Polarization and Game theory

  • I found this great review of the social dynamics at work in partisanship and polarization.


    She covers a lot of literature and keeps it fairly neutral taking shots at both sides. It really only covers the USA but I would expect the core findings to apply to all peoples.

    I have been asked many times why I think that Single Member Plurality is better than Party List. This is essentially why. In SMP you at least get the illusion of being able to vote for a person. Partisan systems like party list prime the voter to think in terms of in-group vs out-group from the onset. Sure Duverger's law means that SMP will degrade to something like this eventually but it will never be as bad in terms of negative voting.

    This is why voter choice and expression is so important. Given that the act of voting for somebody is so psychologically powerful we want people to actually be able to express themselves. If we force voters to act out polarization it leads to polarization.

    Even when we are talking about PR systems this matters. People will often think that something like MMP is good enough because it gets PR and has some regional representation. However, the ballot still uses choose one and is therefor unfit for use for the reasons in the video.

  • @Keith-Edmonds Interesting subject matter but I wouldn't call it neutral (I picked up a strong right-wing libertarian bias). It seemed like she was trying to be a bit stealthy about it.

    Long video....well over an hour. Some interesting stuff in there though.

  • Yes, I picked up on the same. I did say fairly neutral. I did not get the impression this was propaganda or misrepresentations.

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