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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What advantage, if any, has the player promoting 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 wants to 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.

But, would it be possible to take another more peaceful way?

Maybe it will be totally dissmissable and you do not need at all radical or loyal pops to pass laws, making it a nice but superfluos mechanic. You can always supress a rebellion or two.

How important is the support of POPs to pass laws?

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.
 
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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.

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?
 
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Oh wait I have another question: will countries start with a fresh slate in terms of political movements in 1936 or will some of them start with stuff already going on?
 
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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?
My reading of the diary tells me that they'll slide into neutral, neither loyalist nor radical. They'd only become radical if their standard of living regressed.
 
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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).
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.
 

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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.
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.
 
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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.
Is the Radicalization factor taken into account for those that are in power? In Vicky 2, the more militancy, the more conservatives that would support the political reform, mainly just to save their own hides. Is this modeled?
 

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So does "Movement to Preserve" only exist while a replacing law is being considered for being enacted? Or is it when the replacing law is available to be enacted?
Is law enactment a process with a start and an end, and the process takes long enough for the preserve movement to form and have an effect?
 
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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).
 
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Based on earlier dev diaries, I believe the issue of trying to enact universal healthcare as an absolute monarchy with a powerful aristocracy is that the opposition of the influential interest groups would outweigh the desire of the disenfranchised working class socialists, which could get painful.
My impression is that this system is to help prevent situations where a sizeable part of your population wants a law (and might even be militant about it) but you physically can't table it for discussion because of the groups that happen to be in power. It's not for pushing through ideas that only a few people support.

But hey, it's your country!

As for the second question, I imagine you can introduce either whichever you prefer. I do wonder if the opposing movement will have an impact in the success chance of the law though.
My guess is no, unless it's a movement to preserve. For instance, say there are secular, chartered private schools and there are two movements: one for public schools, the other for religious schools. The public-school reform movement has no particular reason to favor either private schools or religious schools over one another (although the pops that make up the movement might).

And pops can be in multiple movements, so some of them might support both private and religious school movements - on the theory that anything would be better than the status quo.

Can the goals of movements evolve as they become more radicalized? I.e. going from supporting census suffrage to universal suffrage.
It sounds like there's nothing stopping there from being movements for both census and universal suffrage at the same time, with many (but not necessarily all) pops and interest groups supporting both.

One thing that's not clear to me is how a movement gets started. Maybe having a well-supported "neighboring" movement would incite new movements?
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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