UPDATED: Proposal for General Assembly Consensus Model has Passed

March 2, 2012 in Draft Proposals

The following proposal was passed by the Occupy Denver General Assembly on March 13, 2012:


  • Decisions that are passed by 2/3 means a whole 1/3 of the group disagrees with the decision.
  • Decisions made with such disagreement face challenges in effectively achieving their goal because support is not strongly shared.
  • Passing decisions by as small as 2/3 does not actively consider the reasons for disagreeing opinions.
  • Using a 2/3 vote puts more focus on passing proposals than on collaborating on plans which most/all consent to.

We, the GA Procedures Committee, propose that Occupy Denver move from passing votes by 2/3 majority to a super majority of 9/10. In this way, proposals would only pass when 9/10 people voting support it.

  • This will ensure that decisions made are supported by most people involved. In this way, decisions are more likely to be effectively carried out. The process of coming to consensus on decisions will facilitate fuller collaboration in designing the decision.
  • They are also less likely to be highly divisive.
  • It will also enable the group to more seriously consider the opinions of dissenting voices and come to agreements that reconcile with these perspectives.

The process of decision making will change in a few ways by moving to a 9/10 consensus.

  • Votes will be called in this order: Abstentions, Blocks, No, Yes.
  • Blocks will be added to the options of votes. A block means the person believes this proposal to be fundamentally opposed to the values or principles of Occupy Denver, and that if the proposal goes forward, they are willing to leave the group.
    • If there is a Block, we will follow the following procedure:
      • The person(s) blocking will be asked to explain why they are blocking.
      • After the explanation time, additional time will be given for the group to discuss the concerns of the blocker and attempts will be made to reconcile the issue being raised with the proposer and the GA.
      • After this discussion, a vote will be called for again. If the blocker’s concern convinced enough others to block or vote against the proposal, such that the vote does not reach a 9/10 consensus, then it (aka the proposal, to avoid ambiguity) will not pass.
      • If the discussion did not lead enough others to block or vote “no”, then the proposal will pass.
      • In the event that the vote for the proposal does not reach 9/10 vote, then it would be encouraged that blocker and proposer meet and see if they can reach agreement, in which case they could bring proposal back to GA for a vote.

If Occupy Denver decides to move to the 9/10 consensus, then the GA Procedures committee will facilitate this significant shift by publishing a pamphlet explaining this process and its values, hosting educational discussions on consensus process, and working with the film and video committee to make an informative short video about OD GA and the consensus process.