Common Good Finance
creating Common Good Communities™, economics for a sustainable world

Common Good Democracy™ - The Decision Process - Step By Step

  1. An issue comes up. The member depositors or Division Advisors in a community propose an issue for discussion and decision. Typical issues will include:
    • choosing the next Division Advisors
    • how to disburse the bank's profits to advance the common good
    • what will be the bank's lending priorities in the coming year
    • in what town will the next new branch be established
  2. Discussion. Members meet to discuss the issue and generate options. Internet discussions may be used as well as in-person discussions (but not instead of them).
  3. More discussion. If the issue requires more discussion, additional discussion sessions are held.
  4. Question formulated. The Division Advisors formulate a written question and written options to be voted on, along with a brief explanation of each option. (See also "How Budget Options Are Chosen".)
  5. Vote scheduled. The Division Advisors schedule and announce a period for voting. Typically voting will begin on a Monday and continue for seven days.
  6. Voting. Members vote online or at the bank. Whether voting directly or by proxy, the member can change his or her vote anytime before the voting closes. For budget-type issues, such as how to disburse the profits or setting lending priorities, members use a penny vote. All other issues are multiple choice.
  7. Results. The results are automatically announced online. Partial results are NOT disclosed while the voting is open, because that can lead to dishonest "strategic" votes and "follow-the-leader" votes -- both of which detract from the wisdom of the crowd.
  8. Objections. Voters are encouraged to use their veto to express moral or ethical objections to a particular option. They must give a reason for any veto. Each veto reduces the overall weight of the voter's ballot in proportion to the number of options. For example, if there are seven options, each veto reduces the voter's say by one-seventh.

    If any winning option was "vetoed" by 5% or more of the voters, the Division Advisors will invite those voters to voice their objections further, and may schedule additional discussions before a revote. Meanwhile, in multiple-choice votes, the winning option stands. On budget-type issues, the vetoed item gets a zero budget.