Re: RE: Consensus: late blocks (TR Ruddick)
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 10:13:39 -0700 (MST)
On 2/2/04 10:15 AM, "Ann Zabaldo" <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

> I really like CT Butler's thinking on this whole "blocking" thing -- he
> maintains that on the path to consensus an individual may "withhold consent"
> but only the group can decide if it is "blocked."  This still indicates the
> process comes to a standstill, however.  And in my understanding of
> consensus process this is just one of many places in the path where the
> conversation starts again.

I like this also because it is logical:

The group decides if it is blocked meaning that it cannot reach consensus on
the issue at hand.

I would also suggest that it means the group has decided that it must use
some other means of reaching a decision -- majority vote, mediation, expert
opinion (outside authority), etc.

Earlier discussions suggested that a block might mean that the group was in
danger of excluding a member. I'm not sure this is necessarily so and
defining consensus in this way may be unhelpfully extreme. There are some
issues on which consensus is just not that important to the integrity of the
group and unreasonably expecting consensus makes the group feel as if they
had failed.

If some one disagrees with a decision, they should be allowed to disagree
and the group can reach consensus on another method of making the decision.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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