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degree of consensus

From the gpc-constitution discussions:

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Consensus is not unanimity: levels of consensus in decision making

The word "consensus" is often used as a substitute for "unanimity".
This is incorrect. A unanimous decision cannot be considered to be
a consensus decision, for the following long-understood reasons:
  • unanimity is often a sign of intimidation or fear of disagreement
  • unanimity is often a sign of groupthink or strong leader charisma
  • unanimity almost always indicates a lack of other options debated
  • unanimity usually implies that enough support for a more decisive
or bold option exists, that would have had near-unanimous support

For these reasons, the near-unanimous levels of positive support with
a lack of strong opposition are what is properly called a "consensus".

In any Green Party of Canada process the level of consensus required
for a given type of decision will be established exactly as follows:
- "U-1" or "Unanimity minus one" indicates one dissenter cannot block
- "U-2" or "Unanimity minus two" indicates two dissenters cannot block

Unanimous assent is not usually advisable. Nor are U-3 or any lower level of consensus - specify instead an 80% (4/5) or 66.6% (2/3) or other higher-than-majority statistical threshold.

In all cases, the dissenters will be granted the authority to create and publicize a "dissensus" position that opposes the consensus, and may predict negative outcomes from pursuing it. This will assist in any future review of the decision and any claim that an outcome was predicted. In exchange for respect for this statement on the record, the dissenters agree not to actively work against the consensus view. (Another name for 'dissensus' is a 'minority report').


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