[personal profile] koanhead
 Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's nominee for President. She is running against Donald Trump, who regularly (but not consistently) beats her in the polls. The outcome is uncertain, because many people who are against Trump are also against Hillary. A large subset of these people are supporters of Bernie Sanders' campaign for president, and are strongly coupled with the issues addressed in the Sanders campaign platform as promulgated at https://berniesanders.com/issues/ and the pages linked from that one.

Bernie Sanders and his campaigners have repeatedly stated that the campaign is not about Bernie Sanders but about the issues linked above. Hillary Clinton may or may not support the policies promulgated by the Sanders campaign which address these issues. There is no way for an outside observer, that is to say, anyone other than Hillary Clinton herself, to tell. 

It's reasonable to suppose that, if Hillary Clinton's position on these policies were sufficiently similar to that of the Sanders campaign's supporters, that those supporters would then support Hillary Clinton. To do otherwise would undermine the claim that the campaign itself is not about Bernie Sanders but about the relevant issues.

This is a classic game-theoretic scenario. Hillary Clinton has signalled a limited willingness to co-operate with the Left ( used herein as a catchall term for those who support the relevant issues as described above) but the Left has no way in which to gauge the probability of defection. Insufficient information exists to determine either the actual extent of the proffered cooperation or the extent to which the proffer is binding. As a result members of the class I'm calling "the Left" have no reason to co-operate with Ms Clinton by voting for or otherwise supporting her campaign.

In order for "the Left" to have sufficient information in order to make a decision to support Ms Clinton's campaign, the campaign could provide an unambiguous and binding signal of cooperation. In general such a signal could take many forms. I propose that of a contract.

The two parties in question, the Clinton campaign and the "Revolution" frequently invoked by the Sanders campaign and for which authoritative members of that campaign may be considered able to speak, could mutually and publicly negotiate a contract specifying policies which the prospective President will support to address the issues linked above, actions to be taken to implement those policies by a specific time, and penalties for failure to perform the contract's terms.

It doesn't appear that people in general are willing to trust either candidate. In the absence of trust unambiguous and verifiable signals may serve to signal willingness to co-operate. Hillary Clinton needs the co-operation of as many people as possible in order to win the Presidential race against Trump. A clear set of signals exists that could potentially win the co-operation of a very large number of people. If the Clinton campaign can secure this co-operation then victory will be much more likely than otherwise.

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koanhead

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