Re: Consensus, Majority Vote, "Blocks"
From: Racheli Gai (
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 07:40:18 -0700 (PDT)
For the majority to coerce an individual is not a good thing.  But with 
consensus mis-used (which is often the case, and IMO has been
the case in our community on many occasions) - you end up with a small minority 
coercing everyone else (either through the use of 
blocking, or by fighting wars of attrition - where others give in eventually 
out of exhaustion, etc.)  This isn't any better.  It's actually worse,
because there is such a gap between what the process is "supposed to be", and 
how it manifests  on the ground.

I think that if the same person finds her/himself at a point of blocking too  
many times - it means that there is some basic incompatibility
at the level of shared values, and/or on the level of perception what's in the 
best interest of the community.  This means that they need
to ask themselves serious questions regarding whether they actually belong in 
that particular group.

Sonora Cohousing, Tucson.

On Oct 5, 2011, at 3:33 PM, Moz wrote:

> Sharon says:
>> But what is the point of making decisions? I think it is to make
>> the best decision possible.
> That's my hope when I'm making decisions.
>> On 5 Oct 2011, at 4:46 PM, R.N. Johnson wrote:
>>> would have been "cleaner" from a consensus point of view, to adopt a
>>> lifetime cap on blocks.
>> If improvement is the purpose of the decision, then random limits on
>> vetoes means once a person has used up their vetoes, they can no longer
>> insist that a better solution could be found.
> To me it reads more like "they use up their ability to block, then move out".
>> I think all the qualifiers and limits on consensus decision-making
>> distract from the purpose of consensus in the first place.
> Why would someone stay in a community if they were singled out as
> someone who was forced to accept the will of the majority? Isn't that
> one of the things consensus is supposed to be a response to?
> I know I spent a long time with the coho group I was in here saying
> in a variety of ways "I will not vote, I think coercing our members
> is wrong". And in the early stages, wrong in the basic factual "we
> do not have the ability to do this" sense, as well as the "morally
> wrong" sense.
> Moz
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