Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Game theory - tee hee.

From the slightly longer print version of an article, which is actually about Grexit, in City AM:

One of the insights of game theory is that it is possible for both sides to win...*

Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron have manoeuvred themselves into a lucrative strategy of co-operation. The game began during the election campaign. The SNP needed to destroy Labour in Scotland. They trumpeted their intention to help Ed Miliband get into Downing Street. The Conservatives seized on this and used the SNP bogeyman to frighten the voters in marginal seats in England.

The game goes on. Cameron needs to make some concessions to Sturgeon so that she can boast about them to the Scottish electorate. But the SNP also needs to maintain a set of grievances, which is the party's raison d'être. Neither side actually wants to redress them, so that both continue to gain and keep Labour out. Practical politicians are often much better game-players than so-called expert theorists.

* If they can gang together to do over a third party. If there's no third party, this is called 'compromise' or 'saving face'.