Policy suggestion: Official second language

Some of the countries in this game have second commonly spoken languages, and relations can become tense over who speaks what language. Canada, the United Sates and Spain all immediately come to mind.

Such a policy would certainly impact the opinions of liberals, conservatives, ethnic minorities and patriots. The gist is that there will generally be a dominant group in the country who see themselves as the rightful owners of the country and everyone else is simply being permitted to live here by the generosity of the dominant group. Often the dominant group will include spoken language in their identity. Equality will be seen as a demotion by those who are accustomed to a position of dominance, and as such they will be extremely upset. On the flip side, not being recognized is seen as strongly disrespectful by those who’s language isn’t spoken by those who have authority over them.

Apart from opinions, there would be two other major outputs of this policy. One is bureaucracy. Many people only speak one language, so in order for a government to offer services in more than one language increased staffing would be required. Follow on to this is it does degrade the quality of management, as bilingualism can often overtake work ethic and managerial skills when deciding who does or doesn’t get promoted in a government organization. The second major output would be to mitigate the risks of something not currently represented in game: separatism. It is common for separatists to have a common language which is not the language of government. Having one’s authorities refuse to even speak the language of the people they take taxes from is a strong source of resentment. Anyways, much like how the limit automated trading policy reduces the risk of a flash crash, an official second language would reduce the risk of separatism events, which themselves would be disastrous.

(Side note, I just opened a can of worms on myself as I now have to explain why ethnic minorities would be impacted when by common metrics of the 21st century these groups are “the same ethnicity”. Without going too far in, attitudes on what constitutes a race or an ethnicity were dramatically altered in the 1700s by the trans Atlantic slave trade. Many of the ethnic groups I’m referring to for this proposed policy have history in the part of the world they live now which includes ethnic tensions in that history since before the 1700s. In this regard many of Spain’s Catalans and Basques each see themselves as a different people than those running the country. The same is true of Anglo and Franco Canadians. These divisions are far older than the concept that people with the same skin colour are the same ethnicity.)

I recognize that I opened some heavy topics here, this is meant to be a democracy simulator and leadership isn’t all skittles and beer. Sometimes you have to pick up the heavy ****. I’m thinking of Cliff’s comment that “This isn’t the flappy birds game”.