On another thread on the XP list, we’ve been discussing some ideas around moderation after a certain, um incident, which some people agree with and some don’t. The idea was brought up to perhaps next time have a discussion about the moderation, and come to an agreement by consent rather than consensus (for more about that, see here).
John Roth sent a query about it over to a group which discusses such things, and the following was the reply from Sharon Villines, and author of a book called Consenting to a Deeper Democracy – The Essential Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods:
Consent decision making only works in a group of people who:
1. Share a common aim and
2. Can reflect together on how best to achieve that aim
3. The group consents to who is included in the group (and thus in the decision making).
If these three conditions cannot be met, then majority vote or autocratic decision making works best.
If you have a group of moderators, they can use consent amongst themselves (if they can meet these three conditions). If the moderator list is representative of the kinds of people on the list, they should be able to make decisions that are in the best interests of the people on the list. But, obviously, not every person with every kind of aim.
The view from list members will be that the moderators are making decisions autocratically because that is how an individual list member will experience it.
Majority vote on a list will tend to produce a very homogeneous list as the minority is voted down and leaves.