Political Capital - 1% ruining 99% of perfection

Just started playing 2, and overall I like it, a perfect sequel. Except for one thing, Political Capital. I know you can turn it off, but actually it’s not the idea of it I don’t like, it’s how it’s handled. That you start off with little and then build up more as support grows amongst society and ministers etc.

But shouldn’t this be the other way around?

All the everyday evidence would surely suggest that a government generally has it’s most political capital when they’ve just been elected and they’ve not yet had chance to do anything the public or rivals can complain about, it’s widely assumed that the first 100 days of a U.S. presidency is by far the most productive.

So it would be wicked if we could have a mod or addon or something which meant you started with a certain higher amount of political capital, perhaps dependent on the mission which tapered down over time, and therefore you would have to put it to good use and generate your own political capital to use once “the honeymoon” was over.

For me it maybe 1% off the overall makeup of the game, but it colours how I see the other 99% of near perfect gaming.

That is an interesting idea. I could maybe a scriptable function for modders of AddCapital(), maybe some events, like winning a nobel prize etc, should grant you some? I also like the idea of political capital drying up over time, which would make later stages of the game harder. What do other players think?

I don’t know about giving more political capital at the start, but I’d like to see politcal capital decaying after a while. If I do well at the start and get my policies adjusted and initiated I find I’m litterally drowning in political capital after a few turns.

If you can get to the stage where ministers are very happy and you’re producing twice the capital you were at the start of the game I often find myself running out of things to change on some turns.

It means the player no longer has to make important decisions about what to change first, as they can change everything they want at once.

I may put in an option for political capital to decay over time.

I seem to have gotten some support for the idea of capital reducing over time and you having to earn more. But what about the idea of a political honeymoon?, perhaps brought on by a strong base being wildly happy to have finally elected one of their own after years of rule by the opposition. Ofcourse then you’d be expected to vote there way on every big issue inorder to keep that honeymoon going as long as possible.

You mean where political capital is infinite for a period?
There are so many possibilities…

I wouldn’t say infinite, just on the high end of the scale, i’d suggest the exact amount of starting “honeymoon” political capital could vary from mission to mission. Exactly how quickly the honeymoon is over could be variable for each mission as well.

I totally agree with the OP.

When you take control of government you (generally) have a whole host of problems that need addressing. It only makes sense that you are granted a temporary higher level of political capital to make decisions which solve those problems.

The decay of capital over time isn’t too bad either, but I don’t think it should decay if you have high approval ratings.

This brings up an interesting topic, which would be this:

What the hell is political capital supposed to be anyway?

Tyhe original idea is that it represents lobbying to some extent. So repealing gun laws, or introducing stem cell research is tricky, regardless of approval, because certain pressure groups will kick up an almighty fuss on both topics. This is the arena of semi-professional and pro lobbying. That’s separate from stuff like opinion polls and media pressure.*
Polls and media pressure are more fickle. When tjhe government is popular, the media can be pretty uncritical, and they can get a lot done. But as things get bad and public opinion turns against the government, media pressure can get stronger and make pushing legislation through harder.
Right now, the political capital is generated just by ministers, so its also a measure of your personal ‘factions’ support within your party. This is like the Blair / brown thing in the UK labour party.
In retrospect, political capital is possibly too much of a simplification. There was a suggestion once of a system where you would have a certain chance of pushing through a policy, which may fail, and this could be related to support within government, separate from support in the country.
It’s certainly an area of the game that lends itself to greater complexity of simulation (hey doesn’t it all!)

  • wouldn’t it be cool to have policies that targeted specific pressure groups, or mind-share on different topics. So you could gradually over time weaken the support of the gun lobby (for example), to the point where the capital required to change the policy would be lower.

After playing through the game a few more times I think it’s generally too hard at the start and too easy later on. I struggle to get through my first term, but after that there’s lots of double whammys because i’ve fixed all the problems.

This for me is exactly true, and is where my suggestion came from. I think exacting this would probably even that out.

I’m working on this today, with the aim of adding it into the next patch for the game. I’m going to put in a linear falloff of political capital which will make it easier at the start, falling off gradually over the first two terms.

Anyone who would like to try this out let me know: