In the absence of a ready-made solution that could be adopted by the people of Northern Ireland, or a magical formula from the British and Irish Governments, the only alternative lay in locally-mandated political parties negotiating a political agreement. This alternative in turn entailed a common recognition that the zero-sum politics of "winner takes all" ultimately leaves everyone a loser. An accommodation, while requiring each party to sacrifice some of its aspirations, stood to benefit Northern Ireland society as a whole.
Stephen Farry and Sean Neeson,
Beyond the "Band-Aid" Approach: An Alliance Party Perspective Upon the Belfast Agreement,
22 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1221
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol22/iss4/8