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Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #7 - Laws

dd7.png


After a couple weeks vacation, we’ve now returned to our usual weekly dev diary schedule! Today we will be diving deeper into Victoria’s politics to talk about Laws. Legal reform in your country creates different political, economic, and social conditions for your Pops, which over time changes the fabric of your society. This change can be slow and incremental, or fast and revolutionary - sometimes literally.

There are three major categories of Laws with seven sub-categories in each, which themselves contain up to half a dozen specific Law options. As always everything here is being heavily iterated upon, including these sub-categories, so the laws you see at release will not exactly match what we’re telling you here!

Power Structure
These Laws determine who is in control of different aspects of your country. It includes fundamental Governance Principles such as Monarchy and Parliamentary Republic, which determine who your Head of State is and what kind of powers they wield. Distribution of Power ranges from Autocracy and Oligarchy through various extensions of the voting franchise all the way to Universal Suffrage. Citizenship and Church and State Laws govern which Pops suffer legal discrimination in your country due to their culture or religion. The principles on which your Bureaucracy is run - such as hereditary or elected positions for bureaucrats - determine how expensive it is to keep track of each citizen and how much Institutions cost to run, but also directly benefit some groups over others. Conscription lets you raise a part of your civilian workforce as soldiers in times of war, and Internal Security governs how the Home Affairs anti-insurgent Institution works.

The Power Structure Laws of a typical European nation after having made a few strides towards liberalization. The numbers in green refers to the number of alternative Laws currently available to be enacted. This indicator is used throughout the UI to reveal how many options a sub-menu has without having to open it.
dd7_1.png

Economy
This set of Laws define where your treasury’s money comes from and how it can be spent. Your Economic System is crucial - this governs whether your country operates on principles of Mercantilism, Isolationism, or Free Trade, among others. Income Tax determines which Pops should be taxed and what range of tax burden is appropriate. No Income Tax at all is of course an option, and legislation to such effect will make some Pops both rich and happy! Poll Taxation, or levying a fixed tax per head, is another option primarily used in less industrialized societies. (There are other avenues of taxation as well, but these are the ones driven by legislation.) Finally, you can choose what form the Institutions of Colonization, Policing, Education System, and Health System will take in your country. For example, you can keep government spending under control by instituting Charity Hospitals, which have limited effect and boost the power of the clergy, or you could pass a Public Health Insurance Law which is costlier but can have a greater impact on the health of the masses.

Payroll Taxes require reasonable lower-class wages and a centralized population to pay off, but if so can form the economic basis for a budding welfare system as seen here. A tax system based on Levying might be more lucrative in countries with huge Peasant populations.
dd7_2.png

Human Rights
Enshrining the rights of the individual was a hallmark of the era. These Laws define how your Pops are treated and what manner of control you can enforce over their lives. Free Speech determines the degree of control you can enforce over your Interest Groups but restrictive rights throttle the spread of innovation. The Labor Rights Laws include outlawing serfdom, but extends all the way to establishing a Workplace Safety Institution to reduce the number of people literally crushed in the jaws of industry. Children’s Rights and the Rights of Women have a number of effects such as shifting the Workforce/Dependent demographics, affecting Dependent income, and extending the franchise. Welfare ensures the poor and disabled in your society are taken care of. Migration Laws can be used to influence Pop migration. Slavery Laws determine the legal status of owning people in your country. More details on that subject in a future dev diary.

Not a lot of concessions have been made here, but at least children may congregate freely after the factory whistle signals the end of their grueling workday.
dd7_3.png

Laws are almost always completely independent from one another. You can create a Constitutional Monarchy with hereditary succession but Universal Suffrage, or an Autocratic Presidential Republic with a strongman leader at the top of the food chain. You can have a Secret Police and still permit fully Protected Speech.

Our aim is to set all countries up with the best fitting Laws compared to what they actually had in 1836. This will vary wildly between countries, and will greatly influence what sorts of conditions and strategies are available to you at the start of the game. For example, the USA starts with Total Separation of Church and State, ensuring no Pops suffer legal discrimination on account of their religion, while Sardinia-Piedmont doesn’t take kindly to non-Catholic Pops. This will affect Pops who live in the country currently, but will also limit which Pops might migrate there - few Pops would make it their preference to move to a country where they’re mistreated by law.

