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Revo06

Ireland

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Hi,

this is my first scenario and it deals with the next Irish election. This election will occur some time in the next 14 months in the real world, it is generally assumed to occur some time next spring, however it pretty much can occur at any point in the timeframe - it is up to the present government to decide, May 2007 is the latest possible timeframe. In my scenario however the election is set to occur in this November 2006.

Making an Ireland scenario is not easy because of the electoral system used in Ireland. Now I made this scenario for Chancellor Forever and indeed I decided to use the German system here. This is an imperfect choice however in my opinion reflects the real Irish parliament better than any of the other available options.

Ireland uses a STV system which is similar to Australia in some ways, however unlike Australia Ireland uses multi-seat constituencies which really makes the outcome quite different. The Australian system essentially turns the whole outcome into a 2-party system with the Labour vs Liberal (with the allied Nationals running primarily in areas without Liberal candidates) conflict, the Irish system allows for a multi-party system in which 7 parties are currently represented in the Dail Eireann. The German system is the best system available in the various P4E versions to recreate such a multi-party system which is why I settled for it.

That's not however where the trouble ends, Ireland elects its parliament in 43 constituencies (or rather will be starting with the next election, it was 42 in the last). Now between 3 and 5 seats are assigned to each constituency, this is what allows smaller parties representation. The Dail overall has 166 seats, to recreate this using the German electoral system, I need about 83 constituencies. (of course the German system will usually add a few seats at the end but I figured this is a decent basis).

As far as "interface" goes, I decided to split Ireland into 9 regions (this is only for the Republic of Ireland so Northern Ireland is obviously left out). I had to be somewhat arbitrary here, Ireland traditionally consists of 4 provinces and 32 counties, the Republic of Ireland has only 26 counties, 3 of the regions plus 3 leftover counties of the Ulster province (the rest are in N.I.). Some constituencies are beyond county lines which made the county option a bit unworkable as well. So I grouped the counties together to form 9 regions (except Dublin, Dublin is split into 2 regions which makes sense given that more than 1/4 of all seats are in Dublin). Now to get from the 43 constituencies to 83, I replicated the constituencies on a per region basis. (i.e. say Dublin North gets 20 seats in real life in 6 constituencies, we need to split the seats in half to allow for the proportional seats, so we need 10 seats, so I need to turn the 6 constituencies into 10 constituencies and for that purpose I replicate the 4 most populous constituencies.) I did this with every region to eventually arrive at 83 constituencies. In general this will come out at approx. 170 seats at the end of the game due to the German system's overhang seats. Because of the need to replicate constituencies it's not all *real* names in the ridings. The original names were used as much as possible however but there are a few fakes in there which I gave common Irish names though so it might not stand out much. Oh the starting percentages in the game are for the most part based on the last real election (or estimates where necessary).

As far as parties are concerned, all seven currently represented parties are in the scenario. I could've added 1 or 2 more but we'd be looking at quite marginal parties in that case. I am not Irish by the way but have a healthy interest in Irish politics so I hope the party leanings, strength, candidates, regional centers, issue positions etc. are somewhat correct. I did do quite some research on all of them. However you are obviously free to tweak them as you wish. The starting point in the campaign is based on current opinion polls even though it's obviously difficult to recreate them precisely.

I did leave out Independents. This might be a controversial move as there are quite a few of them in the Dail but quite honestly I am opposed to having an "Independent" party in the game especially with 7 other parties to choose from. Why? Well, Independents don't run a national campaign and they can represent vastly different positions (from communist to strongly conservative), so I think it's all a bit pointless (others may disagree of course).

Due to the changes that have to be taken to recreate an Irish election in the game the eventual outcome is obviously not perfect, the small parties may be overrepresented in the Dail at the end - which in the context of a game like this isn't all bad I suppose.

I'd submit this to 80Soft but I don't see a C4E section on the site and obviously using P4E Canada, Australia or UK (not sure if it even works as I have encountered trouble moving scenarios from one to the other with that) would change the scenario considerably. But if you are interested, I can obviously send it individually.

