Game Theory4 min read

What is Game Theory?

Update given the recent lack of clarity of when parliament will be convened this article is invalid. The article was written hoping that both parties would agree on a scenario that helps either victor secure legitimacy both locally and internationally. The lack of a gazette is worrying in this regard. The continued sheer disregard for the countries image as a democracy and the potential global economic repercussions is worrying. Game theory, the study of outcomes given strategic interaction between decision makers, is what all political pundits are trying to do now. They may not realize it but what they are doing when suggesting that “this one will support that one” is constructing a system of payoffs, probabilities, and decision-making points. Most would agree that political allegiances color this analysis and as such make it less likely that non-partisan players get their predictions published. I feel it is honest to disclaim here that I am a card-carrying member of the UNP. In such light this article shall not make any predictions but will pose questions that most would feel need to be answered in any impartial game theory analysis of the current events.


As of writing this there have been reports that parliament will be reconvened on the 5th. Update there is now no certainty on when parliament will be convened and as drafting such a gazette wouldn’t be hard it is doubtful that this would happen. This gives both parties time to hold rallies, have discussions, and poach each other’s members. By agreeing to do this they have shown that they have selected a sub-game to be played. Certain possible outcomes are now not possible. For instance, now, the supreme court might not come into play. The agreement may also reduce the role that civil society concerned about the (non-convening of parliament) plays as both parties have considered this a numbers game. Civil Society should be concerned for an independent parliament ever being convened from now on. There is interesting work in this regard by Mark Rubin in his paper titled “Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics” it is stated there that “People like to help those who are helping them, and to hurt those who are hurting them. Outcomes reflecting such motivations are called fairness equilib-ria”.


What else is in play?

The following should be answered in the perspective of a minister. Will the 20th amendment now have majority support in parliament as both prime ministerial candidates have an interest to support it? Will loyalty now affect future leadership prospects? Is a ministry now a guarantee of a ministry in the next government? If I support a party and it loses is it bad for me in the long run? Who has the most public support? Who at the end of the year will have the continued confidence of most MPs?
The game can also become more interesting if we consider litmus tests. Is the calling of parliament on the 5th a sign that one party has a majority? How will people know who has a majority before hand and how will this affect the actions of other players?

I personally think it is in both faction’s interest to have interviews on Derana as they did last time. This would allow Rajapaksa to leverage on his popularity and charisma while giving Ranil some much needed screen coverage.

Why it is important to do this?

This was written as a non-player in the numbers game within parliament. Deeply regret having written it now as there is much more at stake. Do all of this impartially. Do this with the honest intention of predicting the outcome. Then take positions on the stock exchange.

Other Updated Notes 2/11/2018

I bought heavily into LIOC, 12.13% of my portfolio now from less than 1% in September. This was as I felt that it was likely that the UNP would win in a ship jumping game and further that even if the SLPP won it would treat LIOC as it did in the past.

I don’t see how a citizen can disregard this:

1- Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics Author(s): Matthew Rabin Source: The American Economic Review, Vol. 83, No. 5 (Dec., 1993), pp. 1281-1302


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