As a result of these starting Laws Sardinia-Piedmont might have to look towards colonization or conquest if they start to run out of their native workforce, while North America is likely to get regular migration waves to help expand the frontier. By connecting these effects to starting Laws, many historically appropriate and recognizable aspects and behaviors of Victorian-era nations - such as their attractiveness to immigrants - are connected to a tangible property (e.g. poor or oppressed Pops emigrating to the USA both because of its demand for workforce and also its liberal Laws) rather than being arbitrarily encoded into the very fabric of the nation itself, the approach previous Victoria games took to encourage history in the a familiar direction.

However, these starting Laws are far from set in stone! You might want to reform your Laws to better suit the direction your society is going - for example, you might want to transition your Bureaucracy from a system of Appointees to Elected Bureaucrats in order to more effectively provide services from Government Institutions to all your incorporated territories (or maybe just because you want to disempower the otherwise powerful Intelligentsia.) Or your country’s Agrarian economy has plateaued on account of increased reliance on imports of manufactured goods, and you want to change course to the exciting opportunities provided by a Free Trade policy.

A common effect of Laws is to modify some parameter about your country, like give you more Authority or reduce certain Pops’ Mortality. But Laws can also permit or disallow the use of certain actions, such as Public Schools which permit the Compulsory Primary School Law; permit the Decree to Promote Social Mobility in a certain state; and even alter the effects of other parts of your society, like boost the efficacy of your Education System Institution. Without some degree of separation between Church and State, this form of secular school system is not possible.
dd7_4.png

Another reason to change Laws is because your people demand it. As we touched on in the previous dev diary, Interest Groups have Ideologies that lead them to favor some Laws over others - for example, the Industrialists have the Individualist Ideology that cause them to favor privately operated Education and Healthcare systems over publicly funded ones, to ensure best access is given to those of merit and morals (or in other words, Wealth). Reforming your current Laws to work more in accordance with your powerful Interest Groups’ Ideologies is a quick way to win their Approval, permitting you more leeway to go against their wishes in the future or as a quick pick-me-up in case their Standard of Living has recently taken a hit.

The inverse is also true. Introduce a bill to abolish the Monarchy in Great Britain and see how the Landed Gentry feel about that.

Even Trade Unionists have a hard time saying no to zero income taxes, but even that won’t make up for restricting the vote!
dd7_6.png

Enacting a Law is far from an instantaneous, one-click affair. First off, any reform must be supported by at least one Interest Group in your government who can champion the change. Once the reform has begun it can be a smooth process that’s over in a matter of months, or it can take years of gruelling debate in parliament or horsetrading between Interest Groups in order to pass. The amount of time it takes depends both on your government’s Legitimacy in the eyes of the people, and also on the Clout of the Interest Groups in your government that supports and opposes the new Law relative to the one it’s replacing. While broader coalitions of Interest Groups in government give you more options of Laws to enact, it also complicates getting them passed.

Changing your laws isn’t an entirely straightforward process in Victoria 3! In this case it’s just a matter of time before the Law is enacted, but if dissenting Interest Groups had also been part of this government there would be plenty of room for Debate and Stalling tactics that could cause this reform to take more effort than it’s worth.
dd7_5.png

Let me close out here by tying all this back to the Pops. As we have touched on in past dev diaries, Pops have a Profession, collect an income, and consume goods depending on the economic preconditions you have created in your country. These material concerns in combination with a few others, such as Literacy, determine which Interest Groups they support. Other aspects, such as your country’s Laws, influence how much Political Strength the Pops provide to those Interest Groups. The Interest Groups have an Approval score and favor certain Laws over others. As a result, different groups of Pops approve more or less of the society you have built depending on their economic well-being, and their demands for change is more or less intimidating depending on how many and strong they are. You may choose to placate an angry group, or further benefit an already content group for extra benefits. But in doing so, some other group will become displeased. Have you built your society resilient enough to navigate these ebbs and flows? And most importantly, which of the many, many routes will you take to move forward?

That is all for me this week! In this dev diary I mentioned Institutions a number of times, and next Thursday I will be back with more details on this powerful society-shaping tool. Until then!
 
