Politics and Diplomacy

You will have to deal with a number of political events during your career, which will influence business as well as your recognition. There are three different fields of politics to keep an eye on: your hometown's measures, the Hanseatic League's politics and actions of cities that are not part of the Hanseatic League.

You have the most influence on decisions made by your hometown, as you have a vote in all decisions of the council. If you are at least councillor or mayor, you can furthermore influence the serious political decisions made at Hanseatic League meetings. However, there are no means to affect political decisions in cities outside the Hanseatic League; all you can do is decide on counter-measures in case they are necessary.

Voting takes place at the town hall (Hanseatic League meetings are held in the Alderman's town hall). All meetings are accessible to you, provided that your rank is high enough. In any event, you will be notified of any results or decisions

A Mayor's Political Power

Hanseatic towns never make decisions autonomously. It is the mayor's duty to guarantee prosperity by striving for his own success. The attained prosperity must be secured by investing in city defence. When the game starts, your hometown is being led by a mayor and three highly respected candidates will already be nominated for the next elections.

Elections

All the citizens of your hometown are allowed to vote. You will receive the official results of an election as a message (which you can view using the news menu). You cannot watch the election itself, for it is secret. The term of office is one year, then new elections are held. Four candidates can compete, namely the citizens with the highest recognition in the entire town. Recognition among all the social strata is decisive for winning the elections - if all candidates play by the rules. Even if your stats are the worst, you need not give up. There are cer-We will get to that later in this chapter.

The Highest Committee - Hanseatic League Meetings

Regular and extraordinary meetings

Usually, the Hanseatic League meets once a year, namely when the election of the president, the Alderman, is on the agenda. These regular meetings will take place in the town hall of

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the current Alderman. The date of the following year's meeting will be fixed during these meetings.

On some occasions, the Hanseatic League will call for an extraordinary meeting - especially when the trading interests of the league are at stake. Such meetings could end with a boycott against disorderly cities. If extraordinary meetings overlap regular ones, the election of the Alderman could be postponed.

The Participants

Different numbers of councillors and mayors from the different cities will participate in these meetings.

You can take part as soon as you are at least councillor. If other human players take part in the game, the number of computer participants is reduced appropriately.

If you want to participate, go to the conference room of the town hall in the morning. The Process of Voting

In the selection window, the topic of the voting and the various options will be displayed. Just choose one of the alternatives and then select 'cast vote'. Note that your vote counts differently according to your rank: As a councillor, you have a single vote, a mayor's vote counts as two votes and the Alderman's vote counts as three.

The Election of the Alderman

There are four candidates: Of course the most respected candidate is usually favoured. The participants cast their votes. Then comes the moment of suspense: The winning candidate who received the most votes is announced.

Trading Boycotts

If an application for a trading boycott is on the agenda of an extraordinary meeting, the participants will have to vote on it.

If a majority is in favour of the boycott, two traders will have to provide one of their ships to help carry out the boycott. The Alderman is always one of them.

If you are the second one, you will receive a letter from the Alderman instructing you to send one of your two most efficiently armed ships to a specific destination port within seven days. Be punctual - or lose recognition in every town.

Once both ships reach the harbour, they will be positioned in the centre of the basin and you will no longer be able to control your ship.

The boycott will not be ended until the rebellious city gives in. But the two ships will be patrolling for at least five days, as this is the minimum duration of a boycott. While it lasts, no traders are allowed to trade with the city - not even between the office and the city. Goods can only be transferred between your ships and your trading office. All computer traders will stick to the boycott - and so should you. Any traders who violate the boycott will be taken to court. And such law suits can get quite expensive.

The Methods of Cities that don't belong to the Hanseatic League

The four cities that are not part of the Hanseatic League can get quite annoying when they see their interests at stake:

Export Duty

A city can demand export duty for goods that are produced in the city. The price of these goods consequently rises by 15%. Not even the highest profit margins would withstand that. Export duty is applicable to the following goods: meat, honey, furs, iron goods, wool and pottery.

Such a measure will last for at least 21 days and can last for as long as 67 days. But cities that revert to such methods will soon be faced with a trading boycott initiated by an extraordinary meeting of the Hanseatic League.

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