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The Blame Game in an Election Decided by (Gasp) One Vote

- October 23, 2008

Remember the Downsian model of voting, which establishes that there’s no rational reason for you to take the trouble to vote, because the probability that you’re going to cast the decisive vote is so low that you’d be better off to stay home and let others do the work?

With that in mind, now imagine that an election — indeed, this election — does turn out to have been decided by one vote, and the winner isn’t the candidate you favored. Who should you blame? Yourself for not voting? That would make sense, but wouldn’t it make more sense to blame the guy who convinced you not to vote in the first place — and who presumably didn’t vote himself?

Click here here to see how, under that scenario, this should all rationally play out.

[Hat tip to Ezra Klein’s blog for providing the link to the video. Blame me for the Downsian customization.]

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