5 thoughts on “intergalactic STV

  1. Not too loud, Alan – we don’t want interest in electoral systems to become associated with nerdishness/ geekishness.

    Interesting article, especially as it boldly goes to compare two topics I actually know a bit about…

    Mark Crowley, “BC-STV and Star Trek: which voting system would each species use?” (6 May 2009), http://www.tinyurl.com/cxzodln.

    A couple of passing comments:

    1. Two newer “Star Trek” episodes – The Next Generation “Reunification” and Deep Space Nine “Home Front” – mentioned in passing that members of both the Romulan Senate and the Federation Council represent “districts”. One would assume an interplanetary Empire or federation would not have a single at-large electorate, like Israel – having to travel FTL to set up a meeting with your representative to complain about potholes in the road would be tedious. As I once noted online (www.tinyurl.com/d9y9otq) in relation to Old vs New Caprica in new “Battlestar Galactica”, it makes sense for the Twelve Colonies of Kobol to use the Tribes as Quorum electorates when each Tribe has colonised its own separate planet, but less so when everyone’s living in tents on the same big mud flat around Colonial One.

    2. George Lucas’s Galactic Senate had three candidates for Chancellor to replace Valorum. No one seemed to worry about leaning on the third-polling candidate to withdraw so s/he didn’t split the vote.

    3. Apparently each Space Shuttle at present has seven computers who decide by majority vote, so the Borg idea is not quite so far-fetched.

    4. Don’t the Klingons (like the Hell’s Angels) simply select their leaders by hand-to-hand combat? I seem to recall Worf or Durras or someone challenging Gowrok for Council Leadership in a knife duel. Mind you, given the propensity of certain inner-city ALP branches in Sydney and Melbourne it’s not so very different from how Victoria and NSW get their leaders…

  2. Broadly I think science fiction is truly shocking at politics. The electoral system is always FPTP and there’s almost always either a president and congress or a senate suspiciously close to The Roman Republic for Dummies.

    Notable and distinguished exceptions are the Dune universe by Frank Herbert, almost anything by Ursula Leguin or Mary Gentle. And we won’t even think about the weird obsession about finding the rightful heir to an ancient monarchy and restoring them to power in fantasy writing.

  3. I find this fascinating. Alan, do you have some examples? I can only think of Star Wars, which I think was not too badly done.

  4. Sorry, I somehow missed Tom’s examples… MORE examples then! And also, what’s so bad about a Roman-style Senate?

  5. Alan, on the topic of STV and science fiction l noticed that Noel Clarke (Mickey from Dr Who) plays “Thomas Harewood” in Star Trek: Into Darkness”.

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