Transition Sheffield Constitution

General news and discussion.

Re: Transition Sheffield Constitution

Postby craig » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:58 pm

Thanks very much Susannah for all your work on this. The v3 constitution looks good to me, with the exception of a slight error in section 11 (amendments), which first says that they can be made by simple majority and then that they must be deferred to a second meeting and a two thirds majority. I assume that this should be corrected to just the latter (2/3rds) in line with other decision-making.
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Re: Transition Sheffield Constitution

Postby Susannah » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:42 pm

Thanks Craig, well spotted. I've corrected the third draft and reposted it as version 3.1 to keep things simple.
If one other person apart from me thinks it might now be workable, that's a good start!
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Re: Transition Sheffield Constitution

Postby Susannah » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:25 am

Got a useful email from Steve about his preference for full consensus voting (see below), and have in consequence put up a fourth draft constition. After this, I'll simply try and get people round a table to agree on a version and have done with it!

Hi Susannah,

It sounds like you may not understand how consensus works. I know I didn't for quite a long time after I'd started using it. It wasn't until I held up the entire European Bike Caravan on a freezing Czech mountaintop, surrounded by agressive border police, that someone explained it to me and we could move on.

Basically it doesn't mean everyone has to agree for every decision - that's a very common misconception.

If a full agreement cannot be reached those in the minority can do what's called a 'step aside'. That is they can say they don't agree with a decision but won't block the wishes of the majority. This is far more usual than blocking a decision. Blocks should only really occur on highly contentious issues, perhaps with a strong ethical component for instance.

Voting, which is essentially forcing, through majority decisions is inevitably fractious. Using 'step asides' although similar to voting is less forcful because those who don't get want they want are voluntarily allowing the decision to go through.

The other problem with mixing the two systems is how do you decide when something is to be consensus or voted through? And do you use a consensus to agree that, or a vote, or does a facilitator make that decision? And who decides that?

Also there's a danger that people will often fall back on voting at the end of meeting just because they're tired or want to get off home. Really not a good basis for making important decisions. How would one prevent such a tendency? There's probably a way but it's just getting more complicated.

Anyway to sum up using 'step asides' in consensus decision making is only subtlely different from voting. It's a lot neater than trying to combine two seperate systems for making decisions.

Hope that all makes sense. I'm happy explain more if needed.


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