Flora Page joined the Labour Party in 2015, but has now decided to switch to the Liberal Democrats. Blogging about her reasons, Europe features and she also explains that part of her reason is a reaction to the hostile polarisation of British politics:
I believe in compromise, not just as political necessity but as politically desirable. I’m proud of the British tradition of organic development, muddling along, fudging it and finding compromises. I’m disturbed by the apparent trend towards subscribing to belief systems which make it impossible to co-exist peacefully alongside those who do not subscribe.
And how to turn that into action?
I want to stand up and be counted, in support of the open, tolerant traditions of the great people of this country. And meanwhile endorse compromise and consensus-building with anyone able to join in with that kind of politics, whether they have joined a political party or not.
She is – and I would definitely count this as a good thing – far from starry-eyed about the Liberal Democrats being perfect or the solution to everything. In particularly she rightly picks up on the difficulties the party has in reflecting the diversity of our voters and of the country as a whole:
The party needs to get to grips with why and how it collectively snatched defeat from the jaws of the 2010 victory, and we need to get to grips with that before we have a prayer of doing anything useful. By way of example, I can’t believe that the people photographed on the main party website are so uniform, so wholly lacking in the diversity that makes up modern Britain.
I can’t be accused of choosing the easy option when I say I believe in political compromise. And openess. And tolerance.