Bullets and Ballots Simulation

Marielle Brunelle

  • The groups involved in this simulation were the Guerrillas, the wealthy military, the government, the peasants, and the US. In the beginning of the game, the power lied in the wealthy military. The game began with the army and wealthy having all of the power because they held the most military strength units. This soon changed when the peasants began to campaign and rally the support of the US. The peasants then formed a treaty with the US and wealthy, evening out their power. The US’s power fell when President Travis was silenced. The peasants then rose in power because the US and the wealthy gave all of their MSU’s to the peasants. Presidential candidate of the peasants, Hayden, gained the support of all groups and was able to pass his constitution for a Guatemalan Republic. The US decided they did not like this idea of a republic, so they used their takeover clause to gain back complete control. They decided that for the next 8 years they would control Guatemala and then Guatemalan candidates would be allowed to run in a presidential election. After eight years, the original puppet government of Guatemala found its voice, took control, and won the election. The game ended in a curve ball with the government holding power. This situation was much like the one in Ukraine. The president of Ukraine was found to be corrupt and controlled solely by Russia, like the puppet government in Guatemala. The peasants and guerrillas, or citizens of Ukraine, became fed up with this fake leader, and decided to revolt. Russia, or the wealthy military, decided to invade Ukraine to show the citizens who is boss. The US and NATO are now getting involved in order to stop this disturbance.
  • As with any shift in power many conflicts arose in this game. When Hayden proposed his document of unification, the Guerrillas revolted against him by attacking them. This act only hurt them in return because they lost some of their MSU’s. The peasants cooperated in this situation by staying true to their vow of peace. Later, the US did not like the idea of the Republic of Guatemala, so they used their takeover clause. Once the US took over, they publicly executed the main leader of each social group to prove their control and take away the Guatemalan voice. The social groups cooperated with this by going along with the US control and then electing their prior leaders that they were not happy with back into office.
  • If this game were to continue, Guatemala would most likely fail once again. The only change that was made by the end of the game was that the United States helped to set up an election. The original government won the election, and even though the peasants had gained the most power, the wealthy military would most likely try to re-claim control of the government. If they were to be successful in regaining power, Guatemala would be sent back to square one.
  • The United States in this simulation played a useless role. They pretended to bring the peasants and wealthy together as one and create a peaceful democracy, only to completely take over and become a dictatorship force in Guatemala. The US entered the game looking like a hero that was going to turn Guatemala around but left leaving Guatemala only slightly improved. The only real problem the US solved was calming the angry social groups and preventing violence (for now). The US prided itself in its “good deed” it was doing, but caused a lot of destruction along the way.
  • When power shifts in a country, the effect can be both positive and negative, depending on where you stand. If the power shifts in your favor, then the effect is positive for you, but if the power shifts back the other way, the effect is negative.

Much like within any social group or country, my life has many shifts in power due to cooperation and conflict. In Student Council, the president and adviser have the most power. When a “lower class” member cooperates with the needs of the leaders and goes out of their way to benefit the Council, they gain more respect and power. In my relationship with my parents, when I cause conflict and disobey their rules, I lose power because I am punished. In my relationship with my friends, when there is conflict (say we are all just in a bad mood), the power levels switch off between us. The only way to gain back an equal balance of power is if we all cooperate with each other.

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