Developer Diary 16 - Elections

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King

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With all the work we put into improving the political system, we always had one eye on the elections. In an era of growing democratisation we need elections to be something important. So, it also had to be something you have influence on.

Now, we have discussed a lot about issue selection and the gradual change process we have set up. As we mentioned earlier this allows election events to be more relevant, giving players a means of influencing the election outcome. It also means that your country doesn’t just change over night. Trends will appear that you can see, giving you time to decide what (if anything) you want to do about it. You have a country to rule and should feel like a real country. It shouldn’t be that the year is 1848 and all of a sudden your labourers go socialist. Well, anyway that’s a little bit of background of previous developer diaries, let’s talk a bit more about elections this week.

First up the coalition, we have kept the same ideological labels for parties in the lower house and the upper house and we divide these ideologies into blocks. The Conservatives and Reactionaries are one. Then you have Liberals and Anarcho-liberals, Socialists and Communists, and finally all on their own the Fascists (being a bit angry they find it hard to find common ground between themselves and anyone else). Under conditions of average militancy these ideologies fight elections as coalition blocks. Each party inside the block tries to win the most seats they can, the winner of the election is the ideological block with the most seats. The ruling party is the largest party inside the block. When militancy goes high enough, these coalitions shatter, as the political system is polarised and the largest single party becomes the ruling party.

One game play effect is that you are no longer condemned to 100 years of Liberal government because your country has one scripted Liberal party and two Conservative parties. Instead, the country will shift power a lot more. However, we are also aiming to create a cool historical effect as well. This will make the politics feel more immersive to the player. I’ll give you two examples here, first up Rosa Luxemburg. Pre-World War I, a very left wing member of the German Social Democrat party, but after World War I a Communist. In our model she can always be a communist, but pre World War I, militancy is low, so the Communists sit in coalition with the Socialists and represent the left wing of the party. After defeat and revolution, the Socialists and Communists part company and the Communists are a separate entity.

The second example comes from the other side of the Atlantic and models the Ante-Bellum USA. The Democrat party will now have two wings, Reactionary and Conservative. Pro-Slavery as an issue drives you towards reaction, Anti-Slavery drives you towards Liberalism and reform as an issue increases militancy. The effect we are after is that the US party system cannot hold together on the question of slavery. The rising in militancy will split the Democrat party, leading to the situation where the Republicans can win an election as a minority party.

So let’s move on to talk a bit about how lower house elections actually work. Lower house elections are done by province. Each province evaluates the number of seats it has. This is a function of population, voting policy, the presence of rotten burghs and citizenship policy. Then we evaluate who a POP would vote for inside the province, looking first at party issue and then ideology. The presence of machine politics inside a state also influences the votes cast. Then we have political reforms that can increase the share of the vote the ruling party gets. If you are in charge of the country you can use things like gerrymandering to keep yourself in power once you have got there. Once we have calculated who a POP votes for (and it can split it’s vote between several parties), we then allocate seats to the parties based on your voting formula. We have three options, first past the post where the largest party wins all the seats in a state, and then two forms of proportional representation. Next, one that favours larger parties, and lastly a purer form of proportionality, which gives smaller parties a better seat share. Thus allowing a greater spread of election outcomes, making politics vary more as you change the nature of your political system through reform.

Here is a screenshot of an election event.
 

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telesien

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OK, now I get the voting system and it looks very interesting.

What I don't get are the party blocks. What exactly is the effect of them holding together or splitting? Is it that when they are together voters prefer the larger party not to split votes? Or do they have to "work together" after elections, so the policy of the government will be compromise (i.e. one wing pro-military and other jingoistic wouldn't allow you to max military spendings)?
 

King

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OK, now I get the voting system and it looks very interesting.

What I don't get are the party blocks. What exactly is the effect of them holding together or splitting? Is it that when they are together voters prefer the larger party not to split votes? Or do they have to "work together" after elections, so the policy of the government will be compromise (i.e. one wing pro-military and other jingoistic wouldn't allow you to max military spendings)?

