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Thread: An Alternate Proposal for the Government of the Klingon Empire in the 23rd Century

  1. #1
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    An Alternate Proposal for the Government of the Klingon Empire in the 23rd Century

    Note: I am ignoring any information that may have been established by the Star Trek: Discovery TV series.

    Governance of the Klingon Empire in the 23rd Century is defined by two seismic shifts that bracket a period of strict single-party rule.

    While the deposition of the last sitting Klingon Emperor took place in the mid-21st Century, the empire still retained the "office of emperor" as a ceremonial, if vacant, post. Governmental power devolved to the High Council and its Chancellor, who became the de facto head of state. Still, the concept of honor and the prestige of the noble houses were retained as part of the legacy of the Imperial Klingon state.

    Klingons affected by the Augment-virus and its cure were ostracized by the government at-large. Noble houses lost their status and prestige, Klingons in position of power were subject to discommendation and sent to man outposts and ships at the far ends of the empire. Klingon leaders mistakenly believed they could rid themselves of the problem of "humanized" Klingons by relegating them to obscurity - instead, they sowed the seeds of rebellion by placing these disgraced Klingons together, out of sight and out of mind. By the late 2170s, these Klingons, with almost-human cunning, began to plot to take back their honor. At some point after the turn of the 23rd Century, "honor" was replaced with "glory," and the basic framework of a new government was designed by the groups' leaders.

    In 2217, planning turned to action, and sixteen near-simultaneous uprisings began around strategically-important military outposts; when the government moved to respond, the uprisings quickly coalesced into a single massive (and highly-coordinated) revolution of a scale the High Council couldn't fathom. Overwhelmed, the sitting High Council and Chancellor were quickly overthrown and the revolutionary leaders installed a federal, single-party socialist government that mirrored the basic structure of the old High Council. By 2223, the afflicted-led government had consolidated power - noble houses were dismantled, the "office of emperor" was eliminated, and afflicted Klingons were put in positions of power throughout the empire - and the High Council began a program of aggressive expansion in influence and territory. This expansionist policy brought the Klingons into direct conflict with the Federation, beginning a period of 70 years of unremitting hostility.

    The Klingon High Council
    The High Council is the supreme legislative and executive body of the empire. Under the single-party structure, the council is double the size of the pre-revolution High Council, comprised of 24 leaders of the ruling party (which colloquially calls itself "the Discommended"), who develop and publish new law, interpret and modify established law, and deliver instructions to regional and planetary governors and their advisory committees. From its members, the body selects a Chancellor to act as head of state and government.

    The Chancellor of the High Council
    The Chancellor is selected by his peers on the High Council to serve as the chief executive and head of state of the Klingon government. A Chancellor's term in indeterminate; he serves as long as he retains the favor of the party and can execute his duties. Essentially, each Chancellor serves until death, either natural or induced by party operatives displeased with his performance.

    The Klingon High Command
    There is a misconception, both inside and outside the Empire, that "High Command" is just another term for the High Council. Instead, the Klingon High Command is the party apparatus that serves as the first layer of governance, enforcing the will of High Council. The Chancellor serves as the de facto head of the High Command, which is comprised of party elders (neither serving on the High Council nor in a governor's position) and members of the military leadership. The body's size isn't codified and fluctuates over time, but is usually between 60-100 members.

    Regional and Planetary Governors
    Regional and planetary governors are selected by the High Command from the ranks of military commanders and captains, and its own body. Each governor wields supreme executive authority over his area of influence, but he is often assisted by an advisory committee comprised of local party leaders, to whom he delegates many responsibilities. The advisory committee of a regional governor includes all planetary governors within his area of responsibility.

    Party Membership and Government Participation
    Before the Axanar conflict, the government maintained a strict policy prohibiting Klingons who still maintained the "antiquated" ideal of honor or loyalty to the "office of the emperor" - by default, any Klingon who still had forehead ridges or who had been fitted with prosthetic ridges to hide their affliction - from joining the party, which was a prerequisite for participation in government at any level. Members of the former noble houses retained much of their previous wealth, though they were taxed heavily for the privilege.

    However, this didn't prevent intermarriage between ridged and non-ridged Klingons from causing a dilemma - sons of loyal party members, loyal to the party themselves, with forehead ridges. The High Council in 2268 relaxed rules against ridged Klingon participation in government, but only if the applicants could trace their lineage to party-loyal afflicted parents. Many of these "sons of the revolution" rose to leadership positions, commanding starships and joining the general staff by the 2290s. (It's notable that many of these "sons of the revolution" have simpler, transcranial bisecting ridges, still quite different from traditional elaborate ridges.)

    The ascension of Gorkon to the Chancellory in the 2280s was accompanied by further easing of prohibitions, opening non-military positions in government to Klingons still loyal to the former houses, most-notably in the judiciary offices of defense advocate. The popular Gorkon struggled against resistance within the High Council and High Command to soften its hard line stance with the Federation in the wake of the Genesis and whale probe incidents. The 2293 Praxis Incident swayed the last public dissent on the Council, allowing Gorkon to propose an end to hostility to the special Federation ambassador.

    Following his assassination and discovery of the conspiracy, his successor (and daughter, Azetbur) affirmed the Khitomer Accords and instituted a series of reforms that resulted in the restoration of the pre-2217 government and dismantling of the Discommended party and its High Command by the end of the year.
    Last edited by Sea Tyger; 12-07-2017 at 10:33 AM.
    Davy Jones

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  2. #2
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    I love the TOS taking over the Empire as a mirror of the Soviet revolution; I thought that should have been a coda to the ENT episode where they introduced the "Augment Virus" story line.
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