Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #14 - Political Movements

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It’s Thursday again and that means we’re going to continue talking about politics in games! Specifically, we’ll be talking about Political Movements in Victoria 3. I touched a little bit on this feature back in Dev Diary #6 by saying that there are ways for politically disenfranchised Pops to push for reform, though that isn’t the entirety of the role that Political Movements fill in the game.

What then are Political Movements? Put simply, a Political Movement is a way for your Pops to make a direct demand of the government, either because they desire change or because they don’t desire the change you are currently pushing through. A Political Movement is always aimed at one particular law, and can take three different forms:

Movement to Preserve: This is a political movement that can form when there is sufficient opposition to the passing of a particular law. For example, if Great Britain starts replacing the Monarchy with a Republic, it’s very likely that this will result in a Movement to Preserve the Monarchy.
Movement to Enact: This is a political movement that can form when there is a popular demand for the enactment of a particular law. For example, if you have a politically active and literate but very poor underclass of laborers, these laborers might form a movement to create a minimum wage.
Movement to Restore: This is a political movement that works exactly like a Movement to Enact, but aims specifically to bring back a law that was previously in effect in the country - for example a Movement to restore the Monarchy in a Britain that successfully transitioned into a Republic. The main difference between a Movement to Restore and a Movement to Enact is that the former will tend to get some extra support from being able to harken back to the ‘golden era’ of the past instead of having to champion new ideas.

Political Movements have a singular goal and will exist only so long as this goal remains unfulfilled. Their impact on the country in pushing for said goal is determined by their Support score. A Political Movement can have support from both Interest Groups (which represents a part of the political establishment backing the movement) and individual Pops (which represents individuals championing the movement in the streets).

Political Movements are not always progressive - while the Industrialists and Intelligentsia want to expand the franchise in Prussia, a coalition of more conservative Interest Groups are simultaneously pushing for more censorship
2021_08_19_2.png

Interest Groups will provide Support for the Movement based on their Clout, while Pops provide Support based on raw numbers (compared to population as a whole), meaning that a single discriminated Laborer backing a Movement provides just as much Support as a fully enfranchised Aristocrat when taking action outside their Interest Group.

In other words, while Political Strength still plays an important role in Political Movements (in the form of Interest Groups throwing their Clout behind movements championing laws they like), it is entirely possible for a Political Movement to form with no Interest Group backing at all - even if nobody is willing to champion workers’ rights in the halls of power, enough angry workers in the streets may just be enough to affect change anyway.

Which Interest Groups will or will not back a Political Movement depends on whether they would approve of a change to the new law (in case of Enact/Restore) or disapprove of the current change in progress (in case of Preserve). Interest Groups that have high approval or which are part of the Government will not support Political Movements, though Government IGs may put pressure on you in other ways if they’re not pleased with your actions.

Pops are more complex, as they can back a Political Movement either because it aligns with their political movement (ie their preferred Interest Group is in favor of the movement) or because they have something to gain directly from it (for example a discriminated Pop backing a movement that would give them more rights).

This Political Movement to abolish the regressive Poll Tax is currently only backed by the Trade Unions and Pops sympathetic to them.
2021_08_19_1.png

The Support score of a Political Movement has two direct effects on legislation: Firstly, it affects the chance of successfully passing a law (making it easier to pass the law the movement wants in the case of a Movement to Enact/Restore, and more difficult to replace in the case of a Movement to Preserve). Having a Movement to Enact/Restore also allows a country to attempt to pass the law the movement wants, even if said law has no backing among the Interest Groups in government.

But what then, if you don’t intend to bow to the wishes of a movement in your country? This is where the Radicalism of a Political Movement comes in. Radicalism is based on the number of Radical pops and Clout of Angry Interest Groups supporting the Movement. A movement with low Radicalism is one that is intent on getting its wishes heard through peaceful means, while a movement with high Radicalism is willing to use more extreme methods, up to and including sparking a Revolution (though that particular topic is something we’ll cover in a later dev diary).

Replacing the Monarchy with a Republic is *not* a popular idea in Sweden in 1836 - the opposition is both strong and highly radicalized - a civil war is all but guaranteed unless the government reverses course.
2021_08_19_5.png

It is by no means a sure thing that every peaceful movement will become radical, and movements may very well fizzle out without accomplishing their goal, but ignoring the wishes of a significant part of your population and/or political establishment does come with some associated risks.

