I'm new around here, but not forums. So I did use the search function to see if there were previous threads on this subject, but didn't find any. So I apologize if this has been talked to death already. I'm pretty familiar with TOS and movies I - XIII, along with the new reboot. I'm not that familiar with the other series, movies, and I've never read the novels or other text. One thing I've always wondered is about the government of Earth, and by association, the United Federation of Planets. Maybe this is discussed in TNG, DS9, VOY, or ENT. But I'm very curious: I'm guessing the governments of the Federation Planets are all independent (in other words, Vulcan has a Vulcan government, and Earth has an Earth government, etc.) So while we've seen the "Federation President" in movies, who's running earth? There is a basic idea that Earth is a sort of "utopian" society, but is it run by a ruling oligarchy? Socialist society? In none of the works that I've seen do I recall any mention of earth people of the 23rd century voting, but that's not to say it wasn't there, or it's not in some of the works I'm not familiar with. Anyway, none of this is vital to my enjoyment of the series of course. I'm just curious, as it seems that the Star Trek universe is so often mentioned in the context of having conquered it's problems with petty nationalism and so forth, but without any details as to how.