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Dear @lachek thank you for the awesome DD. Can you please answer these questions:

1. How much do Internal Security (Power Structure) and Policing (Economy) overlap?

2. if a country has 100% literacy, would there be any practical difference between census suffrage and universal suffrage??

3. If proposed laws fails, how soon would a second try be possible?
 

lokthar

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I love the dev diary.
There's only one thing that's been bugging me in a lot of the dev diaries. A lot of the screens seem to be really really big and can be more compact, with the same information on them. There's people who already did that for some tooltips.
For example, at the moment, the law screens seem to be one screen each. Not sure if they actually will be, but they don't have to be. And they can be more compact. Excuse my use of paint, I'm not a graphic designer. But here's an idea about how they can be changed to show the same information, all on one screen, or at least a smaller screen if they already were on a single one.

View attachment 742460
I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on it, especially since it's still in development and subject to change, but there is something to be said for whitespace and ease of access.

Sure, things like this and tooltips can be compressed into a smaller space, but it's slightly harder to parse the information provided. Whether it's so much harder as to be unusable is a subjective opinion, but until we start seeing relatively final graphics and layouts, I'm going to hold my thoughts on it.
 

habusibao2021

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The 19 th century was an important period of political reform,and the parliamentary system and the cabinet system were important symbols of the construction of domestic affairs at that time. Is there a parliamentary system and a cabinet system in Vic3? Is there any difference between British and Prussian constitutional monarchies? Also,how will the political systems of civilized and uncivilized countries be differentiated in Vic3?
 

priamossz

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what happens when you release a nation and play as? Like If I release Hungary, what type of goverment will I have?
 

FleetingRain

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Can new pops supporting a certain IG make this IG change the laws they support (and therefore their Approval)?
 

Vernichtere

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Something to take into account is that the US system is largely private, with massive costs for individuals for the most basic of needs such as a simple ambulance service costing an arm and a leg from massive greedy corporations.

While the German system is largely managed locally by individual states who know locally what works best.

Oh and did I mention this abortion? --> Opiod Crisis
That's not exactly true. It is not federal in the sense that individual states can decide whether or not to insure and how to finance the whole thing. There are simply a lot of government-regulated insurance companies that compete with each other. These insurances have to insure people and cannot simply refuse. Likewise, people can't choose not to get insured. If you work you also have to get insurance. When one is not working, unemployment insurance pays into health insurance. In addition, there are some private insurances that are also regulated and offer a few additional services. They only cover a very small proportion of the population.


The system is not based on taxes in the strict sense. The employer or the unemployment insurance company pay directly to the insurance company.

The German system is of course not perfect. Germany cleverly did not organize the hospitals themselves at the federal level. Many municipalities were in the red. Many hospitals have been privatized accordingly. Of course, they are working on dividends. In this respect, the hospitals try to employ as few employees as possible ((constant cost factor), but to carry out as many examinations as possible in order to settle accounts with the insurance companies.


But despite these shortcomings, the German system is about as effective as the US, if not better. And it's cheaper in terms of social spending. My complaint about the privately operated hospitals applies to the insurance companies as well when it comes to the US. In addition, there is the most extensive derugulated price setting for the drugs. In the end, the US pays double what German society spends. One can of course speculate on never coming into contact with medicine, or on becoming very rich, that such a system will be profitable again: the country in which everyone believes that they are not yet a millionaire just by chance.
 

Rascal Nag

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So on the subject of long, grueling debate over law enactment - in the right (well, technically wrong) conditions, do mechanics exist allowing such a debate to deteriorate into civil war? E.g. I try to change the power structure of my nation or make a major change to human rights (abolish the monarchy or slavery for instance) and two or more opposing interest groups subsequently get locked in a political conflict over this, escalating until there is violence?
 
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Vernichtere

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what happens when you release a nation and play as? Like If I release Hungary, what type of goverment will I have?
And there we are again with my favorite topic of federalism. If I want to go so far as to even create a vassal, I should also be able to draft the constitution and form of government and also be able to determine whether and what changes such a subject may make at all.

If I simply operate a federal system, it should be possible to determine what is in the center and what is decided in the states and who gets what taxes. Slavery was not allowed in all of the United States.

If I am an autocracy, I should be able to allow a certain degree of self-government in some provinces without granting most of the rights: for example work protection and national school for the Ukrainian province and nothing else.
 
