FAQ on > What is a Preferendum? > The ‘tyranny of the majority’ presupposes that the majority is always wrong. Is it?
No. In some instances, the consensus view will be the same as a majority view. Indeed, when there is unanimity, the consensus view will be the same as any minority view as well.
If you take a majority vote when there is a plurality of options, you might get a majority in favour of quite a few of them. Right kids, the teacher might say, what shall we do today? Go swimming? Hurrah. Watch a movie? Hurrah. A consensus voie would clarify the situation to find out which option was the most popular.
There again, you might get a situation when there isn’t a majority in favour of anything. This happened in Westminster in 2003 when they debated reform of the House of Lords: they had five options on the table, they took five majority votes, and they lost the lot! It was a decision-making process by which, for those people with those opinions, they could not make a decision!
Slovenia did the same in a multi-option referendum: three options on the ballot paper, and all three of them were lost.In both scenarios, a consensus vote would have identified the best possible compromise.
Last updated on September 19, 2008 by Deborda