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M. Kolar: Proposal for Non-Adversarial Decision-Making:
Combining the Majority Vote with Consensus Building"

Read on ...

(Inspired by Native American Experience)
Over time, Wikis say, a group view or consensus emerges.
See also various Co-Intelligence Institute pages

The "required level" of consensus appropriate in various situations may differ. Take for example the recent B.C. referendum:
To change the electoral system in British Columbia, it was required on May 17, 2005 that the change is approved by at least 60% of voters overall, and wins a majority in at least half of the ridings. It actually won a majority in 77 out of 79 ridings, but got only 57% of all votes. This is still assumed to be an unprecedented support in Canadian conditions, where "majority" governments often get less than 50% of all votes cast.
Hopefully what is now going on in B.C., is a discussion roughly along Rule 3 of our operating rules, which may still lead to the implementation of the BC-STV system.

Apparently when deciding on something that is here to stay, that is already part of our life, that is a necessity (such as the elections in the current political system), it is better to do it in a way with which the most people (that is a simple majority) who are participating in this activity are more comfortable.
If a decision would be about a radical change, about something new forcing upon all members of the society, then it should require a much higher consensus level.

It looks like common sense should be used in every single situation. The challenge is how to build it into the rules. Fixed, single inflexible rule for everything may be a big limitation. However, without clear rules there is a possibility for arbitrariness and abuse!

Georges, it would really be beneficial if you could summarize the experience of your group with consensus building in various practical situations.


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 consensus building 
 Sounds like inventing the wheel. Since the historic Arab/Jewish Forum of 1975 our
Cognitive Network supports Consensus Building. People vote, deliberate, get
convinced, change votes and the process is stopped when the consensus reaches
a degree fixed by Forum rule, general, or particular to an issue. Consensus is
evaluated automatically by bottom up inferencing procedure. It is not necessarily just
majority calculation, but a procedure customised by Forum which may include such
functions ans weighted vote (how important is that option for the voter), minority
protection etc.
This Consensus Building is there, implemented for 30 years and currently used
by our Forums.
   2005-05-23 05:42:50 by GeMetanoskiComments (1)

 Deciding Consensus  
 From Wiki
Rough consensus
An aspect of Wikipedia that confounds many people is the fact that there is essentially no formal voting, and informal votes or straw polls are rare. The general rule on disputed topics is that Wikipedia has to come to "rough consensus", though the meaning of this is disputed. The exact method of determining rough consensus varies from time to time, case to case, and person to person. The lack of voting has caused some long delays for some proposals, but most Wikipedians who have witnessed rough consensus after acrimonious debates feel that the delays often result in better results. (If you think about it, how could you have "voting" in a group you can't count the participants of, and which anyone can join?)
(with apologies to the "Tao of IETF" (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3160.txt))
Administrators necessarily must use their best judgement, attempting to be as impartial as is possible for a fallible human, to determine when rough consensus has been reached. For example, administrators can disregard votes and comments if they feel that there is strong evidence that they were not made in good faith. Such "bad faith" votes include those being made by sock puppets, being made anonymously, or being made using a new userid whose only edits are to the article in question and the voting on that article.

<Bruce note, the administrator has much power here, however they are "watched" so a consensus error could be confronted immediately. (This relies on the people being outright.) This is all quite different in cyber land where we can monitor everything. In my home community everything is "under the table". I think the decision recall is automatic, however it could be written so people recoginize they have this right.> Bruce  
   2005-04-29 21:44:40 by BrEggumComments (0)

 Wikipedia on consensus 
 Interestingly enough, Wikipedia people also arrived at the need to have the 66% to 80% consensus.
Read the second paragraph here:
   2005-04-25 15:24:39 by WddmAdminComments (1)
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