Star trek and democracy

PST: discuss Star Trek without "versus" arguments.

Moderator: Vympel

Solo.13mmfmj
Redshirt
Posts: 7
Joined: 2012-08-22 11:31am

Star trek and democracy

Post by Solo.13mmfmj »

Are there any known major power besides the federation that are democracies in star trek?
Has anyone seen elections in the federation?
User avatar
StarSword
Jedi Knight
Posts: 985
Joined: 2011-07-22 10:46pm
Location: North Carolina, USA, Earth
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by StarSword »

This should probably be moved to Pure Star Trek.
Solo.13mmfmj wrote:Are there any known major power besides the federation that are democracies in star trek?
Has anyone seen elections in the federation?
Despite the name, the Romulan Star Empire is actually a Roman-style republic, admittedly with police state tendencies.

And there aren't any Federation elections taking place on-screen in the canon, but some do take place in the backstory to STO (Aennik Okeg, a Saurian, won that one).
Star Carrier by Ian Douglas: Analysis and Talkback

The Vortex Empire: I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.
Borgholio: The GOP would blame Obama and use the subsequent nuclear winter to debunk global warming.
User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11480
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Lord Revan »

we see very little of the political processes of any of the AQ powers, we don't IIRC know how Romulan senators are appointed or how federation councilmembers are appointed.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n
User avatar
DaveJB
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1917
Joined: 2003-10-06 05:37pm
Location: Leeds, UK

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by DaveJB »

The Cardassian Union supposedly had an elected civilian government for a short while, between the military government being overthrown and the Union being annexed by the Dominion.

The Bajorans also seemed to have an elected government, albeit with some elements of a religious theocracy still remaining.
User avatar
NecronLord
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27289
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by NecronLord »

Moved to PST.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer- Stardestroyer.net's resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth
User avatar
Darth Quorthon
Jedi Knight
Posts: 580
Joined: 2005-09-25 12:04am
Location: California

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Darth Quorthon »

In Star Trek IV the federation Council president appears to be an elderly bearded human, and in Star Trek VI the president is a different guy played by Kurtwood Smith. Although it's never said on-screen, according to the novelization he's a deltan. So while I cannot ever recall having seen an election on-screen, I assume there are term limits and/or elections associated with that office. Of course the president could be elected for life, and the guy in Star Trek IV kicked the bucket shortly thereafter, he did look a bit old, after all.
"For the first few weeks of rehearsal, we tend to sound like a really, really bad Rush tribute band." -Alex Lifeson

"See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now." - Valentine McKee

"Next time you're gonna be a bit higher!" -General from Birani

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin." - H. L. Mencken

He who creates shields by fire - Rotting Christ, Lex Talionis
User avatar
Tribble
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2847
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Tribble »

Even if it's elected, how much does the Federation council matter? Most of the time it seems like Starfleet makes all the big decisions.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - The official Troll motto, as stated by Adam Savage
Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30164
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Simon_Jester »

If this were the case, why would a Starfleet officer have attempted a coup d'etat against the civilian government in a DS9 episode?
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov
User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11480
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Lord Revan »

And when you consider that we don't really see anything from a non-Starfleet PoV so that Starfleet Command would seem more important then the council.

That said it was clear that Federation Council was more then willing to metaphorically throw Kirk under the buss to appease the Klingons if that was needed twice in fact, second time over the objections of the Starfleet personal present (Col. West and the Admiral whose name I can't remember atm), this seems to imply that Starfleet is subservient to the Council and not the other way around.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n
User avatar
StarSword
Jedi Knight
Posts: 985
Joined: 2011-07-22 10:46pm
Location: North Carolina, USA, Earth
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by StarSword »

Tribble wrote:Even if it's elected, how much does the Federation council matter? Most of the time it seems like Starfleet makes all the big decisions.
I do have the impression that Starfleet gets a lot of autonomy, but as Simon noted, the evidence points to them still being subordinate to the Federation's civilian government. I suspect that we just don't generally see the politicking because our protagonists are uniformly several rungs down the totem pole from the civilian command structure: roving independent commands in the case of the Enterprises (and probably what Voyager was supposed to be before she got chucked across the galaxy), or a border outpost subordinate to various admirals in Deep Space 9's case.

