Goals for next releases – Autumn 2018

All dates are estimates. All features are goals, not promises. List subject to revision.

  • For President Infinity, United States – 2020 is planned for Winter 2018-2019 release, after the mid-terms.
  • Networking is planned for after that (Spring or Summer 2019), and applies for all products.

President Infinity – October 15th

  1. Favorability (each voter has a numeric value rating each candidate, important for modeling > 2 candidate election dynamics or systems where candidates withdraw, such as primaries or two-round runoff systems such as France’s)
  2. Candidate attributes will use a 0-10 system, instead of 1-5 (allows for more distinctions between candidates)
  3. California Governor – 2018 official campaign added
  4. Map will have pop-up information when mouse-over, so don’t have to click on it to view %s
  5. Can modify size of windows (for displays with high resolutions)
  6. High DPI support (text for the game will show properly on monitors with high DPI, instead of being fuzzy from being scaled up by the operating system)

Congress Infinity – October 15th (early September)

  1. See President Infinity 1., 2., 4.-6.
  2. Updates to Senate 2018 and House 2018 (early September)

Prime Minister Infinity – U.K. – November 30th

  1. See President Infinity 1., 2., 4.-6.
  2. Preferences added for Australia.

Prime Minister Infinity – Canada – November 30th (early September)

  1. Quebec 2018 official campaign added (early September)
  2. See President Infinity 1., 2., 4.-6.
  3. Preferences added for Australia.

Feedback welcome!

Congress Infinity v. 2.8.4 released!

Congress Infinity v. 2.8.4 for Windows and Mac has been released!

Updates from the previous official release include

  • adds House 2018
  • updates Senate 2018 races
  • improves computer player AI
  • improves the Editor
  • and more

This is a comprehensive update.

You can download this release by requesting a download e-mail at the link below.

To update:

http://270soft.com/updates-redownloads/

Version information:

https://270soft.com/updates-redownloads/congress-infinity-version-information/

What’s new in this upgrade

  • added House 2018
  • Senate 2018 > updated candidates > Washington (R), Wyoming (D), Nebraska (D), Utah (D), New Mexico (R), Minnesota (2 Rs), Indiana (R), West Virginia (R), Maryland (R), New Jersey (R), New York (R)
  • Senate 2018 > updated issues
  • Editor > Regions > fundamental regions > added exemptions for shifts, for regions where you want to specify %s without the shifts
  • computer players now make more ads
  • Editor > Basics > Constants and Coefficients > added Fundraising coefficient
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > added ‘Set All Issues’ button, to set all issues for a region to specified center
  • Editor > Regions > Parties > if editing %s but have Editor > Polling > Use Polls on, text indicates using polling
  • Editor > Basics > More > can set Elected Leader Position (ex. “Prime Minister”), Institution (ex. “Parliament”), Appointed by (ex. “Governor General”)
  • Editor > can set credits, button appears on Select Campaign Screen if set
  • Select Leader Screen > if only 1 leader, Change Leader button disabled
  • Editor > Regions > fixed bug if tried to delete secondary region with just one tertiary region
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can right click to set abbreviation coordinates
  • Editor > Regions > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > fixed tab ordering
  • Editor > Regions > if change region abbreviation and then go to map, abbreviation updated
  • Editor > Leaders > if edit id, check if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can show all abbreviations
  • Editor > Issues > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)

 

Congress Infinity next release sneak-peek v. 2.8.3, Windows

This adds House 2018, updates Senate 2018 races, improves computer player AI, improves the Editor, and more. Details below.

You can download it by clicking the button below for Windows.

Note: House 2018 district-by-district issue centers haven’t been added yet, and Senate 2018 issues will be updated to largely match the House 2018 ones.

Note: Requires you already have the game installed.

Feedback welcome!

