Democracy 3

Democracy 3

340 ratings
Universal winning strategy
By afcq5
I found the following steps useful as a winning strategy in all countries – by winning, I mean solve the problems, get consistently re-elected, not be assassinated and make most of your citizens reasonably happy. This guide will also help you to get most of the achievements (I have 16 of 20).
2
   
Award
Favorite
Favorited
Unfavorite
Balance the budget
The first order of business is to balance the budget. And that means you will have to both cut on some social programs and raise taxes. As you perfect your budget-balance skills it may take you 3-4 turns to balance the budget.

A debt that increases has several negative effects: the most immediate that it downgrades your credit rating and, hence, increases the amount of money that you pay for debt interest. Mind that interests payments are basically wasted money that could be spent in something else. And you will need money to pay for programs that improve the life of your citizens.

Now, at the beginning of the game you don’t have enough capital to raise your top-earning tax or to decrease your highest expense program. So you have to look for programs that can be cut and taxes that can be raised with little political capital.

The following programs are typically a drain of the budget and should be cut:
- Retirement Pensions
- State Housing
- Child Provision
- Military Spending (for USA)

The cuts will have a negative effect, of course, but this will be compensated later with cheaper and more effective programs. Note that it takes less political capital to decrease the program’s budget than to cancel it completely, so, at the beginning, you will only do reductions.

Now, your biggest money maker will be the Income Tax. You will have to save political capital to raise this tax. A clever strategy is to expend maybe half of your capital in one turn doing some of the cuts above, and then raise the Income Tax. An adequate level would be between 45% - 50%. As a rule of thumb, 10-12% more of whatever was set is ideal, for normal difficulty, except in the case of France, where the Income Tax is already very high.

There are other taxes you can increase with little political capital:
- Capital Gains tax
- Inheritance tax
- Alcohol tax
- Corporate tax
- Airplane tax

I would not recommend raising the last two, as they don’t make a lot of money but have very negative effects on the GDP. Also, only do a moderate increase on the Alcohol Tax, tops to 35%; the reason is that an increase in the Alcohol Tax will also increase poverty, which may lead to a General Strike (Canada).

Mind that you want to have a nice money cushion, don’t try to break even. For example, if your expenses are 50Bn, you want your income to be around 70Bn. With a nice cushion your credit rating will slowly improve (with all its positive effects) and you will have money to fight the other problems.
Fight crime and poverty
In all countries you will start with two or three crime events (organized crime, mobs, etc.) and one or more poverty events (homelessness, etc.). You may want to clear crime events first, but some of them will not clear unless you reduce poverty/unemployment to a certain level.

Enacting the following policies is effective to reduce poverty/unemployment at a low cost:
- Food stamps
- School lunches
- Free Eye Exams
- Rural development grants

You may want to implement all 3 of the above at an early stage of the game, with max funding.

The most effective way to fight crime is to max the funding or implement the following policies:
- Intelligence Services (max funds)
- Police Services, the regular one (max funds)
- State Prisons (max funds)
- Community policing (implement)
- Witness protection program (implement)

Also, take a look to the Gambling Laws and make sure to have them at the Limited Stakes (min); that will help to fight Organized Crime.

There are a bunch of programs that don’t really help a lot to fight the problems, but do upset the Liberals a lot. You should not expand but cancel them after the crime event they help to fight disappears:
Armed Police, Wire Tapping, CCTV Surveillance, Drones, Tasers, Private Prisons, etc.

In some countries (i.e. Germany) you won't be able to shut down the CCTV Surveilance, as this program prevents the City Riots.

The steps above will help you to get your crime events on the path of resolution and will also help to fight extreme poverty. But to eliminate all poverty events, you will need to work on Education.
Education and Economy
Now that your budget and crime are slowly falling under control, the next step is to work on Education, Science and the Economy. A highly educated workforce and robust scientific research will both reduce your unemployment and boost your productivity and GDP.

Of course, the maximum impact in the education will be made by maxing out the budget for state schools. You may not have the capital gain or the money to pay for this right now, so you can try other cheaper programs that will boost your education and technology:
- Technology grants
- Technology colleges
- University grants
- Adult Education
- Science budget (max funds)
- Public libraries

If your strategy is working correctly, your GDP is increasing and so is your Tax Income. Hence you can move to the following policies:
- Public Education (max funds)
- Space Program
- Small business grants
- Entrepreneurial scheme

The last two will both appease the Capitalist and boost your GDP moderately.

