A democratic Senate?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ChancellorSkywalker, Jun 28, 2003.

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  1. ChancellorSkywalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2003
    This thread applies to TPM, AOTC and Episode III and has an influence over the saga so I found no better place to put it.

    To me the senate seems stupid to find no better term.

    First example: In TPM padme says no confidence suddenly with no debate at all Valurum is kicked out of office. No debate no investigation it is like impeaching the president and getting him thrown out of office with no debate. It seems unreal and foolish.

    Second Example: In AOTC Jar Jar says emergenncy powers and they all agree. It is like our President declaring I am dictator and no debate at all no arguments. It does not matter there was a war a civil war ever Abe lincoln did not get emergency powers. Did the senate even vote on this.

    Third example: I don't know what happens in Episode III but Palpatine must declare himself Emperor based on the first two examples what do they do cheer?

    Lucas could have made the senate more realistic. What do you think.
  2. Darth_Weirdo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    Corruption. Palpatine used his Sith powers to manipulate the other Senators. He gained power by manipulating the other Senators minds, like he did on Padmé in TPM and Jar Jar in AOTC. In TPM and AOTC the subject (vote for non-confidence and vote for emergy powers) always came from another Senator, in TPM it came from the Ruler of Naboo and in AOTC the Senator of Naboo.

    Once again corruption. It happens in everywhere. In every country there is corruption.
  3. Yazid_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    Yup, whenever there is light... shadow falls.
  4. Spike_Spiegel Former FF Administrator Former Saga Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    Don't confuse the modern version of the Senate to the SW version. Lucas based his senate on the Roman senate during the time of the Republic. This Roman Senate was the most powerful branch of goverment in the Republic. Consuls, the executive power, had much less power than the Senate. The Senate could dismiss a Consul very easily. They could also give the Consul dictatorial powers in emergencies, which lasted for 6 months. However, Julius Ceasar used his influence to be declared Dictator For Life and the Republic suddenly collapsed to become the Roman Empire.

    See the connection here? ;)
  5. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    Off-screen action and truncating of events for the sake of dramatic action explains a lot. It would be quite boring for most viewers to watch political debates or votes being cast.

    Another part of the explanation is advanced technology. Debate and voting can take place electronically or through holonet. Given the size of the galaxy and number of representatives, it would not always be feasible to have all the senators physically present to debate and vote. It is possible that Padme and other senators could cast votes and debate through some sort of secure system. At the beginning of ATOC, after the explosion on her ship, Padme says, "I should not have come back." This does not mean that while she was on Naboo she was swimming and tanning herself in the Lakes District and not particpating in Senate proceedings . She actually showed up in person this time because the Military Creation Act was of great concern to her. To quote, "I haven't worked for a year to defeat the Military Creation Act not to be here when its fate is decided." That implies, however lightly, that during that year she was not necessarily working on Coruscant, but "working from hoome" on Naboo. It is apparently a big deal to physically get her to Coruscant, given the threats to her life and other unrest. Thus, one may infer that she is not always there while the Senate is in session. Palpatine, who as a senator in TPM appears to work almost exclusively from Naboo, is a different story: he's trying to take over the galaxy and needs to be there almost full time to do so, especially since he has to maintain an alter ego.

    Finally, speaking of Palpatine, another reason the Senate appears to work so quickly, without much apparent debate, is that many of its members are corrupt. Remember that "Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious" aka Palpatine. As happens very often in deliberative bodies here on Earth, much of the real decision making and debate takes place away from meeting chambers. Rather, rule making, decisions and deliberations take place among staff members and in closed-door sessions. By the time they take a formal vote, the actual outcome is a foregone conclusion. The action that takes place in the chamber is more for the cameras, i.e., the general public, and to take formal votes. Palpatine, in ATOC, only needed someone (in this case Jar Jar) to formally call for granting the Supreme Chancellor emergency powers and, in TPM, only needed someone to formally call for a vote of no-confidence, in this case Padme. If it hadn't been Jar Jar or Padme, respectively, he would have gotten someone else to do it, preferably not himself so as not to call undue attention and to avoid accusations of being self serving. Recall that, in a moment of candor, he also knew he was going to be Chancellor even before a formal vote was taken. How? It wasn't Sith clairvoyance but rather because he had already tallied or influenced the votes beforehand, directly or indirectly. It wasn't just optimism or a gut feeling; Palpatine doesn't work that way.

    Edit: I was writing while Darth Weirdo posted, but I completely agree with what he or she wrote.
  6. Darth_Weirdo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    Great post PalpatineAntikristos! :) We share the same opinion on this. Corruption and manipulation, Palpatine's most powerful weapons.
  7. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    Darth Weirdo wrote, "Once again corruption. It happens in everywhere. In every country there is corruption."

    Even in Finland?!?! I thought there was no corruption in Finland.
  8. Darth_Weirdo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    I have no proof. But I believe so. It's the way we handle things. We soften people to get them along our side. And in Finland the corruption is relatively small, not in the high places. I think.
  9. ChancellorSkywalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Palpatine is not an all powerful super man he cannot influence every single senator there are far too many. The senate is rather foolish that is my point.
  10. Darth_Weirdo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 4
    If Palpatine/Sidious can cloud the vision of every member of the Jedi Council, then it won't be a problem to manipulate the minds of every Senator in the Senate.
  11. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    Chancellor Skywalker, you're right, Palpatine is not all powerful and can't control every single senator. But he does have very significant influence and plans for contingency upon contingency. If his plan gets messed up for some reason, he has another or improvises. He realizes his limitations. It is only when the events of ROTJ come around that he becomes overconfident, but before then he is extremely cautious.

    Further, as others have written, Palpatine's manipulation is not the only explanation as to why the senate is characterized and behaves as it does.
  12. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    Even in Finland?!?! I thought there was no corruption in Finland.

    Well I don't know anything about modern day finland, but I'd guess there'd be at least some, I mean as far as I know Finland isn't Shangra'la (sp?)

    But again I admit I don't know anything about Finland so maybe they are corruption free, but I doubt it just cause I'm a skeptic
  13. sidious_fan3 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 1
    I hate to break it to you ChancellorSkywalker but during the Civil War Abe Lincoln did get some emergency powers. He suspended some civil rights and declared martial law in troublesome areas, therefore the example is mute.
  14. Sith-and-Tired Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Watching a debate unfold onscreen would slow TPM down even further. It would be like C-SPAN in a GFFA.

    I agree that many decisions were made in backrooms in in side deals. The Senate was apparently a joke though because Han tells Leia that he doesn't have time to discuss something in a committe--which was probably where the real work of the Senate was done. Much like the U.S. Senate.

    Abe Lincoln did suspend some rights as did FDR due to war. The Bush's Patriot Act will curb some rights do to terrorism. The Senate approved all of these things. They do it times of emergency--real or imagined.

    I need proof of corruption in Finland. I do not think that it is possible.
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