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[Proposal] Consensus

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Chan Island
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Founded: Nov 26, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

[Proposal] Consensus

Postby Chan Island » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:41 am

What do your people think about you, as their leader? Do they agree with your policies, or are they perhaps finding that banning smartphones is a bit a silly idea? NationStates is a political simulator that deals with many questions regarding your popularity, from encouraging you to embark on silly gimmicks to raise the polls, to having to handle tricky coalition alliances in parliament because your party wasn't able to capture a majority, to wandering if your dictatorship can kill a few more dissidents to secure power.

However, it suffers a fundamental problem when it comes to looking at this: mechanically, the player cannot lose control of their nation. After all, realistically being at war with 10 countries at once should see the player be removed in violent battle culminating in a foreign power's flag flying over the capital's tallest building; we can't put this in though because it would be game over. Internally, we have this problem too: if the leader actually lost an election in a landslide vote under the banner of re-legalising cars, then that too would obviously be game over.

So what can be done?

Obviously you must have guessed what this new stat idea is: the consensus.

Here's the assumption: imagine there is a roughly 35% bloc of the population that will always support the leader no matter how absurdly crazy their politics actually are. 35% is an assumption based on how certain rulers are able to get elected on or around that number: in 2015, the Conservatives in the UK were able to get a majority of parliament seats for winning on 37% of the vote, to name just one example, and I think it's a fairly reasonable percentage to be able to maintain a leader in any country, assuming the rest of the population is sufficiently apathetic, disorganised, divided or powerlessly slaving away in the mines. Obviously it's not a hard and fast number, but it's just as an illustration.

But what about that rest of the population? How well do they get along with the leader's core supporters? The answer will of course vary; in a prosperous nation with a good, even-handed ruler, much of that group will agree that they are living under a system that is marvellous and fair. In other cases, they will be gagging to tear out someone's throat in seething anger. This degree of feeling and interaction, is what the game should be measuring.

So, how would you calculate this, Chan?

Here's my base idea:

The raw simple number is the same as the cheerfulness stat- after all, if people are happy then they will also agree with their neighbours that life is good. This figure will then have the political freedom stat controlled onto it. I was thinking this could be done is some kind of formula, like having a +2% increase in the consensus stat for every 5 political freedom points added. This is based on the idea that, the politics of the nation would more and more reflect whether this was the wishes of the people or not. The less freedom, the more likely we are to see a dictator rampaging around without fear or favour doing whatever they damn well please. An inverse relationship will then be pegged to the ideological radicality stat. Since we assume the higher that number gets, the more removed we are from what the mainstream might be asking for, we can then track an inverse relationship with the modified stat afterwards, perhaps say a -5 for every 20 points added to radicality.

This is just an idea knocking around as to how the stat could be measured to begin with, but I'd expect it to evolve (either now or in the backstage) into much more it's own thing, or at least into something controlled by other factors.

But what do you think? Yay, nay, crazy or good idea with a wrong approach on how to measure it? I now leave the floor open, and await to see what happens.
Last edited by Chan Island on Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Conserative Morality wrote:"It's not time yet" is a tactic used by reactionaries in every era. "It's not time for democracy, it's not time for capitalism, it's not time for emancipation." Of course it's not time. It's never time, not on its own. You make it time. If you're under fire in the no-man's land of WW1, you start digging a foxhole even if the ideal time would be when you *aren't* being bombarded, because once you wait for it to be 'time', other situations will need your attention, assuming you survive that long. If the fields aren't furrowed, plow them. If the iron is not hot, make it so. If society is not ready, change it.

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Bears Armed Mission
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Postby Bears Armed Mission » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:55 am

Some of those people might only be cheerful because they think their side is gong to win the next election and kick @@LEADER@@ out of office...

Shouldn't the existing Political Apathy stat also figure into this somehow?
Last edited by Bears Armed Mission on Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dungeon
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Corporate Police State

Postby Dungeon » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:10 am

This is an interesting idea, and would probably be beneficial if implemented.

I would say another large factor that should influence "Consensus" would be the economy. Every election cycle, here in the US, I hear the same phrase batted around: "It's the Economy, stupid." This referring to the fact that, if the economy is doing well, the incumbent has a much greater chance of being reelected than if it was doing poorly.

Then, along with this, "Wealth Gaps" should probably be taken into account. Because, here on NS, it's easy to get a booming Economy, while that economic growth is actually affecting only the upper classes. If "Wealth Gaps" are high, and the "Average Income of the Poor" is low, then the benefits that having a good economy might bring to "Consensus" should be mitigated.

Anyway, good idea. Hope it gets legs.

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Jutsa
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Jutsa » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:30 am

Some of those people might only be cheerful because they think their side is gong to win the next election and kick @@LEADER@@ out of office...

:rofl:
Also gotta take into consideration that low happiness ≠ high unhappiness, but given NS doesn't track that, I feel like this is still a pretty nice idea.

@Ideological Radicality: I disagree. If your culture happens to be more ideologically radical — take for instance a nation like the United States being very capitalist
— then people wouldn't mind. Plus, if you're an authoritarian dictatorship and don't have the education to really hate you leader, then it wouldn't matter. I think this stat can be left out, tbh.

