BSG Government: Options Beyond Democracy and Monarchy

In the last podcast we lamented the sorry state of the civilian fleet in BSG — the fact that every time we hear about them they’re involved in some kind of mob-like behavior like rioting, selling each other’s children, or electing Baltar president.

Like Kay said in MIB, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.” And, as BSG showed, when you allow a bunch of “dumb, panicky, dangerous animals” to make decisions directly, bad things happen. On the other hand, there’ll come a point when Roslin will run out of ideas — or simply be wrong — and the fleet’ll have to come to terms with the woman king. (In fact, maybe we’ve already arrived at that point; while Baltar’s the supergenious we all love to hate, I’m not sure Roslin’s quick use of drugs in his interrogation are going to prove the best decision for the fleet — espcially considering the upcoming trial.)

Certainly a number of you have picked up on this as well.

Listener Rorlins commented:

“What’s interesting is that we are beat over the head time and time again about how perfect democracy is, but for whatever reason the people at BSG want to show us that democracy is flawed, and very much so. You see the rise of the ‘mob menality’ you mentioned. You see demagogues (I get that spelled right?) like Baltar being elected. They are making strong commentary on the need (as you said) for checks and balances, and the merits/ flaws of benevolant dictatorship.”

While I agree that the writers are showing us the dirty bottom side of democracy,I can’t help but wonder if the message they’re trying get across is lessthe simple fact that democracy(and conversely benevolant dictatorship) are flawed than the more complex and hard-to-grasp-for-some fact that governments that revere pure democracy — to the point that they see it as an all-powerful force of good –often lead people down the primrose path. In fact, it’s not democracy that we revere as much as a basic representative government — which realistically often takes the form of a representative democracy orthe more genericrepublic.

It seems, though, that rather thanconsidering these other governmental processes,the fleet’s leaders just keep pogoing between taking fleet-wide votes and dismissingthe democratic process altogether.

I’m not suggesting that Roslin should step down, nor that she should even have to stand election. As Joe commented:

“To expect the fleet to live ordinary lives as a democratic government when they are being attacked by Cylons every week or so is a bit silly. Life in the fleet is tough! Who has time to worry about how democratic their government is? Don’t forget, everyone is still eating algae. Not to mention that everyone lives in pressurized vessels floating through space.”

Maybe Roslin should stay in power,more like the “president for life” that exist in some republics. I am suggesting, however, that at some point the people have to understand what kind of government they actually have and how they can participate in it. Then it might be possible for them to do something other than riot for food and fill Galactica’s flight decks.

It seems as though BSG’s government in the past was some form of representative democracy, as demonstrated by the Quorum. (Clearly, though, RDM & Co. aren’t too fond of the Quorum, either. Their role in the past few seasons hasn’t risen much above that of the civilian fleet.) But could the failure of the Quorum simply lie in its small size or its method of selection?

Either way, the fleet needs a real government. What do you think?

32 Responses to "BSG Government: Options Beyond Democracy and Monarchy"
  1. 13th Cylon says:

    The Quorum! Good times. Other than wearing the weird beauty pageant things, what exactly are they up to these days? It also has to do with the amount of military power in the show. The military in BSG is really running things, in my opinion. Adama’s fortunately a fan of liberty and democracy and “all that stuff”. He could easily take over at a moment’s notice (Cain sure did with her group). If he had someone other than Roslin, who he clearly trusts, it would likely be a different story (on the other hand, the opposite could be argued since Baltar won). After all, this is concerning the future of the human race. We’ve seen throughout the show that the two branches have thought the other one stepped over their boundries before (especially late season 1 to Adama reuniting the fleet at Kobol in 2), but lately they seem to let the other control their own matters. Anyway, I’m totally rambling and probably not adding anything insightful, but I’m sure the Quorum is on the same ship as Boxey and Bulldog.

    And what exactly do these people do all day? Well, we know what the Saggies are doing- smoking “roots” and “herbs” and coughing on each other. The idle mind is the Imperious Leader’s playground. Roslin knows that- during the miniseries on Colonial One she puts people to work just to get their minds off their horrible situation.