They still get affected by decisions the Federation Council makes off-screen though. For example, it was their idea to redraw the Federation/Cardassian border in such a haphazard manner as to encourage insurgencies on both sides, and they also issued a condemnation of the Klingon invasion of Cardassia in DS9: "The Way of the Warrior" (which the Klinks responded to by withdrawing from the Khitomer Accords).
Star Carrier by Ian Douglas: Analysis and Talkback

The Vortex Empire: I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.
Borgholio: The GOP would blame Obama and use the subsequent nuclear winter to debunk global warming.
User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11480
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Lord Revan »

Highest we got was James T. Kirk who was an Admiral of a grade I can't remember right now before getting reduced to captain and barely avoiding getting dishonorably discharged.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n
User avatar
Skylon
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1657
Joined: 2005-01-12 04:55pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Skylon »

Lord Revan wrote:Highest we got was James T. Kirk who was an Admiral of a grade I can't remember right now before getting reduced to captain and barely avoiding getting dishonorably discharged.
In TOS T'Pau (who apparently carries some political weight) intervened to basically get Kirk off the hook for defying orders, and diverting the Enterprise to Vulcan. Since she was a civilian religious or political figure I'd assume she went to somebody she knew in the Federation, who then approached Starfleet.

To lend some weight to the "several rungs" comment, at the beginning of the film it seemed the Federation President was content to just let Starfleet discipline Kirk, responding to the Klingon's demand he be extradited that he has been charged with "violations of Starfleet regulations." The President only intervened because Kirk and company saved the planet en-route home.

That said, I feel like that may have rankled Starfleet somewhat, and I think you could play around with the fact that Kirk retires less than ten years later, and the Ent-A is decommissioned. I could see Starfleet taking a position that they had to treat him like a hero, but ultimately it would be time to quietly retire him when public memory faded.
-A.L.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence...Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - Calvin Coolidge

"If you're falling off a cliff you may as well try to fly, you've got nothing to lose." - John Sheridan (Babylon 5)

"Sometimes you got to roll the hard six." - William Adama (Battlestar Galactica)
User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11480
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Lord Revan »

I assume only reason neither Starfleet nor the council wanted Kirk given to the Klingons was to not allow the Klingon Empire get away with the actions of Captain Krudge who violated federation space (IIRC), caused the destruction of 2 Starfleet vessels (The Grissom and the Enterprise) and the Death of all but 1 of the crew of the Grissom and did all without clear provocation, oh and possibly violated the Genesis quarantine if Klingons recognized that. Sure Krudge was a renegade but so was Kirk and the KDF is just as responsible for making sure it's renegade members are brought to justice as Starfleet is.

As for TUC it wouldn't surprise me if the Klingon High Council declared Kirk free of the charges he was previously convicted as the conspiracy was revealed publically so that The Klingon Empire couldn't just sweep it under the rug.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n
User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6297
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Borgholio »

As I recall, by the 24th Century, Kirk was a legend among the Klingons. Worf admired him, and Koloth (I think) regretted never being able to face him in combat.

Now part of me wants to say that at some point, Kirk actually got a statue in the Hall of Warriors...but for the life of me I can't find any canon reference to that. It might have been a fanfic.
You will be assimilated...bunghole!
User avatar
StarSword
Jedi Knight
Posts: 985
Joined: 2011-07-22 10:46pm
Location: North Carolina, USA, Earth
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by StarSword »

Here's another theory, extrapolating from the autonomy we see Starfleet get in the show. The Federation Council declares war but then stays hands-off and lets Starfleet decide how to prosecute it.
Borgholio wrote:As I recall, by the 24th Century, Kirk was a legend among the Klingons. Worf admired him, and Koloth (I think) regretted never being able to face him in combat.

Now part of me wants to say that at some point, Kirk actually got a statue in the Hall of Warriors...but for the life of me I can't find any canon reference to that. It might have been a fanfic.
Yep, that was Koloth (it comes up in DS9: "Blood Oath", though there's a possible contradiction there with TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles"), and that was probably a fanfic since I can't find any EU reference on Memory Beta either. But it would make sense if he did have a statue.
Star Carrier by Ian Douglas: Analysis and Talkback

The Vortex Empire: I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.
Borgholio: The GOP would blame Obama and use the subsequent nuclear winter to debunk global warming.
User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4486
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Ted C »

We never seen any elections of any kind, or even hear any discussions, but the people we do see in the Federation certainly act as if they have some kind of representative government.