All of the above policies are good. You may choose to implement the Small Business Grants and the Enterpreneurial Scheme before the others if the Capitalists are becoming a security issue.

After you implement these and all previously discussed policies, you will see how your country slowly starts to turn around.
Dealing with your Cabinet
After the first few turns, you will notice that some of your Cabinet members quickly start loosing loyalty and will generate few Political Capital. And, as you know, you need Political Capital to implement various policies.

In the Normal dificulty levels, only one or two of your Ministers will loose all their loyalty and will start to complain. If it is just one or two Ministers complaining, I advice you ignore them and then replace them as they resign.

However, on higher difficulty levels, the opposite will happen: only one or two Ministers remain loyal to you and the rest are not: they will be generating maybe 1.0 to 1.2 Political Capital points per turn each. This happens in particular when you start a new game, because of all the existing problems that you have to fix.

The best indication of an unloyal Cabinet is that you are only getting maybe 14 to 16 Political Capital points per turn. And your maximum points will be also capped very low (i.e. between 20 to 24 points), meaning that you can't even save and accumulate points to implement policies.

If the above is happening to you, use the few points they gave you to Re-shuffle the Cabinet. It only takes 10 points and you get to replace all Ministers. Select Ministers with high loyalty so you get the maximum amount of Political Capital. Now you'll be getting some serious Political Capital, and the beauty is that re-shuffling the Cabinet takes only one turn.
Transportation and Environment
If you have applied the above with success, you probably now get the gist of the game, which is that you will succeed best by applying multiple smaller policies with cumulative effects, rather than try and save political capital to implement some big policy with has limited positive effects but upsets some group a lot.

The same "small policies" approach will be used to tackle transportation and environment issues. Some policies that you may want to implement first:
- Subsidized school bus service
- Recycling program
- Subsidized bio-fuels
- Smart meters
- Renewal energy grants
- New cars subside
- Car emission standards
- Car pool initiative

Also, note that you can increase the Petrol Tax up to 35%, which will reduce car usage a lot without upsetting the motorists too much.

And after that you can proceed to other programs that will reduce car usage:
- Bus passes
- Bus subsides
- National Monorail system
- Rail subsides

Now, mind that even after you do all of this, it is not guaranteed that you will clear the Pollution or the Asthma Epidemic events. This happens because if you economic policy is correct, your GDP is swollen and the GDP is the greatest detractor of the Environment.
Don't be Assassinated
You are taking care of business, but still get assassinated.

All of the above policies are good to make everyone happy, but, except for balancing the budget (which must come first), you may priorize some policy if one group is becoming dangerously angry. For example, before you work on Education, you may want to implement a few other policies to make the Capitalists happy.

You are fixing issues, you are implementing good policies, but still get assassinated... what's wrong? If that is happening to you, it is very likely that said group is being angered by a policy that was in place before you took office.

Also, every turn the computer will ask you to decide on some controversial issue, and your response will anger one group and possibly make other one happy. I suggest you choose the answer that won't anger the group that's already very angry.

In my experience, the most dangerous group to anger are (and in that order):
- Liberals
- Religious
- Ethnic Minorities
- Capitalists

Liberals: they are very dangerous once they get angry. It is likely they are very upset by a Security Policy that was already implemented, such as Armed Police, Phone Tapping, Tasers, Gated Communities, Citizen ID's, Private Prizons, Death Penalty, etc. You should cancel or reduce any of the previous policies. Unfortunately, there are programs that anger Liberals that you can't cancel, like the Intelligence Services, so you will have to throw in sweeteners, such maxing out State Prisons, Jury Trial, Race Discrimination Laws, Liberal Arts Subsides, and others.

Religious: they are as dangerous as the Liberals when angry, but basically there are only two policies that anger them a lot. Check the Abortion Laws and make sure they are set in "Limited Circumstances", so that both Religious and Liberals are happy. Also, you may have to cancel the Legal Prostitution policy, so save some points.

Ethnic Minorities: I think it is only in the case of the USA where they become dangerous, but it may also happen in other countries. The Race Discrimination Laws, and Diversity Quotas will both appease this group.