When talking about Political Movement Radicalism, I mentioned Radical Pops, and since they play an important role in creating and radicalizing Political Movements I thought I’d take a little time to explain how Radical Pops and their Loyalist counterparts function in Victoria 3. The first thing that should be understood about Radicals and Loyalists is that just like with Interest Group membership, Radicals and Loyalists are not whole Pops but rather individuals within Pops.

Starting a game as France by hiking the taxes up as high as possible and slashing government/military salaries is a sure-fire way to watch the number of Radicals quickly climb
2021_08_19_3.png

Radicals are individuals who have become disillusioned with the government and political apparatus of the country and want to seek change through any means necessary, while Loyalists are ‘patriots’ who are generally willing to put their political views and goals aside for the sake of the nation. There is a large variety of ways that Pops can become Radicals or Loyalists, here’s a few of the more common reasons listed below:
  • Pops that experience an increase in material living standards will become more loyal
  • Pops that experience a decrease in material living standards will become more radical
  • Pops whose Standard of Living is below the minimum they expect to have will radicalize over time, particularly if it’s so low that they’re actually starving
  • Pops that are literate but discriminated against tend to radicalize over time
  • Pops from Political Movements whose demands are ignored may radicalize over time
  • Pops from Political Movements that have their demands fulfilled become more loyal
Radicals and Loyalists generally function in directly opposite ways. For example, Radicals are more likely to create and join Political Movements (as well as contributing to radicalizing said movements) while Loyalists will never join Political Movements. Loyalists make the Interest Groups they are part of happier, while Radicals make them less happy and so on. This means that one way to prevent political activism and curtail movements that oppose your agenda is to increase the Standard of Living of your Pops. Just because you at some point during the game created prosperity (and as a result a bunch of Loyalists) doesn’t mean everyone will just be onboard with your programme forever, though.

Pops will remain Radical or Loyalist until they either die or have a status change as a result of becoming more radical/loyal (for example, a Loyalist Pop might stop being Loyalist if their material standard of living suddenly takes a nosedive), but they do, in fact, die. As generations die off and are replaced by new ones, less and less people will remember all the great things you did for the country 30 years ago and will start wondering instead what you’ve done for them lately.

With that said, that’s a wrap for this dev diary. Next week we’ll continue talking about Politics on a topic that very much relates to Political Movements by being one of the most monumental political questions of the 19th century: Slavery.
 
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This comment is reserved for gathering dev responses in for ease of reading. ✨

MrMineHeads said:
How does policing play into this?
Radical Pops are a source of Turmoil, which has a number of negative effects on your states. Various Policing Laws provide the Law Enforcement Institution with methods for dealing with the effects of that Turmoil. Some Laws also provide access to Decrees that can have a more direct impact on radical elements of your population. But in both these cases you're dealing with the people who support them, not the Political Movement as an entity. You can't kill an idea.

Vohen said:
Do nationalists/pan-nationalists also try to push for independence/unification through those movements?
Ninking said:
- Will there be movements demanding reconquest of lost territory?
At the moment we only use Political Movements for Pop desires that relate to Laws. Other desires, such as independence, is modeled differently.

Traum77 said:
If we run out of techs to advance the economy (assuming we're otherwise in a socialist utopia) and standard of living, will all pops inevitably slide towards radicalism?
We'll talk more about technology in another Dev Diary, but our general approach to techs is that they should unlock things, not impose automatic, instant change across your whole country as soon as you get access to them. Most technological change comes with some sort of cost, or at least impact. For example, a more efficient Production Method might come with a new input goods cost or a decreased workforce who need new employment. So I'll hedge this response by first saying that our aim is that even if you can plow through the tech tree early, you should still have to struggle to implement all those novelties by game end.

With that caveat in mind though: sure, rapid progress means you have to fight even harder to sustain that progress. Any decline in living conditions is unacceptable, after all.

Heatth said:
Can pops or interest groups support more than one movement at the same time?
Yes!

riggs493 said:
Any word on political parties?
No further word on this yet. It's still on the table, but we have a big pile of things on that table.

