Sat 30 Mar 2013 6:18PM

Allow clearence of topic with 80% Support

BMC Blaise M Crowly Public Seen by 16

We need to permit a topic to be cleared even if it not 100% supported, but should try to make it 100%. The 100% requirement is an agent of chaos, as anyone can just continue to veto every move causing the system to fail.

So we should let in movements with votes > 60%-80%(depending on number of voting members) to be cleared.


TheDentist Sun 31 Mar 2013 2:53AM

There is a need for improving the consensus process however straight away setting the clearance to 80% is bad for minorities. It seems here are our choices:
1) Set the clearance to 80% and put other protections mechanisms for minorities.
2) Improve upon the consensus process to tackle fundamentalism and to improve free thought and discussion.


kshytia ali fakr Mon 1 Apr 2013 8:13AM

we are a small group now of say 10 people. At this stage if there cannot be 100% consensus it will be difficult to achieve even 80% with the next size of group of say 100.


kshytia ali fakr Mon 1 Apr 2013 8:13AM

@Dentist - +1 for option 2


TheDentist Mon 1 Apr 2013 6:54PM

So i tried to formulate the consensus process into steps that we can perform. So here are the steps:

  1. Informal discussions will lead to the formation of a problem statement. A problem statement describes only the problem not the solution.
  2. A member initiates the process by releasing the problem statement(optional) and a proposal to the members.
  3. The proposal is said to be in discussion mode for one week. In this week, the members may ask the proposer to amend his proposal. If the proposer agrees to a member then its fine, but if not, the member may release a counter-proposal. This process continues for the week.
  4. At the end of the week, we will end up with multiple proposals given by different members. Lets say the proposals are P1, P2 and P3. The voting now commences. The process of voting is described below:
    • For each proposal a member may vote "Yes" or "No". A member may vote for multiple proposals but only once for each proposal.
    • If you think P1 is completely a better proposal than P2 then vote "yes" for P1 and "No" for P2. (even though P2 sounds fine to you)
    • If you like both P1 and P2 and are undecided between them, vote "yes" for both.
    • If you don't like both, and disagree with the problem statement itself, you can vote "No" for all the proposals.
    • If you liked some aspects of P1 and some aspects of P2 and if you can come up with a better proposal then work on the better proposal. Vote "No" for all the current proposals and submit your proposal in the next cycle. (You should have already submitted your proposal, you had a weeks time. But there is always the next time). If you dont have the resources to work on a combined proposal, then vote "yes" for both and help them stay in the race.
  5. After voting (in a meeting) the future of the proposals are decided by the following rules:
    • If the acceptance rate of the proposal is < 50% then the proposal is out of race.
    • If the acceptance rate of the proposal is >=80% then the proposal is said to be "Staged"
    • If the acceptance rate of the proposal is >=50% but <80% then the proposal is said to be "Running".
  6. This marks the end of a cycle. At the end of a cycle if there are only "Staged" proposals left (ie all proposals in the race are >80% accepted) then in the same meeting a final vote takes place where the members must choose one proposal, here majority wins (with no defined percentage). (Question: How do we break ties here?). The selected proposal is implemented, process ends.
  7. The next cycle is initiated at the end of the meeting. Same process is followed. The members have a week to prepare counter proposals. The existing proposals cannot be edited by the owner (or anybody) once it has been voted upon, the member must submit the proposal under a new code (like if you improve upon P1, then call it P4 let P1 be). The members must be open while preparing the proposals, so that others can give comments.
  8. If there are proposals at the end of the cycle that are "running" and not "staged" then it means all concerns are not met. So the process must continue.
  9. The proposal must of course abide by the constitution of India and the party. (Rights defined in CoI must not be violated).

Please comments and feedback.


TheDentist Mon 1 Apr 2013 7:07PM

For obvious reasons, loomio would be unsuitable for such a process. How about a wiki? Maybe wiki + some other tool (mail or loomio).

Frankly i thought loomio would mail the members every time there was a comment, making it an improvement on the mail list. Sadly there is no option to do that.


kshytia ali fakr Mon 1 Apr 2013 7:16PM

All this seems too complicated for non-geeks. I would suggest something like-

1) Limit the maximum size of any "unit" (ie. group, sub-group, or sub-sub-group etc.) to 10. Members are assigned to units strictly in order joining date and time.

2) Every unit must have 100% consensus within it to vote.

3) All decisions are taken by at least 90% voting consensus of units of same rank in the hierarchy when at least 90% of the units have voting capability. (This is functionally equal to 81% consensus).


TheDentist Mon 1 Apr 2013 7:46PM

May i ask where you got stuck?

