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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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  Moved here from Page Comments  
 I used Consensus Building in all workshops I coordinated since the historical
Haifa workshop on Israel/Palestine conflict in 1976. Initial phases of debate
saw both groups (Arabs and Jews) conditioned by respective propaganda
and common places and posting onesided, dogmatic statements which
apparently had no chance to converge to any consensus. Nevertheless,
a most satisfactory compromise has been finally achieved with a high
consensus degree. However, experience seems to prove that consensus
building requires an adequate platform, in our case a full blown Expert System
build upon rules precised in "Crisis of Logic" of
Let's note that the currently run Democracy Workshop follows these rules.
I shall soon report on it in my Page.
-- GeMetanoski (2005-04-25 07:45:47) 
   2005-04-25 14:50:12 by WddmAdminComments (1)

 Moved here from Page Comments  
 If you have a split society/membership just at 50%, it is not good to implement decisions that only half of the poeple/members support. The other half will often choose to igonore the decision, protest against it. Look at USA today. If they had to achieve at least 60% consensus level, they would never go to war in Iraq. Sometimes it is better to be patient and explain to others the merits of your solution, and try to win most of them over, before you implement it. It worked with very good results in many (native) societies in the past. It should be part of the delibetative society. We should at least think about this approach all the time.
-- MiKolar (2005-04-22 17:23:13) 
   2005-04-25 14:49:21 by WddmAdminComments (0)

 Moved here from Page Comments 
 I need to think over the idea of consensus buiding. However, I don't like the idea of waiting to implement a decision until we have a broad consensus (even 100% as suggested, which is probably impossible to achieve on any issue). Perhaps we could study the proposals of sociocracy http://www.sociocracy.biz/ and see if they could be applied within the wwddm. Meantime, we could just allow for the possibility of a kind of  
   2005-04-25 14:48:23 by WddmAdminComments (0)
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