Al-Khalidi said:
Hm, so ability to enact reform the movement wants is always granted? Does it mean that if the small groups of socialists wants healthcare, I can theoretically try to enact it even if I'm absolute monarchy? Or intelectuals pushing for public schools.
Yes, because even if the people in charge might fundamentally disagree, if the rabble on the street is demanding it perhaps the topic becomes more relevant to them. But there's sure to be a lot of dissent during the process of enacting such a Law, it might take a long time and require a lot of concessions.
Al-Khalidi said:
Also, what if movements contradict each other? Lets say we have intelectuals pushing for public schools and devouts for religious. How this would impact ability to introduce one of those reforms? (Lets say we have private schools)
Both would impact their respective Law but not the other one. What's more common is that you start to enact one Law that's demanded by a certain Popular Movement, and once you start that process another Movement forms to Preserve the old Law. In this case the movement to enact the new Law would increase its chance of passing while the movement to preserve the old one would try to cause it to stall, so the final impact would depend on the relative Support values of the two groups.

IsaacCAT said:
What advantage, if any, does the player have to promote radicalism? In Vic2 this allowed to pass progressive reforms in a prominently reactionary society. Are there any other ways to play than promoting loyalist? If the player wantsto change a backward society, with aristochrats having a lot of power, maybe radicalizing some POPs may help the player approve the necessary laws to transform society.
Promoting the appearance of radical Movements is certainly a thing you can do to effect change to your country rapidly. First off, since radicals are more prone to join Movements, having lots of radicals will make for stronger Movements which let you pass the Laws they want faster and easier. It's also possible to foster a revolution on purpose, though this can be a dangerous gambit and obviously lead to huge loss of life and other devastation to your nation.
IsaacCAT said:
How reversible is changing laws in your country? Can you change them every election without penalties? I like the idea of a nation state of mind to approve laws, not only a player decision, but something that has to be worked on.
You can attempt to change them as often as you like, but each one is a process - potentially a destabilizing one - and you can only enact one Law at a time. So flip-flopping between Laws is a pretty good way of making just about everyone unhappy in the long run.

EntropyAvatar said:
So I think you've said elsewhere that there aren't age pyramids, so I guess when there is a death in a pop, that has a chance to reduce the loyalists or radical count that's proportionate to the number of loyalists/radicals in the pop? Can a pop have loyalists and radicals at the same time?
A single Pop can only have either Loyalists or Radicals. If the Pop has Loyalists, and become more radical, the effect cancels out the Loyalists instead until there are none left, at which point it would start gaining Radicals instead.

Deaths reduce Loyalists/Radicals/Literate/Qualifications etc by roughly proportionate amounts, yes. So over time, Pops will trend towards neutrality, faster the shorter their life expectancy is (i.e. if both death rate and birth rate are high).

IndigoRage said:
So a pop can either vote with their interest group or for their own interest, which makes sense. I feel like something that's missing is pops voting against their own interest due to things other than loyalty alone such factionalism or systems of patronage like political machines.
Oh, none of this has anything to do with votes! Political Movements are about major political will among Interest Groups or grassroots organizations in favor of or opposition to specific Laws. Votes and electoral mechanics is something entirely different, and in those contexts Pops can certainly vote against their best interests. We'll get around to that in later Dev Diaries!

mikhail321 said:
Are there any ways for the player to interact with the movements apart from enacting the laws they push for? Any promotion/suppression mechanic?
We currently have some interactions for suppressing or promoting certain Interest Groups depending on what's permitted / enabled by your Laws, and the aforementioned methods for dealing with Radical Pops. But the Political Movements themselves are more to be seen as zeitgeist than an organization with a headquarter your secret police can knock on the door of, so we don't have any direct interactions with Movements.

Being Earnest said:
Can all pops get involved in political movements, or are some types excluded- ie, slaves, colonized pops, unaccepted cultures?
All of them can get involved on an individual level, but the ones you mention have no or very limited Political Strength and so cannot act through Interest Groups. But one of the primary reasons for this system is to permit an alternate avenue for disenfranchised Pops to have a say in the country's politics - especially if things get bad enough for them.

