7. Both consensus building and sociocracy are time consuming, would it not be more effective and efficient to use other democratic processes, like voting.

In today’s interdependent world, partial solutions no longer work. If one person has an infectious disease, all others are in danger; if one region is polluted, the poisons are likely to spread to other areas; if there is terrorism in one area, people’s travels to other parts of the world will be constrained through long baggage searches, fear, and so on. We are either all a part of the solution, or solutions will be undermined.

For this reason, it is imperative that all people begin to think globally, that all people understand the cause of today’s problems and see their resolution as our joint responsibility.

The decision-making process of consensus and consent, as in sociocracy, familiarize people with the pros and cons of each subject and encourage each person to think for him or herself. By actively participating in discussions and actively giving consent to solutions, all participants become actively involved in the solution and partly responsible.

When, on the other hand, a topic is voted on, there are always some who are for and some who are opposed. Those opposed will tend to feel less responsible for the good outcome of the matter voted on, may not want to participate in the solution, and may even sabotage proceedings.

The U.N. has been dealing with global problems since its inception. Initially, it made decisions by simple majority vote (procedural decisions); or 2/3 majority (substantive decisions.) It has, over the years changed its decision-making process to increase the number of subjects that can be decided by consensus so as to ensure that all countries standby decisions and become an active part of the solution.

Decisions by consent are much more easily made, since people do not have to agree. They may not be opposed. This is to safeguard people and the environment from harmful goodsand services.

This process initially takes time but lays the foundation for durable solutions, whereas decisions by vote often are ignored by those who voted against it.