Playing blind

Long-time IAG friend Colin Rowat has just written an interesting article in the (Lebanese) Daily Star, attempting to interpret Iraqi politics by means of game theory.

According to Colin, one of the reasons for political stalemates in Iraq is a lack of information. No politician yet knows the strengths of the parties and positions, so they can’t bargain effectively. In particular, the lack of good information makes political actors believe themselves to be stronger than they really are. The perception of widespread electoral fraud lets the losers believe that they could have won in a fair election.

What’s the solution? Colin talks about how elections improve bargaining by giving solid information on who is popular. For some reason he doesn’t talk about the more usual ways of spreading information: by media, by independent research from academics, government and NGOs, through opinion polls. Maybe even sites like this can provide a little help from the sidelines.