[Internal-cg] Interpretation of 'Consensus' ..

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Jan 14 17:57:33 UTC 2015


I guess Im unclear:  if we "catalog" how the various communities determined that they had reached consensus, does that mean we could make the determination that their proposal failed to do so?

MM: Even if we use their own criteria for reaching consensus (which I agree we should), it is possible that we could determine that they did not reach it.

Indeed, if it is _not_ possible for us to reach a finding that there is not a proper consensus for a proposal, there is no point for us to even go through that process, is there?

A lack of real consensus, or a fake claim of consensus is likely to be relatively easy to spot. There would be howls of objections from people whose views were ignored or trodden upon and corroboration from the record. We cannot assume that whoever is in control of the pen and happens to send us the proposal defines consensus and is incapable of either lying or being mistake. Fundamentally, we are not doing our jobs if there is no possibility of a finding of failed consensus on our part.

And our check at this level has a severely practical rationale: we shouldn't be sending something out for public comment unless we are pretty sure it has something close to the required level of support, at least from the operational communities who prepared the proposals. Otherwise we are just wasting everyone's time.

As for this question:

If so, then what?

MM: Answer is obvious. We send it back.

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