Bullets to Ballots

What groups are involved, and who had the power?

The groups that are involved in the Bullets and Ballots simulation are the Government of Guatemala, Wealthy and army class, Peasants, Guerillas, and the United States. Each group was actively involved in the game; they each had goals that that they wished to accomplish. These goals included winning the election, overthrowing the government, and gaining the most military strenghth units. The group that started off with the most MSU’s (power) is the Army and wealthy. Although the peasants didn’t have any MSU’s, they had double the vote so they have power over all the groups who wanted to win the election.

How did the balance of power shift and why?


The balance of power shifted back and forth between the army and wealthy and the Guerillas. The army and wealthy held the power for the majority of the game. The power shifted briefly because the two groups fought each other because they were attempting to overthrow each other.The attacker and atackee either gained MSU’s or lost them. Both groups had similar amounts of MSU’s and therefore it wasn’t surprising when the power shifted.

How was cooperation and conflict shown in the game?

Cooperation was shown when the Guerillas and the peasants combined forces and merged their groups to try and prevent the army and wealthy from winning the election because their goal was to overthrow the government either by having the most MSU's or winning the election. Conflict was shown when the army and wealthy and the guerillas fought every month and traded MSU’s. They were fighting to become the leaders, the one with the power of Guatemala.

What role did the US have on the simulation?

The United States played an important role in the simulation because they prevented the guerillas from gaining the control of Guatemala. After the peasants and the guerillas joined forces, they had nearly as many MSU’s as the Army and wealthy. Then in the third month, they went on an attack against the army and wealthy and won, which put them in the lead with MSU’s. They were going to overthrow the army and wealthy with the help of the government, but the US gave all of its MSU’s to the army and wealthy to prevent the uprising of the guerillas.

What happens to a country when the power shifts, is the effect positive or negative?

When the power shifted from the Army and wealthy to the guerillas, the country seemed to become a lot more chaotic. This reminds me of when the rebels in Syria overthrew the Syrian government. Everybody was trying to come up with a solution to stabilize Syria. In our game we ended up calling in the US to help us take back the control of Guatemala. I think that the effect was positive, because the different groups teamed up and had to cooperate with one another so that the Army and Wealthy could re-gain the power. I think that if the Guerillas had held the power for longer, it might have become a negative thing because they could have made poor changes to the government.

What relationships do you have in your life, and how are cooperation and conflict evident?

My best friend is a girl named Emily MacIver. We have known each other for almost 10 years, and we have an amazing relationship. However, nothing is perfect. A few months ago, we got in a massive fight. We had different views on how to handle a situation, and it blew up in our faces. Neither of us would admit we were wrong, and so I didn’t speak to Emily for nearly a month. When we finally made up, we were able to laugh at how stubborn we were. We had conflicting views, and we were unable to cooperate. Another time that I was involved in a conflict was when I was on a swim team this summer and the coach was extremely mean and unfair. She made us swim until the sun went down, and never let us take a bathroom break. Her nasty attitude irritated us so much that we actually formed a little group and we went and talked to the athletic director. he talked to our evil coach, and they came to the agreement that we would be allowed to leave at 9:30 and have one bathroom break per practice. This situation worked out very well in our favor.