  2. Joe says:

    I’m surprised there aren’t mass riots in the fleet everyday. When I see all the resources that galactica has, full hospital with full equipment (catscan, mri, drug inducing medicines), paper making machines, bullet making machines, Machines to make new viper and raptor parts (assumed) what else could be out there in the fleet? (That wasn’t left on New Caprica or Algae planet)
    All these people must be trying to run their normal lives. Children go to some sort of lessons. People go to work. Colonial police, teachers, algae processors, tyllium refiners, ship mechanics, pilots, reporters, maybe some sort of entertainers… Can anyone think of anything else?
    The government must have SOMETHING to keep these people busy and in line. Otherwise there’d be no fleet and no main story arc!
    And where does all this fancy bottled alcohol keep coming from?!

  3. Armando says:

    I have been increasignly disappointed in Roslin this season as she has taken the role of benevolent dictator over that of republican representative (or “first citizen,” to use the ancient Roman term). I agree with you, Chuck, that perhaps a representative democracy is superior to a pure democracy. It’s at least more practical when practiced at the scale that we in the U.S. practice it (the only pure democracies that have existed in human history were the Greek city states, and eventually they succumbed to military takeover), but the rag tag fleet is small enough to have something closer to it. Of course, people care more about getting fed, having a roof over their heads, job security, etc. than about freedom and democracy but there will always be people who will want to keep the government in check, even in the worst situations.

    Or will there? Lee once took a stand against his own father when he attempted a coup. Tom Zareck used to be a thorn in the government’s side for advocating a new way (although I wonder if he really had a democracy in mind or if he really wanted to be a dictator). Now Lee is all but consumed by his obsession with Kara and Zareck is part of the government, having grown “tired of being outside looking in.” What chance do these people have now?

  4. The 13th Cylon says:

    Joe- You mentioned reporters and that’s one thing BSG isn’t short on. I used to think “why so many members of the fraking media” until it hit me a few weeks back that a lot of them are from the decomissioning ceremony. There is a very high percentage of members of the media for a group of just 41,000 people.

    And keep in mind that pure democracy is just popular rule. Like you all said in the last podcast, a represntative democracy is designed to keep us from hurting ourselves.

  5. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Under normal circumstances, I would be for a democracy, even a representative democracy. However, (and I hate to sound like certain individuals in the current US administration) these are extraordinary circumstances. There are only 41,000 Colonials left, and they are on the run. There used to be around 60,000 and everyone got soft. Because of that, they lost at least 15,000 people or, to put it in starker terms, they lost one fourth of their population. That sounds almost biblical.

    Everything inside me screams for democracy and the power of one person/one vote. I even advocate representative democracy (even though up until the November election, I had no one represent my political views in the Senate). However, this is different. Suppose they open everything up to democracy and another New Caprica-sized blunder happens again. The Colonial race would be down to 20-30 thousand people. Maybe I’m not explaining it well. I’m left of center on most things and it’s almost funny. There are actions that our government takes that I can’t stand, yet, Roslin does THE EXACT SAME THING and I’m cool with it.

    I remember in TOS, where Adama (Lorne Greene) had to succumb to the will of the Quorum and nearly lost the fleet (if he hadn’t have disobeyed). It was the episode where they had the funny buglike creatures and the Quorum forced his pilots down onto the planet for some celebration. The second was where the Quorum wanted Adama to have an advisor check every single decision and they nearly lost the Galactica because of it (Baltar took him and the Quorum overseer hostage).

    I don’t think the problem with Roslin’s decisions stem from democracy (or the lack of it). I think the problem is that Baltar provokes such a visceral reaction. If Roslin were to submit to the will of the people in the case of Baltar, we could go ahead and rap up Season 3 in a 30-minute episode. That’s how long it would take to get Baltar from his cell to the airlock.

    I’m echoing everyone who has said this, I think the way government is right now in BSG is the best way because it is protecting people from themselves.

