The game as it is now is too easy.
And it is not only because I played Democracy 2 before.
As France I canceled all Welfare Policies aside from “Childcare Provision” (and “Welfare Fraud Dept.”), and I still had the “Socialist”-Voters opinion at maximum! Pretty unreal.
On 3 games (Germany, UK, France) I did as much as I could against religious voters (mostly as side-effects of my pro-science, pro-liberal policies): once I even received the “Darwin”-Accomplishment for eradicating them. While there usually where some (up to 122 or so) “Crusaders of the Lord” armed extremists for some quarters, they never attempted to kill me (… I never saw the threat get “red”.)
In D2 I was probably killed by extremists half a dozen times until I had learned my lesson. And in one or two scenarios I could not win at all: never managed to get re-elected, no matter how hard I tried.
In D2 I more than once had the “Island invaded”-event right before elections, that would kill my reputation with patriots and the general public - it was almost if I was triggering it with my standard playstyle.
In D2 until the first reelection I usually managed to set the country on the right course, but that often reduced my voters opinions to the level, where my reelection was threatened (- or my life was threatened by extremists as already mentioned). So I had to learn how to calm the people with some policies between the things I really wanted to do, and delay some until after the election etc.
I haven’t had any of these challenges escalate in D3. I just go instantly for the “ideal” policies, and not much bad happens along the way. Even in the case where I get additional “red” situations (“Internet crime”, “Cyberwar”, “Tax Evasion” etc.) it does neither derail my election, nor does it bankrupt the state.
Make voters react more to introducing and canceling policies.
Make it harder to gain a budget surplus - in a global downturn it should be almost impossible to have a surplus.
Don’t have policies that are “all positive”… - every policy should have considerable “negative” side effects in terms of voter groups.
Edit: Ok - after having played all scenarios I can say that only the US scenario required a few tries: in all other scenarios I was able to stay in power and alive right from the beginning. (I’m firmly in the socialist / liberal quarter in all my playthroughs).
BUG Report / Crashes: sometimes I hear the sound for unlocking an achievement while D3 seems to freeze: two times I had to use the taskmanager to close D3. A third time after waiting for a minute while using shift-tab and/or task manager the program continued suddenly by showing the achievement (- this time the “flip-flop”, which obviously was triggered while I was once again reversing the pollution standards policy for the 3rd time from max to min and vice versa). In other playthroughs I had crashes / freezes after the election, when the “continue” button didn’t appear - but if I remember right these freezes where also accompanied by the accomplishment-sound in the background, so there possibly was an undisplayed achievement window, which I couldn’t click-away. Maybe you can have a look into how the program finds its way back after triggering an accomplishment, or make the accomplishment-window always show “on-top”, or let it trigger only at the same time when quarterly results are displayed or something like that.