proj-concordDemocracy-concordBylawsRewrite1911 old


Concord is a set of procedures for a group to make decisions.

This document provides the formal rules for Concord. It calls itself the 'bylaws' but depending on the type of organization you have, you may need to adopt it into your Bylaws, Articles, Constitution, or Charter.

Some parts of this document that you may want to modify before adoption to suit your organization include:

In organizations which use weighted voting, each voter has a weight or 'voting strength' which indicates how many 'votes' they may cast.

Getting started

This document assumes that your group has already decided to adopt Concord. The process by which a group of people initially decide to adopt the Concord system is not itself part of the Concord procedures. Upon deciding to adopt Concord, a pre-election is held for a Temporary Secretary, who then organizes the first Election.

The pre-election may be held in person via raised hands, or via written secret ballot.

Any person may nominate themselves or anyone else for Temporary Secretary. When no more nominations seem to be coming in, a last call is made for nominations.

If the pre-election is being held via raised hands, then each candidate is presented to the voters in turn. When a candidate is presented, each voter may indicate their approval by raising one hand, or may do nothing. Voters may vote for more than one candidate; they may raise one hand for as many or as few candidates as they wish.

If the pre-election is being held via written ballot, each ballot lists all of the candidates, and each voter may place a mark next to as many candidates as they wish. The cast ballots are available for inspection by all voters.

The votes are counted and the candidate with the most votes is the Temporary Secretary. In case of a tie, a runoff is held between all tied candidates; further runoffs are held until there is a single winner.

Immediately upon being elected, the Temporary Secretary begins to organize the first full Election. The Temporary Secretary should hurry to hold the Election as soon as possible and should prioritize speed over excessive care. Upon announcing the results of the first full Election, the Temporary Secretary's term of office ends. If the Temporary Secretary becomes incapacitated or resigns, or if for any reason an election is not held within three months, their term ends and another pre-election is held to replace them. The Temporary Secretary may run for another office in the Election that they are organizing.


An electoral Cycle lasts one year. An election is held when one Cycle has elapsed since the previous election, or sooner if an Early Election is called. Elections are via written secret Ballot.

Election Ballot questions

Each voter is given a distinct Ballot for each question. The questions are:

and in addition any other questions put on via the Referendum procedures. The Ballot may contain additional explanatory material.

In many organizations dues are not a single fixed number, but rather a formula. In this case the ballot question regarding dues shall be replaced by one that asks about each of the numeric constants of this formula.

Each candidate who receives voter signatures representing at least 1% of the total voting strength appears on the ballot for Chair. Once a voter signs a campaign to nominate a candidate for Chair, they may not sign another such campaign until after an Election has been held.

Any voting member or any organization whose membership consists only of voting members, and which gathers voter signatures representing the lesser of at least 30 votes or at least 1% of the total voting strength, may register as a Registered Interest Group. Once a voter signs a campaign to register an Interest Group, they may not sign another such campaign until after an Election has been held.

Election of Chairs

3 Chairs are selected by Triscore Voting.

Any voting member is is eligible for Chair.

Election of Boardmembers

The Board consists of 7 seats.

Any voting member is eligible for the Random Board Seat.

One of the 7 seats is selected by randomly drawing a ballot for Random Board Seat (with the probability of each ballot being drawn proportional to its voting strength); if that ballot uniquely specifies a voter, then that voter is elected to the first seat; otherwise, another ballot is randomly drawn until a voter is elected.

The other 6 seats are divided into two sets of 3, called 'classes'. One of these two classes (3 seats) is filled in each Election; and these Boardmembers serve for a term of two Elections.

In order to elect these 3 seats, we go through a process of iterative delegation.

The initial vote threshold is the lesser of and 30 votes and 1% of the total voting strength.

The number of votes received by each Registered Interest Group is called the Original Voting Strength of that Registered Interest Group.

Those Interest Groups who received a number of votes which was less than the initial vote threshold are deregistered, and the votes they received are wasted.

The remaining Registered Interest Groups may transfer their received votes to each other until there are no more than 23 Interest Groups remaining with votes. A Registered Interest Group must transfer all of their votes at once, and after they do this, they may not receive more votes transferred from others. These transfer events are recorded and are public.

