Democracy for Polarized Committees: The Tale of Blotto's Lieutenants
In polarized committees, majority voting disenfranchises the minority. Allowing voters to spend freely a fixed budget of votes over multiple issues restores some minority power. However, it also creates a complex strategic scenario: a hide-and-seek game between majority and minority voters that corresponds to a decentralized version of the Colonel Blotto game. We offer theoretical results and bring the game to the laboratory. The minority wins as frequently as theory predicts, despite subjects deviating from equilibrium strategies. Because subjects understand the logic of the game — minority voters must concentrate votes unpredictably — the exact choices are of secondary importance, a result that vouches for the robustness of the voting rule to strategic mistakes.
We thank participants to seminars and conferences in Berkeley, Caltech, Marseilles, St. Petersburg, UC Santa Barbara, and Tokyo, and in particular Yann Bramoullé, Matias Nunez and Rafael Treibich, for useful suggestions and comments. We thank Manuel Puente and Liu Yongfeng for their research assistance, and the National Science Foundation for financial support (grant SES-0617934). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Alessandra Casella & Jean-François Laslier & Antonin Macé, 2017. "Democracy for Polarized Committees: The Tale of Blotto's Lieutenants," Games and Economic Behavior, vol 106, pages 239-259. citation courtesy of