New since previous release

  • added House 2018
  • Senate 2018 > updated candidates > Washington (R), Wyoming (D), Nebraska (D), Utah (D), New Mexico (R), Minnesota (2 Rs), Indiana (R), West Virginia (R), Maryland (R), New Jersey (R), New York (R)
  • Editor > Regions > fundamental regions > added exemptions for shifts, for regions where you want to specify %s without the shifts
  • computer players now make more ads
  • Editor > Basics > Constants and Coefficients > added Fundraising coefficient
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > added ‘Set All Issues’ button, to set all issues for a region to specified center
  • Editor > Regions > Parties > if editing %s but have Editor > Polling > Use Polls on, text indicates using polling
  • Editor > Basics > More > can set Elected Leader Position (ex. “Prime Minister”), Institution (ex. “Parliament”), Appointed by (ex. “Governor General”)
  • Editor > can set credits, button appears on Select Campaign Screen if set
  • Select Leader Screen > if only 1 leader, Change Leader button disabled
  • Editor > Regions > fixed bug if tried to delete secondary region with just one tertiary region
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can right click to set abbreviation coordinates
  • Editor > Regions > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > fixed tab ordering
  • Editor > Regions > if change region abbreviation and then go to map, abbreviation updated
  • Editor > Leaders > if edit id, check if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can show all abbreviations
  • Editor > Issues > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)

 

 

What’s going to happen between now and Nov. 6th, 2018

Trying to anticipate what things will look like on November 6th, what are some things that are going to happen between now and then? We have about 105 days.

  1. Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh (late August to September).
  2. Ongoing Mueller Special Counsel investigation.
  3. Further FBI Inspector General report.
  4. Ongoing Congressional Oversight investigations.

Are there other potentially significant things that are going to happen or have a significant chance of happening between now and then?

The will of the voters in first-past-the-post systems

Much has been made of how Donald Trump received fewer votes than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, with some calling into question the legitimacy of his government because he didn’t receive the majority of support of voters. Specifically, he got 45.93%.

That’s an interesting argument, and especially so where I live, as the federal government in Canada has a majority of seats but received less, at 39.47% of the vote. So, according to this argument, Trudeau’s government has less legitimacy than Trump’s.

I think these sorts of post hoc arguments aren’t very persuasive. The Trudeau government campaigned in a system with specific rules which allow for parties with less than a majority vote (and sometimes not even the most votes) to form a majority government. Similarly, Trump’s strategy was based on the specific rules of the U.S.’s electoral college system. If there’s a problem, it’s at a higher level, in terms of electoral reform.

Having said that, one thing that’s interesting about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election is that Clinton didn’t get a majority, either. Rather, she received 48.02% of the vote. A majority of voters didn’t vote for her, either.

So, which candidate would the majority of voters have preferred, if they could transfer their vote with ranked choice? If you add up Trump, Johnson (Libertarians tend to be closer to Republicans than Democrats), and McMullin (closer to the Republican party than Democratic), you get 49.73%. If you add up Clinton and Stein (Greens tend to be closer to Democrats than Republicans), you get 49.08%. The remainder is various write-in ballots.

So, the right-wing bloc was larger than the left-wing bloc. If the U.S. had direct popular vote with ranked choice and instant run-off, which candidate would have won?

The answer is: we don’t know. Some of the people who voted for one of the smaller percentage candidates might not have ranked another candidate. For example, many people who voted Green might have done so because they excluded all the other options. Similarly, although McMullin was a protest candidate against Trump, it’s not clear how many people who voted for him would have supported Trump next. Similarly with Libertarians.

Democrats face a tough climb to 218 seats in House 2018 election

In 2016, Republicans won 1.1% more of the vote in House elections than Democrats (49.1% to 48%).

As you would expect, because they won a majority of the two party vote, Republicans won a majority of seats. The 2016 House elections results were 241 Republican to 194 seats.

Typically, in the House the incumbent party does worse in the mid-terms than in the Presidential cycle. So, if Democrats win a majority of the vote in the House elections, will they win a majority of seats?

If it’s by a small margin, almost certainly not.

Here, you can see what happens if you apply a universal percentage point shift in favor of Democrats, using the 2016 results as a starting point, such that the Democrats win the vote by about 10 percentage points – more precisely, if they increase their percentage by 6.5 percentage points compared to the 2016 results, such that they get about 56% of the two party vote instead of the 49.4% of the two party vote they got in 2016.

It is only at this point that the seats are almost even. Even here, though, Republicans hold a slight advantage in seats. So, applying a straightforward, universal shift in percentages, the Democrats need to do even better than this to win the House.

