The Consensual Decision-Making Process



Consensus:	
· General agreement;
· Judgement arrived at by most of those concerned;
· Group solidarity in sentiment and belief.

Goal:	To make a decision that is in the best interests of all 
the People.  Consensus does not mean that all agree, but that all 
understand the decisions.

Approach: In entering the Consensual Decision-Making Process, 
whatever ideas are put into the process, the needs and attitudes of 
each are considered to complement the decision.

Also, individuals have a duty to be directly involved, and to bring 
their ideas into the discussion within their group.

The final decision may be fully satisfactory to some, satisfactory to 
others, relatively satisfactory to most, and possibly un-satisfactory 
to someone.  This is a slow and careful process requiring the full 
understanding by each individual, not a decision made by a "leader,"  
but it will be a decision that reflects elements from each group.

Roles: Within any collective group of People, whether it is a Family, 
Clan, Band, Tribe, Nation, or Confederation, equatable representation 
must be given to all groups.  Spokes people are usually chosen within 
the smallest division of the greater group.  This may be the male or 
female head of a family, clan speaker, matriarch, elder, band chief, 
or whatever leader or spokesperson is chosen to speak for each group.

An impartial Facilitator should be chosen from the greater group 
gathered.  This person is selected because of their ability and 
respect as an elder or leader.  Their role is to provide control and 
order to assure that collective rational thought and behavior are 
followed to come to an agreement.        

Process: The smallest groups within the larger group of people will 
deliberate on an issue or matter.  The leader of each smaller group 
reports their decision to the Facilitator.  If the smaller groups 
disagree, or there is an error or irregular proceeding the 
Facilitator will ask that they deliberate again.  This process may 
need to be repeated until the Facilitator believes that all 
understand and the issue is agreed upon.
 
Three Truths:	When an issue is discussed, the groups consider the 
good and bad  parts of the issue.  The following "Three Truths" must 
be met for consensus:

1. Peace - Does it preserve the peace that is already established?
2. Righteousness - Is it morally correct?
3. Power - Does it preserve the present and future integrity of the 
group?
	· Present - What does it do for the present generation?
	· Future - How does it affect the future seven generations 		
	from now?  The decisions made today must benefit all the 
	people from the present to the seven generations into the 	
	future.

Deliberations:	Persons are asked throughout the process if they 
fully understand.  If not, the process stops until this is 
accomplished.  One cannot simply be stubborn and refuse to understand 
as they will be questioned.  Each must follow the Truths of Peace, 
Righteousness and Power at all times.

Every person has a responsibility to expand and exercise their minds.  
The forces of life have given the human being the potential to use 
the mind to create a better life through Peace, Righteousness and 
Power.

In the Decision-Making Process -

· All opinions have to be considered;
· All must be completely reasonable;
· All should come with an open mind;
· All must fully understand the other's viewpoint;
· Each participant cannot repeat a position once it has been fully    
  explained and understood;
· A person who does not agree with the views stated must fully 
  explain their dissenting views;
· No one can impose their will nor make a decision for another;
· All must understand the viewpoint and agree of their own free will;
· If there is no consensus, the consensus is to retain the existing 
  position on the issue.	

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