NationStates Jolt Archive

Josho Thoughts 3b: Running your Nation -- Domestic Affairs

21-04-2003, 07:17
Ok, back to how the nation is run. This one is an extra long one, sorry.
[There is a summary at the end.]

Domestic Affairs is essentially deciding everything about how your nation works, the type of government, the laws, the issues.

When you budget your nation, you determine how much money is spent where. It tells you how much money is needed. How does the game figure out how much is needed? The issues and laws.

As the head of state, you should have the power to make laws, enforce laws, and deal with other nations. Making laws will determine your national idealogy and government type. Enforcing laws through issues will determine how happy your citizens are. Dealing with other nations will help or hurt your economic growth.



I think that in addition to the generalized civil, economic, and political rights, each of the budgeting sub-categories should also be affected. For example, if you make a law that makes smoking marijuana illegal, that would decrease civil rights, but would have to increase the enforcement, so the Law Enforcement budget would have to increase. Another example, if you made a law that decreased environmental protection regulation, the economic freedom would increase and the Government Agency budget could decrease.

This should sound very familiar -- it is basically an extension of the NS1 UN proposal system. You can write whatever laws you want, pick the general category and budgeting area it affects, and how if affects it, the enact the law. If you wanted to start a war on drugs, make a law that says so, pick the appropriate categories (civil rights/law enforcement), and pick extreme, and it would cost a lot of money but would be more effective.

Note that in NS1, economic freedom is hidden and economy is displayed, though if you read the faq and technical forums, you'll notice there is actually economic freedom.

The general categories will determine the type of government you run. If you want to change the type of government, it's as easy as making laws that do so. The common laws can be listed on your nation stat sheet and picked when you make a law, but you can also write custom laws and have it affect things however you want.

For our purposes, the amount of freedom of something is inversely proportional to the level of governmental control you have. High economic freedoms basically means a free market. Low political freedoms means little involvement in the government, etc...

General categories:
--Civil Rights, the freedom for the population to do as they please on their own time
--Economic Freedom, the freedom for the population and businesses to make their own choices with their money
--Political Freedom, the freedom for the population to have a say in the way the government runs

Note that for political freedoms, the population doesn't actually have a say. You have ultimate control, but whether or not you listen to what the population wants, or if they are even allowed to say things, determines political freedom.

I'm not sure if every law necessarily has to have a budget category, but most general laws should affect something.


Citizen Morale, and the Approval Rating

Morale is how happy the citizens are with their lives.
Approval Rating is how happy the citizens are with you, the head of state, in specific.

In most cases, Approval is the rate of change of Morale. Morale for tomorrow is determined by taking the morale of today and adding the approval. If approval is negative, morale decreases. If approval is positive, morale increases.

Morale generally affects how productive your citizens are, how well your economy is performing, and how many products you make. Therefore, to increase the strength of your economy, you have to increase the morale of your citizens. To increase the morale, you have to make lots of decisions that the citizens like so as to have a good approval.

These decisions should take the form of....Issues! Instead of issues determining the freedoms like in NS1, Issues will determine your daily approval rating. For issues, you're basically acting as a judge or law enforcement, rather than the lawmaker. They will be written and posed with your current laws and government in mind. Citizens will more or less be happy if you choose the option that corresponds to your current government type. (Some days it'll be up, some days it'll be down, but it'll even out.) Also, certain segments of the population may have a stake in certain issues. An example issue might be (though very simple, sorry):


Large rallies for legalizing marijuana have been disrupting traffic in several major cities. Polls indicate 10% of the population are for legalization, 5% against. Traffic disruptions are preventing 15% of workers from doing their work. Do you:

* Allow the rallies to continue. [Consistent with high political rights...would result in +10% protester approval, -5% anti-protestor approval -15% worker approval, total -10%.]

* Order police to break up the rallies. [Consistent with low political rights. Would result in -10% protestor approval, +5% anti-protestor approval, +15% worker approval, total +10%.]

* Negotiate with the protestors to stop disrupting business in return for legalization within the year. [Consistent with high political rights, but results in a possible change of law. Would result in +10% protestor approval, -5% anti-protestor approval, +15% worker approval, total +20%]


So, from this example you can see that depending upon how you want to run your nation, sometimes you have to deal with upsetting some portion of the population, and sometimes you can work things out. If you are going for max approval you sometimes have to change the nation to whatever the citizens want. Now, it'd be interesting if after a certain period of time you don't legalize marijuana, these people come back and go berzerk on you or something and then your approval rating would drop a lot.