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Azkaban

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The video makes a mistake or an omission. The German system is also cheaper than the US system in terms of national spending on health. In the end, it doesn't matter whether, for example, 12% is spent on health through taxes or has to be bought by the population. Which means that regulation can be cheaper.
It also commits a similar mistake when explaining France's healthcare system, which it considers expensive. After a couple of Google searches:

> In 2018, health expenditure per capita for France was 4,690 US dollars.
> Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,966 in 2019.
> In 2018, France spent 11.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare.
> In 2019, the U.S. spent 17% of its GDP on health consumption.


The video raises a few good points, but it also leaves out how applying market rules to a good or service that you absolutely require to keep on living could very easily fail in favour of the producer, since the moment the demand is slightly higher than the offer, the price will skyrocket in a proportion that wouldn't for optional, luxury goods. In Spain at least, it has been fairly obvious for anyone paying attention how insurance companies for private healthcare raise their prices and decrease their coverage as the budget for the public system gets cut, so you could even make an argument about how the existence of public healthcare reduces the costs for consumers of private companies.
 
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Thorum

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Looks really nice :)
Will these choices be meaningful ? Aka, will each choice be meaningful and making different choices makes you adapt your playstyle ? Like the laws in Frostpunk for example ?
Or will it be like the focusses in HOI for example, where you just aim for one of the ones lower down, pretty much ignoring what the earlier ones do ?
I'm asuming/hoping it won't be like nintendo, where every option menu leads you to the same answer two screens further ?
 
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OllyOllyOxenFree

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That's not exactly true. It is not federal in the sense that individual states can decide whether or not to insure and how to finance the whole thing. There are simply a lot of government-regulated insurance companies that compete with each other. These insurances have to insure people and cannot simply refuse. Likewise, people can't choose not to get insured. If you work you also have to get insurance. When one is not working, unemployment insurance pays into health insurance. In addition, there are some private insurances that are also regulated and offer a few additional services. They only cover a very small proportion of the population.


The system is not based on taxes in the strict sense. The employer or the unemployment insurance company pay directly to the insurance company.

The German system is of course not perfect. Germany cleverly did not organize the hospitals themselves at the federal level. Many municipalities were in the red. Many hospitals have been privatized accordingly. Of course, they are working on dividends. In this respect, the hospitals try to employ as few employees as possible ((constant cost factor), but to carry out as many examinations as possible in order to settle accounts with the insurance companies.


But despite these shortcomings, the German system is about as effective as the US, if not better. And it's cheaper in terms of social spending. My complaint about the privately operated hospitals applies to the insurance companies as well when it comes to the US. In addition, there is the most extensive derugulated price setting for the drugs. In the end, the US pays double what German society spends. One can of course speculate on never coming into contact with medicine, or on becoming very rich, that such a system will be profitable again: the country in which everyone believes that they are not yet a millionaire just by chance.
Of course both people and the companies need to be insured and don't have a say in the matter. However, one major difference between Germany and the US is that in the US, people don't have the many heavily regulated rules of many Western European countries (that were deregulated under Regan) and that the citizens of the US don't have the option of public healthcare that is funded and heavily controlled by the federal system/local states.

The same goes for hospitals. Many are/have been privatized in Germany, UK, France etc. however, the large difference in Europe is the choice of either having to wait days/weeks for a treatment with a public service (the context being the NHS here) or arranging an appointment in a shorter time span with quicker results at the cost of a high price tag for the service. Again, in Europe there is a choice, in US it's an arm and a leg.
 
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Vernichtere

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It also commits a similar mistake when explaining France's healthcare system, which it considers expensive. After a couple of Google searches:

> In 2018, health expenditure per capita for France was 4,690 US dollars.
> Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,966 in 2019.
> In 2018, France spent 11.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare.
> In 2019, the U.S. spent 17% of its GDP on health consumption.


The video raises a few good points, but it also leaves out how applying market rules to a good or service that you absolutely require to keep on living could very easily fail in favour of the producer, since the moment the demand is slightly higher than the offer, the price will skyrocket in a proportion that wouldn't for optional, luxury goods. In Spain at least, it has been fairly obvious for anyone paying attention how insurance companies for private healthcare raise their prices and decrease their coverage as the budget for the public system gets cut, so you could even make an argument about how the existence of public healthcare reduces the costs for consumers of private companies.
Which is why the US idea can hardly be sold in Europe.

