Victoria 3 – Interest Group (Political Guide)

Interest Group Guide

An interest group is a collection of pops that support certain political views and want to change the country to be more in line with those views. Interest groups are drawn from a number of different templates, but will vary in their exact views from country to country, based on factors such as the local religion, which social movements have appeared in the country or the personal views of their leader.

All individuals in all pops are either members of an interest group or politically inactive, with the ratio in each based on factors such as profession, wealth, literacy, etc. It’s important to note that a single pop can potentially have individual members supporting every interest group in the game (albeit in different numbers).

An interest group with a short summary of: its leader, their ideologies and traits, and its political status.

Interest Group Categories

Interest groups form the nucleus of Victoria 3’s political gameplay. There are 8 (+1 extra) interest groups in the game:

Note: Interest groups’ names may differ depending on the circumstances in the country. For example, the devout interest group may have its name based on the country’s dominant religion.

Ideology

Interest groups have a number of ideologies which determine their views on which laws the country should or should not enact — interest groups will generally favor laws that align with their beliefs and benefit them in some way.

Different interest groups will have different ideologies (for example, the landowners are significantly more conservative than the trade unions), but these are not entirely set in stone. Ideologies can change over the course of the game and will also vary based on the current leader of the interest group, who comes with their own personal ideology and view of the world.

Additionally, some interest groups in certain countries have unique ideologies colored by their religion and culture, such as the Confucian Scholars interest group in Qing China who support a Confucian ideology.

Political Strength

Individuals inside pops contribute political strength to their interest group of choice, with the amount they contribute again dependent on multiple factors, the main ones being their material wealth and the status (and/or votes) they are offered under the nation’s power structure. For example, a single wealthy aristocrat in an oligarchy will provide hundreds or even thousands times the political strength of a poor laborer.

Some pops have no political strength at all, usually due to being disenfranchised under the nation’s laws (such as people of a religion or culture that is discriminated against, or women in countries that haven’t instituted women’s suffrage). These pops are “outside the system” so to speak, unable to demand reform through the regular political system of interest groups, and instead having to rely on other methods to put pressure on the government.

Clout and Classification

The total political strength of all pops in an interest group is what gives it its level of clout — the amount of political weight it can assert on the country and the government. The interest group’s clout value is the percentage of the political strength it holds out of all the political strength in the country. For example, if all pops in the country have 100k political strength and the industrialists have 30k political strength, then they control 30% of the clout in the country.

Clout, in turn, will determine the interest group’s classification within their country — whether they are considered powerful, influential or marginalized.

Approval Level

Interest groups have a level of approval, which is based on factors such as how much they approve of the country’s laws, whether they are in government or in opposition, and how many of their individual members are loyalists or radicals. There are numerous other factors that can affect approval as well, such as the player’s reaction to certain events or the decisions that they take.

It is possible for one (or several) angry interest groups to start a civil war, potentially bringing in foreign countries to support them.

Traits

The classification and approval of an interest group determines which traits are active for an interest group at any given time, and how impactful they are. There are different traits, positive and negative, with positive traits being activated when an interest group is happy and negative ones when they are unhappy. If an interest group is powerful, the effects of any traits they have active are stronger, while an interest group that is marginalized cannot activate traits at all, as they are too weak to exert an effect on the whole country.

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