The Drath leader suddenly popped up begging me to do something because the Thalan were too powerful. I gave him a whole fleet of 4 large ships and I know they would have taken out about 15 Thalan fleet. The ships turned brown and they sat there. After a few turns the Thalan surrounded us and they were at war with the Drath. Nothing happened. The ships are still there.
Another thing that happened is I lost the party vote. Not sure when party vote pops up, but if you lose, you lose some pretty good bonuses so I loaded up a quicksave. I couldn't get a meeting with anybody. (Boy that feature gets on my nerves). Somehow i got a little more influence, oh right, I lowered my taxes til I had 99% approval. The vote came up again and this time I won in a landslide because the federalists didn't put in any influence. How do you not put in influence?
Why did I win the vote? Was it because I became so influential as a result of lowering taxes and raising my approval?
Why didn't the Drath use the fleet I just donated? Also, why didn't the Drath give me some of their technologies. The fleet was worth about 28,000. I had to take all my compensation in cash and influence. Would have been a lot more convincing that this was a head of state if he'd have shown some gratitude and then taken action.
Finally, How do I get the Drath to attack me? They're hostile towards me. I'm starting to build influence starbases affecting their planets, but I know that can take forever. Wasn't there some trick? Tell someone to attack them and then form an alliance with them? I think the game doesn't let you do that.