Capitalists: they are resilient to anger factors, but the problem is that they get angered almost by everything. They get angry because of taxes, programs to the poor, programs for the environment, some transportation programs, and then all the other world events that happen randomly. So they are bound to get angry no matter what. You will have to find sweeteners for them, some of the cheap ones: Business Startup Campaign, National Business Council, Young Entrepeneur Scheme. As you Economy improves, they will also become happier.

I didn't get much trouble from all the other groups. Maybe once from Socialists (I had very high Poverty levels) and once from Ecologists. Unless you are choosing policies specifically aimed to anger them, they should not be a problem.

Retire in Glory
So what’s left? If you applied all of the above correctly, likely you already solved the most pressing issues and have a strong economy, with a more than generous income surplus.

Now, if you have triggered a Technology Advance event, this will attract other undesired events: Online Theft and Cyberwarfare. Unfortunately, the only way I’ve found to tackle both:
- Intelligence Services (max funds)
- Internet Surveillance
The last one will upset the Liberals a lot, so make sure you have cancelled all those useless security policies (Armed Police, Wire Tapping, etc.) by then.

Also, a large GDP will attract a lot of immigration, which will fuel Racial Tension. Keep an eye on it and make sure you implement some policies that will reduce racial tension.

If your surplus is large, you may be thinking to lower the Income Tax, to appease the Middle Income and Capitalists. Unfortunately, the Income Tax is very sensitive to changes, so you should be very careful. Use a safety factor of 2 (example, if you want to give back 20Bn, cut only 10Bn).

Anyway, there are cheaper ways to make the Middle Income and Capitalists happy without touching the Income Tax:
- Property Tax (cancel)
- Inheritance Tax (cancel)
- Corporate Tax (reduce)
- Capital Gains Tax (reduce)
- House Mortgage Credits (implement)
- Compulsory work for unemployed (implement)
- Welfare fraud agency (implement)

There might be more, but with all of the above you should have enough to win the game.

Good Luck!
200% Difficulty
Winning the game at 200% difficulty follows very similar dynamics as all that was previously explained, except that is way harder to balance the budget. The computer will throw at you so many curve balls that you’ll be begging for a hand-full of cash, political capital, or just be put out of your misery by some assassin. So, do you want to give it a go?

Balancing the budget:

It is the hardest thing to do at 200% difficulty. You will be racing not to get your credit rating downgraded. You don’t have a lot of capital gain to cancel your biggest spenders. And there is just so much you can increase the taxes before destroying your GDP, or creating an event that will cut your income when you were a nose away from surplus.

When you are eyeing a program to cut, you will have to pay close attention to the implementation delay. For example, you may want to cut your State Healthcare, which may be your biggest expense, but note the long implementation delay. By the time you get the massive cut you planned for, it may be too late.

But note that you have enough political capital to completely cancel a middling program. When you cancel a program, there is no waiting to get your cut, so find a program that you points to cancel, that will give you a nice cut, and that has a long implementation delay time (so you maximize the use of your political capital). Example programs:
-State Housing
-Rail Subsides

After those, move to big spenders with low delay implementation, such as State Pensions and Child Benefits. And also cut programs with medium implementation delay, such as the Military. If you are lucky, you won’t have to cut the State Healthcare.

But, remember that you are on a crazy race against the Credit Downgrade, so, at the same time you are doing those cuts, you have to increase the taxes. The following are the taxes that I would recommend to increase/implement:
- Income Tax (increase maximum to about 60%)
- Capital Gains Tax (max out)
- Alcohol Tax (max out) – will also help to fight Alcoholism.
- Superstore Tax (max out)
- Mansion Tax (little less than max)
- Corporate Tax (do not increase to more than 25-28%)

Now, in most countries you can’t increase all those taxes in a row. In-between, you have to pass the Public Tax Returns, or else you’ll get Tax Evasion. Be prepared to suddenly fall in a debt hole and having to start over (one or two saves will help).

Balancing the budget also varies in difficulty from country to country. From easiest to hardest: Australia, Germany, France, USA, England and Canada. You may have to tweak the formula between each.

Fixing Crime:

After you balanced the budget you are expecting some sort of medal, but then realized that you created a mess on top of the existing mess in terms of security. Some of the typical security issues:
- Inner City Riots
- City Gangs
- Lynching Mobs
- Anti-Social behavior.

