Yes it does seem that when the Federation had a larger strategic objective to achieve - it was happy to suspend the PD in 'Errand of Mercy' in order to achieve a military objective. Same as they offered up a few planets in the DMZ to appease the Cardassians. They also used the PD as a reason not to help the Bajorans when under the rule of the Cardassians, yet swamped in when the Cardassians left and spent the next 7 years setting themselves up as the friends of Bajor.
So it probably is perspective.
I tend to think the PD is just the Federation talking a good game about itself, but as it's been proven it gets paid lip service when needed, or merely inconsistently used and termed, I just have over the years developed less interest in characters grand speeches about how marvelous it is.
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'
courtesy of Saquist
Last edited by kevin : 08-23-2009 at 04:12 AM.