Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Elections 2007 or game theory at work.

The political forces in opposition to the Kocharian administration have failed to reach an agreement to unite their efforts and take part in the 2007 parliamentary elections as one entity. This indeed is good news for the incumbent parties: the Republicans, the Dashnak, the shapeless opportunists; and the Dod party.



I don't know whether this inability to unite is by design, i.e. some people have been paid to undermine the efforts, or whether this is the result of the giant egos of the opposition. When one adopts a cynical view of the opposition parties, it seems that these are not sustainable forces. They look like the private clubs of the gifted visionaries -AJM for Vazgen Manukian, HJK for Stepan Demirchian, etc. And since their ultimate goal is to get a mandate, the limited number of available seats makes the chance of getting that spot slim.



So, what can we learn from the game theory that is applicable to the current situation. Let's look at two parties vying for one available spot.



coop. alone

c-------+-------+

o either| party1|

o wins | wins |

p-------+-------+

a party2| both |

l wins | lose |

o-------+-------+

n

e



Basically, if the opposition can win only if both cooperate. If one party cooperates but the other one doesn't then the one who didn't cooperate wins. Since in this case each of the parties will not have an incentive to cooperate, they will not cooperate and both will lose.



The key here is to figure out a mechanism that gives an incentive for both of them to cooperate even though one of them will not win. I cannot come up with such an incentive. Unless some of these parties are willing to invest their efforts for changing the regime without expecting a personal payoff.


3 comments:

Observer said...

I think there is some other game in play here. Those parties who call themselves "opposition" are definately out of that game... I mean - they are just not participants of the political process, or will be out of it pretty soon.

The important thing to consider is the design of Armenia's political system - you just can't have more then 5 real power parties in the situation we have now - because of many reasons, but mostly because the parliament is not a powerful enough institute in the Armenian system to attract the attention of the really big fish.

The big fish - like Kocharian, Serge, Tsarukyan - view the parliament only as an intermediary stage to the path of presidency. However, they have all overlooked the fact, that the new Constitution has significantly strengthened the powers of parliament.

But anyway, that is not my point. My point is - we will see filtering out of stupid-little parties during this elections, and they will remain as minor irritants throughout the next 5-10 years.

The real fight for power will go between the pro-government parties of today: HHK, Bargavach, Dashnak, maybe also MAK and Orinats Yerkir. And these parties will be the ones to shape the political landscape in the future and become opposition to one another in the process of fighting for power.

The way I see it, ideology so far doesn't play any role in the Armenian politics, so its not a fight between leftists and rightists, or conservatives vs liberals. So in this void of ideology the position-opposition position of the party will be only defined by its relation to government-power.

Anyway, these are very sick thoughts of a very sad man - myself :(

nazarian said...

--The way I see it, ideology so far doesn't play any role in the Armenian politics--

yes, the most important role is played by potato sacks.

Արամազդ said...

Agree, observer.

That iss why I view the Aylyntranq movement as a process, a long-term process... to bring ideas and idealogies back to the political scene...

That was the reason behind our proposal of "Impeachment"...