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Cardassian Union

Tegrilin_Sesgar

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 67

Report this Dec. 14 2004, 8:50 pm

Quote (Renor @ Dec. 14 2004, 1:01 pm)
Thats my 2 cents..what does everyone else think?

Sounds good to me.

Renor

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 236

Report this Dec. 14 2004, 9:01 pm

For now we should stick to Glinn and Gul for military ranks, Legate for political, and Advocate or Nestor for security/spy positions.

Those titles have all been used at one time or another on one of the shows, so we should stick to those right now.

Although I did find this in the Star Trek Encyclopedia, so we may want to add these as well:

Legate - Political Represenative

Gul - Captain or Higher Rank  
Glinn - Commander  
Gil - Lieutenant Commander  
Glen - Lieutenant  
Kara - Lieutenant Junior Grade  
D'ja - Ensign  

Important: The title Legate is NOT a military title.. it is a government official title. The Cardassian system is very similar to the Starfleet. The only change occurs at the Rank of Gul. In the Cardassian system the Rank of Gul is the highest Rank, but the position held by the Gul depends on his authority over other Officers Ranked Gul. E.g. a Gul my simply be just a ship captain, the lowest position available. However a Gul may be a fleet commander. Gul Dukat,for example, was the Commander of the Second Order, which is similar to been a Fleet Admiral and one of the highest positions available to a Gul.

Thats my 2 cents..what does everyone else think?

Renor

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 236

Report this Dec. 16 2004, 11:27 pm

Here is some basic info. about the Detapa Council, it may help us set up our own structure for this project...

The Detapa Council
The Detapa Council is the governing body of the Cardassian Union, at least in theory. In practice, the Council held power for scant few of the 500 years of its existence. Until recently, it served primarily as a puppet of other factions on Cardassia. Now the Detapa Council has an opportunity to govern the Cardassian Union. It only remains to be seen whether or not a new generation of Cardassian leadership can seize the opportunity and make it happen.

History
The Detapa Council was founded some five centuries years ago on Cardassia Prime, before the development of warp-travel and the Union as it exists today. The original Council formed from a loose alliance of nobles, military leaders, and aristocrats following the end of the Second Hebitian period.
The Cardassia of the time was a chaotic collection of city-states and warring nations that only recently began to settle their differences with diplomacy rather than weapons. The Council was Cardassia's first true world government. In order to satisfy the different factions involved, representatives on the council were chosen from a broad section of the population, both civilian and military, to represent the greatest possible range of interests. Membership on the Council was awarded according to merit and ability, although local and regional politics influenced the choice of candidate. It was a compromise organization, but it worked, at least at first.
The Detapa Council managed to unify the disparate nations of Cardassia by holding out a dream of a stronger, more prosperous world for all Cardassians. Their newfound prosperity would come from the stars, the Council said, all Cardassians had to do was to reach out and seize their rightful destiny. So it was with great fervor that Cardassian society devoted itself to the development and perfection of spaceflight, first using lightships and chemical rockets, followed by ion drives, impulse drive and, finally, warp-drive technology.
The development of these new technologies was overseen by the Cardassian military, the self-appointed guardians of public order. The Central Command allocated resources, directed research, maintained law and order, and protected Cardassia from any outside threat. It wasn't long before the Central Command dominated all major areas of Cardassian life. At first, the Detapa Council was content to allow Central Command free rein, since it functioned so efficiently. By the time the Council realized they were merely approving decisions Central Command already made, it was too late. Central Command held the power, and they weren't about to let it go. Their continued success allowed the Cardassian military to maintain a stranglehold on the government for centuries.
For years the Detapa Council was made up of popular figureheads able to play to the people in public ceremonies and broadcasts. The members of the Council had prestige, but little or no political power, and they knew it. Occasionally, a young idealist would make it onto the Council, only to be rendered impotent by the Council's restrictions and the influence of the Central Command. Many in Central Command actually considered the Council a good place to keep an eye on political agitators and opponents where they could do no harm. The military members of the Council held all the power.
That changed when a civilian uprising on Cardassia Prime overthrew Central Command, following the devastation of the Obsidian Order in the Omarion Nebula Incident. Suddenly, the Detapa Council found themselves holding the reins of power, and facing the possibility of a Klingon invasion. At a loss for what to do, the Council accepted the assistance of Gul Dukat in escaping Cardassia Prime before the Klingons could arrive to execute them, suspecting they were Founders in disguise.
The invasion was halted and the Council returned to power just in time for Gul Dukat to negotiate an alliance between Cardassia and the Dominion. The influence of the Council waned again as Dukat became supreme ruler of Cardassia in the Dominion's name. When Dukat went mad and disappeared from public view his aide, Gul Demar, assumed his position. Demar turned against the Dominion and was killed fighting to overthrow them.
After the Dominion War was over, a new Detapa Council was formed from the surviving members, plus capable Cardassian citizens. Some retired Cardassian legates returned to the homeworld to offer their wisdom and assistance in the rebuilding process. The Council now seeks to build a newer, stronger Cardassia and to put aside the mistakes of the past.

