Yes, that is the general perception about that area of the (real-life) U.S., and this game is supposed to reflect that. Those states you mentioned are mostly "absorbed" into other ones, yeah.
"New Vancouver" includes western Washington and western Oregon, basically the Seattle-Portland axis. I tried to make their government and society reflect what you were saying here, even compared to other Democratic nation-states on this map. (It also does mean that New Vancouver is supposed to have a bit of a Scandinavian feel, I guess.)
"Oregon" includes eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and northern California. I decided to make that one interesting and have (technically) no government within those lands at all.
I also had this idea called the "Nebraska Federation," which is supposed to be a very loose union of the Plains states and some Rockies states. Idaho and Montana are member states, and all the states down to Oklahoma are as well.
I'm sorry that it sounds as if I'm hiding the map from you guys. A map would be useful, I know. Maybe I'll try to put one up.
True about Hawaii. The thing is that I really wanted to have a major nation with a monarchy, because even though the small ones just happened to be better suited for it (Utah, Hawaii), it's more fun with someone important in the political sphere. Fun to see it being politically significant in how other nations will approach that monarchy. But I also don't want to have too many of any one kind of government, want variation in this game. To even it out, I would probably want to switch out a different country's government to try to keep it balanced.
Then again, as you said, it would be different, as the King or Queen of Hawaii would be mostly ceremonial as you're proposing, unlike these others. Something to think about, I guess...
The idea with New York was to try building not a traditionally one-person dictatorship, but a ruling political bloc in that country. It's not meant to be a dictatorship at all. A kind of close analogy would be....something like modern-day China, in a way.
Now about the political labeling:
By putting the names of the political leanings in a (somewhat) international context, I was trying to avoid confusion that an American context might have caused due to stigma and stuff.
Free-market liberal was meant to fall pretty close to libertarian. I chose Alaska as one example, too.
You're right that the Texas style government could be called "republican" in the truest theoretical (and not Party) sense, just as its counterpart Michigan was meant to be "democratic" in the truest theoretical (and not Party) sense. I guess I can change that. "Conservative liberal" makes sense in the European and theoretical context, but your idea works well for both contexts, so we'll use that.
The strict left vs. right rule is something I was trying to avoid to some extent, and show the different forms of government varying by shades. Tell you what: I'll change the labels to more technical names, and see if that makes more sense.
Thanks for the discussion!