Starship of the Federation President

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Dingo, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    :lol:

    I do think that if such a ship is used in a future movie or TV show, this Babylon 5 ship isn't a bad thing to base it off of, especially the fighters used as escort (although that would be small battle cruisers as escorts, most likely, or big ones.)
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In two separate episodes the United Federation of Planets is directly referred to as a "Alliance."

    In Spectre Of The Gun, Kirk referred to the United Federations of Planets in the TOS era as "... a vast alliance of fellow creatures ..." Not a vast interstellar state.

    In Azati Prime, Daniels refers to the multiple species in the Federation as being "... unified in a powerful alliance." Not a powerful interstellar state.

    And there Sci, are your canonical sources, glad I could help out.

    Problem there is it's never directly referred to as such.

    As a allied assemblage of sovereign star nations, the organization's governing body (the Council) could have the ability to make group decision in the areas of defense and external diplomatic affairs.

    The Council's presiding official could hold the title of "President," or even PotUFP. They would be elected by other members of the Council as the Council's leader.

    The Federation Council President would have the authority to declare a State of Emergency on the one Member world where the Federation governing body meet, but not necessarily on any other world in the Federation.

    There no evidence that a state of emergency was declared on Betazed when it was invaded by the Dominion.

    The Federation would have the power delegated to it by the Member worlds.

    The multiple territories of the various sovereign Members of the Federation, the home worlds and colonies. Plus additional territorial claims by the Federation.

    Providing for a common defense would be one of the primary reasons for forming the Federation in the first place.

    While the Federation does wage a fair number of wars, there not a single example of the Council declaring war in any of the series.

    Are you bringing up that speed limit thing again Sci?

    The people on the show clearly self-identify with their respective home worlds and species, and not with being Federationists.

    Being a "Federation citizen" is like being a modern day "citizen of the world."

    "A tool of its Member States." would be a excellent way of describing the Federation.

    No one is saying the the Federation is exactly like the UN, but that it was more like the UN. More so than a sovereign nation. An alliance like the Federation has ever existed on Earth, there would be aspects to it that are unique and new.

    **********

    [​IMG]


    Love it.

    :)
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I see the point. I was thinking in terms of comparisons to Starfleet ships, which it seems use their actual names in voice communications.

    Whoa, how wild a place is the Federation? We see the Galaxy class face the unknowns of the frontiers of explored space unescorted, but travel within the Federation is so dangerous a Galaxy can't defend herself without three Defiants? That seems fairly overblown to me.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It does seem as if "inside UFP borders" and "outside UFP borders" aren't too different in terms of military threats. Klingons got all the way to Genesis; Romulans got all the way to Risa; Klingons got to the orbit of the Romulan homeworld! Sure, there may be anti-cloak countermeasures in place, and sure, they are presumed to be somewhat effective in the direction of the Romulan Star Empire ("Face of the Enemy"), but you can never be sure that the empty space next to your Presidential Yacht really is empty.

    Cloaks aren't the only way to render borders meaningless. High speed or high firepower allow enemies to penetrate to the very heart of the UFP, too. In "Descent", people on the Moon seriously thought that the Borg were on their doorstep without advance warning! And never mind spatiotemporal anomalies, or surprise strikes by seemingly innocuous parties, although what good an armed escort would do against those is unclear.

    Whether the President really is worth protecting is another issue. Why should he/she/it be a high value target to anybody with the means to harm a spacecraft (as random nutcases would be deterred by the defenses of a runabout already)? The President only has as much symbolic value as is afforded him/her/it, and a massive armed escort affords such value, perhaps disproportionately. OTOH, surely you can always elect a new President, and use the loss of the previous one as a valid excuse for whatever firm action you want to take...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    You could possibly say the closest real world analogy is the UFP is the EU. A group od disperate nations who have allied together (at least in some areas).
     
  6. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, the Federation *did* have the power to force residents to leave the colony worlds that they traded to the Cardassians to settle a border dispute. That doesn't sound like they ONLY have the power over sovereign members that is granted to them by those members. It sounds like a Federal system.

    But honestly, I think this is useless to argue unless you're willing to bring the novels into play, because going strictly by what has been shown on screen, then much like what is going on with the Federation's economy, evidence can be provided for several different alternatives with none of them being a definitive answer.
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think that territory was the Federation's to start with, it was basically just open space beyond the Federation's established borders. The colonists venture in without the Federation's permission, the Federation and the Union did fight for the new territory, but in the end neither could claim all of it and so they divided the territory between them. None of the territory was ever Federation territory prior to the division.

    An alliance could authorize employing it's combined armed forces to expand it's territory.

    To extend it's borders to envelop colonies that were created outside the existing "old" borders.

    I for one am not willing to do that.

    :)
     
  8. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then, as I said, I believe arguing the issue amounts to useless fanwankery, as there's no definitive onscreen answer and there's ways to use onscreen "evidence" to support multiple mutually exclusive options.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wouldn't it be a bad idea for the Federation president to always travel on the same starship? Word would get out quick. Everybody would know where the president is. And that would make their ship an awfully convenient target.

