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RI Democrat

European Parliament Elections

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I've been thinking about trying to do a European Parliament scenario using the C4E engine, probably either 2014 or a fictional 2019 scenario. However, I'm aware that EU elections are more akin to multi-member proportional representation rather than the mixed-member method that Germany uses, and I'm trying to figure out what to do about district names and candidates.

For example, would it make more sense to try to create districts within the various regions that match actual locations and their associated differences in party strength, or just call the districts "Polling Area 1, Polling Area 2," etc.? And are the party lists online somewhere? If I go to Wikipedia, I mostly just get the lists of candidates who actually won seats, which obviously leaves me without enough names to fill out all the districts.

(I guess one argument in favor of doing 2019 is that I could make it a hypothetical scenario where the EU switches to an EU-wide mixed-member system in the meantime.)

Also, would it make more sense for the "party leaders" to be the chairpersons of the European parties or their nominated candidates for Commission President?

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Well, with my West Germany 1949 scenario for C4E, which is almost done, BTW, barring some annoying error hitting, the official data from the German Federal Government electoral archives with named constituencies organized by state only show parties (not named candidates) and percentages for each party in each constituency, so I actually just did what you actually did in your own Germany 1933 scenario and just put "<Party> List" for each candidate name for each party that's represented in each constituency. It's an idea in your case here too, perhaps.

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I may end up doing that with the party lists if I try to re-create 2014.

Right now, I'm leaning more towards a fictional 2018 scenario in which both Marine LePen in France and the anti-EU referendum folks in Britain only narrowly lose, and an early election using the German MMP system is called in an attempt to create a more cohesive EU where MEPs have a more direct link to their constituents. (If Greece ends up defaulting and/or exiting, that would be part of the "crisis" atmosphere as well.) I'd assign the current incumbents to individual ridings and use whatever 2014 party lists I can find to fill in the rest of the names, or just use a name generator if worst comes to worst.

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How will you group the "non-inscrits" members. Will you have separate parties for the MENL, European National Front, AENM, and, on the complete other end of the political spectrum from those, INITIATIVE, plus a couple of non-party grouped members, or will you have a different way of arranging them?

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How will you group the "non-inscrits" members. Will you have separate parties for the MENL, European National Front, AENM, and, on the complete other end of the political spectrum from those, INITIATIVE, plus a couple of non-party grouped members, or will you have a different way of arranging them?

I'll probably divide the Non-Inscrits into several subgroups based on ideology. I'll definitely have a nationalist/hard-right subgroup that encompasses the British National Party, the Front National, and others of a similar bent, then probably a second subgroup for radical leftists and a third for anybody generally in the mainstream from centre-left to centre-right. It's not a perfect solution, but having 8 or 10 different versions of the Non-Inscrits would probably be cumbersome both for me and for the players, plus it could lead to all of them being shut out due to the minimum threshold.

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I gave this a little more thought, and I don't think that having Non-Inscrits is truly going to work in a system where the Hare-Niemeyer threshold is being applied across the entire EU. A number of the far-right parties, including France's National Front, already formed a new alliance called Europe of Nations and Freedom after the 2014, so I'll probably have the rest of the far-right parties either join that group or form a separate even-further-right group. (I'm guessing that ENF probably still wouldn't want Golden Dawn or Germany's NPD in their alliance.)

BTW, does anyone have a good notion of exactly how Eurosceptic the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland tends to be? I plan to have them join an existing parliamentary group in this scenario, but I'm not sure whether ECR or EFDD would be a better fit. (I know the Conservatives and Ulster Unionists are already in ECR, but I'm assuming they could come to an agreement on who contests which of the Northern Irish seats.)

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Thanks. I'm working on it pretty steadily, but ridings are taking a while. Since the actual EU system has multi-member constituencies, I have to invent ridings from scratch based on available population data and recent election results, and I'm trying to keep the overall number of seats close to 750...which means creating about 375 of these ridings.

One bit of "artistic license" I've had to take is with the countries where more than one party is a member of a single European parliamentary group. In a couple cases this has occurred with ALDE members that have at times been part of opposing coalitions in their own countries. What I've done in those cases is pick a candidate from one party or the other on a riding-by-riding basis, based on which party seems to be more popular in the area that makes up the riding, and then redistribute some of the combined support to either the Social Democrats or the EPP, since the voters for the one ALDE member wouldn't necessarily flock en masse to the other ALDE member.

(This also makes me wonder how ALDE manages to deal with such a wide range of ideologies IRL, in terms of formulating an identity and a political strategy.)

I've also run into this in areas that have both a Green party and a left-leaning regionalist party, in that both are likely to be part of the Greens-EFA group. For those, however, I figure that the combined support might be more likely to hold together when only one of them is on the ballot.

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BTW, one area where I could use some suggestions are potential leaders and candidates for Commission President for the different parties. I'll likely pick some current and former heads of government for the larger parties, as well as the current chairs of each EU parliamentary group. For the smaller parties, I'll look for people who have at least been in cabinet at the domestic level or led their parties to strong showings even if they didn't get into cabinet. However, if you all can think of anyone in particular who tends to have a high profile on EU-related matters or international matters in general, I'll definitely consider including them.

Also, does anyone have a good handle on where Beppe Grillo's 5 Star Movement in Italy actually stands on some of the issues? I gather that it's partly a populist protest movement, and I read that they are part of EFDD in the European Parliament, but they don't really sound "right-wing" per se in what I've heard about them.

