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Mark B

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Everything posted by Mark B

  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...
  15. Some ideas for game features I'd like to see (I may think of more later), nothing drastic but a few things I think would improve the game: 1. More Election Themes you can chose to highlight (most parties chose more than just three themes to highlight in an election campaign) and also be informed which Election Themes the other parties are highlighting and what they are mainly attacking you on (although you can sometimes deduce this from the news headlines). 2. Divide the UK into modern Counties, or at least smaller regions, as some people on here are having a go at, so as to help make issue values more realistic for different districts. (Merseyside and Manchester are very left-wing, whereas Cumbria is quite Conservative, but both are classed as 'North West' with the same issue values. This is a bit like giving, say, California and Utah the same issue values in P4E). 3. Ability to target an unlimited number of seats, with the player having to take responsibility for working out whether he afford to target too many seats. 4. The game showing you which Party currently holds the seat and what their majority and percentage lead from the previous election is. On election night include new majorities and turn-out figures for each seat, and also indicate what has happened to that seat (ie.CON gain, LAB hold etc.). Maybe also have an option that shows a list of seats that have changed hands. 5. Televised debates between Party leaders during elections don't normally happen in UK politics. (Blair has always refused to do any, as did Thatcher). Perhaps in PM4E it would be better if, if you are the incumbent party, the other leaders can challenge you to debate and you can chose whether or not to accept (if you accept, it can work for you or against you depending on how well you perform. If you refuse, it can look bad with the electorate). If you are in opposition, you can challenge the PM (and other leaders) to debate, you may inflict some minor damage on the PM if he refuses. 6. More customisation in Party Broadcasts and Speeches, so you can highlight particular aspects of your policies you wish you focus on, or which aspects of your opponents policies you want to attack. 7. To be able to attack opponents actual campaigns rather than just individual issues (ie. attack Howard for focusing on immigration, saying it will stir racism or something similar). Also, get rid of the tendency for opposing parties to call relatively moderate politicians 'extremists'. Having the BNP leader calling a centrist Liberal Democrat an 'extremist' is a little strange to say the least. I'm sure I can think of plenty more but that will do for now...
  16. Any links to a demo or download?
  17. That's just silly. PM4E is a great game, but it can come out with these ridicoulous results. Obviously there is no way the Tories would only win one seat and the Lib Dems winning 447 is a little implausible to say the least! What did Kennedy do, offer to abolish all taxation?
  18. Mark B

    Other Scenarios

    Good point regarding the Lib Dems. It is true however that Portillo was no liberal prior to the '97 election, he was one of the most ardent Thatcherites and seen as being one of the most prominent right-wing Tories. He became liberal and a major advocate for moderation afterwards, perhaps because of what he percieved to be the reasons for the heavy deafeat to Labour. Helsetine was perhaps the most prominent moderate and fairly liberal Tory and a very plausible Prime Ministerial candidate. On the opposite wing, Thatcherite John Redwood challenged Major in '95 so you could have him as an alternative candidate, although few would view him as a serious candidate for Prime Minister. The Tories did seem to have a number of prominent figures at the time (not so many genuine leadership candidates perhaps, but more than they have now) who you could add to the game and see if they fare any better than Major did, although the situation facing them in '97 would be something difficult to overcome for any leader.
  19. Mark B

    Other Scenarios

    1997 was obviously a landslide and the poll numbers at the beginning were predicting an even bigger Labour victory. However, it would be interesting to try and pull off the miracle and return Major to power (I remember at the time reading Major required the biggest swing during a British election campaign in history if he was to return to office). Alternatively, it could be interesting to try and win as Labour on a more traditional Labour platform rather than as 'New Labour'. I prefer scenarios to have a choice of alternative candidates and perhaps you could include John Smith, the Labour leader who took over in 1992 but passed away in 1994 allowing Blair to take over and begin his New Labour 'project'. One of the big questions in UK politics is whether Labour would have won under Smith in '97, which is considered quite probable, but most likely not with anything like as big a majority. Maybe the Tories would have fared better if they had replaced Major (though I doubt it). Doing local elections, such as mayoral elections and local assembly, would be interesting and did occur to me but I would have no idea as to how to change the electoral format of the game to PR or AV, I'd need a great deal of help on that. A senate election is a good idea (we should have a senate here instead of the undemocratic House of Lords) though I'm not sure what system you could use; in the States, if I remember rightly, you have less Senators then Congressmen, two Senators for every state isn't it? It would seem pointless to have a Senator for every palimentary seat as in the Commons. Perhaps you could chose two Senators for every county (probably would end up a similar size to the US senate), or arrange the districts in some other logical way.
  20. Actually I've discovered I have the same problem, it won't display the high scores and gives me an error message. I downloaded the patch but there is some problem with it, I may download it again. In any case, maybe they will bring out a patch that actually fixes this problem at some point...
  21. Mark B

    Other Scenarios

    Hi dr abc, I have the same problem, I'm snowed under with work for uni for about the next two weeks. After that, I will able to concentrate on doing some scenarios. I've done some of a 1979 scenario already. Certainly the idea of collaborating on scenarios sounds good to me, as a second opinion (or more) is very helpful. I don't have much problem finding out any data on party leaders, candidates in individual ridings and political trends for elections as there is a website which gives very detalied info on all this for all UK elections. But with regard to events, issues, which minor parties should be included etc. I could certainly do with some other ideas. Of course, the further back in time you get, the harder it becomes. My knowledge is mostly restricted to 1960s politics onwards and I was intending to concentrate mainly on the elections since 1979, a few earlier as well perhaps. However, it makes sense to firstly do elections that other people are not already working on and ones people are likely to be interested in playing. The elections of the 80s, particularly 1983, are probably of more interest to me but I'm happy to work on any election people would like to see and will turn my hand to earlier elections if people want to play them and people can help me out a bit on issues etc. I'm afraid though I can't offer you much help on the France scenario as I honestly know next-to-nothing about French politics! My areas of knowledge are basically the UK and US political arenas, I know little about politics on the continent. In any case, cheers for the offer of help, I'll get my work out of the way and take any ideas over to the Scenarios forum in a short while. I'll be finishing the 1979 one first (even if someone else is doing one, I might as well finsh this as I've already done a lot of it) and would appreciate some help on certain aspects. After that, I'm happy to work on more or less whatever elections people would like to play. Cheers, Mark.
  22. Mark B

    Other Scenarios

    I downloaded P4E a number of months back and was well impressed, and I'm delighted with the new PM4E for the UK. Great level of detail, the only problems I have are with the occasional wildly improbable election result (in one game I played as the Lib Dems the Tories only won 9 seats! Er, this would never happen...) and the Election Night which seems a little bit of a let-down, but I don't see any other way of doing it other than announcing the result of each seat seperately which would probably be very tiresome. The game does seem much harder than P4E. In any case, I think it would be great to have scenarios for most other UK general elections of the past available. I created one for P4E a few months back and found it relatively quick and easy to do. Obviously it will be more difficult for PM4E because of the differances in seats in past elections and filling in the names for each candidate in every seat is tiresome. I've got some way through a 1979 scenario however. I'm sure others are already at work on past scenarios and I don't wish to put anyone off who was thinking of creating some. Some people will take a different approach and no doubt some aspects of other people's scenarios will be superior to mine. I won't have any on here however for 2-3 weeks but I hope to do most elections from the 1970s onwards over the next month or so if I have the time. If anyone has any particular election or unusual fictional scenario they would like to see let me know, and I'll have a go at it.
  23. There is a patch you can download which should fix any errors.
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