Lorehead said:
This looks very nice! You mention the possibility of movements fizzling out over time, instead of becoming more and more radical. Could you tell us a bit more about how that happens?
If a Movement's demands have gone unfulfilled for a long time, without becoming Radical enough to be able to start a Revolution, it will eventually gain a chance to dissolve randomly. So as long as you can keep radicalism down you can wait out the clock until the population's grown tired of asking.

Xain said:
How can we see a breakdown of what interest groups (and pops) are supporting a given Political Movement?
IG breakdown is shown by hovering the underlined percentage.
Pop breakdown isn't added yet as polish pass isn't done :)
 
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If all political movements are directly tied to laws, then how will nationalist rebels work? Will they have their own thing going that leads to the same result of rising up?
 
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So how do political movements interact with political parties?
 
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From
> Political Movements have a singular goal and will exist only so long as this goal remains unfulfilled.

There be a way to eradicate undesirable political movements, or do they just hang around until end of game?
 
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Do nationalists/pan-nationalists also try to push for independence/unification through those movements?
 
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I'm so looking forward to this aspect of the game! I like that political movements might fizzle out into nothing, unlike Victoria 2 where any movement which isn't catered to eventually lead to violent revolters. Some semi-related questions though:

- Will there be movements demanding reconquest of lost territory or other "valid territorial claims"?
- Will there be fascist movements in the game at release, and what kind of things might they push for?
- When modelling fascists, does the team have any specific political theorists description of fascism as guidance? For example, fascism as a "political religion" à la Emilio Gentilo? Not that there is any objectively correct analysis of fascism, but there is quite a lot of disagreement between political scholars.
 
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How does policing play into this?
Radical Pops are a source of Turmoil, which has a number of negative effects on your states. Various Policing Laws provide the Law Enforcement Institution with methods for dealing with the effects of that Turmoil. Some Laws also provide access to Decrees that can have a more direct impact on radical elements of your population. But in both these cases you're dealing with the people who support them, not the Political Movement as an entity. You can't kill an idea.
 
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Political Movements have a singular goal and will exist only so long as this goal remains unfulfilled.
A political movement will last forever if the goal is unfulfilled OR though the goal is unfulfilled, a movement can also disappear for other reasons?
 
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Spectrum_Prez

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Looks promising, as always. I am not envious about how finicky it will be to put in all the links between movements and pop preferences.

One suggestion: think about renaming the "Radical" label. As described, the Radical-Loyalist mechanic makes sense. However, because the term "Radical" was used historically by many liberal-ish political parties, it may lead to confusion about what the label is meant to indicate. Maybe "Politically Activated" or "Dissatisfied" would be a less historically loaded -- and therefore clearer -- label.
 
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Traum77

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I like it! Seems like farming loyal pops will be a major focus of enacting your reforms and setting your nation down your desired path.

I'll be really curious to see how this mixes with technology. In many games of Vic2 I'd finished the tech tree by like... 1920 or 21. If we run out of techs to advance the economy (assuming we're otherwise in a socialist utopia) and standard of living, will all pops inevitably slide towards radicalism?
 
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BrytonJSwan

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This looks really awesome!! You mention revolutions occurring as a result of unfulfilled political demands which is really cool. Not sure if you're ready to talk about this yet but will there be other ways for revolutions to occur? I'm just considering scenarios like the October Revolution where demands and goals were more wide reaching than just one law.
 
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lachek

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Do nationalists/pan-nationalists also try to push for independence/unification through those movements?
- Will there be movements demanding reconquest of lost territory?
At the moment we only use Political Movements for Pop desires that relate to Laws. Other desires, such as independence, is modeled differently.
 
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LucasG21

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The movements to restore/preserve seem like a great way to model the power reactionary politics.

Will countries with a history of government changes get any special restorationist movements? For example, will France get any special movements to restore a Napoleonic monarchy, or the revolutionary republics? I can also imagine the Netherlands looking back to the Republican period.
 
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Victor Cortez

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Nice, this looks like a rather user friendly way to show players what pops want or do not want.

I assume there will be events tied to Political Movements
 
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Duarte

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how does this sistem work in relation to historical movements that don't exclusively match laws? for example the miguelist, the carlists, the legitimists, orleanists, and bonarpartists? while all of the can be said to embody specific laws (autocracy or constitutionalism and so on) they also advocated very particularly for specific dynasties, will this be represented in game?
 
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