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PhoenixGreen

Tasmanian Election 2014

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I'd *Love* to make a Tasmanian Election 2014 scenario. I followed this one very closely, it's still fresh on my mind and I believe I have a fairly good grasp of the editor. The problem is that I'm not sure if it's possible to create multi-member constituencies with proportional representation.

In Tasmania we use the same Federal electorates of
Bass

Braddon

Denison
Franklin

Lyons

Each with 5 seats distributed proportionally, adding up to a 25 seat parliament. Since the Tasmanian Greens are an established party down here this system often delivers hung parliaments and minority government. In 2010 the parliament was split 10 Labor, 10 Liberal, 5 Greens where 13 makes a majority.

I notice that there is a "seats" field in the region editor, but the engine treats all the seats as a bloc and assigns them together, rather than splitting them up and assigning them proportionally.

Can anyone think of a way to do this, or would there need to be engine tweaks to make it happen?

The 2014 election was particularly colourful with the Greens occasionally outpolling Labor and campaigning to become the next opposition, the Palmer United Party (Led by their eccentric billionaire leader) carpet-bombing the state with expensive election material and the Liberals struggling to achieve a parliamentary majority despite having over 50% support. This is an election I'd absolutely love to play. Any help would be appreciated.

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Been poking around and I found this in the 'political units' file:

<seat incumbent_party="labor">

<type>FPP</type>
<number>1</number>
</seat>

This is somewhat promising! Good to see there is already an 'electoral system' field for each region. Now I wonder if there are any options besides FPP..

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I actually like this idea, to be honest, if a viable way could be found to work it. I had plans a while back (and may still take it up) to do a New South Wales 2011 scenario, but I have no map (and am useless at drawing them myself), and, even though it's Legislative Assembly part would be easy (as it's the same scheme as the federal House of Representatives), the Legislative Council, elected by pure PR from the state as a whole would really be tricky. However, these seem to be the only two proposals to date of Australian state election scenarios. I offer my full support to your project, and am not certain just how to work it, but I'll think on it, and let you know if I come up with anything.

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"...the Liberals struggling to achieve a parliamentary majority despite having over 50% support. "

No serious commentator ever doubted the Liberals ability to form a majority leading up to the election. They had no trouble at all.

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Libs: 47.3%

Seats predicted: 13 (mere 1 seat majority)

http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/reachtel-pup-surge-has-landed.html

"My own current view is that 13 seats is the mainline estimate, 14 for the slightly confident, 12 for those who are bearish about the Liberals' majority prospects, and anything else is adventurous to say the least." - Kevin Bonham, Tasmanian psephologist

http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/not-poll-how-many-seats-will-liberals.html

"What you're seeing the Liberal Party do is try to ensure what for them looked like a pretty easy victory a few months ago remains a Liberal victory and that voters aren't tempted to go off somewhere else." - Antony Green, renowned Australian psephologist

+
7:30 Report on PUP's prospects in Tasmania titled "Minority Government"
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-28/minority-government/5292332

"A large undecided vote and the Hare Clark voting system make it risky to predict just what will happen." - ABC News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-13/tasmania-election3a-what-to-look-out-for-on-election-night/5315406?section=tas

_____________

Liberal majority looked a sure thing for all of the year before the campaign and it's easy to call the election in retrospect, but that majority was in doubt for at least the first half of the campaign month. The Libs were sitting on poll predictions of a wafer-thin majority for most of the campaign, and even those predictions were subject to the distribution of the vote and the vagaries of the count which can see votes leak between party tickets in unexpected ways - all the while the PUP 'dark horse' was ominously looming.

The prospect of a four-party hung parliament was all the buzz in my academic and party circles at the time, we had people dissecting the electorate breakdowns and finding the slightest disturbances in local votes could lead to radically different parliaments.

It may have turned out to be a mirage, but prospects like those were what made this election so fun - and so ripe for a PM4E scenario where some precisely targeted campaigning can flip the whole election.

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In any case it seems unlikely that proportional representation is built into the engine in its current form. Seems to be a very different system to the Chancellor Forever 2009 game which does use a kind of proportional representation. Will have to wait for dev advice before I can proceed.