An iteration duration is chosen by Median Chair Choice and announced.

Each iteration lasts for the specified duration. At the end of each iteration, the vote threshold is increased by multiplying the previous threshold by 23. If less than 23 Registered Interest Groups exceed the new threshold, the new threshold is reduced to the greatest threshold that would admit 23 Registered Interest Groups. Now, all Registered Interest Groups who have not yet transferred their votes, and who hold less than the new vote threshold, are deregistered, and the votes they received are wasted. This process repeats until there are no more than 23 Registered Interest Groups who still hold votes, at which point these 23 are deemed Boardelectors.

The Registered Interest Groups whose votes were ultimately transferred to a Boardelector are called the Supporters of that Boardelector.

The Boardelectors fill all of the Board seats up for election via Triscore Voting.

Ordinarily at the time of each Election, only 4 Board seats will be up for Election because the other 3 seats will be held by a class halfway through its term, but if for some reason there are additional vacancies (such as during the initial full Election), then the Triscore Voting procedure is used to fill these seats after filling the seats ordinarily filled, but those elected to these additional seats only have a term of office until the next Election, rather than a term of two Elections.

Recall of Boardelectors and Boardmember

At any time after an Election, a Boardelector may be recalled by a vote of >=2/3 of their Supporters, or by a vote of >=2/3 of all Registered Interest Groups (in each case, weighted by Original Voting Strength in the previous Election). A recalled Boardelector is immediately replaced by their Supporters via Triscore Voting.

At any time after an Election, a Boardmember may be recalled by a vote of >=2/3 of their Supporters, or by a vote of >=2/3 of all Boardelectors (weighted by their voting strength). A recalled Boardmember is immediately replaced by their Supporters via Triscore Voting, except for the Random Board Seat Boardmember, who has no Supporters and who is replaced randomly in the manner of election given above for Random Board Seat.

Term-of-office and multiple offices restrictions

Unless >=2/3s votes against term-of-office limits and restrictions on one individual holding multiple offices to be in effect, no individual may simultaneously hold more than one office out of Chair, Boardmember, CEO. Furthermore, no individual may hold one of the offices of Chair, Boardmember if they have previously held it for at a total duration (including noncontinuous service but not counting the gaps in between those terms of service) of least 6 Cycles in the past.

The results on the question regarding term limits and multiple offices are tallied first as they effect the results on some of the other questions. When these limits and restrictions are in effect, an individual who is forbidden from holding a given office cannot win a seat in the election. This means that in order to win a seat as Chair or Boardmember, an individual who is currently holding an office of Chair, Boardmember, CEO whose term is not ending would have to resign from their other office before election results are announced.

When multiple office restrictions are not in effect, it is possible for one individual to hold multiple Chairs and/or multiple seats on the Board.

todo: how to treat the other ballot questions

Early elections

Early elections occur when any Chair position becomes vacant.

Board meetings

The goal of the rules for Board meetings is to make good decisions quickly, but to give the minority a chance to have their say even if .

Boardmeetings are called by the Speaker, or by any group of Boardmembers constituting at least 1/3 of all seats of the Board. Meetings ordinarily must be called with at least 2 weeks notice, but this requirement may be waived if all Chairs vote in favor of doing so for a specific meeting. A Quorum is said to be present when the holders of a simple majority of all non-vacant Board seats are present. Meetings may not begin without a Quorum. Quorum may be lost or regained mid-meeting. When a Quorum is not present, discussion may continue informally but votes have no effect. If Quorum is lost mid-meeting, the Presiding Officer may recess or adjourn the meeting without a vote.

Meetings may be held electronically, remotely, over the phone, etc, and 'presence' is defined accordingly.

Each seat of the Board has one vote, even if weighted voting is otherwise in effect. Note that when multiple office restrictions are not in effect, it is possible for one individual to hold multiple seats on the Board. Such an individual would also have additional turns to set topics of discussion and additional speaking slots, as all of these rights are according to seat, rather than according to individual.

Boardmeetings are open to all voting members except when a specific meeting is closed by simple majority vote of the Board. All Boardmembers and all Chairs have the right to attend and to speak at all Boardmeetings, although only Boardmembers have votes and can set topics of discussion.