  6. Nick says:

    One thing I have never bought in this series is how fractured the civilian population becomes on a regular basis. Humans fight and bicker and have problems with each other over anything and everything.. but when faced with an external threat, humans instinctually set those pety differences aside and stand shoulder-to-shoulder, united to face that threat until it goes away. Throughout this entire series the cylons have been a constant and overbearing threat that overshadows every moment of people’s lives. Everything this fleet does day to day has to deal with survival of the entire human species. As such I beleive that people wouldn’t be very happy about their situation, but I also don’t think they would have this constant rioting and protest or even political turmoil. All this is done to allow drama and different story arcs, but it has always struck me as unrealistic. One thing I have notced as being completely absent from the Galactica universe is propoganda and censorship of the press. The only propoganda I have seen in the show has been on new caprica, and that was on the part of the Cylons trying to get people to accept their occupation. While censorship and propaganda are considered contrary to freedom and democracy they have nevertheless been present (even in America) in every military confilct we have ever fought. I have always thought that this show pushes the believability limits of animosity between the civilian population vs the military. When lilfe is normal, and you have a house, and a job, and bills, and all the normal worries of a normal life then you have the time and luxury to think what you want about the military and that war “over there” that you know about, but never really see except for those few occasions where you turn on the news. It is a VERY different story when you are fleeing for not only your survival, but the sruvival of your entire species. Looking out the window and seeing the battlestar and realzing that it is the only thing standing between you and a quick death at the hands of the cylons, I think that ralistically the general population would react very differently than they do in this show.

  7. Mark Dowling says:

    @Joe – The Viper makers were on Pegasus, with the exception of Toolman Tyrol.

  8. Browncoat Bryan says:

    I like your point, Nick, and I agree with it… to a point. I think what happens is that people have to adjust to change and from that they create a new “set point”.

    For example, we suffered the shock of 9/11, we waved the flags, we were sufficiently scared. We believed in bi-partisanship and all that happy political nonsense. Yet, within two or three weeks of opening the airports, we were complaining about the “inconvenient” security procedures. Within a couple of months, the government was actually considering a “privileged flyer” program where people didn’t have to submit to security checks or wait in security lines as long as they had passed a background check (never mind they could be recruited AFTER the check… I worked on this little project). Within a year, the same partisan bickering was back, now even worse because of our troubled times, with each side questioning the patriotism of the other side. Instead of using our flags to point to our national unity, we use our flags to bash our fellow citizens who disagreed with us. We found our set point, now we can act “normal”, bringing all our pettiness to bear and incorporate our new situation into our inflammatory language.

    I think the folks in BSG are finding their set point. We don’t really see what the civilians are doing in their cramped quarters. I think there would be riots and the such. Imagine being in a 4ft x 4ft space for over a year, you can’t take a shower every day, you’re wearing the same clothes you brought with you when you came on board. You’re eating rationed craaaaap. And you have absolutely nothing to do but just sit in your little space. After the initial shock of the apocalyptic attack wears off, pettiness will return. Regardless of the danger to the whole civilization, you’ll get bored and frustrated and will want to lash out at something. I’m actually surprised that MORE riots haven’t broken out.

    Maybe I’m comparing apples and oranges here. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 changed us, but they weren’t apocalyptic. What happened on BSG was definitely apocalyptic in scope. But, I still believe that after a while, people will adjust and then start acting in a “modified” normal way. It just may take longer to do so.

  9. Armando says:

    I’m with Bryan on this. (Although I don’t think the 9/11 attacks ultimately changed us at all. We’re still as preoccupied with the trivialities of celebrity and consumer culture as we were on 9/10/01.) People will band together for a while, then when they’re able to let their guard down, even for a little bit, they get complacent and want comfort. Hence, New Caprica. (In our universe we get a president who wants war without sacrifice, where every red-blooded American’s “duty” is to consume as much capital as possible, “to help the economy.”)

    People, deep down, care primarily about themselves. When Head Baltar says that to be human is to think only of yourself, he has a very good point. Or am I being overly pesimistic about the human condition?

  10. Nick says:

    Browncoat Bryan brings up a perfect example. 911 changed America. For several weeks we were united against an external threat, but there are some big differences. In the grand scheme of thing, the damage of 911 was limited to only a couple of buildings. Very few people were personally threatened, and the government in the days and months after the attack said “All is ok, go about your business. Don’t do anything any differently because we are about to deal with the terrorists ‘over ther’ and our lives here should be uninterrupted” With the spin constantly saying “we are vigilant, the rest of you go about your business” we felt safe again. We slipped back into our partisan bickering back and forth.

