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Upcoming Business Meetings
Written By Finn Finnegan O’Flynn circa AS 46.
If you talk to any long-time member of Cynnabar, the history on how decisions were made has a rich background. While there is not a definitively written history of these discussions process, what we do know are the results. So I wanted to share them here so everyone knows what the general process on how things are decided within the Barony. The financial policy spells out the process on how approving budgetary items are done. In general, the same process is used for other items as needed.
Cynnabar uses the "consensus model" for its decision making process. What does that mean?
Consensus means that there is no substantial objection or substantive opposition. Consensus is where, rather than asking for yes votes, there is a request for objection to the item. If there is no substantial objection, the item passes.
In short, we use a three business meeting discussion/approval process.
- A new proposal is brought up at a business meeting and discussed. This is considered the 1st meeting
- The proposal is discussed again at a second business meeting.
- At the third business meeting the proposal is reviewed and discussed a final time. At this point (or any point in the prior discussions), the seneschal looks/asks for "substantial opposition" to the proposal.
- If there is none, then the proposal passes.
- If there is substantive opposition, then the Barony does not support it and the proposal fails.
A note on "substantive opposition": What does this mean? These words to define what constitutes a reason to reject a proposal have been carefully chosen in the past as the standard that the Barony of Cynnabar will use for determination on issues/budget items. Here is my take on what it means as far as how are group uses it:
Substantive opposition is more than a check to see if a simple majority of people approve a proposal. There could be a less than majority of people that oppose an idea/budget item that have very valid concerns. If the arguments are sound and there are "enough" voices, then it can be considered "substantive" and the proposal would fail. This, however does not mean that just one or two people opposing an issue automatically halts the proposal. Substantive is a combination of both number of people AND their argument against the issue/budget item. If the overwhelming majority of people still want to support the issue/budget item, then it should pass.
Of course, the final question on this "substantive opposition" process is how is that threshold of pass/fail determined? That, in the end, is up to the Seneschal. If the issue is a touchy one and/or seems like it can go either way, I would HIGHLY recommend the seneschal should consult with the Baron and Baroness to know their thoughts and input and they can consult with other officers of the group as well, particularly with any officer that the issue impacts directly. Hopefully with a level head and guidance from Their Excellencies and other officers, the right decision will be made for the Barony.
Please note, it has been suggested in the past that consensus means it has to be unanimous to pass. This is not true. By definition consensus means: 1. Majority of opinion. 2. General agreement or concord; harmony. So one dissenting opinion should not be allowed to derail a process/discussion.