The money is not gone. It's only in other pockets. If the market is to regulate the fun itself, the question arises whether society has to pay more for this product. Whether they have to buy this service from the state or the market is not really interesting if we stay at the population level. It only gets more interesting at the class and individual level. The US system is more worthwhile for rich people. And it is worthwhile for shareholders of private insurance.


In game mechanics, of course, there will be no market for health. Here you will simply have to work with a state health system to award a bonus to the health of the lower class. This point outside of any discussion. Private regulation has never managed to completely cover the population. Either the poor could strictly not afford insurance, or the pressure to not be insured was still too great. And that's only logical. Such customers are a bad investment for insurance companies. The risks are simply too great, since poverty also goes hand in hand with illness. The insurance company is interested in collecting, but not paying.
 
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The difference between the upper and lower houses was also was something you never really had to pay attention to. Consolidating the legislature into one entity is probably for the best in terms of making it clear and actually important to gameplay.
There were some important instances of reform of the upper house having the power to block laws in the time period, such as Texas and California being so big today because it was only political possible to add one slave state and one free state at the same time to preserve the regional balance in the Senate, and then the other states of the American West being so tiny because the ruling party wanted to pack the Senate after the Civil War. In Early 20th century Britain, there was the clash between the Liberal commons and the aristocratic Lords that led to the Lords being reduced to only being able to delay bills, but coming to a head in the Irish Home Rule crisis of 1914, when the Liberals realized they’d passed a bill that put Ulster under the rule of Dublin, which would have started a rebellion, and needed the Lords’ permission to amend the bill. But the Lords thought that refusing to amend the bill would force the Commons to withdraw it, lose the Liberals the backing of their Irish MPs, and bring the government down. This led to a constitutional crisis where Prime Minister Asquith tried to get King George IV to pack the House of Lords with new Liberal peers, putting him in the impossible position of needing to choose between the two responsibilities of a constitutional monarch: following the advice of his elected government and staying out of partisan politics. This was never really resolved, only postponed when World War I intervened, until it led to a civil war.
 

cheeseburgers

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A small nitpick - for the Health System icon, the caduceus (staff of Hermes) is used, which was incorrectly adopted by some in the US after the start of the game. The traditional symbol of medicine is the Rod of Asclepius (a staff with a single winding snake)
 
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Well this does seem a big improvement over Vicky 2. Good diary. I hope it is as involved in practice as it seems.
 
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Lorehead

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Here's a few questions I've gathered while reading the DD:
1. After the the reform has passed for say, the public schools - what happens next? Do private/religious schools momentarily get nationalized or is there an adaptation period?
2. In DD it is stated that one of the reasons for enacting bureaucracy reforms is to disempower the intelligentsia. How does that happen?
Historically, all but a few countries that created public schools did not nationalize or shut down religious schools (except for some short-lived attempts such as Oregon’s in 1922, which was thrown out for violating the First Amendment to the US Constitution). Even Kemal Ataturk’s Turkey felt the need to allow some religious schools, solely for the purpose of training clergy. The exception to this, in the time period, was the Soviet Union.
 
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mattkidd12

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These changes look great; they certainly represent an improvement on V2. However, they also raise the question of parties and their relationship with interest groups. Take the free trade/protection/corn laws issue in the UK, or the reform debates in the 1860s. How can you talk about initiating and stalling laws, parliamentary debates, demand from pops etc without talking about parties? Not all workers and trade unionists in Britain were free-trade liberal reformists; not all aristocrats were Anglican, reactionary Tories. There are ongoing historiographical debates about causes and drivers of these changes. Did Disraeli push through a reform act in 1867 - a process similar to those covered in the Dev Diary - because of the balance of interest groups in the government? Or did he do it for electoral reasons, hoping to pull the rug from under the Liberals and establish an alliance of educated workers and aristocrats against the industrialists? Yes, the latter example demonstrates the importance of interest groups, but how can you possibly reflect the process of reform without considering party rivalries, conflicts, and ideologies? These things are integral to the history of most ‘advanced’ nations during this period, and also integral to the process through which all laws in these countries were initiated, debated, stalled and passed/rejected.