So not defending your ally gives you a diplomatic hit in addition to losing the alliance right? And these hits according to the manual is permenant?
If it happens more than once do they stack up? And how big is the hit really?
Wow, I let that one slip for a while. Yes, you take the hit as well as losing the alliance. Yes, they are permanent as far as I can tell. No, to my knowledge they do NOT stack; what happens is you get a permanent - in your relations to all other races as "untrustworthy" (or something to that effect, it's been a while). I don't believe it's possible to get it as a double minus, so repeated offenses *shouldn't* be a problem.
I also have to comment on the treaties. IMHO there should be a possibility to cancel them as well as the opportunity to get other races to cancel theirs and switch over to deal with you instead. As it is now, A.I. players always help each other very early with treaties and there is no chance for me to get in later.
It would be convenient to have a way out, but that would also reduce the value of them. As it is, the only way to cancel a treaty between AIs is to start a war between them - and that's not always easy. Usually, having treaties indicates they have good relations, and you can't pay one civ to attack another unless their relations are neutral or lower. What you CAN do is start proxy wars by proxy; that's right, pay one treaty member to attack the other's ally or the Altarians (if target is good), forcing the victim to declare war on their treaty partner. Also good for a laugh is to park transports next to one civ's planet, gift them to the other, and watch relations plummet as the recipient is too stupid to move the transports.