Re: Question about Consent Governance
From: David Mencher (
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2018 03:45:00 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Philip,

If you add the dimension of revisiting such important decisions for
reevaluation some 6 or 12 months after implementation, with the possibility
of revisions in the event of dissatisfaction with the results, I dont see
how your single objector would not be willing to accept the will of the
others in the community.


On 17 July 2018 at 13:26, Philip Dowds via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> So here’s the issue, really:
> Let’s say a controversial proposal has arrived at plenary.  The whole
> community has faithfully followed its formal consensus process.  After
> several months of hard work, inside and outside of plenary, the proposal
> has been significantly modified, and now almost everyone feels his/her
> concern or objection has been adequately addressed.  Except, maybe, for one
> person.
> A classic analysis is, Sorry, not done yet, keep talking.  But now it
> seems pretty clear to nearly everyone that there is no way to satisfy this
> person’s objection, and still achieve the intent of the proposal.  Hardly
> anyone thinks it’s likely that more months of dialog effort will lead to a
> different place.  Community interest in flogging this issue in plenary is
> starting to wane.  Some members who were planning to bring in some other
> proposal are reconsidering, worried that guiding a proposal to a successful
> conclusion is just too much effort.  Others are starting to wonder if
> consensus actually works.
> Under these circumstances, what outcome is best for the community?
> Failure of the proposal, and acceptance of the status quo?  Or, an
> over-ride of the remaining objection, such that the will of the (strong)
> majority is accommodated in the decision?  If it’s the latter — an
> over-ride of an objection — then what procedure(s) is(are) available for
> doing this?  And doing it in a way that minimizes damage to community
> cohesion?
> Thanks,
> Philip Dowds
> Cornerstone Village Cohousing
> Cambridge, MA
> mobile: 617.460.4549
> email:   rpdowds [at]
> > On Jul 16, 2018, at 11:01 PM, Chris Terbrueggen <
> christopher402 [at]> wrote:
> >
> > Greetings, We are slowly developing our consent governance in one of our
> > Linden Cohousing committees. There was an objection voiced by a member,
> who
> > said a second committee member must support a member's objection for it
> to
> > be a valid objection. They were concerned that one person would block the
> > proposal. I would like to know if any cohousing communities require a
> > second person's support at the committee level. Or, do you honor a single
> > member's objection?  Do you work together to see if it's a valid
> objection
> > based on the aim of the committee and find a solution to the objection?
> Is
> > there a way to merge the two ideas?
> >
> >
> >
> > We are new to the consent process. I am sure there is a learning curve
> > present in this discussion. There may be personal perceptions of
> trusting a
> > governance process that is new.  Maybe, it's being comfortable with
> Roberts
> > Rules of Order, which requires a second for some decisions to be made.
> >
> >
> > Thanks, Chris Terbrueggen
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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David Mencher

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