Erik Moberg ã:
A Theory of Democratic Politics


In part 8 I said that the actors' behavior was uncoordinated when they just voted their minds, whereas coordination involved discussion and negotiations between the actors. When coordinating, the actors are thus likely to adjust their positions and behavior in various ways in order to achieve benefits, for instance by forming and entering favorable decisive constellations, or at least blocking ones. That of course requires compromises, but political compromises may be of different kinds and the differences are of considerable interest. Here I will describe two kinds of compromises.

Imagine two actors, A and B, which respectively have the opinions, or take the positions, a1-am and b1-bn. Now, for any pair of positions with one position from each actor, it is interesting to ask whether the positions are compatible or not. Each cell in the figure below represents one such comparison, and a few answers are also inserted as illustrations. Thus the positions a2 and bn, and a3 and b2, are compatible, whereas the positions a1 and b1, and am and b2, are not compatible.


Now, in politics, both compatibility and non-compatibility are common. In principle the issue of compatibility has to be judged in each individual case, but two general rules, with possible exceptions, may however be hypothesized.

Now compromises between political actors about political positions may be of two types. A conclusion to be drawn from the reasoning here thus is that political compromises about interests are likely to be easier than compromises about ideological matters.