The Presiding Officer may give a 5-minute speech at the beginning of the meeting.

Boardmembers take turns, in round-robin fashion, setting the topic of discussion. The ordering and each seat's position within it persists across meetings. The Boardmember who is setting the topic speaks first to introduce it.

On each topic, each Boardseat and each Chair has the right to speak twice, for up to 5 minutes each time (the introducer of a topic gets an additional speech, if that introductory speech is counted). When it is their turn to speak, any participant may yield some or all of their time to anyone else present, even if they are not a Boardmember or Chair. When it is their turn to speak, a Boardmember may instead make a metaproposal to alter the limits on speaking, which is then voted upon without discussion and succeeds if >= 2/3s of Boardseats present vote in favor. When multiple people wish to speak, the Presiding Officer determines the order in which speakers take the floor.

In order to block a Resolution of the Forum, a simple majority vote of Boardseats present is required.

In order to become a Resolution, an ordinary proposal originating in the Board requires of vote of >= 60% of those Boardseats present. A proposal which increases the rights of Members or of voting Members, or decreases the powers of the Organization or of officials, or decreases the rules applied to Members or to voting Members, and also does not do anything other than these things, requires only a simple majority vote of those Boardseats present. A proposal to amend these Bylaws originating in the Board requires a vote of >= 2/3s of all Boardseats.

When it is their turn to speak, a Boardmember may instead make a metaproposal to temporarily modify the rules governing only this Board meeting, except that rules regarding quorum or regarding modification of the rules may not be modified; this metaproposal is then voted upon without discussion and succeeds if >= 2/3s of Boardseats present vote in favor.

When it is their turn to speak, a Boardmember may instead make a metaproposal to recess or adjourn the meeting; this metaproposal is then voted upon without discussion and succeeds if a majority of Boardseats present vote in favor. Frequent recesses are suggested to allow informal discussion of topics.

When a Boardmember uses their turn to speak to make a metaproposal, they do not use up a speech if their metaproposal succeeds. Like Boardmembers, the Presiding Officer may a metaproposal instead of speaking when it is their turn to speak.

Board meetings are presided over by the Speaker (the person presiding is called the Presiding Official). If the Speaker is not present, they are presided over by the Secretary, and if neither the Speaker not the Secretary are present, they are presided over by the Treasurer. If a person who would have presided appears after the meeting has begun and someone else is already presiding, the person who would have presided immediately becomes the presiding officer unless they do not wish to.

Members may not disrupt Boardmeetings. The Presiding Official can order an participant who is disruptive or otherwise breaking the rules to stop doing so. If they persist, the Presiding Official may order them to remain silent for any duration of time up to the end of the current meeting; a silenced Boardmember may still vote but may not otherwise speak. If the participant will not remain silent or otherwise disrupts the meeting after being silenced, the Presiding Official may expel the participant from the rest of the current meeting. An expelled member is no longer present for purposes of Quorum.

Decisions of the Presiding Official can be appealed to all Chairs and overturned by a simple majority vote of all Chairs. Decisions of all Chairs can further be appealed to the Procedural Tribunal, but the Procedural Tribunal must defer to the judgement of the Chairs except where the Chairs' decision is unambigously, objectively, and certainly against the rules.

todo the rules about amendments/Alternatives

Other Procedures

Understudies and vacancies

When an official becomes incapacitated or unavailable, their understudy may act in their place, and is considered to be an official with the same powers as their appointer unless and until the official returns to service. If their understudy is also incapacitated or unavailable, the understudy's understudy takes over, etc. If no understudy has been designated for an office whose holder is incapacitated or unavailable, that office is vacant.

A position with an understudy is not vacant; the understudy may serve out the entire remaining term of their appointer.

Triscore Voting


Median Chair Choice


Note that the Temporary Secretary is a Chair, and is the only Chair during their term, so in this case Median Chair Choice just means that the Temporary Secretary decides.

Weighted voting

Where weighted voting is in effect, voting thresholds (including 'simple majority' and '>=2/3s') are considered to refer to a proportion of the weighted vote, not to a proportion of the count of voters.