Fortunately, you can cure all of the above easily with the Community Police and the CCTV Cameras. Note that the CCTV Cameras will anger the Liberals, which are the most dangerous group, so you will have to keep an eye on them to make the happy. A quick, cheap way for a nice Liberal boost is to max out the budget for State Prisons.

And, of course, fighting poverty with programs like Food Stamps, School Lunches and Rural Development Grants will also curve down crime.

Man of the People:

So, after fixing the Economy and the Security issues, you think that medal in is order, but then realize that your popularity numbers are in the toilet. And you already burned through 70% of your term in office.

That’s when you have to be a “Man of the People” and look high and low to implement new programs with low cost and high popularity. You will find a bunch of cheap programs with very high popularity percentage that you just didn’t have time to look at before. Doing so will pump up your popularity numbers in time for election.

If you get re-elected after your first term, basically you have the game in the bag. Now you can clean up the rest of the issues, turn your country around and Retire in Glory. And you didn’t get assassinated.

Congratulations.
< >
38 Comments
GamersCubic Sep 8 @ 4:04am 
Well, Community Policing is indeed a very good policy. It's a good policy if you're not doing a conservative playthrough. If you are doing a conservative playthrough I recommend going for the Gated Communities instead. This is a succesful way to reduce crime, make conservatives happy and increase their membership.

It was a good guide for the rest, though a little oversimplified.
Cyn2k12 Oct 16, 2019 @ 6:30am 
Well to be quite honest some of this was helpful but I've never had a problem with capitalists. The ones that have assassinated me are the liberals or religious. Best way to sort out this is out is to try to wipe out membership. The liberals are not easy to knock their membership down but the religious aren't as difficult.
Boomshroom Feb 10, 2019 @ 11:25pm 
I just got assassinated by capitalists, and then reloaded my save and instantly won an election by majority.
Soulhunt Nov 28, 2018 @ 12:22pm 
almost everything that makes sence (in real world) is pissing the capitalist off...they don't have any brain in this game...also some things are broken and it is almost impossible to get a "utopia" or something like that...bcs everytime u are doing great on one part, something bad happens on the other hand. Im done with this game...I really wanted to like it, but it's so bad balanced
King Yanxa Sep 28, 2018 @ 6:43am 
I've never been assasinated by any group other than the Capitalists, who are the most trigger happy bastards in the world.
01000011010011110100010001000101 Jul 7, 2018 @ 7:15pm 
each country is different, but all you have to do is make everyone happy, thats how you win, if the groups are in the yellow somewhere around 33%, your good, plus to get votes you need to solve the everyone bar which basically requires you to piss off the liberals, this is a bullshit idea
andyhogg86 May 27, 2018 @ 11:38am 
This is bull crap. first time I got this game I played as UK, got assassinated by capitalists, so I tried Germany, nailed it in no time. I paid off all national debt, gained several awards and became an economic and technology powerhouse. Went back to UK with lessons I learned, got assassinated by capitalists. Tried your guide twice now, each time I amass a surplus of about 10 billion, then my credit rating STILL gets downgraded, eventually knocking me back into deficit. Meanwhile GDP never goes up from rural development grants or other programs, capitalists keep trying to kill me. To top it off productivity goes down, unemployment and poverty goes up because food stamps, free eye exams etc.. don't counter the cost cuts you have to make in pensions, housing, military spending etc to make your books balance.
FedoraMaster Jul 29, 2017 @ 3:58am 
By "Entrepreneurial Scheme," do you mean the Young Entrepreneurial Scheme, or the Enterprise Investment Scheme? The former sounds more similar to your wording, but the latter seems to match your description better in that it is more expensive to implement and it provides a slight boost to GDP, which the Young Entrepreneurial Scheme does not.
ARZARNAR Jul 2, 2017 @ 11:51pm 
To summarise: Capialists are the biggest threat.
Semper Fidelis Jun 11, 2017 @ 12:43pm 
State housing,state pensions,child provision are in the long track damaging economy more than they offer.
Childcare benefit is nice,and there is earned income tax credit mods and basic income mods.Key point is productivity.When it increases even taxes are not so low gdp improves quickly.