    Now take as what I think is a more appropriate example: World War II. Take the people of London during the Battle of Britain. Subjected to bombing every night for months on end. Every night the citizens trudged to subways and air raid shelters, spent thier days working on the war machine, doing without many of the luxuries they were used to, living under deplorable conditions, etc. Churchill called for the people to remain strong and unbroken, and they did. Even after the battle ended and there were no more bombing raids overhead night after night, that threat was still there. Ever present and just across the channel. America wanted nothing to do with the war until we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. In single attack the American people became galvanized against a common enemy. All the debate over what we should and shouldn’t do was replaced with the single goal of total victory. Even though we didn’t face as direct a threat as our European allies did, that spirit and determination remaind throughout the entire war. Why? What was different? A huge difference is that everybody from the President on down said to the nation ‘We are at War. We have to tighten our belts and sacrifice and whatever it takes to win. We must remain focused until that task is complete’ Throughout the war there was a huge propoganda campaign to keep the sentiments of the people in line with that goal. It is the type of focus against an enemy that I don’t think any of us have seen in our lifetime. It is the same situation the refugees of Galactica find themselves in. Granted, individuals would speak out, others would have problems with how they were living, but those would be very unpopular opinions considering the threat is every day right there in their face, and their guardians are on board the last mililtary ship in existance.

    So I guess my big question to Adama is Where is your censorship of the press? That has occured in every single war we have fought. Where is the propoganda. I can’t believe that someone as politically savy as Laura Roslin would overlook such a critical aspect of maintaining control over the people.

  11. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Hmmm… damn good points, Nick. I see where you’re coming from now. Thanks for bringing up that point about WWII.

    Here’s how I see it (to continue with Nick’s examples). BSG in seasons one and two could be comparable to London during WWII. The Colonials were constantly on the run. The Cylons were attacking whenever and wherever possible. The Colonials had to do constant jumps to get out of danger and the Galactica was constantly fighting to defend the fleet. The only uprising was done not because of political expediency, but because of exhaustion and fear (the episode where the anti-war group sabotaged Viper rounds and Roslin threatened to throw humans out an airlock… I love Laura Roslin, seriously).

    New Caprica changed that, I believe. The last real battle was in Exodus, Pt 2. Now, it appears that the Cylons and the Humans have gone their separate ways. Even when the Cylons and Humans met over the Algae Planet, they didn’t spar, there was no threat against the fleet. Well, I don’t think they’ve gone their separate ways, the Cylons have changed their plan. Before, their plan was to wipe out the humans. That mission statement changed when Boomer and Caprica Six (War Heroes) changed the minds of the other Cylons. By the end of the New Caprica story arc, the Cylons’ changed their mission from kill all humans to find Earth before the humans.

    I think what we have in Season 3 is similar to where we are today in America. Because the battle is out of sight and out of mind (referring to the GWOT), and we haven’t been attacked on our soil in almost 6 years, the terrorist threat is an intellectual exercise for the civilian population (for both “liberals” and “conservatives”). So, because of that, we can go on our merry (to quote Malcolm Reynolds). The threat is still there… it hasn’t gone anywhere. The threat of a Cylon attack is still there for the Colonials. But, because it hasn’t happened in a long time, the threat is no longer “real” to the Colonials… it is an intellectual exercise to them. Thus, they can still bicker about living conditions. But, let the Cylons attack again. I guarantee we’ll see the civilians straighten up.

    I don’t think the press needs to be censored. People are bitching because of the living conditions. Can’t really blame them, besides once a small group of complainers gets traction, it starts to spread (think, Dirty Dozen and the issue with the cold water). They’re lucky I’m not Roslin, to be truthful. If they complained to me, I would kindly remind them that we would have had more ships and better living conditions if they had re-elected me instead of listening to Baltar. Then I’d tell them to shut the frak up.

  12. 13th Cylon says:

    If I were Roslin, I’d tell them to put up, shut up, or let one of our fine marines escort you to the nearest airlock.

  13. Arktis says:

    I’ll make it short and sweet.

    What happened to the sort of “individual/states’ rights” vs “the near-absolute central government control” issue? In BSG, the central government won. End of argument, no discussion, nothing to see here, next crisis please.

    Talk about real-world parallels. I just gave you a big one, methinks.

