Don Marti

Fri 25 Sep 2009 07:25:11 AM PDT

Answer to a question on voting for groups

Just got a question on how to do a voting system for a group, through Aardvark. Here's my answer.

If a group is voting at all, it means there has been a double failure. The first line of decision-making is "do-ocracy." The person who does the work decides how to do it. The second line of decision-making is consensus: the person who wants things to be a certain way makes a good case for it in a meeting or online forum, and the rest of the group agrees.

By the time you're actually voting, something has gone seriously wrong.

So, don't make the voting system into a cool toy. That's rewarding people for getting the normal processes fouled up. Straight up and down vote, majority wins, either on ratty pieces of paper or the cheesiest web form you can build, then try to understand what went wrong.