So a bunch of players in the new polsim I found want to understand how polcan worked.
The big difference you have to keep in mind is that this model parliament is a low RP environment. There's not much roleplay. PolCan was high RP.
We had an OOC section, but everything in-game was in character. You played a persona, and picked an avatar to represent them. For example, one round I was Teddy Silvers, represented by Charles Dance. Another I was W. John Jameson, represented by Vladimir Putin. You could be born anywhere, have any former job and past, so long as it was reasonable.
The game was run by a team of admins, the A-Team. The admins were not players, but they could recruit from the players, or resign to become a player again.
Since it was role-played, you simply played a frontbench MP for your party. We also simulated elections. Players did not vote in elections. They campaigned. The public, simulated by the a-team, voted. This is why we never had many non-real parties. The last time a Socialist party was tried, it won 2 compared to a majority for the Liberals, despite the fact the Liberals had fewer players than either the NDP or the Tories. The had run a better campaign and so had won the election.
That was the single largest key difference between the two games, low vs high RP.