    Good to see some political discussion. For a moment there, I was getting worried. 😉

  14. Arktis says:

    Meh, that’s pretty much one of your central points, huh? You just didn’t quite put it the way I did… sorry. It’s late and I haven’t had my tea.

  15. Arktis says:

    Triple post, sorry:

    when I say “real world parallels” – and that is something I am asserting in addition to what you’ve (Chuck) said – I am not talking absolute literal parallels. More like something that is true to whatever degree – small or large – and which is a genuine concern of the times.

    Sean, Chuck, Audra, I think you all made the mistake of believing that when you responded to my listener commentary. I’ve felt kind of marginalized and insulted since then.

  16. frank says:

    Wow this is real deep. Think about yesterday, when because of a snowstorm people were stranded on runways for hours and there were several incidents because of that, now imagine years of being stuck on a runway. Bryan, I would call myself a little right of center, but I agree with your points (be careful we are in danger of peace breaking out!). Please correct me if im wrong but the loss total on the colonies is counted in billions right? I think the most irrelevant thing that can be discussed is government. The military is there for protecting the fleet. billions have died, we are down to counting people in the tens of thousands not billions, forget the government until we get to safety, then we can start to rebuild. This may not be popular, but what is the purpose of the govt in the current fleet? From what I can see it involves watching six kiss air and drugging Baltar. I know the people want to feel like they have a say in what is happening, I would to, I love democracy, I love to disagree with my political opposites, I think that is what makes us great, if people don’t like what they see, then they can change it, like they did in Nov. It wasn’t the end of the world. BSG is dealing with the end of the world, so maybe as unpopular as it seems democracy could take a backseat until the 40,000+ are in a safe place.

  17. Armando says:

    But Frank, once they ARE in a “safe place” (and what would that be, considering that once they reach earth they’ll still have a lot of challenges to surmount?) what guarantee is there that democracy will be re-established? When citizens give up their rights in the name of a national crisis or emergency, they seldom get their rights back when said emergency is over. We in the U.S. have been lucky so far, but other democracies before ours have not fared so well.

    Of course, I think it is telling of Ron Moore’s and David Eick’s (and the rest of the writing/production team on BSG) views on this that the colonials did not completely descend into anarchy and chaos upon the attack but rather coalesced behind the remnant of the government and military and have continued to function as a society, however fragily.

  18. Elspeth says:

    With all the talk about the type of government, i.e representative democracy, I think the real question is that it would be representative of what exactly?

    Most governments today are set up based on land. The easy example is the US with towns, cities, and states. We then have people that represent a certain geographically area. Values and belief systems often follow these geographical lines. New York & Boston are notoriously liberal whereas Texas is, eh, not so much so. BSG had many different planets for each different kind of people. The Sagetarians (sp?) are not unlike some religious groups in the US and have their very own planet. I am not certain we have seen all of the distinctions on the show, but is each type of people tied and segregated by different planets – or pieces of land?

    Subsequently, we now have a bunch of landless people. How does representation work? Are the new city states each individual space ship? Is there a great variety of different people on each ship like a regular airplane? Is there a first class?

    Are people defined and represented as to where they USED to live?

    Without the land, the real life comparisons are very difficult. (What was the number of people in the Quoarm and Why?) All will have to really figure out what identifies the individual and what defines the group(s).

    Identity as a geographical designation when there is currently no real geography is a real problem.

  19. Chuck says:

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m not necessarily unhappy with BSG’s current system of government — I’m just unhappy with their unwillingness to actually define it as such and stick to it. While I suspect I’d be totally happy with the woman king in charge (if I were a fleet civvie) assuming that I know what we know as fans of the show.

    But if I wouldn’t know all those things. The fleet’s civilians are treated like mushrooms, and if I were one of them I’d probably know nothing at all — just that everything’s in shortage, crazy things happen all the time, and some unelected lady’s in charge.

    I can’t help but think that some — though definitely not all — of the civilians would calm down a bit if they simply defined what form of government they intend to use and passed that information on to the masses. Maybe that’s a dictatorship presided over by Roslin, or maybe it’s a republic with Roslin as a “president for life.” (These seem like the best descriptions of what’s happening right now, at least in my mind.) Either way, maybe it would help things to just admit it instead of waffling around about “democracy” then subverting the results to save everyone’s collective ass.