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I'd certainly say Marine LaPen for Europe of Freedom and Nations. She seems VERY vocal and uses every major news in Europe, and, in some cases, other places in the world, to promote her platform. She seems to portray herself as a downright successor of "true" Napoleonic politics, and an unverified leak says she said, "when we come into power, we'll bring back capital punishment. But given all this controversy on "failed execution techniques" in the United States and botched hangings, we'll bring in a method that's quick, efficient, 100% effective, and is uniquely French - Madame Guillotine." Like I said, an unverified quote, but one that seems very much her world view.

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She'll definitely be a choice for the ENF group. Also, I've decided to add to this whole premise the idea that the changes to the EU include direct election of the Council President so I can make a President Infinity scenario as well - this has taken a lot of work and research, and I'd kind of hate to use it only for one of the older engines.

BTW, anyone have suggestions for the Greens? I'm thinking that Joschka Fischer might have reached the highest level of cabinet experience of any Green Party leader in Europe, but I'm not sure if that would be realistic or if he's pretty much left politics behind at this point.

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He was stated in 1998 as the youngest Vice-Chancellor in German history since the office was created in the Weimar Constitution in 1918 (as the Chancellors of the German Empire of 1871-1918 didn't have a Vice-Chancellor), so age is certainly not an issue for Fischer. That being said, I'm not exactly sure his active political status at this time, though...

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Well, the scenario is in a *very* rough beta form now, i.e. one leader per party, still some riding typos and errors to be fixed, and no scripted events yet. One thing I noticed was that ALDE seems to start out a lot higher up than expected or intended, perhaps because their average issue position is closer to the center than any of the other parties and they grab a bunch of the undecideds at the start. I'll probably need to adjust them downwards in electorate_trends.p4e or reduce their candidate strength in countries where their affiliates are relatively weak (e.g. the FDP in Germany) or both.

The other thing I might try is fiddling with issue centers a little more - since most of the regions in this scenario are entire countries, I would normally have trouble justifying moving issue centers too far left or right unless (1) the country is dominated by parties from one side of the political spectrum (such as Poland, where the two largest parties are both right of center), or (2) there's a reason that they would have very strong views on a specific issue (I set Greece's issue center on austerity all the way to the left). But the way I have it now may be disproportionately rewarding centrist parties in a way that doesn't happen IRL.

Also, a question for people who are interested in this scenario - would you prefer to see the national party affiliation for every candidate in the riding file, or only in ridings where the affiliate is an "exception"? For example, a Socialists & Democrats candidate in Northern Ireland will always have "(SDLP)" after his or her name, but for the rest of the UK, I could just list the names or I could add "(LAB)" at the end of each. (The UK is probably not the best example, as it's actually relatively low on examples of European groups with more than one national affiliate. By contrast, both ALDE and G-EFA each have at least 4 or 5 small affiliates in Spain that are competitive in certain parts of the country.)

Originally I'd planned to note it for exceptions only, but 99% of these names (I grabbed them from the 2014 party lists) don't mean much to me and probably won't to most players, so I got to thinking that listing the parties might actually be more informative even if I have to abbreviate some names.

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I've been considering taking on the very first European Parliament elections (and the very first direct multinational elections to one single legislative body in all of recorded history), in 1979 for the European Economic Community (before it became the European Union), back during the height of the Cold War. I already have a map for it I'm quite fond of. Are you still planning on tackling your European Parliament scenario, RI Democrat, and would you be interested in possibly collaborating for the relatively few other such elections (compared to many countries) for this deliberative body?

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I'm honestly not sure if the scenario files made it across in my latest change of computers - I keep meaning to check. My old computer did crash, so some of it may be lost.

I think I at least have the Excel spreadsheets that I used to create ridings - you're welcome to those if you want, though they may not make much sense at first and are based on more recent population figures.

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I did my own, goofy European Parliament election back in like 2007 or so. I'll see if I still have it.

I also had a computer change as well, but I'm thinking I could get back into 80soft stuff after binging on civ 5, democracy 3, and tropico.

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It looks like I have all my old C4E stuff, including where I left off with EU2018. I'll try to finish it up soon and post it.

Patine, you are certainly welcome to use the map and anything else you find useful from it. Fair warning, though - I had a hard enough time finding a comprehensive list of candidates for 2014, so finding something like that for 1979 might prove nearly impossible. I also had to go pretty heavily counterfactual with a crisis precipitating the adoption of the German MMP system, which is pretty different from the EU's system

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You might be right, R.I. Democrat. I'll probably hold off on this idea for the time being. At least until I get a brainwave of how to approach this.

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Well, the UK just threw a big monkey wrench into my planning for this scenario. (g) Though actually, the "crisis" atmosphere that might lead to an overhaul of the voting system might be more plausible now.

I'm trying to decide whether the scenario should include all of the UK (on the assumption that Brexit is still under negotiation), Scotland only (on the assumption that Brexit is complete but Scotland bolts), or none of the UK (on the assumption that they're out and Scotland is either still deciding what to do or sticking with the UK for the time being).

Also, I'm guessing that in an independent Scotland, the party structure might see a shake-up. Would the SNP perhaps affiliate with the Socialists & Democrats group or GUE-NGL instead of the Greens-European Free Alliance? Or maybe there'd be some sort of merger between the SNP's social democrats and Scottish Labour?

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