alternatives to majoritarian votes that protect minority rights
Rockbridge Greens Guidelines for Decision Making
also listed as Rockbridge Greens Decision Making Guidelines
(Use with On Conflict and Consensus: A Handbook on Formal Consensus Decisionmaking)
I. Presentation of issue.
- A. The problem.
- B. Review of alternatives.
- C. Explanation of proposal.
II. Proposal presented in writing.
III. Answer questions for clarification of intent and setting limits of the issue.
- A. Friendly amendments. Simple ones may be informal, but all should be in writing for the notetaker.
- 1. Accepted by proposal makers- becomes part of proposal.
- 2. Rejected by proposal makers- becomes the center of temporary discussion until it is understood what the rejected amendment is and why it was rejected.
- 3. The process continues until all offered amendments are accepted or rejected by proposal makers. At this time the list of rejected amendments is taken in order and:
- a. The maker of the amendment is asked whether they wish to pursue the matter further. If not, it is dropped. If so, it proceeds.
- b. The amendment is offered to the group without discussion but with clarifying questions. If one-third of the members present wish to pursue the matter it then proceeds to a consensus decision using steps 4.B & 4.C.
- B. Agreement. If there is no disagreement the process ends with the adoption of the proposal.
- C. Disagreement.
- 1. Without blocking consensus. (abstention/ standing aside/ recorded in minutes)
- 2. Blocking consensus- responsible for alternative proposal. A reasonable amount of time is given to prepare a proper proposal.
- a. Starts back at step 3 and goes through step 4.C.
- b. A straw vote may be necessary to determine which proposal is to be used as the vehicle toward decision making.
- c. An attempt is made to arrive at decision by using step C.a.
- 3. Any member present may call for a halt to consensus and request a vote on the proposal. A vote of 3/4 of those present shall affirm the decision.
- D. Should a question become too involved for the committee of the whole it may be appropriate to select a committee representing all views to:
- 1. Rewrite the proposal.
- 2. Prepare minority proposals.
- E. Committee reports later in the meeting or the next meeting.
- 1. Start again at step 2.
- 2. A 3/4 procedural vote to postpone to a specific time and place may be taken.