Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Small Groups and Minority Rule

Let's suppose that you are in charge of organizing a conference of some kind. You know that the attendees you agree with constitute about 400 or so. You know that the attendees you disagree with number around 480. If you allow any sort of mass vote on whatever issue has you divided, then your side will lose.

What you have going for you is that you are in charge of the organizing. Knowing something of the history of post colonial Massachusetts, you arrange for a no-lose situation. You break the 880 total participants into 22 smaller groups of forty each.

Your 400 pals get divided into 16 groups of 25 each. Each of those 16 groups also contain 15 of your opponents. The remaining 6 groups are composed entirely of your opponents. You announce that all work, and therefore decisions, will be made by the groups.

Your side wins all decisions 16 to 6 every time.

In politics that is known as gerrymandering and it has a long and ignoble history.

I wonder if there will be a new name coined for it in the context of Anglican church politics?


Perpetua said...

And this plays into the natural tendency to want to be among people with whom one agrees. But if the bishops holding the majority position allow themselves to be ghettoized into groups of all like-minded individuals, they will wind up fully controlling a small number of the groups, but actually loosing.

I guess the only solution is to be prepared, know everyone who shares your position, and insist on being divided up equally among the groups.

.....CLIFFORD said...

What to call it? A couple of suggestions:

1. Schorimandering.

2. Polity-ism.

3. A Kegger. (Beers - get it?)

4. Sporking.

Whitestone said...

This is why Scripture teaches not to let them in or to even eat with them.

tdunbar said...

Is the Reformation, as a whole, the gerrymandering of the Church by the State? Especially as the ecclesial groupings get smaller and smaller, the Christians get clumped into minority ghettoes and the society as a whole sees the same sort of result as with the more common political gerrymandering.