Game Theory in Canadian Politics (2)
However, any sort of "chicken" analysis assumes that an election is the equivalent of driving off a cliff or a head-on collision - the worst-case lose-lose scenario for both parties. And if that's the case, there's no way we're heading towards an election. The cost of backing down is so minimal that any rational person, and many New Democrats, could reach a deal to avoid driving off the cliff ("here's my plan", "we've agreed to talk", "we're all committed to making parliament work", blah, blah, blah). Unlike the game of chicken, we're in a game with communication and bargaining, which makes a compromise to avoid a lose-lose the logical outcome. As much as we'd like to think of politicians as hot headed rebels without a cause, they'll usually do what's in their best self-interest.
No, the only way we'll speed into an election is if the Liberals or Conservatives see the head-on collision as their best case scenario. If they both see it as their best case scenario, then we'll definitely be into an election next week.
It's hard to say if an election is in either of their interests. You could argue that one either way over and over again and reach a different conclusion each time. But, given the number of meetings they've had so far, it certainly looks like neither of them wants it. And if that's their assessment of the situation, it shouldn't be overly difficult for them to agree on a compromise.