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Mark B

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About Mark B

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    Political Monster
  1. I'd thought of that one, since such a feature is implemented in PM4E - not all parties have candidates in every riding so I don't see why some candidates cannot be absent from the ballot in certain states in P4E. Tony, I am very curious to know whether, with regard to primaries and creating scenarios, you will have to set a starting poll number for every candidate in every party for each individual state, or whether you set one general bunch of starting percentages for each candidate in the U.S as a whole. Personally I'd prefer the former. If that issue has not been decided upon and not implemented as yet then fine, but I would be very grateful to know either way.
  2. I'm not sure how that could work. I would rather 80soft only included 2004 or 2008 in the game, so as to give the rest of us the chance to do the past scenarios. Even if they do include historical scenarios I doubt they will chose 1968 since they have chosen other elections in past editions. In any case, I can't imagine them including in the program a facility for having a certain candidate assassinated during the primaries. What would you do, have a 'gets assasinated' option in the candidate editor? I suppose in the case of 1968, I would rather see Kennedy included in the primaries so he can kind of not get assasinated and maybe win the nomination. If somehow 80soft did include some facility to have candidates assasinated, I'd rather you be able to turn it off in those circumstances, in which case I suppose it would be ok. If the assassination thing isnt there at all, I guess you would just have to include Kennedy and maybe switch him off at the start of the game if you want it to be historically accurate and just pretend he's been assassinated! I like the idea of including conventions. I know it's very rare nowadays, but if the primaries are a very close race it may not be entirely clear who will have the nomination until the vote at the convention, such as in the Republican Convention in 1976.
  3. I think if you use your imagination you could find 7 positions for most issues. Of course it could be difficult with some but with many issues I'd like to have the option of 7 issue positions to allow for better realism and more difference between the candidates. Taft is right, tax policy is one. Right now it tends to be raise tax for everyone-raise tax for the rich-leave tax as it is-cut tax for everyone-cut tax for the rich. In reality, a candidates position on taxes is a lot more complicated. Actually I'm more concerned about having more actual issues than issue positions. Often I've had a go at making scenarios and found I have had to leave off some issues I would have liked to have included in order to include issues that were historically important in that election. I think 20 or 22 issues would be better than 18. It's true that the 'leftness' and 'rightness' of an issue is sometimes difficult to determine. For instance, on PF 'military spending is more important than the deficit' is the centre-left position and it's hard to see how wanting to spend huge sums on the military is a centre-left policy.
  4. Thanks for the reply Tony. Like Taft says, I guess you could have more nuanced versions of the same position. In the case of Same Sex Marriage, I guess you could have, for example: Far Left: Same Sex marriage is a constitutional right Left: Same Sex Marriage, even if not in name Centre-Left: Introduce civil unions, consider introducing same sex marriage Centrist: Same Sex Marriage is a state issue Centre-Right: Marriage is between a man and a woman Right: We need a federal amendment banning any form of same-sex union Far-Right: Homosexuals need to be treated for their condition With some issues, it can be a stretch to have seven issue positions but sometimes it dosent feel as though five is really enough to cover all the positions of the candidates you might want to include. I don't think the programmers will do this, but it would be nice if they considered it. One improvement to the game which I believe they are including is that as in PMF, events relating to issues will effect different candidates differently. In PF, if there are heavy US casualties reported in Iraq for instance the profile of the issue just goes up. In the new version Bush and other pro-war candidates may lose support because of their pro-war position and anti-war candidates may gain support because of the negative news story regarding the war. One feature I would also like to see is the ability to set which three or more main issues the candidates are going to campaign on with the candidate editor, although obviously you should be able to change the issues for your own candidate when you start a game. For instance, in 1980 you might want Reagan concentrating on taxes, the Soviet Threat and attacking Carter on inflation, wheras Carter might campaign on his experience and integrity and attacking Reagan on arms control. That would help to make matters more realistic.
  5. I think you can get by with 4 parties in the US but ideally there should be more, perhaps eight. (16 is fine, but I can't see how you would use 16 parties except in entirely fictional scenarios). The reason I say that is that while in most US elections there has only really been a maximum of 3 serious candidates for election (and most often of course only 2), third-party candidates can make a difference to the outcome of elections by taking votes off the major candidates in key states and if you want the scenario to be realistic, then this is important (and you can always turn third-party candidates off if you prefer to leave them out). In some elections, there are circumstance where more than two third-party candidates have run and got a reasonable number of votes. Take 2000 for instance. Nader obviously has to be there, as does Buchanan in my view since he is reasonably high profile and could take a number of votes off Bush in swing states. But that leaves no space on the current game for the Libertarian candidate, which is unfortunate because there are probably the third party in the US and their candidate should really be on the game. Also in 1996, you have Dole, Clinton and Perot and then you have to chose between Nader and the Libertarian. In 2008, you might want Republican, Democrat, Ventura and Nader but again the Libertarian is squeezed out. However, I would prefer if minor candidates did not recieve unrealistic endorsments unless there is a reasonable chance of it actually happening in real life (such as a consumer or environmental group backing Nader or a paleo-Conservative group backing Buchanan). Also, it seems too easy at times for minor candidates to gain large numbers of votes, such as Libertarians getting 2 million votes quite regularly when I play. I don't want to see a Socialist Workers candidate getting a million votes in 2008 or gaining 15% in California because it will be too unrealistic. Just a few questions and suggestions: I'm wondering how, if you create a scenario on the new version, you set up the Primaries? Will you have to set starting percentages for each candidate in every state or for the country as a whole? And what about, for instance, if you create a 1984 scenario and want Reagan renominated unopposed, as essentially that is what happened? Can you turn off the primaries for the Republicans and just have Reagan join in the national election or will Reagan have to go through the motions of running in a primary unopposed? And do candidates drop out during the primaries, as they would in real life? Also, just a few suggestions. Is it possible to slightly increase the number of issues (perhaps from 18 to 20 or 22) and also the number of issue positions, so perhaps you could have far left-left-centre left-centrist-centre right-right-far right? It's not that important I suppose, but it would give more options when creating scenarios and allow for more realism when depicting candidates postitions.
  6. Anyone know of a website online with detailed information about US primary results going back maybe to the 50s or 60s (or later if that's all that's available)? I know there is a site with the basic results - ie. who won what state's primary - but I am looking for a site with detailed results, such as percentages for each candidate. I've tried searching on the web, but haven't come up with anything except sites dealing with a few individual states such as New Hampshire. If anyone knows of any such site, I'd be grateful to hear about it. Cheers.
  7. Mark B