  20. Armando says:

    Actually, Chuck, I have a problem with what’s going on politically in BSG BECAUSE I know what’s going on with Roslin. I think if I were one of the faceless mushrooms on the fleet I would probably just be worried about having enough algae and occassionally getting some privacy.

  21. Nick says:

    The reality is that the type of government the fleet has is whatever type of government Adama wants the fleet to have. Adama still controls all the guns… where they are pointed and when they fire. Roslin said it best in the miniseries when she asked “Are you going to let me be President?” When the population was rescued from New Caprica, all Adama had to do was say to Zarek “No, you will not be President, I won’t allow it” and poof! Rosalin is back in. The democracy is an illusion. It is an illusion deemed “necessary” to help keep the general population in check, but the fleet has an Emperor, that’s Adama. He simply choses to delegate all the more menial day-to-day micromanagement of the civilians to somebody else.

  22. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been reading this blog and listening to the podcasts for a while now, but hadn’t had anything to share up until now. Hello everybody 🙂

    I would agree with Armando that this society is, at the very most, a fragile one at best. And unlike many, I do not believe that the Colonists have a “democracy” as we know it at all. All we’ve really seen is a debate and an election, and some vague references to how government works. Didn’t Roslin named/appointed her own VP? (I might be mistaken about that, please correct me if I am.) They didn’t run on the same platform or ticket, so I’d submit “democracy” the way we know it in the States isn’t the same.

    Since the Colonists culture most closely mirrors that of ancient Greece, IMO perhaps their form of government (such that it is) would most likely correspond to classical (Athenian) democracy. I say this because often we hear Roslin (especially early on) dealing with escalations from the population at large, including captains of ships in the fleet, individuals, religious representatives, and so on. The taxonomy used in reference to government in BSG is similiar to classical democracy as well, such as the quorum, People’s Council and such. While the structure of succession is similiar to the US as is the Articles of Colonization in comparison to the Bill of Rights, the flavor of BSG’s democracy is different than that which we know IRL.

    Elspeth asks if people are defined and represented by as to where they used to live, and I’d submit that this is not just a “land” based influence. It’s cultural, ingrained and it’s routine and familiar. When a catastrophe ensues in a given society like this one, the idea is to get everything back to a “normal” as you can do it to reassure the people. The problem is, things *have* changed and society, and government, has to change with it. When I refer to change, I mean the fact that there’s only a finite number of survivors, people have lost everything they know, and there’s a lovely Cylon threat looming, whether perceived or real doesn’t matter. No one is going to feel comfortable for a long, long time – democracy or no democracy.

    Frank mentioned that the military is there for protecting the fleet, and the first that came to mind was “how long before it’s revealed to the public that the military also STARTED the war?” 🙂

    I want you all to know I enjoy reading all your comments – they are a refreshing after seeing the drivel on other groups and messageboards. For me, back to lurking out here in Cyberville… 🙂

  23. Pike says:

    Rebecca, nice comments. You’re correct in that the Quorum isn’t really like anything we know (RDM said something to the effect that they had a tremendous amount of power. Think about it. ONE person represents an entire planet.)

    Elspeth raises a very good point. I will say geography has not gone away (they are all still someplace, it’s just that now it’s ships) but they are still holding on to the way things were. Tom Zarek said as much in his presidental run. It raises some interesting issues, such as which colony is the least-reprented in numbers (I’m guessing Virgons.) They still get 1/12th of the Quorum votes.

    But, while these things are interesting to discuss on forums, they aren’t terribly exciting to see unfold on your TV. That, I suspect, is why we haven’t seen more of them.

  24. Armando says:

    Oh God, Pike! Could you imagine? It’d be like The Phantom Menace every week! (Well, I actually kind of enjoyed seeing the politics of Star Wars play out in that film, even if it made for some dull movie going.)

    Rebecca, great comments. I honestly had not thought about the classical model for democracy in this case. Hmm…

    I have to wonder, what would things be like on BSG if Tom Zarek became president? Would he help bring people to acceptance of the fact that things ARE different?

