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jbirch

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About jbirch

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    Political Geek
  1. Everyone - the map can be downloaded here
  2. And they are! It is the one really annoying feature of the game. You fight a hard six week campaign and then the result disappears in a second. How can you really see what happened? How can you learn from your "mistakes"? How can you see wherethe swings were? Beyond that a saved result could even, with some minor extra tinkering, allow you to roll the game forward to the next election. So PLEASE this is the one - and it should be so easy to implement, surely? The numbers are there - just have an option to save them to a file somewhere (like the saved game file)?
  3. It is the one really annoying feature of the game. You fighta hard six week campaign and then the result disappears in a second. How can you really see what happened? How can you learn from your "mistakes"? A saved result would also potentially allow you to roll the game forward to the next election. So PLEASE - forget the other tinkerings. This is the one - and it should be so eay to implement, surely?
  4. LibDems even took Rutland ... amazing! I guess in reality its pretty unlikely, but mathematically its another matter. The LibDems are there or thereabouts in so many seats that the total collapse of one party - especially the Tories, would have this effect, as seats would switch to the LibDems more than to Labour. The BBC's swingometer is still working so you can play. Your result would seem to require a 22% swing against both opposition parties - huge but not impossible. Effectively it would be a nationwide Orpington (which co-incidentally was 22%).
  5. She floored Blunkett first time out, so I thought I'd give her somethig more testing - and she beat Brown as well. Just. 31 short of an overall majority, but the Unionists would give her another 11. On both occasions she just concentrated on England - ignoring Scotland & Wales - and it more or less works. Would be an interesting Parliament as a result, though. The issue of Scots independence would presumbly rise again, and even the Welsh might be stired into action. Interesting that in some counties Labour got more votes but fewer seats than the Conservatives.
  6. I have a working map based on 63 areas - a few more than above, buts it my map so .... As you see, basically it is Northern Ireland as a single unit, the pre-'95 Scottish Regions (with Western Isles and Orkney & Shetland separate from Highland), and the pre-'95 English and Welsh counties... with a few adjustments removing the more artificial of the Heath/Barber creations (so Humberside, Avon, Tyne & Wear etc are reabsorbed into their "proper" counties. And Rutland reappears!). A few small snags. 1. First this error message appears... 63 times... as you load up the scenario. Dammed if I can find what it refers to, but it does not affect the ability to play the game. 2. The abbreviations for the areas on the map made it look a complete mess. So there aren't any. This means that you will need a good working knowledge of UK geography, or a decent atlas. But - hey - you'll learn, just as we non Americans have to learn obscure state abbreviations. 3. The declaration timings do not seem to agree with the times I have put in the file, but are at least in more or less the right order. 4. And the flags are all wrong - and I cannot see why. One game sees the flag of St Padarn (Cornwall) gracing Borders, next time it in West Glamorgan. May be related to the first problem. All other aspects of the game remain the same - including the Conservatives ability to blow it all in the final week. First try out saw England go totally red and yellow except for a tiny spot of blue that was Rutland. However on the third attempt Ann Widdecombe won a massive ("Godly" apparently) win by basically taking almost every English seat outside the South West and London (but virtually nothing in the Celtic fringe). Anyway - if anyone has any suggestions for correcting the above or is interested in giving this a run through please let me know and I’ll get it posted up.
  7. Or, in politcal terms... + Rural North-east - Narow Labour + Industrial north-east - Safe Labour + Rural North-west - Overall should be "naturally" - Narrow Conservative + Industrial north-west (Merseyside & Greater Mancheter) - Safe Labour + Rural Yorkshire (Cleveland, North Yorkshire, & Humberside north of Humber) - Maginal + Industrial Yorkshire (West & South Yorkshire) - Labour + North Midlands (Cheshire & Derbyshire) - Narrow Conservative + East Midlands (Notts, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, & Humerside south of Humber) - Marginal + West Midlands (Staffordshire & West Midlands) - Labour + South Midlands (Warwickshire, Northants, Beds) - Conservative + The Marches (Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester) - Conservative + East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambs) - Conservative. + Northern Home Counties (Essex, Herts) - Conservative + Thames Valley (Berkshire, Bucks, Oxfordshire) - Safe Conservative + Greater London - Marginal + Southern Home Counties (Surrey, Kent) - Safe Conservative + South coast (Hampshire, Sussex, Isle of Wight) - Conservative + Industrial west country (Gloucestershire, Avon) - Marginal + Rural west country (Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset) - Libdem + South West (Devon, Cornwall, Scilly) - Libdem WALES: Labour in south and east, Plaid in north & west SCOTLAND: Labour in south and central belt, SNP in north NORTHERN IRELAND: Their own little world...