    Whatver values you type in for starting percertages are used by the computer as a rough guide to some extent, they don't show up as the exact figures you type in. It can depend on how far from the centre politically your candidate is - for instance if you have a very left wing candidate they will most likely lose some percentage points at the start of the game, especially in states that have tend centre-right or right-wing tendencies if your using regionalism. Regardless, the computer will re-organise the percentages for the start of the game only using yours as a guide, even if your candidate is moderate, so sometimes the candidate may start off with 0%, other times with maybe 4%. If you want to decrease the chances of the computer starting the candidate off with zero, maybe put him down for 3 or 4% instead of 1% and maybe try increasing the 'how established party' value, that may or may not make a differance.
  8. I didn't know that. I don't suppose Canadians would be as familiar with U.K newspapers either, so I'll still let them off!
  9. It can be excused sure, especially since 80-soft are American and obviously would not be as familar with British newspapers as we would be, I'm just curious to know whether it's a mistake or deliberate.
  10. I know the Express had backed Labour, but that's no excuse for listing them as 'left-wing', the Sun supports Labour as well!
  11. Just as a matter of interest, how come The Daily Express is listed as a 'left-wing tabloid' in PM4E? The Daily Express is quite right-wing and competes mainly with the Daily Mail for readers. At best, you could call it centre-right. Was this a mistake or a deliberate attempt to balance out the preponderance of Tory-supporting newspapers in real life? I only noticed because I am working on scenarios and was surprised to find the Daily Express listed as left-wing in the endorsers file.
  12. It's not the wrong flags for the regions that is the problem (that's irrelevant to anything that happens in the game), but some of the regional values for issues seem a little strange, left-wing or right-wing postitions on some issues that don't really fit the political trends of the region in question, which could give much more unrealistic results.
  13. If you run as the Tories on a centrist platform you have an excellent chance of winning. I tried it myself and won the election, but only just. It's not that implausible that the Tories could run on a centrist platform under a more moderate leader, provided it's not too centrist and does have some centre-right policies.
  14. Cheers, I actually did that last night and managed to find a demo to download. It's OK, I kind of enjoyed playing it but there dosen't appear to be enough going on and there is not enough realism in regard to how the political system in the UK works. The tax options are very limited, income tax is just up and down, no tax bands so you can higher it for the rich and cut it for the middle class for instance. Foreign Policy is way too limited, you can't alter relations with different countries and so on. There should be a little more detail and way more options for policies you can implement and alter. Good idea though, and I like a lot of aspects of it, it's the kind of game I have wanted to see for a long time, perhaps 80soft could work on a much better Government simulator...
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