  25. Pike says:

    Armando, excellent comment. I suspect that he (Zarek) would have, but it would have been a lesson in unintended consequences. There’s a reason people cling to what’s “normal.” Once you take that away, open the floodgates…

  26. 13th Cylon says:

    The Phantom Menace! The movie name we do not speak of. Although it was better than the Attacking Clones, a trade disagreement doesn’t have the same drive as the good guys vs. baddies of the first three (or last three, depending on your point of view).

    Anyway, the Quorum has taken the top spot as the most mysterious group, bumping the Cylonz down after all their Season 3 glory. Even the Quorum doesn’t know what they do other than wear their little beauty pageant sashes.

  27. Joe says:

    You guys should re-watch the episode Colonial Day. Even though Cloud 9 is gone it’s still a great insight into the existing colonial government. Tom Zarek has a great quote, “President Roslin and her policies are all about holdiung on to a fabtasy! We want to survive. We need to completely restructure our lives…”
    In my opinion, Zarek is exactly right, but he’s thinking too far ahead. It’s 47 days after the attack and colonials are still struggling with their existence. A shot at familiarity is what it would take to establish peace and prevent rioting. in terms of the present, maybe another political episode like this is called for? Surprisingly it’s not that boring! Colonial day was a gripping episode, definitely better than the Woman King.

    What’s even more interesting is that the Sagittarians are well represented in this episode. Interesting how they choose Zarek as their representative to the Quorum being what they are as shown in The Woman King.

  28. Pike says:

    “Interesting how they choose Zarek as their representative to the Quorum being what they are as shown in The Woman King.”

    Yeah, that makes a lot more sense now. “We’ll show them, we’ll elect Tom frakin’ Zarek!”

  29. Lt. Slingshot says:

    If Zarek ever gets the presidency (which would be an interesting story line) his relationship with the Quorum of 12 would be like Hugo Chavez with the Venezuelan Congress. It wouldn’t be long before he’d get the power to declare law by decree bypassing the legislative process. With all of Laura’s political maneuvering I’m not sure she actually has that kind of power. I would never support that in the real world we live in but it might make a lot of sense in the BSG world simply because of the dire circumstances that they face. When the entire race can be wiped out in a single attack there isn’t much time for debate. Roslin isn’t far from that now but she does seem to have some kind of line she won’t cross even if it does slide back and forth. Zarek seems to have the will to take the hard line consistently without any lip service to their constitution whatever form it may take. I wouldn’t want to live under that kind of rule but I wouldn’t want to be 1 of 40K+ left of my race with the threat of extinction looming over my head constantly either. Zarek might not be all that bad a choice given the circumstances.

  30. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Armando, I almost spit up my drink with The Phantom Menace line. Damn!!! LOL.

    Then we can move to Attack of the Clones. Adama and Laura in Adama’s quarters.

    Adama: Ever since that first kiss, my heart’s been in turmoil. I need you, Laura. Without you, I can’t breathe.
    Roslin: Oh, Bill. Don’t you see? We can’t do this. You’re in charge of the military and I’m in charge of everything.
    Adama: We can lie. We can pretend that what we have doesn’t exist.
    Roslin: We can’t live a lie, Bill.
    Adama: You’re right, Laura, it would destroy us.

    After fighting the Cylons (and Adama losing his arm), they get married in Joe’s Bar. Sweet!!

    Sorry, I went a little off topic here.

    I think Zarek is one of those guys who is always thinking 20 years in the future, which lands him in trouble most of the time or make people think he’s some kind of flake. If Roslin were to retire or something, I’d love to see Zarek as president. I’m not sure that Zarek would go all Chavez on people. The interesting thing is that Zarek may disagree with how Roslin handles things, but let a couple of Cylon attacks happen and he’ll end up doing the same things that Roslin has done.

  31. Rebecca says:

    LOL Browncoat Bryan 🙂 Who cares if it was off topic, that was funny 🙂

    About Zarek…while I like and even understand him, I also recall the came this close to pulling the trigger on killing Lee at one point. While he didn’t do it, he did *think* about it. What does that say for a potential leader?

  32. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Thanks, Rebecca…

    In regards to Zarek and wanting to kill Lee, once again, he proved his ability to see into the future.

    I’m sure he was thinking, “I’ve got to kill this guy because he’s such a whiner!”

    Again, Zarek is a visionary.

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