[Fwd: Re: Who gets to vote?]
From: Roman Bitner (lilbertconcentric.net)
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 13:11:44 -0500
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 11:09:19 -0700
From: Roman Bitner <lilbert [at] concentric.net>
To: bschaller [at] theriver.com
Subject: Re: Who gets to vote?

Becky Schaller wrote:
> Robin, in our group, we have one vote per household.
> We have not yet started construction so we don't yet have any renters.

How can you make that work? We have couples that almost never fall the
same way on an issue. My partner and I frequently disagree on many
issues. We are both a little stunned that you can make it work. 
        In our group only homeowners can block consensus, although if a renter
(or a teen or even a pre teen) expressed grave reservations we will
still work to achieve group consensus

> We also have a provision about what to do if we can't reach consensus.
> I think it's important to have some criteria for when it's ok to go to
> a 75% majority (we have 80%) and when the group simply needs to
> continue talking.  Otherwise why not just say all decisions are made
> by a supermajority.  If you want our details, I can copy them for you.
> In our group Associates can not block consensus or vote when we go a
> supermajority or what we call second level decision making.

Although it is very important to work out the details in a written
constitution, I would like to point out that to the best of our memory,
in five years on living on site we have never gone to a supermajority.
The question has in fact only come up once.

It has meant that some issues can take weeks to resolve and have
stretched many people's patience. But working to achieve consenus is a
vital part of how our community functions

> Robin Allison wrote:
> >
> > Our group is in the process of writing an Organising Agreement and we
> > are trying to work out the finer detail of how we make decisions. Of
> > course we will be using consensus and hope to decide most issues in this
> > way, but we will revert to 75% majority vote where agreement can't
> > otherwise be made.
> >
> > The question is, does this generally mean one vote per (full member)
> > household, or one vote per adult (there may be 2 or 3 adults in a
> > household)? And what about Associate Members? I've looked through the
> > archives and it seems that generally renters don't get to have this
> > final say in decision-making, but I can't find reference to how other
> > groups have handled this issue of just how this final voting thing
> > happens.
> >
> > We're probably going to finalise this on Wednesday so I'd really
> > appreciate hearing how other groups do it before then. Thanks!
> >
> > Robin Allison
> > Waitakere Eco-Neighbourhood Cohousing Project
> > Auckland, New Zealand.
> > Where we've started having common dinners (before our meetings) even
> > though we haven't bought land yet!

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