Re: Fallback voting
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 12:54:10 -0800 (PST)
>   In your opinion, what would be a reasonable number of attempts to get a
>proposal passed by consensus after which going for a vote would be the next

At RoseWind, in 15 years we've never needed our fallback voting 
provision, though once we thought we would be implementing it. It is not 
about it taking "too many attempts" at consensus. If that is happening, 
it may be that the attempts are premature, lack information, or are 
simply not appropriate: not every idea is a good one! Some simply do not 
have the support, or even the consent, of the membership. 

At RoseWind, this is the legal description of how we can go to a vote:

Going to a Vote: In all matters, Members shall diligently attempt to 
reach agreement by consensus. On those rare occasions when consensus 
cannot be reached, and a quorum is present if required, a vote to resolve 
an issue may be called for by two thirds of the Members present.

If a vote is called for, the vote shall be taken at a later meeting. The 
Membership shall be notified of the meeting and the issue to be voted on, 
in accordance with Article VII. [10 days notice and explanation of the 
proposal]. The vote may be taken at a regularly scheduled meeting or a 
special meeting may be called. 

A motion shall then be passed by 75% of the entitled voters present at 
which meeting a quorum is present if required. 

Proxy....[for a VOTE, but not for consensus process, a proxy vote may be 
registered with the Facilitator of the meeting, for the specific item. A 
quorum cannot be satisfied by proxy}.

Notes: So in order to go to a vote, 2/3rds of those at the meeting must 
agree that going to a vote is wise. The implicit situation would be one 
where an individual is holding the group hostage by blocking something 
NOT based on the principle that it would be unwise for the group to 
adopt, but based on personal preference, derangement, or sheer 
orneriness. The voting cannot happen till another meeting, with 10 days 
notice, and then must be passed by 75% of those voting. Voting is by 
unit/lot. Co-owners may choose to cast fractional votes, or a joint vote. 

Looking back over our experiences here, I'd say it would be unwise to set 
up some arbitrary point at which one reverts to a vote. Some things have 
taken years to "season" and have been worth the wait. 

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) (very active peace movement here- see our 

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