Schwarz10 Hausproject


One problem that most living communities face after the founding phase is a diversified membership with different levels of participation and investment. Flat democracy does not respect participation and investment, which makes it difficult for a house to retain its senior members.

Another problem of flat democracy is that voting blocks can evolve over time, which form grid-lock.

Flat democracy can only reveal consensus. It cannot build it.

The Wahlbörse is a weighted system of voting that builds and maintains consensus.

A possible translation of Wahlbörse is "voting exchange," if exchange is understood to be like "stock exchange" and not like "vote swapping." Since English does not allow a good translation, the German is used.

Key Ideas

  1. A voter may hold multiple votes. Votes are earned through community service. In other words, the more involved a person is in his community, the more say he has in its governance.
  2. A voter may cast multiple votes for each ballot question. In other words, when one person casts three votes for a question, this over-rides two people who each cast a single vote against.
  3. Votes that are cast against the prevailing majority are lost. For example, if a voter casts 23 votes against a ballot question, and the ballot question prevails, he loses 23 votes. Voters who cast votes with the majority do not lose votes.
  4. A voter must cast all his votes in each Börse and may only decide the allocation. This ensures active participation.


People who consistently vote against the majority lose power, thereby allowing a coherent decision-making process. For example, if the majority votes to host a nutrition class, they will also be able to vote to buy chairs for it, because the people who voted against the nutrition class have lost voting power.

People who are hard-working and who have harmonious relationships in the house will have the most influence. This is not a weakness of the system; it is its strength. A house is not a country; it needn't be a home to anyone and everyone. To the extent that we are unable to form coherent groups, we will be impotent at every political level.

The most important aspect of the system is that people are encouraged to cheat the system, that is to say, voters are motivated to discover what other voters think, in order to better predict the outcome of the vote and avoid losing votes. This encourages consensus to be built before the decision is made. The vote becomes a technical formality.

In the Schwarz10, the Wahlbörse has never been used. All decision-making has been hitherto based on consensus. Of course, consensus is easier to reach when it is sought under the shadow of the Wahlbörse.