Shouldn't the existing Political Apathy stat also figure into this somehow?
This, on the other hand, kinda makes sense. :lol:

I imagine political apathy would actually neutralize the stat, since if you're apathetic, you don't care much so you don't have much approval or disapproval.
On the other hand, if you have people who care a lot about politics, then that could either be super positive or super negative. :lol:

ed: Another stat you may want to take into account could be corruption. :P
Last edited by Jutsa on Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:14 pm

So because you don't like conservatives, it automatically means that they're all nut jobs who unconditionally support their candidate? 35% is a really high number
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Sougra
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sougra » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:04 pm

I think in general, this is a promising idea, and one which I'd either like to see implemented or at least have its ideas addressed or adapted to make the game itself more interesting. Of course, at the end of the day, it's up to the editors and the other people who make these kinds of decisions to figure out if this can be done or not, or if it can be adapted. However, purely as an idea, I think it's one worth considering.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Founded: Aug 28, 2015
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:57 am

I'm not keen on the idea, as it runs very close to "approval rating", which the game designers have always made clear is not a thing that we should refer to in issues, as the narrative conceit under the game is that Leader always has approval and support, even when people are unhappy.

That said, as editors we don't actually control new stat creation. I've suggested some new stats to violet before, and she's kindly looked at considering them, but as far as implementing new stats goes, we have no power to do so as editors. The best place to propose a new stat is probably Technical, though I would go in with a default assumption that you're unlikely to get much traction, as that forum is full of folk suggesting new stats, and I don't think there's any precedent for a suggestion being implemented.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:14 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I'm not keen on the idea, as it runs very close to "approval rating", which the game designers have always made clear is not a thing that we should refer to in issues, as the narrative conceit under the game is that Leader always has approval and support, even when people are unhappy.
@@LEADER@@ always has enough support to stay in power, but that could be anything from 51% to 99%, or even less if the opposition is sufficiently fractitious that they can't agree on who to replace you with.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Founded: Aug 28, 2015
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:44 am

Yep, but this is word of god, so this is how it runs. As I said though, the decision isn't mine to make anyway, but the Got Issues forum is definitely not the place to instigate the creation of a new stat.

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Jutsa
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Jutsa » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:26 pm

It isn't? Is this not a democracy? Or is this one of those New York Crimes so-called democracy shams?

I'm kidding and wholeheartedly agree, but it's still a fun idea to talk over.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:30 am

Jutsa wrote:It isn't? Is this not a democracy? Or is this one of those New York Crimes so-called democracy shams?

I'm kidding and wholeheartedly agree, but it's still a fun idea to talk over.


Ha ha. No, there's no democracy here. You want power, you have to get your hands nice and bloody as you claw your way to the top, and ascend a stair formed from the maimed bodies of those you have destroyed on your way to the top. My left foot lies on the bowels of Sedgistan and my right on the remains of the oppressed workers of Lenyo. Just got to clamber over the mods, the technical team and Max, and it'll all be mine, mwahahahahaha!

Ahem.

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Chan Island
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Founded: Nov 26, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Chan Island » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:54 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:So because you don't like conservatives, it automatically means that they're all nut jobs who unconditionally support their candidate? 35% is a really high number


Where did I mention conservatives?

*Notices the 2015 election point*...

Regardless, what I was saying did not relate solely to conservatives. Every leader of every stripe has to follow those same basic rules of power, and have a fanatical loyal base no matter what. Even famously unpopular leaders like former French president Francois Hollande had people wholeheartedly approve of his regime when he gracefully left instead of contesting the 2017 election.
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
Jutsa wrote:It isn't? Is this not a democracy? Or is this one of those New York Crimes so-called democracy shams?

I'm kidding and wholeheartedly agree, but it's still a fun idea to talk over.


Ha ha. No, there's no democracy here. You want power, you have to get your hands nice and bloody as you claw your way to the top, and ascend a stair formed from the maimed bodies of those you have destroyed on your way to the top. My left foot lies on the bowels of Sedgistan and my right on the remains of the oppressed workers of Lenyo. Just got to clamber over the mods, the technical team and Max, and it'll all be mine, mwahahahahaha!

Ahem.

Newton:
if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders dead bodies of giants


Well your posts shut down that idea. Pity. Back to the drawing board.

Anyway, I'm disappointed that your final quote didn't go for the smoother flowing version of saying "corpses".
Last edited by Chan Island on Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Conserative Morality wrote:"It's not time yet" is a tactic used by reactionaries in every era. "It's not time for democracy, it's not time for capitalism, it's not time for emancipation." Of course it's not time. It's never time, not on its own. You make it time. If you're under fire in the no-man's land of WW1, you start digging a foxhole even if the ideal time would be when you *aren't* being bombarded, because once you wait for it to be 'time', other situations will need your attention, assuming you survive that long. If the fields aren't furrowed, plow them. If the iron is not hot, make it so. If society is not ready, change it.


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