  8. At the risk of being seen as pedantic 12 is actually Cheshire - a very different place to Merseyside! Your map is actually about 30 years out of date as it shows the adminstative counties that existed between 1965 and 1972. You can get a number of rather more up-to-date and free outline maps of the UK from here http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/...un/outlinemaps/. The best one to use - for gaming purposes - is probably the 1995 map. Anyway if we go with your idea of combining neighbouring counties with similar the obvious criteria will be an urban/rural split. So a smaller list might be ENGLAND (20 amalgmated counties) + Rural North-east (Northumberland & Durham) - Mainly livestock farming + Industrial north-east (Tyne & Wear) - depressed ex-mining & shipbuilding area + Rural North-west (Cumbria & Lancashire) - Farming & tourism. Some trawling. + Industrial north-west (Merseyside & Greater Mancheter) - Vibrant, but with areas of massive urban deprivation + Rural Yorkshire (Cleveland, North Yorkshire, & Humberside north of Humber) - livestock farming, trawling and tourism + Industrial Yorkshire (West & South Yorkshire) - ex mining area + North Midlands (Cheshire & Derbyshire) - Generally rural, tourism important + East Midlands (Notts, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, & Humerside south of Humber) - Complex combination of rural areas, ex-mining areas, and trawling + West Midlands (Staffordshire & West Midlands) - Heavily industrial + South Midlands (Warwickshire, Northants, Beds) - Edge of commuter belt. Mixed. + The Marches (Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester) - Mixed, mainly rurual + East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambs) - Massive arable farming area. + Northern Home Counties (Essex, Herts) - Commuterland + Thames Valley (Berkshire, Bucks, Oxfordshire) - Slightly posher commuter land. England "silicon valley" + Greater London + Southern Home Counties (Surrey, Kent) - Even posher commuter land + South coast (Hampshire, Sussex, Isle of Wight) - Commuting & tourism + Industrial west country (Gloucestershire, Avon) - New industries + Rural west country (Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset) - Mixed farming & tourism + South West (Devon, Cornwall, Scilly) - Tourism, trawling, some farming, but depressed with high rates of unemployment outside summer season. WALES: The 8 pre 1995 counties SCOTLAND: The 9 pre 1995 regions (treating Highlands & Islands as one) NORTHERN IRELAND: Single unit So - 38 meaningful areas for the whole UK. That do ya?
  9. Yes - in the Scottish Parliament. They would be a vital part of any Holyrood sim, (or even a European one) but are pretty irrelevent in a Westminster election. Frankly the minor parties chosen do seem to be arbitrary. Respect - for instance - have never won any seats anywhere (Galloway was only a Respect MP because he left the Labour Party after he'd been elected as a Labour MP). At least the Monster Raving Loonies have won local elections. Also the Loonies have been going for about 20 years - Respect hasn't and probably will disappear soon as its a one man party, like Veritas will and Scargill's Socialist Labour Party has. And "Independents" are just that - independent. You can't lump them together - as a party-based game you may as well leave them out.
  10. One other thing that needs correction - a bit minor, but important. In the UK you cannot run political adverts on TV or radio. What you have instead at election time are PPBs - Party Political Broadcasts - which go out on all channels. PPBs are broadcast nationwide free - but the parties have to meet production costs, though smaller parties do get some help from the broadcasters Different parties get different numbers of PPBs dependent (approximately) on party's stength the previous election, though putting up at least 50 candidates gets you a least one PPB. So all money gets you is a slicker production - not more air time. There are therefore some tactics based around when you show your PPB/s and what you put in it/them. There are also radio PPBs which are similar in concept but have a much lesser impact.
  11. Rather depends on what you want from the game. If this is meant to even attempt at a reasonable simulation you have to use real geography so artificially lumping together counties is a non-starter - its worse than the official regions. Leaving aide that your map is pre-local government reorganisation (ie. its about 30 years old) and that you should at least use the modern administrative counties, I'd argue vermently that, for example, that modern-day Lancashire and Cumbria (both predominently rural counties with a high reliance on tourism) have much more in common than Lancashire and Liverpool/Merseyside (the later nbeing an industrial/urban area with very different problems and needs). In short if you are going to got to the fuss and bother of getting the parties, issues, and even consituency lists - right down to the "real" candidates - correct, it seems plain daft to then play the game in an unreal arena. As for the number of counties, well there are 50 states in the US but most non-Americans can get their minds round that and play the P4E game okay. No-one is suggesting there that you lump all the New England or Mid West states together to make things easier! To use counties at least GB wide (I'll grant you might as well leave Northern Ireland as one unit) would give you slightly more areas to cover than that but why is that a problem? Maybe you need to Barnstorm more selectively - but that again is what happens in real life. The parties just concentrate on a handful of marginals. Fact - with only a week to go over 90% of the UK public has yet to receive any election literature from any party!
  12. Replace regions in British version with counties Regions are pretty meaningless - even irrelevent - outside European elections (and who cares about them?) they are never used electorally, nor are they ever used in the popular press. They can be huge - the populatoion of the South East (a ludicrus creation that goes from Oxford to Dover) is over 10 million, they offer no subtlty (lumping all of Scotland and all of Wales together) and finally most people in the England at least would probably not even know which region they lived in! The realistic option of having all 646 contituencies as separate entities, but I guess that may be beyond what the game can do, so how about a middle way - counties? UK-wide there are only about 70 or so (and PM4E's limit is about 100?) and they are meaningful units, well understood by the public, and with strong support. Some are also rural where rural matters (say fox hunting) counts, some are more urban. What plays well in Cumbria will not play well in Merseyside - but as both are the North West that is difficult to simulate with regions. Counties (in England at last) also tend to have similar populations - generally a million or so. And finally it would allow potential similations of county elections - again regions are useless as (Scotland and Wales aside) there are no regional governments or elections. If P4E can work with 50 states, why can't PM4E (UK) work with 70-odd counties?
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