Re: Participation Agreement
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 05:48:49 -0700 (PDT)

1) Lenders such as banks, and insurance companies are generally very
conservative and if they should get to read "strange" stuff they may turn
you down.

I'm still waiting for some real life examples of this. It seems to be an Urban Legend.

2) Requirements are essentially meaningless unless they are enforceable i.e. backed up by sanctions. Are you going to evict non-compliant residents - or

This is a classic argument related to the glass half empty or the glass half full. The argument in relation to cohousing is that some people say we can't do this because there is no law saying we can and others who say we can because there is no law saying we can't.

The defining perspective divides cohousers on every issue. We just had a meeting with no agenda and no quorum to which almost as many people showed up to "just talk" as show up to many meetings that are "official." The irony is that it was a much better meeting and produced many more decisions than an "official" meeting. The reason was that the people who showed up were of the "we can do this because there is no law that says we can't" group.

The people who say "we can't do this because there is no law that says we can" stayed home. Since there was no agenda, in their view, nothing could be done. That meant they weren't in the room to dampen discussion.

Practically none of our social behavior is covered by law and thus enforceable but we still expect it. We enforce codes interpersonally all day long. Why do we then say, we can't enforce work expectations therefore we can't set them?

You can set them and you can expect them. And in a million little ways all day long, you can enforce them. The law has nothing to do with it.

Sharon Villines
Coauthor with John Buck of We the People
Consenting to a Deeper Democracy
A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.