(Published in GralsWelt 36/2005)
by Erich Visotschnig / Siegfried Schrotta
Carl Ueberreuter, Vienna, 2005
When this book fell on my table for a review, I thought: "Again one of those advisors who are sometimes very funny, occasionally even bring interesting ideas, but which can hardly be put into practice." Then the surprise: I have the book of the decade in my hands!
The two authors - experienced systems analysts - developed a straightforward process that allows groups of all kinds to quickly and easily find consensus on contentious issues. This is done with an evaluation method in which no idea, no person or no party is ignored or excluded. As a rule, instead, the optimal compromise between the wishes of all those involved is crystallized.
What seems impossible at first glance, is managed by a procedure in which positive and negative points are assigned; The proposal that best meets the wishes of all parties has the greatest chance. Nobody is outvoted, everyone brings their preferences and contributes to the result. It is not the “lowest common denominator” but the “greatest common denominator” that comes about.
The procedure is so simple that it can be used effectively by 10 or 12 year olds with their problems. Hopefully there will be many teachers who will introduce their students to this process and try it out with them.
The much-lamented disenchantment with politics today is mainly due to the ongoing and destructive party dispute. These include the apparently inevitable battle votes in parliaments, which alienate many voters because the issue is no longer at stake. Those who are outvoted, who are perhaps only marginally inferior, have a feeling of injustice that leaves a feeling of frustration. The voting rituals customary today, in which contradictions are inevitably built up and sharpened, can be elegantly replaced by the consensus procedure, which, if applied correctly, leads with great certainty to the best possible compromise that can satisfy all groups. Practical examples can be found in the book mentioned.
One could doubt that the incorrigible concrete heads that are currently setting the course in parties and unions will embark on a democratic process that could curtail their established power. The advantages of the procedure presented are so obvious, however, that hopefully soon a younger generation will set the tone in parliaments who have been familiar with the universally applicable principle of consensus since their school days and who have learned that cooperation leads further than confrontation. You will then shake your head about the voting rituals that are (still) used at the moment!
The best thing to do is to make yourself familiar with the very important "Sk principle" by reading it yourself, apply it personally in your circle, and draw hope with me that democracy can still be saved! Once this principle has become widely accepted, even politics will no longer be able to avoid a method that forces the common good to be ranked higher than party interests.
With this publication, the two authors make a contribution to the common good!