    Seems that it'd be much more secure if the president travels on a randomly selected starship. If nobody knows where the president is, they're likely to be that much safer, innit?
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Well, you'd better tell Obama to stop using Air Force One then! Damn thing sticks out like a sore thumb!
     
  11. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    Not quite the same thing.

    In the fictional ST universe, there is nothing to stop a bunch of enemy ships decloaking in front of an media friendly willy waving vessel that the "president" is well known to spend much of his/her intergalactic travels within.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Basically, though, there's nothing to stop a determined enemy from destroying, say, fifty top-notch starships suspected of protecting the President.

    It's very much a matter of deciding which threat level one wants to prepare against. Even a single starship is probably significant overkill against "civilian" villains, whereas "military" threats cannot be deterred or defended against at all.

    What a single armed starship might be good for is keeping the President safe in encounters with completely random dangers that aren't specifically out to get the President but will hijack, destroy or digest vessels lesser than starships, simply because that's what they do - say, space amoebae, Ferengi corsairs, battleshipfuls of drunken Klingons, etc. Essentially, the President would travel protected against the "weather" and "wildlife" (always prudent) rather than against assassins (who won't be stopped by mere security arrangements).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The president will sometimes travel on a US government aircraft other than the traditional Air Force One 747, a smaller boeing 757 or big business style jet. just for the reason mentioned, security.

    Whatever plane he on is still Air Force One, but it's less obvious.

    :)
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly.

    The USA's security procedures sure aren't perfect by any means, but they're reasonably secure enough to stop some nutbar terrorist from getting anywhere near our airspace. Hijackings will always be a problem, of course, but those are extremely rare.

    Conversely, in the Trek future, it's a lot easier for a hostile power (the Federation is almost literally surrounded by them) to get a cloaked ship, or even a fleet of non-cloaked ships, to destroy the Starfleet vessel they know is carrying the President.

    Then again: Is there any real reason why the President would ever want to leave Earth in the first place? Technology is sufficiently advanced to enable absolute real-time teleconferencing. Throw in a holodeck and it's just like being in the same room with whoever the President wants to talk to. So why not stay on Earth, which is deep in Federation space and therefore a lot safer?
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, you probably don't make a strong impression on the Klingons by only communicating with them while cowering in a holodeck on Earth...

    If faced with one presidential candidate who will never leave Earth and one who's willing to take the risks of going off-world, I know which way I'd likely go, everything else being equal.

    If you want to be safe, don't run for President.
     
  16. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's also the idea - and I know this is going to seem like an archaic and barbaric notion to some of you, but even so - that there are some circumstances under which you WANT the president to be vulnerable to a degree. He/she is, after all, just another citizen, albeit one with a lot of power, and if he/she becomes a threat to the fundamental principles and freedoms of the people he/she is administering, it is almost good to know that a determined group of citizens can take them out. And so long as proper governance is maintained, they aren't irreplaceable - governments have a chain of succession in part to deal with such occasions.

    (And no, I'm not a wingnut. But there was *a reason* for Jefferson's quote about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.)
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No matter where you go, there you are.
    If you really come to the point of actually wanting this, historically the go-to solution would be to recruit a faction of his bodyguard... and then of course come up with a means of protecting yourself from them.* ;)

    You have to be pretty far gone from the kind of optimistic, democratic society the Federation is supposed to be to start thinking in those terms, though. (Just assuming we're still talking about the Federation here.)

    [* EDIT: Good luck with that; I don't know off the top of my head of any examples of people successfully pulling off the second step.]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  18. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We are - I was thinking of scenarios like the TNG episode "Conspiracy", or possibly the "Fall of the Federation" plotline that seems popular in some of the fanfics.

    (If we weren't, though, but instead we were talking about something more contemporary ;), then it would seem from recent evidence that you would be fine if you could keep the bodyguards supplied with hookers and liquor. :devil: )
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Two lines of dialogue vs. a vast preponderance of evidence in which the Federation behaves like a sovereign state.

    The preponderance of evidence goes towards contradicting those two lines.

    But it consistently behaves as such.

    Then they've already yielded their sovereignty de facto if not de jure. It is the nature of a sovereign that it is the one that decides its foreign and defense policies; this is fundamental to sovereignty.

    You have already described a sovereign state in fact, even if it is not a sovereign state on paper.

    This would seem to contradict "Homefront," in which Jaresh-Inyo speaks of having "run" for President, rather than as having been chosen by a couple dozen Councillors.

    1. There is no evidence that the right to declare a State of Emergency on Earth does not exist for other Federation Members.

    2. Alliances don't get to declare States of Emergency, period. This is by definition one of the traits of a sovereign state. NATO doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Brussels -- the Belgian government does. The Commonwealth of Nations does not get to declare a State of Emergency in London -- the British government does. The Organization of American States doesn't get to declare a State of Emergency in Washington -- the U.S. and District of Columbia governments do. Etc.