So, although polling gives a strong advantage to Democrats right now on the national level for the House, if that holds, it still might not mean a majority of seats for Democrats.

(I should note The Economist has a similar conclusion, although they give a more modest 53.5% of the two party vote the Democrats have to win before they are likely to win the majority of seats, and with recent polling, giving the Republicans a 30% chance of holding the House.)

I have noted how difficult the terrain is for Democrats in the Senate here. For the Senate, Democrats have to win approximately 100% of competitive seats with Republican incumbents, and lose 0% of their own, to take a working majority in the Senate.

So, although the best way to put a brake on Trump’s executive agenda for the Democrats would be to win either the Senate or House, the Democrats have structural challenges inherent in both of those this cycle.

My guess is that winning the House is more plausible, and Democrats should focus more of their efforts there. The problem, of course, is that means focusing on a lot more of individual elections.

President Infinity v. 2.8.2 released!

President Infinity v. 2.8.2 for Windows and Mac has been released!

This update includes

  • Florida – 2018 – Senatorial (direct popular vote)
  • updates to computer AI, including for direct popular vote
  • updates the Surrogate Screen, including pictures for surrogates (where supported by a campaign, included in Florida – 2018 – Senatorial)
  • adds an option in the Editor for Vice-Leaders to be optional
  • fixes various bugs
  • and more

(Note: for goals for the next release cycle, Autumn 2018, see here.)

If you are a President Infinity owner, you are eligible for this upgrade.

This is a comprehensive update.

You can download this release by requesting a download e-mail at the link below.

To update:

http://270soft.com/updates-redownloads/

Version information:

https://270soft.com/updates-redownloads/president-infinity-version-information/

What’s new in this upgrade

  • Surrogates > can add images, similar to candidates
  • Surrogates > Main Screen > name under portrait > if name too long, shows just last name
  • Main Screen > Activities > fixed bug where could continue using surrogate after used all Surrogate Points
  • new Create Surrogate Screen
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > Profiles > ‘Set All’ button visible regardless of region
  • fixed bug in function to determine where loss of support would go to after platform change
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can right click to set abbreviation coordinates
  • Editor > Regions > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > fixed tab ordering
  • Editor > Regions > if change region abbreviation and then go to map, abbreviation updated
  • Editor > Leaders > if edit id, check if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can show all abbreviations
  • Editor > Issues > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Select Leader Screen > if only 1 leader, Change Leader button disabled
  • Editor > can set credits, button appears on Select Campaign Screen if set
  • Editor > Basics > More > can set Elected Leader Position (ex. “Prime Minister”), Institution (ex. “Parliament”), Appointed by (ex. “Governor General”)
  • added Florida – 2018 – Senatorial campaign
  • Editor > can set whether vice-leaders enabled
  • 2016 > Trump > Strategic 2 -> 3 primaries, 4 -> 5 general election
  • Strategy Screen > Primaries > fixed bug where player other than turn player’s selected by default
  • Editor > Regions > Parties > if editing %s but have Editor > Polling > Use Polls on, text indicates using polling
  • primaries > fixed bug where computer players wouldn’t withdraw or endorse other computer players
  • Players Info Screen > fixed bug if starting in primaries and get to only 1 leader left in party
  • Offers > fixed bug where didn’t get bonus to chance accept when offered VP slot
  • Offers > fixed some bugs with making offers that didn’t make sense (ex. offer to withdraw and offer them a VP slot)
  • Offers > improved computer players chance accept for some offers
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > added ‘Set All Issues’ button, to set all issues for a region to specified center
  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Surrogates > added Tom Perez’s image
  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Nelson > Charisma > 3 -> 2
  • Editor > Basics > Constants and Coefficients > added Fundraising coefficient
  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Funds > Nelson $15 M -> $30 M, Scott $10 M -> $25 M
  • fixed bug with starting funds in certain situations
  • computer players now make more ads
  • Direct pop. vote > improved computer player strategy
  • Sim > Direct pop. vote > fixed bug where %s and wins (and vote count) weren’t in sync
  • fixed bug if saved, then loaded, then tried to save again

 

President Infinity next release sneak-peek v. 2.8.1, Windows and Mac

From the previous sneak-peek, this update improves computer player strategies for direct popular vote, improves computer players for making ads, fixes a bug with saving-loading-saving, fixes a bug with starting funds in certain situations, makes a few modifications to Florida – 2018 – Senatorial, fixes a bug with Sim mode and direct pop. vote, and adds a Fundraising coefficient to the Editor.