No, it is an election mechanic. The largest block wins the election. Then the largest party inside the block becomes the government. There is no compromise. The splits happen at high militancy that can pave the way for a minortiy government.
 

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Sounds nice :) And nice screenshot... A thought when looking at it, that background of the election event is a very bland white... might be nice to replace it with a light background inprint of historical newspaper frontpages... at least for the presently white parts, leave those grey boxes alone I guess...? :)
 

Johan

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Sounds nice :) And nice screenshot... A thought when looking at it, that background of the election event is a very bland white... might be nice to replace it with a light background inprint of historical newspaper frontpages... at least for the presently white parts, leave those grey boxes alone I guess...? :)

Its for reading clarity :)
 

telesien

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No, it is an election mechanic. The largest block wins the election. Then the largest party inside the block becomes the government. There is no compromise. The splits happen at high militancy that can pave the way for a minortiy government.

OK, that is reasonable compromise between reality and game and I like it. How high militancy are we talking about? Or this is not yet decided?
 

King

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OK, that is reasonable compromise between reality and game and I like it. How high militancy are we talking about? Or this is not yet decided?

Balance will determine the exact level. So we are starting with MIL 7, and we will tweak as required.
 

Sute]{h

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Very nice. I'm so looking forward to this game. :)

A +4 militancy hit from losing a debate on trade issues seems a bit harsh though. :eek:

Also the socialists and the liberals are two seperate coalitions yes?
 

King

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Sute]{h;10901871 said:
Very nice. I'm so looking forward to this game. :)

A +4 militancy hit from losing a debate on trade issues seems a bit harsh though. :eek:

Also the socialists and the liberals are two seperate coalitions yes?

Socialists and Liberals are indeed seperate for game play purposes.
 

telesien

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Balance will determine the exact level. So we are starting with MIL 7, and we will tweak as required.

That is the same level when POPs start to join rebellions. I hope the testing will allow lower MIL to be the better, since I see political split as less extreme then open rebellion.

Oh and when talking about MIL... It is supposed to be average MIL of actual voters of that given block? Or whole population of voters? Or whole population?
 

King

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That is the same level when POPs start to join rebellions. I hope the testing will allow lower MIL to be the better, since I see political split as less extreme then open rebellion.

Oh and when talking about MIL... It is supposed to be average MIL of actual voters of that given block? Or whole population of voters? Or whole population?

Average MIL
 

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No, it is an election mechanic. The largest block wins the election. Then the largest party inside the block becomes the government. There is no compromise. The splits happen at high militancy that can pave the way for a minortiy government.
I hope that in a constitutional monarchy you can set a minority party as government
 

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I hope that in a constitutional monarchy you can set a minority party as government
The option should be there, but it should lead to heavy resistance.

The Danish king attempted to do so in 1920 resulting in the Easter Crisis.
 

King

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Sute]{h;10901871 said:
A +4 militancy hit from losing a debate on trade issues seems a bit harsh though. :eek:

Keep in mind that the militancy is added only to the percentage of the POP that has protectionism as an issue, which means that the actual net-gain will be much lower than 4.
 

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It's terrific! The coalition issue is a nice commitment.

Will POPs militancy be affected because of government issues are far/close from theirs? And are you thinking on the 5 classical policies (trade, economic, religious, citizenship, war) or have you got another(s) in your mind?
 

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It's terrific! The coalition issue is a nice commitment.

Will POPs militancy be affected because of government issues are far/close from theirs? And are you thinking on the 5 classical policies (trade, economic, religious, citizenship, war) or have you got another(s) in your mind?

the more the POPs like the government the more militancy they lose. So the POPs who voted for the coalilition partners will be on average more militant that those that voted for the winning party. We are sticking with 5 classical policies and looking to try and make them more interesting. Citizenship policy can reduce the number of votes that accepted and non accepted culutred POPs get.
 

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So, it's no longer possible to just set the party of your choice as a ruling one (like it was in Vicky 1)?

Depends on your government form.