I'd be very happy to work on a different state scenario - such as the upcoming 2014 Victorian election. Most other states have an easily adaptable lower-house electoral system, the only issue is region deletion.

I've been able to create new regions perfectly well, so it is completely feasible to create, for instance, the 88ish seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and set them up with the relevant data to simulate the real seats. The issue is deleting already existing federal divisions or 'fundamentals' as they're called in the files. I can't seem to make this work without crashing the game.

Leaving divisions in which aren't involved in the election clutters the GUI with useless information and confuses the computer-controlled parties who run off to campaign in other states - so I'd really like to find a way to resolve that.

Parties, leaders, issues, endorsers etc etc should all work perfectly in state-election scenarios, it's just this region issue.
I might be missing something. Patine, do you know of a way to delete regions?

Edit: Sorry, just realised I never really responded to your comment Patine.

I actually like this idea, to be honest, if a viable way could be found to work it. I had plans a while back (and may still take it up) to do a New South Wales 2011 scenario, but I have no map (and am useless at drawing them myself), and, even though it's Legislative Assembly part would be easy (as it's the same scheme as the federal House of Representatives), the Legislative Council, elected by pure PR from the state as a whole would really be tricky. However, these seem to be the only two proposals to date of Australian state election scenarios. I offer my full support to your project, and am not certain just how to work it, but I'll think on it, and let you know if I come up with anything.

I can probably do a basic map for a state like the Australia one in-game.. we'll see. It'd be great fun to include the upper house, but I don't think it's strictly necessary since government is strictly formed in the lower house. Vanilla PM4E doesn't include the Senate, after all, and if it did it would probably confuse election night to include seats which shouldn't be counted for or against a government-forming majority.

New Zealand, with their Mixed-Member Proportional system would use Proportional Representation to distribute many of the seats in their house of government, but most of our Australian states fit nicely with the current PM4E Preferential FPP regime. With the very unfortunate exception of Tasmania, of course.

Would love to work on pretty much any recent or upcoming Australian State election scenario, but some are more familiar than others and I'm afraid I wouldn't know the first thing about the 2011 NSW one.

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=== UPDATE ===

After a few days playing around with the files in my free time I've found two workarounds which should, in theory, allow me to create proper state election scenarios for those states with single-member electorates.

1: I can delete the 'fundamentals' (regions/electorates/divisions) until only one remains, but I can't completely remove an 'abstract' (state). This means that unless I can find a way to delete an entire abstract, there must always be at least 13 regions with one electorate each in any scenario. This may mean I have to draw arbitrary lines in the sand to divide a state into 13 or more multi-electorate regions (For example a South Australia scenario might end up with multi-electorate regions like: Central Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Flinders Rangers, South East, Barossa, Southern Subrubs, Northern Suburbs, North West, Adelaide Ports, South Coast, Kangaroo Island, Yorke Peninsula and Whyalla, each of which would be effectively the same as one of those states or sub-state regions in the vanilla game and would be considered separate regions for advertising purposes)

2: I can rename existing 'fundamentals', so although the excessive number of sub-state regions may seem contrived, the electorates within those regions will be accurate and there shouldn't be any awkward empty federal divisions cluttering up the GUI or wasting the AI's time.

These workarounds, I believe, remove the major obstacles from creating state-election scenarios for all Australian sub-national lower houses except the Australian Capitol Territory and Tasmania which use the proportional Hare-Clark system, which the engine doesn't seem to support.

Now, to decide what scenario to make!

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Use Chancellor Forever, has a proportional list system

Thanks Poliguy, I had a go with Chancellor Forever back in June, when you suggested it. The files are in machine code and it isn't practical to edit new scenarios in, unfortunately, so that rules out proportional representation at least until the dev expands his new engine.

I did some preliminary work on a fictional single-member constituency scenario for Tasmania, which I will now continue while I am on holiday. Eager to get a Tasmania scenario up and running, as I continue to find this state's politics absolutely fascinating.

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Actually, the Chancellor Forever .p4e files can be opened as .txt files (you should get the option just by right-clicking on them), and you can just edit the plain text directly in the resulting text files.

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