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A New Statistic?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:42 pm
by Of Middle Earth
Hey just asking, I dont' know if anyone else wants to see this. Can the Mods create a Statistic for how politically divided your nation is? Perhaps like a political polarization measure.
I think it would be a great complement to the stat lists.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:28 pm
by Merconitonitopia
I'm really not quite sure how you'd figure this from issues or other stats. I suppose political apathy and niceness would decrease it; wealth gaps, corruption and rudeness would increase it? As for how issues would influence it, that would be a tricky square to circle. Would banning opposing political views make your nation more or less politically divided?

It's a bit like the approval rating suggestion that gets floated about. It's really all a bit too finicky for the purview of the simulation.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:20 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
I see where you're coming from, with the current state of the US.

I actually think that the stats we'd need to make such a metric are already available to us, though there'd be a lot of subjectivity in how to use them. As Merc says, it'd be a hard thing to make a call on.

Generally speaking, suggestions for new stats are best made and implemented by folk who can see how the game engine works, as it's hard to know what can and can't be done, and what the technical limitations are.

However, just for the sake of thought experiment, how would you describe such a stat on the census page, and what would the unit be? I'm thinking something along the lines of a Family Dinner Awkwardness Index.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:00 am
by Trotterdam
This is pretty much the same as the Approval Rating / Political Consensus suggestion that gets brought up from time to time, in reverse.

Which is more worthy of being a census score? Most leaders would consider a higher approval rating to be better, but some nations might point to their political divisiveness as evidence of open and free dicussion. (And that's not starting on cartoon villains who like making as many people suffer as possible, and enjoy that having the support of a small but well-armed inner circle allows them to oppress the majority.) Of course, we can have both, if the admins don't mind adding two scores.

I like Family Dinner Awkwardness Index as a unit for the negative version. For the positive version - hmm, maybe something like Ducks-in-a-row Index. You know, something that casts everyone being in total agreement as just slightly creepy.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:05 am
by Valentine Z
Err, stupid question, but this is not related to the current Political Apathy, right?

I figured that that stat would provide the opposite - instead of everyone divided on politics, everyone just doesn't give a damn about it.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:10 am
by Trotterdam
Valentine Z wrote:Err, stupid question, but this is not related to the current Political Apathy, right?
I don't think they're quite the same. You can have a nation where people are apathetic about politics because they think the way things are currently run is fine, or because they've given up all hope of ever improving things. You can a lot have a nation where people spend a lot of time debating politics, or one where they're all constantly and sincerely singing their leader's praises, and either one I would consider to have low apathy.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:15 am
by Valentine Z
Trotterdam wrote:
Valentine Z wrote:Err, stupid question, but this is not related to the current Political Apathy, right?
I don't think they're quite the same. You can have a nation where people are apathetic about politics because they think the way things are currently run is fine, or because they've given up all hope of ever improving things. You can a lot have a nation where people spend a lot of time debating politics, or one where they're all constantly and sincerely singing their leader's praises, and either one I would consider to have low apathy.


Ahh, I see. Thanks for clearing that up! :D

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:19 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
I'd say it is distinct from approval and apathy, as it's instead talking about how much hostility there is between the political factions.

Largely, I'd expect it to increase with the same factors that drive rudeness, to decrease with the factors that drive political apathy and to increase with freedom of speech and right to political protests. I'd also probably be cheeky and suggest that alcohol fuels division as well.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:39 am
by Merconitonitopia
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:and to increase with freedom of speech and right to political protests

I see the reasoning behind that, but you're essentially saying that pluralism necessarily breeds conflict. Pluralistic regimes can be divided (the United States being an obvious example - while it is debatable just how pluralistic the two-party system is, they have excellent laws regarding freedom of speech and dissent), yet conversely, heavy-handed authoritarianism may also add fuel to existing divisions (consider post-Tito Yugoslavia, numerous African dictatorships, and although it wasn't exactly his fault, Assad's Syria). To make matters more confusing, authoritarianism can also effectively iron out differences and politically homogenise a population (eg. PR. China, or Yugoslavia before Tito's death).

Like I said, a tough square to circle. These things are incredibly contextual.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:52 am
by Trotterdam
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I'd say it is distinct from approval and apathy, as it's instead talking about how much hostility there is between the political factions.
Ah, hmm. How much people disagree with each other and how loudly they disapprove are indeed different things. Putting it like that, "political hostility" would actually be the combination of both approval and apathy - for people to argue a lot, they need to both differ in opinion (low approval, since the assumption of the game is that there will always be enough people who do like you) and care strongly about those opinions (low apathy).

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I'd also probably be cheeky and suggest that alcohol fuels division as well.
I'm not sure. That might fuel petty arguments of the "what are you looking at!?" variety, but would it fuel serious political disagreements?