Without law, everything would fall into disarray. At least that’s how it is Victoria 3 handles things. In this game, laws are extremely important – they dictate almost everything about the lives of your pops – their liberties, rights to free speech, subsidized education and more. For example, your trade law has four policy options, ranging from complete free trade to closed-border isolationism.
Changing your laws is the most important way to shape your nation into the nation you want it to be. However, you can’t just slap down the laws of any old order and hope for the best – laws must be voted on and passed by those with political power in your nation, and you can only pass one law at a time.
How to pass laws
When you go to the law menu and try to select a policy, you will be presented with one percent chance that the specific policy is adopted in a given voting cycle. Voting cycles last several days based on each law base voting cycle rate, legitimacy and legislative effectiveness. We will cover legitimacy later.
The chance of passing the law can fluctuate within that cycle. You are likely to be presented with incidents of tough decisions that will affect your chances of passing the law, and you may be forced to suffer some radicalism or unrest as a result.
Note that the percentage you see is just the chance of a law passing in a given cycle, not the chance of the law being passed at all. As long as the number remains positive, there is always a chance. Additionally, there are some events in the game that allow you to increase your chance by a huge amount, effectively allowing you to brute-force the law change.
You won’t be able to start voting for laws that have no chance of passing, so how do you improve your chances? It’s quite simple: you need Interest groups that favor the law to have political influence. Laws that improve working life and the rights of workers are going to be unpopular with industrialists, for example, so if they’re a particularly powerful group, you might not have a chance in hell of passing them.
That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how to manipulate interest groups and their level of influence to be able to pass the laws you want. If you hover over the law in question, you’ll be able to see at a glance which interest groups have an opinion about them – if you’re passionate about getting the law passed, you can take steps to empower and disenfranchise those in favor. those who are against it. A simple “set it and forget it” way to do this is to Strengthen or suppress these interest groups.
Each time a voting cycle reaches its conclusion, one of four things will happen:
- The law will sendtakes effect immediately.
- The progress of the law will advanceincreases the likelihood that the law will be passed at the next checkpoint.
- The law will be stoppedwhich reduces the likelihood that the law will be passed at the next checkpoint.
- The law is debated, which is a complication that requires your input. What happens here is quite random, and is more likely if the chances of passing, advancing and stopping are relatively low.
While voting on a law, Interest groups in favor of the law will get a big endorsement bonus over you, while those against will receive a large drop in approval. Keep an eye out for any indication that a decision will increase radicalism, as this could be disastrous for the country’s stability.
From time to time, interest groups who are dissatisfied with how the country is run can start a political movement. These movements have specific goals – either to change, reverse or preserve a specific law. If the movement is strong – as you can see on the government overview screen – you’ll want to take it seriously. Movements that are ignored can become revolutionary if there is enough radicalism within.
Apart from laws, the best way to bring about big changes in your country is by investing in Institutions. These are layered policies which you unlock by passing certain laws and you can choose to invest bureaucracy in them to upgrade them.
Unlocking an institution will automatically put it at level one, which costs a bit of red tape. Just unlocking the institutions isn’t always enough to allow you to level them up – some of them require you to increase your maximum institution level through specific, more advanced laws. Also, some technologies will raise the max level of an institution but do not unlock them directly.
Upgrading an institution takes time – Approximately one year, or 50 weeks, per level.
The table below describes each institution in the game and the laws that unlock them:
|Domestic affairs||Internal Security Laws||Reduces the revolution rate and radicals from the Standard of Living fall, and increases Loyalists from the Standard of Living increases.|
|Colonial affairs||Colonization Laws||Each level increases colonial growth generation.|
|Law enforcement||Police Laws||Each level reduces the amount of Radicalism generated when the standard of living drops, and also reduces the penalty incurred by Turmoil.|
|education||Education system laws and laws on children’s rights||Each level increases the literacy of children as they grow up, and also increases the rate of cultural assimilation.|
|Health Service||Health system laws||Each level reduces mortality based on exactly what health system laws you have passed.|
|The safety office at the workplace||Right to work laws||Each level reduces the danger in the workplace, effectively reducing the fatality in the workplace. Also increases the minimum wage.|
|Social security||Welfare laws||Each level gives more welfare payments to the poorest Pops in your country, and also reduces their political power.|
As the game says, Legitimacy is a measure of how well the composition of the ruling party fits the country’s current laws. This is one of the main factors, but there are other things that can affect legitimacy.
To improve legitimacy, you want to ensure that interest groups with a lot of political power and influence are in the ruling party, not in the opposition. However, remember that having a ruling party with too many Pops will significantly reduce your legitimacy – you need an opposition party of some substance, it seems.
To improve your legitimacy, try switching to Management principles and Distribution of power laws which increases it, such as Parliamentary Republic and Universal suffrage. In addition, you will get a nice bonus if your leader is a member of an interest group in power – this is guaranteed if your leader is based on election.
If you have low legitimacy, it will be more difficult to pass new laws, so take steps to ensure it remains high – at least 60 percent as a baseline – is a good idea.
Elections and government reform
If you have a law and type of government that allows for elections, they will take place every fourth year and take six months. At the end of the voting period, the votes are counted, and interest organizations will have their political power levels adjusted accordingly.
Some types of government have leaders elected by election, while others will only have the parties in power elected. If the former, you will pay more attention to elections – leadership skills can significantly affect your country.
When an election takes place, you will be notified that you can reform your government free. What this means is that you can reject the composition of your ruling party without incurring radicalism from interest groups forced into the opposition. This isn’t always necessary, especially if your nation is fairly stable, but it’s worth considering every time an election happens to improve your legitimacy.
NEXT: Victoria 3: How to increase your standard of living