I’ve been thinking that an interesting idea would be to introduce referendums.
This could be implemented in a number of ways.
- Government initiated non-binding referendums - ie. if you wanted to change a policy, you could make the change, but rather than confirming it, you could click the “referendum” button on the policy, and there would be a public vote on whether it should be changed or not. You would then have the decision whether, based on the result of the referendum, you wanted to implement the policy. There would be a number of implications of a referendum - for example, ignoring its result would increase cynicism, but calling the referendum would reduce the amount of political capital required to change a policy, as you would have a public mandate.
- Government initiated binding referendums - Similar to 1 above, but you would be bound by the result. If you won the referendum, the change would be made and you would have no choice but to accept it; if you lost, you would be blocked from making the change. The result of the referendum could be binding until, say, after the next election.
- Public initiated non-binding referendums - Probably best done as a module like the compulsory voting or voter apathy modules, so that this would only apply on certain missions. At any time the public could call a referendum on any policy area. This would occur if there was sufficient opposition (normally in real life a certain percentage of voters need to sign a petition calling for the referendum). The result would not be binding, and you would have the decision whether to bring in the change as suggested. However, refusal to make the change would increase voter cynicism and lose your party support. Making the change that had the approval of the electorate would take far less political capital than normal.
- Public initiated binding referendums - The ultimate in democracy. Similar to 3 above, but if the public call a referendum, and there is a majority yes vote, the policy change is made whether you like it or not. You would be banned from reversing the change until, say, after the next election, and even then, doing so would result in an increase in voter cynicism.
Obviously there would be various controls - one could only call a set amount of referendums per term, and the same would go with public initiated referendums. The results could be shown counting up in the same way as on a election in the game.
I think that the implementation of referendums would really add to the game and stop you from ever becoming complacent. It would also offer some real variety in that playing the missions with public initiated referendums would be a very different kind of game from the other missions.