[sig-policy] consensus definition

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  • Subject: [sig-policy] consensus definition
  • From: JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <jordi.palet@consulintel.es>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:47:51 +1100
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  • Thread-topic: consensus definition
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    • Hi all,
      As introduced in the meeting, here is the definition for consensus that I've compiled for the PDP update in LACNIC last May.
      2. Definition of ‘Consensus’
      Achieving ‘consensus’ does not mean that proposals are voted for and against, nor that the number of ‘yes's’, ‘no's’ and ‘abstentions’ – or even participants – are counted, but that the proposal has been discussed not only by its author(s) but also by other members of the community, regardless of their number, and that, after a period of discussion, all critical technical objections have been resolved.
      In general, this might coincide with a majority of members of the community in favor of the proposal, and with those who are against the proposal basing their objections on technical reasons as opposed to ‘subjective’ reasons. In other words, low participation or participants who disagree for reasons that are not openly explained should not be considered a lack of consensus.
      Objections should not be measured by their number, but instead by their nature and quality within the context of a given proposal. For example, a member of the community whose opinion is against a proposal might receive many ‘emails’ (virtual or real) in their support, yet the chairs might consider that the opinion has already been addressed and technically refuted during the debate; in this case, the chairs would ignore those expressions of support against the proposal.
      For information purposes, the definition of ‘consensus’ used by the RIRs and the IETF is actually that of ‘rough consensus’, which allows better clarifying the goal in this context, given that ‘consensus’ (Latin for agreement) might be interpreted as ‘agreed by all’ (unanimity). More specifically, RFC7282, explains that “Rough consensus is achieved when all issues are addressed, but not necessarily accommodated.”
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