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Consensus Building

What Do You Do When Consensus Fails?

This is the nightmare scenario for any consensus process: After months of hard work by 20 or 30 participants, one or two holdouts, perhaps representing narrow or personal interests, block agreement and frustrate the entire effort. That is possible if the only route to agreement requires unanimous consent. There has to be a way to […]

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Consensus Building Online Collaboration

Online Voting for Public Policy vs. Consensus Building: Is That a Choice?

Although I haven’t seen a lot of discussion about this so far, the emergence of interactive tools for online citizen engagement poses interesting questions for the future of public policy consensus building. It’s still early days in the development of the web technology, and experiments so far have been spotty. Despite the high orbit of […]

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Dialogue & Deliberation

Deliberating to Change Public Policy

With so much attention focused on the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative , it’s worth taking a look at recent nationwide and state efforts to bring the public closer to government through the use of deliberative democracy techniques. Two impressive examples among many are the Citizens Parliament in Australia, convened to consider ways of improving […]

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Public Involvement

Who’s the Public? Two Views

In the last post I outlined a method of public involvement based on a model of interest group competition. The main players in that approach are the sponsoring agencies and the organized advocacy groups. The public at large is consulted but plays a very limited role. I’d like to add a few more thoughts about […]

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