The Voters’ Dilemma

Ballot box in İstanbul 1923 

The idea of a parliamentary system is that our legislature will make good decisions. To do so the elected officials must cooperate. But often they work against each other instead.

Some people can easily cooperate while others are dominant and just want to win influence. When you vote, you select a politician who thinks like you.

To gain your own influence you tend to choose a candidate who is stubborn and never gives up rather than someone who can cooperate. But a crowd of stubborn people with different opinions can hardly agree on anything. Considered as a group they are the worst possible decision-makers. This group creates the Nash equilibrium in politics.

We could solve the problem by not choosing alpha males or females but instead, appointing representatives who can work together. The problem is that everyone must do it at the same time; otherwise, we will give those who support a dominant candidate very much influence. This is the voters’ dilemma.

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