We are already less in number right now. But yes, something like units will be needed in the future.

I am not sure i get you in point 3. But i think you went into constitution procedures. I was talking about right now. Right now there is no need to units we can act as one unit.
I think the process i wrote can scale up to 100+ people. When we have regional and national level hierarchy, we will of course need a different method which we will define in the constitution.


kshytia ali fakr Tue 2 Apr 2013 2:41AM

Say the party has 357 members.
Group = 357
Sub-groups = 36 (with 10 members each)
so voting takes place at Sub-group level when 32 sub-groups have 100% internal consensus, and needs 28 votes for any proposal to succeed. If 90% of the groups cannot achieve internal consensus then the proposal is a non-starter.


kshytia ali fakr Tue 2 Apr 2013 2:44AM

Amend: If 90% of the sub-groups cannot achieve internal consensus then the proposal is a non-starter.

By my proposal scheme there will have to be considerable debate before the members of a sub-group "delegate" their vote as compared to a system where individuals blindly vote.


TheDentist Tue 2 Apr 2013 3:59AM

Breaking down the discussion into groups must speed up the process.
But this method still lacks the process of giving counter-proposals.
A method to give counter-proposal, which is more in consensus, is important as it invites members to do actual work on a proposal that will be more acceptable. Otherwise it all becomes jumbled words even with a small group of 10 people (example us).
Take for instance the recent proposal if "Internet Freedom". It has not been drafted properly, not much has been defined as to what consists of Internet Freedom. If the initiating member had given a properly worded proposal, other members could have improved the wordings and given a counter proposal.
We can divide the group for discussion, but the process of counter-proposal is a must. Also this must be open so that other groups can discuss the available proposals.


kshytia ali fakr Tue 2 Apr 2013 1:19PM

What is happening in this group / party is a distortion of the principles of equity. Some people confuse equity with equality. Till the distinction is not clear to everyone and accepted there can be no progress here.


Pirate Praveen Wed 3 Apr 2013 12:43PM

TheDentist, loom.io is supposed to be sending email updates at least every 24 hours. But it seems something is broken at loom.io.


Pirate Praveen Wed 3 Apr 2013 12:45PM

I think as long as we cannot trust each other to build something together, each tool is going to fail us. It is not a technology or tool issue, I think it is a trust issue.


kshytia ali fakr Wed 3 Apr 2013 3:06PM

I feel it is a problem about too diverse a set of people trying to define their common ground.


TheDentist Thu 4 Apr 2013 9:03PM

I think people here misunderstand the rights of the minority in a consensus process (or a democratic process).
Firstly, it is not the right of just one person to block the decisions of everyone else. That is not Democracy, that's Dictatorship.
Secondly, its the right of minority (and everyone else) to put forth their reasons of the decisions they make. A minority has the right to give a proposal that will be closer to consensus.It does not however has the right to simply push its proposal down onto others by saying "its either this proposal or block"

Keeping these reasons in mind I created the process below. The process below gives a person with minority view the chance to make the proposal evolve in a democratic manner. If the minority is unable to produce any counter-proposal that is more in consensus, then the proposal passes.
The current process of consensus we are practicing is flawed. It puts all the pressure of reaching consensus on the majority. It is the duty of the minority (not just the majority) to work towards consensus.
Simply saying that the process i wrote below is too tough to understand is not gonna cut it.
I agree that it may not be a perfect system, but we need to try it to understand what would be better.


kshytia ali fakr Fri 5 Apr 2013 5:19AM

1) Who are you to create this process so that I must accept it ?
2) Why is it necessary for me to give a counter-proposal for every proposal that I reject ?
3) I have always given crisp and cogent reasons for why I oppose Internet Freedom as a Pirate Point and why I counter propose "a democratic Internet". Instead the discussion is taken into irrelevant areas.
4) If the rights / voices of minorities are not heard, the where is the claimed equality and democracy which is posted on the website ? Today it is just me, tomorrow it may be a hundred others like me.


TheDentist Fri 5 Apr 2013 8:21AM

1) I am not forcing you to accept anything. I have not even started a proposal.
2) Because simply blocking a proposal does not help the consensus process. You need to give better solutions that will be considered win-win
3) In the other thread I asked how internet freedom can be harmful to the society. It was not me who derailed the discussion after that. Simply giving a counter proposal is not enough, you counter proposal must be closer to consensus. The counter proposal you gave is not closer to consensus. The process i described encourages such proposals. When we create the proposal for democratic internet, blaise will be the first to veto it. Then you will understand my point, when your majority supported proposal is blocked.
4) Who said anything about silencing the minorities. Right now the burden to reach consensus is on the majority. I want distribute the burden.


kshytia ali fakr Fri 5 Apr 2013 12:55PM

At the end of the day, if there are decisions taken by a majority vote it sets up minorities.