    The problem is that in an alliance, those wouldn't be Federation territory. Those would be territories of the members. But when we see the show, we don't see the Enterprise captain declaring, "You have entered the sovereign territory of the Commonwealth of Planet Zog, who is allied with the sovereign state of United Earth and whose territorial interests we will defend as though they were our own (even though they are not) because we're such nice allies!"

    We see Captain Picard say, "You have entered Federation territory." Not allied territory. Federation territory. Meaning, the Federation holds sovereignty over this territory.

    Alliances cannot make territorial claims; only sovereign states can.

    "Providing for a common defense" is a very different thing from having your own military. Possession of a military is one of THE defining traits of statehood.

    That is one example of binding statutory law. Another would be the relocation of Federation colonists from planets the Federation Council had conceded by treaty to other sovereign states -- a territorial decision no alliance could ever make for its members, but which a sovereign state alone may make.

    1. You are attempting to conflate cultural identification with legal citizenship. I identify as English-American; this does not mean that I identify as a British citizen.

    2. Then why did O'Brien assert his natural rights in the face of a tyrannical Cardassian tribunal by declaring, "I am a Federation citizen"? Obviously his Federation citizenship is important to him if he is using it in an ideological battle with an alien culture.

    Some more:

    Identifying by Federation citizenship.

    More examples of the importance of Federation citizenship.

    As the above quotes demonstrate, Federation citizenship is a specific legal status that confers and protects certain specific rights for those who hold it. It is an important legal determinater for numerous conflicts.

    When have we ever seen the Federation letting one of its Members take the lead instead of taking the lead itself?


    Whoa, how wild a place is the Federation?[/quote]

    The Federation does not need to be a wild place for a few lone political actors to undertake violence. Nor for interstellar borders to be very permeable.

    Those ships in unexplored space aren't carrying the President. Of course it's overblown. That's the point. ;)

    Considering how many United States Presidents and other heads of state have been the victims of assassination, I am honestly flabbergasted that you would imagine the risk of irrational political actors engaging in violence against the head of government of the most powerful state in local space would be so low.

    Exactly.

    The novels have come down pretty definitively on the side of the Federation being a sovereign state in its own right. :)

    It was explicitly established to be Federation territory.

    What you are describing is an alliance in name only.

    Why not? Most of the novels these days are better than the TV shows they were based on, anyway. :)

    Well, no. Whatever United States Air Force craft he's on is Air Force One. If he's on a Navy aircraft, it's Navy One; Marine plane or aircraft, it's Marine One; Army craft, it's Army One; civilian aircraft, it's Executive One.

    Because hiding your president away in an ivory tower where he or she never has contact with the people is pretty much a guaranteed way to ensure he/she loses touch with reality, to be frank. To say nothing of the fact that the leader of a people needs to actually go amongst them and connect with them.

    ETA:

    For the record, the recent Enterprise: Rise of the Federation novels have given us some background on the evolution of Federation political institutions.

    When the Federation was first founded, there was no President, just the Council. Six months after the founding, the Council decided to create the position of President of the Council of the United Federation of Planets, a position it appointed, giving the Council President the authority to act in the Council's name when it was not in session and granting to him the position of commander-in-chief of the combined Federation Starfleet (which had been formed by combining each Member world's space service, making each a separate branch of the unified Federation Starfleet).

    By 2164, the Council had decided to establish a full-on office of the President of the United Federation of Planets, to be popularly elected to a four-year term. The first Federation presidential election was held that year, for a term commencing in early 2165.

    The early Federation also had what was called the Federation Commission -- popularly-elected officials who served as the heads of the Federation's executive departments, a sort of elected cabinet. Soval served as the first Federation Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.

    It also utilized what were called Ministerial Conferences for key decisions, convening the relevant ministers from its Member States along with the relevant Federation Commissioners at central locations to debate and decide on certain key issues.

    By the time of the 24th Century, the Commission and the Ministerial Conferences seem to have ended, with the Federation Council assuming more of their functions.
     
  20. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    The response was fitting. You claimed "never." TGirl showed that this is not the case. TGirl did not indicate that these instances were exhaustive of the times the UFP is referred to as an alliance.

    As for your alleged preponderance of evidence that the UFP acts like a sovereign state, I say produce your evidence, define your terms, and be warned that these things are subject to interpretation.

    You can voluntarily leave an alliance. What we've seen indicates that worlds may freely enter and leave the UFP.

    In an alliance the laws of your nation are your business. In "Wolf in the Fold," for example, Scotty was put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Argellius II (Scotty faces death by slow torture which is not a UFP law, but Argellian law).

    The UFP directs defensive measures through Starfleet only reveals that the UFP is, in part, a defensive alliance of worlds.

    Says who? You? Whose definition are we working from.

    The UN has declared emergencies in starving nations. They have denounced actions by other nations. Sometimes they've even intervened militarily in sovereign states.

    Or the Federation is an alliance, so when Picard says this, he's telling people that they have moved into territory which his held in the collective interest of that alliance.

    Sure they can.

    Because this alliance recognizes certain rights of individuals.

    Also, I don't recognize Trek books as canon, so I'll only bicker about what we've seen on screen.