Sonntag, 10. März 2013

What does the 2005 conclave tell us?

voting patterns of the 2005 conclave
sources:, and M. Politi "Benedikt, Krise eines Pontifikats", Rotbuch Verlag Berlin 2012.

As we put our minds to the upcoming conclave in terms of "game theory" it is important to recall the two most recent instances in 2005 and 1978. Lets start with the 2005 conclave.

Martini SJ (+) was an early candidate of the progressives in the first ballot, however already by the 2nd vote the progressives lost confidence and did not vote for Martini, switching to Bergoglio SJ as a more likely anti-Ratzinger, more moderately progressive candidate. However in the end the neoconservatives won out and Ratzinger was elected with 84 votes, 7 votes more than the 2/3 majority needed.

Of course, according to "universi dominici gregis", an absolute majority after 34 ballots would have been sufficient as well, however only after 4 ballots the decision was reached. No one did want to go to 34 ballots. This rule has been abolished by Benedikt XVI. and now the 2/3 majority rule is again the key point to keep in mind. This means that this time, if there is a block of 40 Cardinal-Electors, they can block the majority candidate.

This time the conservative candidate is most likely to be Card. Scola and the progressive candidate Card. Scherer. If Scherer can have a block of 40 votes, he can block Scola, and a compromise candidate would have to emerge. Who would that compromise candidate be?