The American Consensus forum attempts to provide a platform or play a sponsoring role for the discussion and debate of ideas and “world views” where there is widespread disagreement among the electorate. The format allows several options, some as follows:
1. Interviews – always interested in hearing what people have to say. The goal is not to put people “on the spot”. Rather it is to come to consensus.
2. Commentary – on what has been written or spoken when an interview is not possible, practical or desired. Oftentimes the written form is preferred because it is a more precise medium in that it is less prone to be taken out of context and less error-prone.
3. Forum Participation – Forums can be a great place to debate issues and hone arguments. Or they can degenerate into ideological shouting matches. We prefer the former.
4. Political Action – It is critical to get this movement publicized to the electorate and to the existing powers that be. To that end a mailing list of volunteers will need to be amassed. Sign up below on the “Contact Us” link!
Topics: Agendas are focused on issues called “topics”. Each topic is a loosely defined but limited category of discussion surrounding a set of issues where disagreement is obvious and solutions are often divisive. Moderators have the role of “keeping the cats herded” so as to stay on topic in the spirit of moving toward consensus and avoiding conflict. Topics focus on the fundamentals of an issue avoiding tangents without first clarifying (and returning to) the fundamentals of a topic.
Proposals: After sufficient discussion (sometimes none at all if no one participates), succinct proposals will be offered. These are the final artifacts, the deliverables of this process. They should be written in a format that can be used by policy makers. Each proposal must consider arguments from the most extreme sides of an issue. Proposals can change over time subject to input – that is the nature of consensus.