List of Federation Members

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sci, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. foravalon

    foravalon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There seems to have been a lot of progress made in these years on overtures towards peace with the Romulans; enough so that the Romulan ambassador Nanclus was sitting in on military briefings with the UFP President in the Palais de la Concorde by 2293.

    One could infer that this was a sort of brief but golden age for relations between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation. This period could have come about due to
    the revolution in the Romulan state and subsequent rise of Empress Ael
    in the early 2270's as shown in the Rihaansu books. This could conceivably have blossomed in the next 2 decades until the 2390's when conspiracy and possible counter-revolution may have ended the reign of the Empress and began the slow spiral which sent all that sunny happiness and good will to hell.

    Relations between the states definitely seemed cooler by the time of the 2310's until the Tomed incident finally sealed the deal and slammed the door shut on the Neutral Zone once again.
     
  2. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    I believe that was a one-time thing. Praxis had exploded, Gorkon assassinated, Kirk and McCoy taken prisoner, the Klingon Empire on the brink of collapse and the president's military adviser suggesting they "clean their chronometers." It makes a certain amount of sense that the Federation would keep the region's third superpower in the loop. (Not so much sense that you would invite a foreign ambassador to witness a strategic planning session, of course; that's just stupid. Which I guess is more to the point of why I chose to believe it was a one-time thing.)
     
  3. foravalon

    foravalon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh yeah, I don't think that particular thing was a regular occurrence, just another indication of the trust and cooperation that seems to have been built. At almost no other time has any such level of comfort and just plain civility been shown between the UFP and the RSE until the latter days of the Dominion War.

    The establishment of Nimbus III sometime prior to the late-2280's could also be a hallmark of this period.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Tell that to the people of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. They're regarded as US citizens (or nationals in the Samoans' case), but they have no vote because they're "unincorporated territories" rather than states. They have representatives in Congress, but those representatives cannot vote; they are only observer members.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I just learned something new.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    See, the phrase "observer member" implies sovereignty on the part of the observer. The State of the Vatican City is an observer member of the United Nations, because it is a sovereign state, with a government that is the highest legal authority within its territory. In other words, "observer member" is a term that refers to an intergovernmental organization, not to a state, even a federal one.

    Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands (let's not forget them) are, as you noted, unincorporated territories -- not observer members. Similarly, the District of Columbia is a federal district, not an observer member. And it's important to note that their Delegates to Congress do get to vote in House committees, but not on the House floor. An observer member of the UN doesn't even get to do that.

    The other thing to remember is that observer members are usually observer members for a reason. Either they want in but other members won't let them -- the Palestinian delegation to the UN, for instance -- or they want to watch but DON'T want to be a full part of the club (Vatican City). That's different from most of the US territories, which were conquered by the US during its imperialism phase and whose populace's consensus on staying in the Union is controversial.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Sheesh, way to split hairs. I think you're missing the point by taking the term "observer member" too literally and narrowly. The point is that it's possible to have people present in a government's legislature who are not representatives of full member worlds. The precise details of that are irrelevant to this discussion. It's unreasonable to cling to exact, literal analogies to present-day Earth governments when we're talking about an interstellar, multispecies government in the future. The only way any analogy can intelligently be used is loosely, as a precedent for a general principle rather than a claim of exact equivalence.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, of course I'm splitting hairs. We're talking about a legal issue, and laws are all about hair-splittery.

    I get that, but I wasn't missing the point. I was arguing that it would be wrong to use the term "observer member" because that has a very different legal meaning than what was being described.

    Not really. There are only a few possibilities for a representative to a legislature that does not represent a fully equal member polity:

    1. This representative is from a sovereign political entity that is the highest legal authority within its territory and which owes and gives no submission to the government that legislature is part of. If this is the case, there are two possibilities:

    1a. That legislature is not truly a legislature, because it is not a constituent part of a government that claims final authority over its territory. In other words, that legislature is actually a deliberative body of an organization that holds the traits of an alliance or intergovernmental organization.

    1b. That representative is not actually a representative and not truly a part of that legislature, and is therefore actually an ambassador (whatever he or she might be called).

    2. This representative is from a political entity that is not sovereign. In this case, that political entity is somehow dominated by the larger political entity to which that legislature belongs, and the polity from which that representative originates is not an "observer" member because it is being dominated by that other polity. Observation, after all, implies separation.

    In other words, the key question is who has authority? Authority collects and pools and controls the relationships between political entities. Members of a political entity are either equal or unequal. If there is a representative to a polity whose own polity is not equal with the other member polities, then is either foreign, dominated, or the larger political entity is not a sovereign government.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that you're the person who introduced the phrase "observer member." wew just mentioned "observers" -- specifically, "observers from planets that are not members of the Federation." If you thought that meant "observer member" in whatever specific legalistic sense you're imagining, I think you misread the post in question.


    Only a few possibilities you know of from human history. You can't assume that aliens or future humans -- let alone the interaction of both -- would be incapable of producing possibilities beyond your experience.


    Wrong. Puerto Rico's non-voting representative in the US Congress is called a representative, at least unofficially. Officially, he or she is the Resident Commissioner. Non-voting representatives of other territories are called Delegates. A Delegate or Resident Commissioner is actually a member of the US Congress, simply one without voting rights. An ambassador is something altogether different, a diplomat based in his or her country's embassy.
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think I misread the post, I think I made an understandable but inaccurate inference as to what wew meant. Wew had specifically cited the precedent of United Nations observer states. When I elaborated upon the difference between the UN and UFP -- the UN lacks statehood, whereas the Federation its clearly a state in its own right -- wew talked about designated observers from foreign states present at Federation government functions. At that point, I pointed out that there's already a term for such observers: "Ambassador."


    No, it's an inherent fact of how power functions. Two polities can only have three basic relationships. Either they are legally foreign to one-another (and therefore both independent and sovereign), or one is a constituent part of the other. If one polity constitutes part of a larger polity, then that one polity is either an equal partner, or it is an unequal, to some degree dominated, constituent part. Power does not allow other possibilities: You are either foreign to, within but equal, or within but dominated.

    If you read my post, you'd surely realize that my intent was to imply that Puerto Rico, along with the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia, would fall under category 2: They are unequal parts of the United States that are dominated rather than treated as equal partners. Option 1b would refer to, for instance, the High Commissioner of Canada to the Commonwealth of Australia -- or to wew's idea of a representative of a foreign state empowered to observe Federation governmental functions on behalf of his/her world.

    (And, once again, do keep in mind that the delegates -- a generally-accepted shorthand for both the territorial delegates and the Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner -- do have voting rights within US House committees.)
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^^I don't even know what you think this debate is about anymore. You're spiralling down into your own world of technicalities that don't have anything to do with what I thought we were talking about.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I was honestly thinking the same thing, especially since I had considered the matter of wew's initial statement long since closed when I pointed out that a representative of a foreign government present to observe another government is usually called an ambassador. I really didn't have the slightest clue what your point was in bringing that issue back up unless it was to point out that unequal and oppressive relationships can exist within a real-world federation. But surely we can all agree that the UFP would not engage in oppressive, unequal practices such as the US has engaged in.