Game Theory Follies

cross posted at FireDogLake

As happy as I am to see game theory applied to politics (I’v called for this myself, many times) and, in particular, it being used against stupid and unproductive lesser-evilist voting, I can’t say that I’m happy about the lack of organization matching such diaries and comments.

This diary is a copy of a comment I made in the diary The Fear Card and the Guilt Card, at FireDogLake. I don’t want to take the idea to develop the idea, further, but I think it’s important enough to merit it’s own diary.

I don’t want to develop the idea (not now, anyway), but I would say that, at the very least, people wishing to vote against the Democrats, who are partial to voting for them in future elections, should joining a publicly available list, which is broken down by state and district, which indicates how they voted, and why. Members of such a list form what I’ve called a negative vote bloc (what they have in common is that they are voting against somebody), but subgroups of this total, negative vote bloc are going to be at least potential positive voting blocs. These are voting blocs that will someday potentially vote for a Democratic candidate who meets some sort of minimal criteria of theirs.

The ideal situation, in terms of moving the Dems (in this example, FDL  readers usually being closer to the Dem side of things) is to be able to demonstrate a positive vote bloc whose number exceeds the margin of victory of the Republican over the Democrat. As an extreme case, suppose you can definitely show that exactly 1 registered Democratic voter publicly claims to have voted for a Republican over a Democrat, for reasons X, Y and Z, but that the margin of victory for the Republican over the Democrat was 5,000 votes.

Why on earth would the Democratic Party in that district care about changing the agenda, in the next election, to suit that single voter, when it won’t (as far as they can tell) make a fig of a difference?

The difference between having the sort of public vote bloc registry that I’m calling for versus relying on polls and tribalistic, post facto ‘reasoning’ explaining away a loss, is one of reducing ambiguity and self-deception. Considering how easy it would be to make such a registry (though protecting it against ballot stuffing is not trivial), one has to wonder why nobody is attempting to do this….