We now have a coalition government. To achieve this both parties had to compromise.
Compromise is one of those interesting words that can be both positive and negative, mostly depending on the person viewing or making the compromise’s opinion. It can be a noun and a verb.
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles
something intermediate between different things
In some ways those definitions are a little odd. The word comes from the joining of ‘com’, which means together, and ‘promise’.
A joint promise.
When I first heard that the Liberal Democrats had made a deal with the Tories I was angry. When I heard that the Lib Dems had given up on some of their key policies I was even more angry. What I didn’t see was that the Conservatives made the same moves. They gave up some of their key policies too.
It would be easy to be cynical while watching David Cameron and Nick Clegg during their joint press conference today. There were jokes about it looking like a wedding. Cameron was asked about something harsh he had said about Clegg. Clegg had to defend his party’s very involvement. And all the time they stood together talking about hope, about change, about realising that working together means putting other people first.
But what if they are serious?
What if they really mean it?
What if they really do want to put the country before party politics? What if they really will find a middle way?
Isn’t that at least worth giving a chance?
But then that would mean I’d have to compromise…