My personal assumption has always been that every planet in the Federation has its own local government, which may or may not be elected. That government appoints someone to be its representative on the Federation Council. The Council elects one of its own members to be President (much as a parliament elects one of its members to be Prime Minister).

This means that your representation as a Federation citizen varies a lot depending on what planet you're from.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11025
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Crazedwraith »

You may have to have a reasonably representative democratic government to even join The Federation. We known from DS9 there are requirements for entry. You're not allowed to have any caste based systems in place for example.
Prometheus Unbound
Jedi Master
Posts: 1141
Joined: 2007-09-28 06:46am

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Prometheus Unbound »

Solo.13mmfmj wrote:Are there any known major power besides the federation that are democracies in star trek?
Has anyone seen elections in the federation?
Romulans - I guess. They have a senate, senators, governors... it's modeled on ancient rome v0v

Cardassian Detappa Council

Klingons, depending on how you look at it.

Do the Borg count? :lol:


Jarish Enyo (sp?) says something about elections in Home Front (DS9).
Kirk told Kor it was a democracy.
So:

Federation
Romulans
Cardassians
Borg (well, everyone has a "voice" :p)

The Klingons tried democracy. It was known as "the dark times".

Other races:

Angel 1
Tau Cygna V
Bajor
NecronLord wrote:
Also, shorten your signature a couple of lines please.
User avatar
StarSword
Jedi Knight
Posts: 985
Joined: 2011-07-22 10:46pm
Location: North Carolina, USA, Earth
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by StarSword »

Crazedwraith wrote:You may have to have a reasonably representative democratic government to even join The Federation. We known from DS9 there are requirements for entry. You're not allowed to have any caste based systems in place for example.
What was actually said was that caste-based discrimination (e.g. the hate crime we see later in the episode) is not allowed. It's quite possible to have a caste system without discrimination (ref: the Polaris in EV Nova, the Protoss in StarCraft).

Also, you can get kicked out if your planetary government collapses (Yar's homeworld Turkana IV).
Star Carrier by Ian Douglas: Analysis and Talkback

The Vortex Empire: I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.
Borgholio: The GOP would blame Obama and use the subsequent nuclear winter to debunk global warming.
Prometheus Unbound
Jedi Master
Posts: 1141
Joined: 2007-09-28 06:46am

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Prometheus Unbound »

StarSword wrote: Also, you can get kicked out if your planetary government collapses (Yar's homeworld Turkana IV).
Tasha wasn't kicked out, she escaped.
NecronLord wrote:
Also, shorten your signature a couple of lines please.
User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11480
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Lord Revan »

Prometheus Unbound wrote:
StarSword wrote: Also, you can get kicked out if your planetary government collapses (Yar's homeworld Turkana IV).
Tasha wasn't kicked out, she escaped.
he was referring to the Planet she was from not Yar herself.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n
Prometheus Unbound
Jedi Master
Posts: 1141
Joined: 2007-09-28 06:46am

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Prometheus Unbound »

Lord Revan wrote:
Prometheus Unbound wrote:
StarSword wrote: Also, you can get kicked out if your planetary government collapses (Yar's homeworld Turkana IV).
Tasha wasn't kicked out, she escaped.
he was referring to the Planet she was from not Yar herself.
my bad
NecronLord wrote:
Also, shorten your signature a couple of lines please.
User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4486
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Ted C »

Crazedwraith wrote:You may have to have a reasonably representative democratic government to even join The Federation. We known from DS9 there are requirements for entry. You're not allowed to have any caste based systems in place for example.
Oh, I don't doubt that. The Federation does have some (vague) standards that a planet must meet to be accepted as a member. I think a global government of some sort is one of them (although I think I remember one episode in which they were considering an exception to that rule). Presumably that government can't be a military dictatorship, but just what sort of "representative" government they would accept isn't all that clear, either.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"
User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 10068
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: CIC, Battlestar Temeraire

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Then again, in our own history we've seen several supposedly "representative" governments that were in fact dictatorships. Any single-party state for instance is notionally a representative democracy, just with only one choice on the ballot (or some other means of ensuring the "right" choice).
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6297
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Star trek and democracy

Post by Borgholio »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Then again, in our own history we've seen several supposedly "representative" governments that were in fact dictatorships. Any single-party state for instance is notionally a representative democracy, just with only one choice on the ballot (or some other means of ensuring the "right" choice).
Any nation that prefaces it's actual name with "People's Republic of..."
You will be assimilated...bunghole!
Post Reply