Policy Effect change proposals, and your thoughts


The graphs for policies, statistics and situations, have a maximum and minimum point which they can’t progress past. Would the game benefit if some or all of these limitations where scrapped?


Have you thought about having a corporatisation policy for the public sector? Separating the public sector from the public service, by creating statutory authorities or quangos, run along similar lines to private companies, with similar reporting requirements and entitlements and their own board of directors.

I know the Legal Aid Commission here has been structured like a community organisation or charity with similar reporting requirements and entitlements, and its own board. An exception to this being that employee salaries and conditions are still covered by the public service collective bargaining agreement.



The extension of corporatisation to the public service is called commercialisation. This where departments charge for services provided or assets sold at a commercial rate to both internal and external clients.


I’ve noticed that there are several policy effects which do not reflect reality.

Alchohol laws: Presently, banning alcohol leads to a reduction in crime. The designers may want to look up that little American experiment called “Prohibition.” Restrictive alcohol laws should increase crime but also increase lifespan and please parents.

Narcotics Laws: The illegality of drugs has been soundly proven to be one of the most significant causes of violent crime. However, narcotics policy in the game presently has no effect on crime at all. Decriminalizing drugs should reduce violent crime and reduce productivity. Total ban of narcotics should have strong increasing impact on violent crime.

Gun laws: The slider shows that increased firearm availability increases violent crime. However, the converse is true. For instance, when the UK banned all handgun ownership in 1997 after eliminating almost all legal rifle and shotgun ownership, the result was and continues to be a significant rise in violent crime, as criminals need no longer fear the threat of deadly force. By contrast, Switzerland and Finland, two nations with very high firearm ownership rates (Switzerland actually requires all adult males to keep a military rifle and ammunition in their homes), violent crime is quite low. In American cities, those with more strict gun laws have higher violent crime rates, but in cases where guns are made more accessable to law-abiding citizens, violent crime drops dramatically.
In short - fewer gun restrictions should upset parents and liberals, but reduce crime. Total bans should please liberals and parents but increase crime.


Agreed, Agreed, and Agreed.


You can’t compare the UK to switzerland. Guns are probably shown to both increase and decrease different crime rates, and I don’t understand what you mean by

A heavily armed criminal might feel more confident attacking a victim, but clearly they are less likely to fight other criminals. I dunno, but I reacon that it is hopelessly complex for democracy 2.
Prohabition massivsly increased organised crime/blackmarket. A small increase in availability of alcohol would probably increase crime, while so would a ban, which would fuel gang warfare etc. Banning Narcotics certainly increase crime, again though the black market/organised crime. I should add I think the black market should be changed to increase with very high taxes on alcohol/tobacco, and high resistriction with guns/etc.


As for the comparing of nations, certainly no two nations are alike, but if the premise is that greater legal availability of firearms leads to higher crime, there are enough examples to provide a reasonably valid sample. Countries with fairly liberal gun laws (I.E. easy for law abiding citizens to own or even carry concealed firearms) include Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and also Yemen and Serbia. Violent crime is low in all of these nations.

Yemen and Serbia - why those are hotbeds of violence are they not? While they do have bloody recent histories, and Yemen in particular is deplorable in its treatment of women, violent crime within those nations is very low.

By contrast, India has the 3rd lowest per-capita gun ownership ranking in the world, but the world’s highest murder rate. Columbia has the 7th lowest gun ownership rank, and I think we all know how violent and crime-addled that poor nation is.

Clearly more is going on than just the availability of guns. In the case of Columbia and also the United States (which I purposely left off the list above) drug cartels and gangs fighting the police and amongst themselves are an enormous source of violent crime.

