Originally Posted by horatio
You mind that we did not see more of the rottenness of the Federation. Well, sorry, but that's how TNG worked!
In a dramatic context it is fairly natural to illustrate structural issues via a character. In Hamlet it were Polonius and Claudius that embodied the rottenness of Denmark, in TNG it is Satie, Nechayev (to a minor degree, she is obviously not a criminal but nonetheless an ideological opponent of Picard) or Dougherty that show the problems of the Federation or, to express it more poetically, the fragility of paradise, how you have to constantly struggle to maintain it.
Same in DS9. There as no Section 31 except via its dramatic representation in the form of the character of Sloane.
Ah, but Dougherty was a criminal. What he was doing was not simply a ying to Picard's yang on some point of logic as Nechayev was. He was willing to pull the trigger, so to speak.
But again, they didn't have the courage to really explore that.