You can download it by clicking the button below for Windows.

For Mac.

Note: Requires you already have the game installed.

Feedback welcome!

New since previous release

  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Surrogates > added Tom Perez’s image
  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Nelson > Charisma > 3 -> 2
  • Editor > Basics > Constants and Coefficients > added Fundraising coefficient
  • Florida 2018 Senatorial > Funds > Nelson $15 M -> $30 M, Scott $10 M -> $25 M
  • fixed bug with starting funds in certain situations
  • computer players now make more ads
  • Direct pop. vote > improved computer player strategy
  • Sim > Direct pop. vote > fixed bug where %s and wins (and vote count) weren’t in sync
  • fixed bug if saved, then loaded, then tried to save again
  • Editor > Regions > Basics > General Election > can’t set Pop. Vote to on if primaries on

Previous sneak-peek release

  • Surrogates > can add images, similar to candidates
  • Surrogates > Main Screen > name under portrait > if name too long, shows just last name
  • Main Screen > Activities > fixed bug where could continue using surrogate after used all Surrogate Points
  • new Create Surrogate Screen
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > Profiles > ‘Set All’ button visible regardless of region
  • fixed bug in function to determine where loss of support would go to after platform change
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can right click to set abbreviation coordinates
  • Editor > Regions > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > fixed tab ordering
  • Editor > Regions > if change region abbreviation and then go to map, abbreviation updated
  • Editor > Leaders > if edit id, check if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Editor > Regions > Map > can show all abbreviations
  • Editor > Issues > if edit id, checks if unique, if not, adds unique identifier (ex. “_2”)
  • Select Leader Screen > if only 1 leader, Change Leader button disabled
  • Editor > can set credits, button appears on Select Campaign Screen if set
  • Editor > Basics > More > can set Elected Leader Position (ex. “Prime Minister”), Institution (ex. “Parliament”), Appointed by (ex. “Governor General”)
  • added Florida – 2018 – Senatorial campaign
  • Editor > can set whether vice-leaders enabled
  • 2016 > Trump > Strategic 2 -> 3 primaries, 4 -> 5 general election
  • Strategy Screen > Primaries > fixed bug where player other than turn player’s selected by default
  • Editor > Regions > Parties > if editing %s but have Editor > Polling > Use Polls on, text indicates using polling
  • primaries > fixed bug where computer players wouldn’t withdraw or endorse other computer players
  • Players Info Screen > fixed bug if starting in primaries and get to only 1 leader left in party
  • Offers > fixed bug where didn’t get bonus to chance accept when offered VP slot
  • Offers > fixed some bugs with making offers that didn’t make sense (ex. offer to withdraw and offer them a VP slot)
  • Offers > improved computer players chance accept for some offers
  • Editor > Regions > Issues > added ‘Set All Issues’ button, to set all issues for a region to specified center

 

Listen to the other side, people

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” – Maxine Waters

This is very dangerous rhetoric – she’s calling for mobs to harass Cabinet members. What if Republican mobs start harassing Maxine Waters every time she shows up in public? How is this all going to work out?

The current polarized state of debate in the U.S. (I sample media from various sources, both left and right) is in large part due to the fractured media landscape. Because you can have a ‘Republican’ cable news network (Fox News) and a ‘Democratic’ cable news network (MSNBC), because you can listen to an echo chamber on Twitter, and so on, you have more and more people buying into hyper-partisan rhetoric, getting highly distorted views of events, and so on.

Please people, start listening to the ‘other side’. Politics is supposed to be a safer way to channel our tribal psychological mechanisms. But when politics starts to descend into rhetoric that leads to attempted assassinations (such as of House Whip Steve Scalise) or mobs harassing Cabinet members, it has become a monster.

If this keeps up, the trajectory is that you’re not going to have a country anymore, rather you’re going to have a Civil War.

To those who think Trump is a monster, and that he started this trajectory, the below quote is apropos.

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.” – Friedrich Nietzsche