But back to the issue of how legal gun ownership affects crime rates. From a criminal’s perspective, if you know that there is a chance your intended victim may be armed, would you be more or less likely to attack? The crime-reducing effect of legal gun ownership is extremely well documented in the works of independent criminologists John Lott and Gary Kleck, both of whom have recieved awards from the society of criminologists for their works, which have been peer-reviewed and stand up to rigorous study and questioning. The simple fact is that when law-abiding citizens are permitted to keep and bear arms, crime, particularly violent crime, decreases. It’s also important to note that what we are talking about here is not issues of vigilante justice or “wild west” shootouts between criminals and citizens. In the 39 U.S. states which now allow citizens (following varying degrees of registration and training requirements) to carry a concealed firearm, this effect has not resulted. Another important fact, revealed by the works of Lott and Kleck is that in 98% of cases in which a potential crime victim responds with a firearm to an attacker, no shots are fired. The attacker simply flees. (this statistic is from 10 years of data from the FBI’s national database of all reported crime).


High earnings should affect the wealthy.
Middle earnings should affect middle income
Poor earnings should affect the poor
Average earnings should affect everybody


I think the game currently handles narcotics well–since legalizing drugs actually can decrease crime, but only indirectly, to the extent that the drug trade is connected with organized crime–but agree that it would make sense for the extreme end of alcohol prohibition to also interact with organized crime.

As for gun control, while there are indeed credible criminologists who have claimed that gun ownership reduces crime, some very significant criticisms of their work have nonetheless been raised, and there are at least as many equally valid studies out there that have reported the opposite effect. Suffice it to say that the gun debate is an insanely complex one, and, absent any clear answers, I’m okay with the simulated effects being somewhat speculative (that said, don’t get me started about the death penalty :wink: ).


That goes straight to our point, though. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but currently drug policy doesn’t affect Organized Crime at all. I can see it slightly decreasing crime at the “outlawed” setting, but it should then also increase Organized Crime (and Violent Crime, for that matter). Then the effects could be reversed at the other extreme.
Alcohol should be basically the same (and guns too, for that matter. Albeit, to a lesser extent).

As for the gun control debate, there are a few different aspects to it. First and foremost, there are differences between environments (city, suburbs, and rural). Also of vital importance is the type of crime that is being discussed. Democracy 2 includes Crime, Violent Crime, and Organized Crime statistics, which fits well with gun control. More gun control should slightly increase Crime (the criminals are less afraid), decrease Violent Crime (fewer guns floating around to commit armed robberies with, for example), and slightly increase Organized Crime (black market gun trading).

As with most things in life, all of these political questions are probably best dealt with at the moderate position. Absolute prohibition is largely just as bad as absolute freedom, although the problems at either extreme differ in character.


It’s sort of weird, now that you mention it: the default “no effect” state is when drugs are outlawed, and reducing the restrictions, among things, diminishes organized crime. Which has largely the same consequences as what you’re proposing, but it seems like a counterintuitive way for the system to describe what’s going on. I guess it partly comes down to what one takes the base rate of organized crime to be.


I was just thinking, organised crime could affect much more than just crime and violent crime. In places like southern Italy, organised crime affects people’s fear of crime, voter participation, community participation, GDP and corruption. It literally paralyses a society making it dysfunctional, with trust being non-existent outside the immediate family unit.

This monumental study I’ve mentioned previously into devolved administrations in Italy compared the northern regions that prospered from devolution, and the southern regions that didn’t. This was due to historical reasons dating back to the Middle Ages that had led to the creation of the mafia.


There should also be a link between organised crime and the black market.


Under age drinking, under age smoking (below 18 years old) and racial tension should increase anti-social behaviour.

Binge drinking, street gangs and anti-social behaviour should all affect each other.



Poverty, unemployment and outlawed narcotics should increase armed robbery.



You should look at adding a homicide situation into the game. This negative situation usually increases peoples fear of crime



Racial tension should also increase street gangs and inner city riots.



These are all good points. I’ll try and find some time to do a re-balancing patch.


Have you ever considered giving the game a fear of crime statistic?



Have you considered adding an urban density policy to the game? Low, Medium, High.