Composition
The Detapa Council traditionally has fifteen members, although the Council has allowed some seats to remain vacant at times in the past. Members of the Council have all achieved the position of legate in Cardassian society, allowing them to be entrusted with the public welfare. The law restricts the number of Central Command officials on the Council to no more than five. Despite this, Central Command was able to exercise near complete control over the Council through their influence in nearly every other aspect of Cardassian life, particularly with the aid and cooperation of the Obsidian Order. Now, with the overthrow of Central Command and the end of the Dominion War, many of the civilian members of the Council are reasserting their authority.

Election
By Cardassian law, members of the Detapa Council are elected to their positions by a vote of the general populace. Five seats on the Council are up for election every two years, theoretically resulting in a complete change in council membership every six years. In practice, however, there is no limit to the number of terms a legate may serve on the Council, and many members serve ten, fifteen, or even twenty terms before they choose to retire.
Although Council elections are conducted by popular vote, the voting is heavily influenced by the candidates' vasala, particularly their connections with important organizations like Central Command and the Obsidian Order. In the past, Central Command (working through the Council) nominated candidates, which the people then voted on. So long as Central Command controlled nominations, they were ensured of Council members who would maintain the status quo.
The concept of "political parties" as they existed on Earth and other planets is foreign to the Cardassians. Each candidate's vasala forms his or her own "party" to offer support and secure votes, but vasala is considerably more personal and interconnected than a political party. Cardassian politics, like most of Cardassian society, is replete with trading favors and secret alliances. As is often the case with democratic politics, Cardassian elections were often more of a popularity contest than any true measure of the candidates' ability to do the job.
With the weakening of the Central Command and the Obsidian Order, free elections on Cardassia promise to be quite interesting in the future. Potential councilors are already gathering support through their vasalas, while current members of the council work to protect their positions. Some political analysts are already citing concerns that Cardassian politicians are more interested in protecting their jobs than working together to rebuild Cardassia and the Union.

The Prefect
The Detapa Council selects one of its members to act as the head of the Council and Supreme Prefect of the Cardassian Union. The Prefect runs Council meetings and serves as a tie-breaking vote. He is also the Supreme Commander of the Cardassian military. For generations, the Prefect of the Union was always a member of Central Command and a military officer. The military would not follow a civilian Prefect and it was well known among the Council that such an election would lead to an outright military coup. In order to keep their power and position, the Council always elected one of its military members as Prefect.
After the Omarion Nebula incident, popular support swung away from Central Command, and the civilian members of the Detapa Council seized the opportunity to further weaken the military's grip on the government. Unfortunately, the Klingon Empire took their uncharacteristic act of defiance as proof the civilian members of the Council were actually disguised changeling infiltrators. This provoked the Klingon invasion of Cardassian space, and forced the Detapa Council to flee Cardassia Prime to avoid capture and execution.
Since the end of the Dominion War, the Detapa Council proceeded more carefully. Ironically, Legate Demar would have been assured the position of Prefect, despite his military background, had he survived the rebellion against the Dominion. As it stands now, the Council's acting-Prefect is Legate Turrell, an elder-statesman on the Council with strong civilian support. Turrell's influence and vesala will likely see him confirmed as Prefect in the near future when free elections begin on Cardassian.

