Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The new game theory and CD5 

Every campaign gives you quotes that make you go "huh?", but this one from Keith Ellison is a doozy: "
Ellison said he wants imminent withdrawal from Iraq. 'The conflict is exacerbating terrorism, not diminishing it,' he said, adding that they key action is to decide to exit, then figure out how. 'It's a strategic position to put pressure on the Bush administration,' he said.
As opposed to putting pressure on Islamic terror?

And speaking of game theory, I am intrigued by the number of game theorists engaged in strategic voting by casting their lots with Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee. KvM's Gary and Jules have cast their lots; David Strom thinks it hard for GOP candidate Alan Fine to reach the 35% level needed to be able to get close to winning. If you want to play that game, guys, I would argue that Fine might be a Condorcet Loser: In a two-way race with either Lee or Ellison he would lose, but in a three-way race he could win because he only needs a plurality -- but only if he can hold his Republican base together.

I am puzzled that Fine has not understood this. In order to win as a Condorcet Loser -- a position I think he would agree with -- he should take positions as far away from Ellison and Lee as possible, while putting the two of them together in every ad possible as being two peas in a pod. (Lee, at least on the interview she had with David and Margaret, is trying hard for separation from Ellison on the issues spectra, as she should.) Instead he tacks towards them on the war against terror, leading Gary to declare him "dead to conservatives." And when you ask Fine about this, he says he is in the center of the district. In a two person race that is OK, but in a three person race where the other two would be pairwise winners, you have to get away from the other two to bring out your base voters.

As for Gary and Jules and David and Margaret, I offer a classic: Leonard Read, The Lesser of Two Evils.