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Here's a screenshot

screenshot1.jpg

Notes:

1) Yes, here it's being played on the German version of C4E but the text in the scenario itself is in English.

2) The map boundaries look a little shoddy and big possibly but it's really not that easy to get solid black lines everywhere. And hey it's a first work.

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If other people are getting the same bug as me (game crashes on Election night) then here's how to fix it;

You'll notice that "Wicklow I" has been replicated twice. Go to your ridings data file and change the second one to "Wicklow II." It should work then.

I like the scenario - it's very addictive! As you've mentioned, the German system is a bit awkward for Irish scenarios (you get a few weird situations where you rise in the polls but lose seats due to smaller parties rising above the margin needed for representation). It actually creates an urgency to win constituency seats for the overhangs, which adds an interesting twist.

Apart from the aforementioned glitch, it's good. Are Sinn Fein really that powerful in Ireland, though? When I've played it they've gone extremely well, sometimes coming third in vote share!

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Guest Christian
If other people are getting the same bug as me (game crashes on Election night) then here's how to fix it;

You'll notice that "Wicklow I" has been replicated twice. Go to your ridings data file and change the second one to "Wicklow II." It should work then.

Good work.

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Thanks for pointing that out. I had noticed a similar error with Cavan-Monaghan before and fixed it, this one seems to have slipped by me (it doesn't crash on election night for me oddly enough).

Sinn Fein is currently at 10% in the opinion polls and expected to do very well in the next election. I know that they are doing awfully well though in the game. Part of it might be that it's difficult to really implement the Irish voter leanings, like Fine Gael and Fianna Fail both being very similar parties yet hostile to each other and that a lot of people would never vote Sinn Fein because of their terrorist connections. With both big parties being in the centre to centre-right there's a bit of a vacuum on the left which may explain why sometimes Labour or Sinn Fein do awfully well in the game.

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One thing I am finding interesting is how incredibly difficult it is to form a majority government. I expect that's generally the case in Ireland, though.

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Well, the difficulty of getting a majority will be considerable specifically in the next election. Sinn Fein getting stronger will probably mess up things a bit and according to polls at the moment, neither the FF/PD coalition nor the FG/Labour coalition really have a majority.

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Well, the difficulty of getting a majority will be considerable specifically in the next election. Sinn Fein getting stronger will probably mess up things a bit and according to polls at the moment, neither the FF/PD coalition nor the FG/Labour coalition really have a majority.

Thanks for that. Very interesting. Might be one to watch in the news!

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Wow, send me a copy?

arunckel@gmail.com

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Are Sinn Fein really that powerful in Ireland, though? When I've played it they've gone extremely well, sometimes coming third in vote share!

Unfortunately, yes.

This is a major cause of concern in the Republic, caused largely by the same phenomena as in the UK of a lazy electorate not keeping tabs of the issues.

Most thought Irish politicians playing up "the 6 Counties Question" card was as dead a dodo as the Commonwealth immigrants one Britain saw in the 1970s, with Ireland's economic boom. Unfortunately the boom has declined, many youngsters cannot find permenant work (forget the plethora of "infinity temping" jobs...) & a young generation has grown up (combined with those of the older generation disillusioned with Fianna Fail & who don't want to know better about PSF) with little real knowledge of Gerry Adams & Martin McGuinness' appalling track record (least of all McGuinness' cack handedness as Education Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, where his tenure proved little short of disasterous).

Hats off to the Progressive Democrats & the Democratic Left (old IRA)/Labour Party - declining though they all are - whom have made it quite clear that Hell will freeze over before they join in any coalition government that has the SF bully-boys in it. The problem is that Fianna Fail (despite protestations) can't be trusted to do the same - if Sinn Fein became part of the Irish government relations between us & Ireland are going to hit rock bottom. :(

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Guest Christian

Brilliant scenario, quite difficult, but one of the best I've played in a while. :)

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I'd like to try it out. sask1905@hotmail.com. It should work fine in PMF Canada - 2006 - it uses pretty much the same engine as C4E.

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