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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, April 18, 2005

Papal Game Theory

The basic premise behind game theory is that if you understand the rules of the game, you can predict the outcome. This implies, of course, that if the rules change, the outcome can change.
It is often mentioned that in recent history, papal conclaves have lasted, on average, 1 to 3 days. But JPII changed the rules, so this average is no longer relevant.

In particular, now, after 2 weeks of voting, a simple majority can vote to make only a simple majority necessary to become pope. If it really is the case that Ratzinger has a majority but not two-thirds of the vote going into the conclave, (as the Italian press has reported) and if these votes are solid, (two big ifs) I see no reason for this clique not to simply wait out the two weeks. Further, if the other side knows this, I see no reason for them to continue to vote against a man who is going to become pope. My prediction: the next few days will be black smoke as the sides try to figure out if the Ratzinger votes are solid and a majority. If so, then Ratzinger will be pope after a few days. In any event, the more black smoke the better for Ratzinger. He has the biggest block and after two weeks, the bar gets lower.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I am bowing to your greatness. Will you be my financial planner?

12:57 PM, April 19, 2005  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Will you do my (overdue) taxes?

2:18 PM, April 19, 2005  

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