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Subject: New UK Political Auction Game? rss

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Tom Scutt
United Kingdom
Matlock
Derbyshire
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So, watching the news yesterday, as the Conservative and Labour parties each tried to outbid the other to woo the Lib Dems, I suddenly realised that the 2010 election had been designed by Reiner Knizia.

At one stage the bids were escalating so fast I thought I might wake up theis morning to discover that Nick Clegg had been declared Supreme Dictator-for-Life.

Regardless of the politicis of it all, I don't think it could be better balanced in terms of game theory. There are so many competing micro-forces at work - the details on figures (the fact that a Lab/Lib coalition, although the most natural alliance, wouldn't have a majority of seats) and the fact that the party leaders risk splitting their own party if they go too far to accomodate the Lib Dems. There are so many variables at work here it's really difficult to balance them against each other.

But what makes it *really* interesting is the meta-game. The Conservatives are in a terrible lose-lose situation: the only way they can form an alliance with the Lib Dems (and thereby form a government) is to offer them electoral reform. If the Lib Dems go with the Labour party instead then they'll get electoral reform anyway. In either case if electoral reform goes through it seems likely that the Conservatives will never hold office again.

And to think it can get quite stessful just playing Ra or Modern Art... no wonder there are so many bewildered looking MPs on the news at the moment.

P.S. There's also the meta-meta-game: that the global economic state and national deficit means it might be worth being in opposition for this parliament and letting the other side take the hit in popularity.
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I'm looking forward to play your game in Essen.
 
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