceable, while ships that look much the same but have a different type of chip or rod or helix or bulb or whatnot would have to be phased out.

    As for the types of commonality that today are of the most concern to, say, NATO, the bold new world of the 24th century would probably make most of them non-issues. Common ways of transmitting data would be a matter of pressing a few buttons that make the software rewrite itself; the hardware would already be flexible enough to cater for everything. Common "ordnance" for energy weapons would simply mean, well, pressing a few buttons that make the software rewrite itself, too. Most spares could be replicated, physical ammo likewise. Connectors and adapters for most things would be virtual or wireless - we basically never see plugs and sockets in Star Trek anyway.

    The greatest incompatibilities might well emerge from cultural differences after all...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    Some of the dialogue from the DS9 ep Paradise Lost supports the idea that the Federation is a democracy, with Sisko telling admiral Layton that he is trying to create a military dictatorship in the Federation, by overthrowing an elected government and replacing it with direct rule from Starfleet. Clearly the President of the Federation has to win some sort of election and the civilian government runs things, rather then Starfleet itself.

    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.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    ^Sure the President has to win some sort of election but is it by popular vote of the electorate or does the council elect the President from their members?
     
  13. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    Which government, though? Starfleet doesn't seem to concern itself with anything smaller than the Federartion government. Perhaps elections take place from city government levels up to world government levels freely and purely democratically. But at the interstellar level, Starfleet picks the Federation President puppet, and makes sure some other operatives are available to pretend to be the Federation Council occasionally. Having the appearance of a democracy keeps the Federation population appeased, while the surrounding empires continuously underestimate the too-good-to-be-true Federation that is, in actuality, a military dictatorship!

    :devil:
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    I'll never understand why this is such a popular hypothesis when it stands in defiance of basic nomenclature. If he were elected from among the Federation Council by the Council, then why wouldn't he be called the Federation Prime Minister? There's only one presidency in the world where the President is elected by the legislature from among the legislators -- the South African Presidency.... which evolved from the old apartheid-era South African Prime Ministry. The clear outlier.

    Every other state that has the head of government elected by and from among the legislature calls that head of government "Prime Minister" or something that translates to such. Hypothesizing that the Federation President is elected by and from among the Council adds another layer of needless complication with no evidence to support it.

    Occum's Razor: The Federation President is an actual president, not a prime minister, and is elected by the people.

    .... so what's the point of Star Trek, again, then? Because you might as well say that the "real" lesson of Batman is "Become a criminal and mug people to support yourself" if you argue that's the point of Star Trek.
     
  15. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    I love how Occam's Razor so often gets touted out as "proof" of a concept. It's a probability or theory. As it hasn't been established in the Trekverse one way or another there's no way to -know.-

    As for the dictatorship comment? Surely you didn't take it seriously Sci? It was obviously a joke.
     
  16. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    The point of Star Trek is to subvert expectations. Things are never what they first appear to be in Star Trek. Balok was not a fearsome alien intent on destroying the Enterprise. The Gorn was just a fellow starship captain defending his species' territory. So why should the seemingly democratic Federation be simply what it appears to be? Why couldn't it be a devious military dictatorship that manages to function well for centuries? Seems much more plausible, given Starfleet's dominance in the show.

    Oh, maybe the 23rd century UFP had some civilian leadership, but by the 24th century there are few civilian leaders depicted, while Starfleet does everything from policing to colonization. I see no evidence of anything but a military dictatorship in the 24th century UFP, with a "civilian" Federation puppet president. Definitely not what we'd expect, and so it's more interesting for the unexpectedness of the revelation!
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    I didn't present it as "proof" of anything. Occam's Razor is perfectly valid here; it is the principle that urges us to choose from among competing hypotheses that which requires the least number of additional assumptions. It's a lot simpler to presume that the Federation President is a president than that the Federation President is actually a prime minister who is called a president.
     
  18. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    If the Federation is supposed to be a utopia, either the President would be directly elected or this council would be elected. If the council is not elected and they pick the President, then Kirk and Sisko's line about the Federation would be false, so I think the Federation would be run by a elected body. Either the President runs directly or members of a parliamentary body run for office and the President is choose amongst the elected parliamentarians.

    If the Federation was run by an oligarchy, how would it be a utopia?
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    Between a well run oligarchy, and a badly run representative government, which would be the utopia?

    The "President" could simply be the president of the council, appointed (elected) by the council itself, without the input of the populace. Similar to Herman Van Rompuy, who is the President of the European Council.

    Jaresh-Inyo's full formal title could be President of the Federation Council.

    But isn't it presumptuous to assume that a governing body composed of a conglomeration of several dozen members governing systems would pull it's nomenclature rules solely from a single member? When it come right down to it, Jaresh-Inyo was the "leader of the governing body," that's all. As you went from planet to planet, his job title could have changed wildly.

    :)
     
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Is the Federation a True Democracy? And How Did It Reach That Poin

    You are making one assumption that the President is directly elected.

    The other competiting hypothesis that the Federation President is elcted from the Federation council also requires one assumption. That they are elected from the council.