1) You asked me to accept a procedure not a proposal

2) I am not blocking. It is highly likely that 1 person can point out flaws without being able to propose anything better (which another person can).

3) The issue of internet freedom being harmful has nothing to do with the price of fish. I am on the very basis for internet freedom being impossible under the present regime. I cannot give a counter-proposal for something I absolutely disagree with -- or till somebody shows me where i have erred. Mr Blaise can do what he wants - he has free will. I have no personal interest in getting some particular wordings into the Pirate Points, but shall certainly oppose anything obnoxious..


TheDentist Fri 5 Apr 2013 9:06PM

1) I did no such thing. I invited everyone to give comments on how the process can be improved.
2) That one person that sees the flaws has the right to point them out. They should not however get veto power. If you see flaws, you can put forth your arguments and try to rally other members to vote "No" on that proposal. You don't need to give a counter-proposal to vote "No". All you need is to get minimum 20% members to vote "No" till a fix to the flaw can be found.

Also understand that what you point as flaws might not be flaws in the eyes of other members.
Equality gives you the right to vote of equal weight. It gives you the right to put forth your arguments.
If 5 people vote "yes" and 1 person "blocks" with no attempt to reach consensus, how is that equality.
In essence, you are asking the 5 people to bow down and accept the terms of just one person.

PS: All percentages in the procedure are adjustable.


kshytia ali fakr Sat 6 Apr 2013 1:40PM

Not true.

I improved your process by giving a simpler, scalable, more efficient and faster consensus evaluation method. The flaw you perceived is that my proposal has no means for generating a counter-proposal, which I don't perceive to be a flaw at all.

Have you stopped to consider that a "block" may be applied when somebody believes that a certain path is absolutely unacceptable. Otherwise why have a block facility in the first place.

I think a block is a good tool when used judiciously by competent people with integrity and vision but a disaster when used as a political device by the mediocre as a bargaining chip.


TheDentist Sat 6 Apr 2013 6:17PM

I took your advice on counter proposals and "dividing into groups to discuss" I am working on it.

Just dividing into groups is not going to cut it.
Take us for instance, imagine we were part of a large Pirate Party and the members of a smaller group that was formed for discussion on Internet Freedom. Would we have reached a consensus?
Now you may have very legitimate reasons against Internet Freedom. And the most members may disagree with you. 90% of the groups will reach consensus and the proposal will be accepted. You will have no way of influencing the decision making process.

I understand your aim was to be scalable. I guess my method lacks that ability. But i am working on it.


TheDentist Sat 6 Apr 2013 6:27PM

Forget Internet freedom for a second.
Imagine there is a proposal that everyone divided into groups are working on. But you feel that you can give a better proposal that can make everyone happy (a win-win scenario). But the method you gave has no way of giving that feedback. Its either "consensus" or "no consensus" for a group. You also gave no way for inter-group communication. So your ideas will not reach the masses. 90% of the groups will reach consensus and your group wont be able to participate as according to your rules:
2) Every unit must have 100% consensus within it to vote.
And you obviously will block it.
Counter-proposals make it mandatory for someone to give constructive criticism. Its like saying "we can do better than this proposal, here is mine".
Otherwise it all becomes like "This proposal is bad, here is my proposal. Too bad you all do not accept it, but i am going to block your proposal too"
If you have no counter-proposals, the minority is freed from any burden of reaching consensus.


kshytia ali fakr Sun 7 Apr 2013 4:28PM

There is a collective software called crabgrass which addresses your concerns about inter-group information exchange. No point reinventing the wheel.

In any majority system the intelligent minority (or hardworking minority) will invariably be shut out by the mediocre / lazy majority. That is the by-product of any democracy.


Pirate Praveen Mon 8 Apr 2013 9:02AM

Are we just interested in talking for the sake of it? Why are we deviating from something we all agreed on? I thought our first agenda was to fix Pirate Points? Am I wrong in that understanding? Can't we find even one point that all 5 of us agree to?


Pirate Praveen Mon 8 Apr 2013 9:05AM

Lets try it for 10 points and if someone deliberately veto all 10 points, lets start from scratch without that person. It is not right to base our processes based on imaginary villains. That is how every single freedom is taken out from us. We have real 5 people working together and the aim of this group is to form the constitution. In constitution we can set 80% or 80% clearance for amendments, policies etc if all 5 of us here agrees.