We ditched consensus
From: Racheli Gai (rachelisonoracohousing.com)
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 09:12:10 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,

In case my previous message wasn't understood:  Majority rule is now the method 
of decision making  at our general meetings, instead of consensus (with a 
majority rule back-up), which is how we'd operated before.

I will send in the near future something with more details, since I know that 
many communities are struggling, and our experience might be of use.

Best,
Racheli, Sonora Cohousing, 
Tucson, Arizona.


On Sep 10, 2013, at 7:21 AM, Racheli Gai wrote:

> I agree with Sharon, esp: "Voting would produce fewer casualties".
> 
> Which is why here, in Sonora Cohousing (Tucson, AZ) we moved from "consensus" 
> (I'm putting it in quotation marks because it was never what consensus is 
> supposed to be) to super-majority voting rule last winter (or spring, I 
> forget the exact date.)
> 
> My opinion: Voting isn't perfect, but it's been a great improvement over what 
> took place prior to it.
> 
> Racheli.
> 
> 
> On Sep 10, 2013, at 5:39 AM, Sharon Villines wrote:
> 
>> 
>> 
>>> When a member threatens to block
>> 
>> Why is anyone threatening anyone? Or feeling threatened by someone else?
>> 
>> Language is very powerful: "Blockers." "Threatening."
>> 
>> Perhaps what is happening that triggers this language is not decision-making 
>> at all. It sounds like football. Or war.
>> 
>> In football and war, consensus decision-making is not an appropriate 
>> decision-making method. Two sides with conflicting aims can't reach 
>> consensus. There will be a winner and a loser.
>> 
>> Announcing consensus by over-ruling objections on technical grounds, doesn't 
>> make it consensus. It makes it a game. Games are played by pre-determined 
>> rules. In games people who use the rules to their advantage, win. Everyone 
>> else loses. 
>> 
>> The rules for "blocking" in every community that uses this language are 
>> technical and arbitrary. Count the number of discussions. Count the number 
>> of days that have passed. Count the number of people who are still 
>> "blocking." The precision of this arbitrary counting of factors is then 
>> presented as fairness and objectivity. Even as community building. War 
>> builds community.
>> 
>> Voting would produce fewer casualties.
>> 
>> Sharon
>> ----
>> Sharon Villines, Washington DC
>> A Deeper Democracy: Making Freedom and Equality a Reality
>> http://www.adeeperdemocracy.org
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> 
>> 
> 


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