Powers
The Detapa Council controls the legislative and executive power of the Cardassian government. The Council drafts and passes legislation, sees to the enforcement of laws, raises and distributes money for the operation of the government, controls the Cardassian economy, and sees to the defense of the Union. Although the Council has considerable power according to the letter of the law, it has been largely impotent for centuries. Most of the Council's edicts were dictated entirely by Central Command.
Councilors can draft and propose legislation before the Council. Any new legislation is debated and considered among the members, with the sponsoring Councilor speaking first. In the case of legislation already approved or denied by Central Command, this process was largely for show; the decision was already made. Currently, debate is a vital part of the Council's operation, and some of the issues surrounding the reconstruction of Cardassia are hotly debated.
By law, the Council and the Supreme Prefect exercise control over Central Command and the Obsidian Order. Again, in practice things were quite different. Central Command and the Obsidian Order split most governmental power between them, leaving the Detapa Council as puppets to carry out their wishes. The Order left day-to-day matters in the hands of Central Command, but got whatever it wanted when it did choose to exercise its influence. After the Omarion Nebula incident, the power of the Order weakened considerably. Central Command tried to tighten its control over the populace, leading to a backlash against the military.
Presently, the Detapa Council retains its power over the military and the Obsidian Order in theory, but the matter is considerably more complex in reality. Vesala is more important than ever, with the most powerful factions and individuals in Cardassian society working to gather support for their personal agendas. While the Council is no longer a puppet of other factions, its power is by no means unchallenged. Forces within the military and the espionage community look toward returning things to the way they were before the Omarion Nebula incident, while forward-thinkers and reformers try to concentrate power in civilian hands.

Procedures
For most matters, the Detapa Council requires only a simple majority vote. However, in Cardassian politics, a "simple majority" is almost a contradiction in terms. Technically, all members of the Council are equal in rank. In practice, however, the voting power of each Councilor is determined by his or her vesala. In effect, the Councilor holds the "proxy votes" of a number of other, lower-ranked, officials and citizens. These citizens in turn hold proxies, and so on down the line to the lowest level of Cardassian government, the people themselves.
This means voting is often a complex procedure, where the individual Councilors each hold a number of "votes" based on their vesala. This is one of the reasons the Central Command was able to dominate the Council for so many years, the military's vesala was the most influential by far, giving a minority of the Council the lion's share of voting power, which they exercised to maintain their hegemony.
Councilors are not required to cast all their votes for the same outcome. A number of political maneuvers involve splitting votes among different possibilities, either to balance other influences on the Council, to satisfy certain factions in the Councilor's own vesala, or to insulate the Councilor against later criticism, such as "partially abstaining" from a vote while actually providing it support. Vesala often demands a Councilor try to be all things to all sides, which can result in bizarre distributions of votes.
In day-to-day matters, the Council Prefect holds executive power, including command over the military. The majority of the Prefect's decisions are later ratified by the Council. When the Central Command dominated the Council, nearly all its votes were rubber stamps on the decisions of the military Prefect. Now many Councilors prefer to limit the Prefect's powers out of fear of abuse, although most agree the Prefect must remain able to make decisions for the good of the Cardassian people. Overturning a decision of the Prefect requires a two-thirds majority of the Council, and the Prefect gets to vote, so such vetoes are rare.

Tegrilin_Sesgar

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 67

Report this Dec. 18 2004, 5:41 am

Where's the info about the Detapa Council and the ranks from?  I'm going to link back to all the sources we cite on the page.

Renor

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 236

Report this Dec. 18 2004, 11:36 am

Quote (Tegrilin_Sesgar @ Dec. 18 2004, 2:41 am)

Quote

Where's the info about the Detapa Council and the ranks from?...


The info from the Detapa Council is from Iron & Ash: Chapter 4, and the Rank info. came from the Star Trek Encyclopedia published about 2 years ago. Dunno if you can link to these or not I know Iron & Ash is out there (bear in mind all LUG. and Decipher, stuff was approved by Paramount for use...so it's as close to Canon as we can get, without it being on a show).

Wayfarer

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POSTS: 119

Report this Dec. 20 2004, 3:20 am

Great info, sure this helps alot!

Tegrilin_Sesgar

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 67

Report this Feb. 13 2005, 9:17 pm

Sorry about going so long without updating the site-- life's been a little crazy with school and whatnot.  I'm going to try and get more stuff up as soon as possible.

Renor

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 236

Report this Feb. 14 2005, 12:18 pm

Glad to see you back...you had me worried for a while...thought maybe the Romulans had nabbed ya.
:D

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