Loomio
Mon 16 Dec 2019

Formalising voting and validity of decision-making processes

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pospi Public Seen by 63

We need to create some structure around our use of Loomio, and our operational processes for making decisions in meetings. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • How we aim to achieve a consent-driven decision making process

  • Quorum thresholds for passing votes

  • Delegation of authority (on particular topics, or an ongoing basis)

  • Handling of absentees and abstaining votes

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pospi Mon 24 Feb 2020

I'd like to move this topic forward before we run into a situation where momentum is blocked due to unclear decision-making protocol. Are there any contentious items in the above, or would all be happy to adopt this as an initial version and evolve & adapt it as we move forward?

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pospi Mon 16 Dec 2019

These are my initial thoughts, based on prior experience in using Loomio for governance of a small eco-village:

  • Aim for full consent, only resort to voting in cases where there is disagreement on an issue

  • Require 75% quorum for a passing vote (maybe this figure needs to be fiddled depending on the initial active member size)

  • I don't think we should have "ongoing delegation" where one person can say "I don't want to vote, I always vote with so-and-so". In my experience this leads to dis-engagement from some, and power aggregation in others. The issue we originally experienced whereby we allowed this was people being dis-engaged due to overload. But I think we can solve that problem in a better way via federating into working groups.

  • I do think we should be able to delegate a vote on a particular issue if that seems necessary. Doing so requires that an explicit note of approval for another to vote on one's behalf be recorded on Loomio, alongside an "abstain" vote.

  • Votes are invalid unless "abstain" and "block" options are included (adding this in after Bob raised queries in another thread)

  • Absentee and abstaining votes are not counted in quorum tallies, unless the abstaining vote is recorded as a delegated vote. Note that this requires a formalisation of meeting and vote invite procedures in order to work, so...

  • For group-wide decisions, all members of the collective must be invited to the vote in order for it to be considered valid.

  • For decisions being made within working groups, all members of the working group must be invited to vote in order for it to be considered valid.

  • Working groups must report back to the wider collective with the outcomes of all votes they take (one aspect of this is record-keeping; the other is observability and notifications)