Democracy 4 Developer Blog #25: Australia!



This video really helped me to understand what you are trying to represent, as I hadn’t found some of these things to be entirely clear in the game. Of course we all have our own biases and should try as much as we can to filter them out, however that is only possible if we realize that a particular bias is influencing us. In this case I am referring to what party I am assumed to be leading in game. I had noticed that there seemed to be a bit of a left wing bias in game in that the groups of Capitalist, Conservative, Religious and Patriot often seemed to end up being natural antagonists. These as a group could be seen as the right wing, and if they are my antagonists then it could be assumed that I am leading a left wing party. I had not realized that this assumption was so deeply rooted in the game however, but I now see that when you explain how you are trying to model the party system. My own bias I was referring to is being from Canada, and the current policies seem up to date, I had assumed I was imagined to be leading our Liberal party, as they are the current government. They present themselves as centrists. How well they live up to this presentation is something many would hotly debate, but that is the angle they at least claim to govern from, with our Conservative party being to the right of them, and the 3rd party being the “New Democrats Party” who are a socialist party and left of the current government.

One of the issues I’m finding with the current election model however, is that despite having 3 parties, only 2 parties seem to ever get any votes. Further to that, in a real 3 party system, governments often score big wins with substantially less than 50% of the vote, and this is not represented. For example, in both 2011 and 2015 majority governments were won in Canada with just shy of 40% of the vote. This was due to the winner takes all nature of first past the post you mentioned in the video, and that some seats were won with around 35% of the vote in that seat.

Another issue is that there are too many swing voters. I’m sure my country is not the only one with some voters being dead set in who they will vote for “come hell or high water”. We sometimes get to see how many of these each party has when they suffer complete disasters. An example would be our 2011 election when the party who are now the government fell to 3rd place for the first time in the party’s history. For context, that party had existed since our country was founded in 1867, and always been either the government or official opposition since then. For them to fall to 3rd place was, by the numbers, the biggest disaster in that party’s history. Even in that disaster they still got (according to wikipedia) 26.26% of the vote. At this point, it is fair to say that this a baseline of support that this party will always have no matter what. Now compare this to Democracy 4, and I’ve found that if I can survive the first re-election, which is a big if, by the second re-election I always score in the high 90s and sometimes push all the way to 100% support. While which parties will always have what support in what country would be a massive challenge to model, I think it is fair to say that not every vote should be “in play”.

Thank you, however, for even attempting this project. I have mention to some friends that one of the games I play attempts to model modern democracy, and raised eyebrows and laughter are common responses. This is a very ambitious thing you are trying to create, and I’m glad somebody is.

Thanks for the feedback. It is actually fairly easy for me to tweak the extent to which people become ‘set in their ways’ regarding party loyalty etc, and a lot of these variables are exposed in simconfig.txt.
However, getting the numbers right is way harder. I may implement new systems and adjustments to fix what you mention, which I have also experienced an agree with in terms of both voters not being loyal enough to a party, and too wild a swing in support after the first election win.

1 Like