Balanced Negotiation

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6843.htm)

To achieve a balanced negotiation, all the different points of view have to be weighed – including the views of the ‘silent majority’ of people who did not initially raise an issue, and the views of minorities who are not represented in the decision-making process.  Several factors can contribute to achieving balance:

  • The negotiations must be conducted at the appropriate level of subsidiarity (6.6.2).
  • The impact of a decision can be weighted in relation to the number of people involved and the importance of the issue to them.
  • Consultation, with everyone affected by a decision, can be used to counterbalance the pressures put on politicians by people with specific interests (
  • Individual politicians who have received donations can be barred from sitting on decision-making committees related to the donor’s activities. This would avoid a conflict of interests and reduce the impact of money on politics.
  • Independent assessments can be made of the future consequences of a decision, to deflect leaders from choosing short-term populism.

It is not suggested here that the balancing process can be reduced to mathematical formulae.  The main requirement is to ensure that everyone affected has been adequately represented.