Issues would be written carefully and come up as appropriate. This is part of the value of NS2, we'd have a person writing content like this that can change over time and add to the fun of the game. None of the endlessly repeating issues like NS1.


Change management

Most citizens don't take change lightly. If your government is a democracy with high freedoms, it's possible in one fell swoop to enact a set of laws that will change it to a militaristic authoritarian prison nation. Likewise, if you are already authoritarian and suddenly let loose on the freedoms, things would be chaotic for a while and there may be looting and such (see newly liberated Iraq). The citizens probably won't like it, so their morale (through approval) will drop a lot.

If you want to change the type of government you have, you have to do it slowly if you want the citizens to stay happy. If you're changing things in response to issues, they'll remain happy for the most part, but even then, too much extreme change is likely to cause a decrease in morale.

This matters when you think about the starting scenarios from Josho Thoughts 2 -- if you want to get charge of a large country with a strong economy, then you can choose the big election in a democratic country, or born into ruling class, but in both of those you have to keep the population appeased or else it'll turn into chaos and you'll lose the bonus. If you want to build your own ideals and country then it's easiest to start small and build the economy, but that takes longer. If you want to just have a powerhouse country but not have a lot of control to change it, then you can do that too.

Morale and approval could also be affected by international issues, or war or military status, but that hasn't been discussed in detail yet. Also, if you aren't allocating enough money to some area in your budget, some portion of your population would feel disenfranchised, and could affect your approval rating. This could come up through Issues though.



Nations will have the three main general freedoms:
--Civil Rights
--Economic Freedoms
--Political Freedoms

The amount of money needed for each budget subcategory (see Josho Thoughts 3a) and the freedoms are determined by the laws you enact.
You can write your own laws or pick from common issue categories and modify them, selected what freedoms and budgets the law will change, the severity, and put the law into effect.

National stat sheets will list the nation's position on all of the common topics, as well as the custom laws. (If there are a lot of custom laws, they can be flagged to be shown on the stat sheet, or sorted by importance, date, etc...)


Citizens will have a morale factor that determines how productive they are, the strength of the economy, and how quickly your nation can produce products.

Morale is determined by adding or subtracting the daily approval rating.

The approval rating is affected by issues that you rule on. The issues are similar to NS1 issues, except that they are more customized to your nation, come up only as appropriate, and are somewhat interactive. Underbudgeting can affect approval, and this might come up through issues.

The approval rating can also be affected negatively if the laws you make change too much too quickly. International issues and war can also affect the approval rating.


I think this system, while more complicated that NS1, is not too hard to manage, and doesn't get too much into micromanagement. You don't have to rule on issues each day, and unless you are crafting your government type, you don't have to ever make laws unless you want to (or you agreed with the population to). With this you can craft your nation into whatever you want, have customized laws, and domestic affairs affect your budget and economy, so everything is connected more.

One thing I didn't talk about what the idea of producing products. That could be another thing you could direct, either by a separate page, or by law -- what portion of your industrial force make which products. This might also be something that is affected by research and development (a budget item). Anyone have ideas about this?
24-04-2003, 01:31
One thing I didn't talk about what the idea of producing products. That could be another thing you could direct, either by a separate page, or by law -- what portion of your industrial force make which products. This might also be something that is affected by research and development (a budget item). Anyone have ideas about this?

I think that generalized items would not be too bad. This would be good for the military. For example, there would be numbers of:
-Possibly more detailed
-It shoots stuff...
-Helicopters/Planes, any more details can be RP'd, as with Everything Else(TM)
-Maybe cargo/aircraft carriers/etc.
Space stuff
- A whole 'nother boat load of boxes

For food products:
-Wheat products

So you could ban meat, and make everyone vegetarian, or ban dairy products, etc.

For others (Think Simisle):
-Consumer electronics (Radios, computers, things more complex than lightbulbs, those go under general goods)
-C general goods
-C Vehicles (Bikes, cars, hover boards, what have you...)
-Wood products
-Other stuff I'm too lazy to think of...

You get the idea.
Neutered Sputniks
11-04-2004, 18:44
bumpity bumpity bump
Emperor Matthuis
16-04-2004, 11:25
bumpity bumpity bump

Why isn't this stickied as well, because this was very interesting.
16-04-2004, 17:00
Extemely good ideas.
Poor Dental Hygeine
20-08-2004, 08:34
Bad Idea, that is too macromanaging. You need specific control, not the simple decisions route.
15-09-2004, 04:17
Good stuff. This is a good example of what people should think about.