When I was going through my mail this morning one of the messages had the following in it:

Voting is almost never a way to reach consensus. Rather, it acknowledges that consensus has not been reached and side-steps further constructive attempts to reach it. — Stefano Zacchiroli

Stefano is the Debian Project leader and the discussion was about the procedure for taking over the maintenance of a program that has been neglected by its current keeper, but that isn’t really important. What blew me away about the quote was the completely different viewpoint it had about voting. I had been headed that way ever since I read about the Condorcet method but Stefano’s statement crystallizes the problem and puts a little bow on it.

In the already demoralizing context of the current election this statement rings even more true. It makes you wonder whether the lack of voter turnout is a function of disinterest in our collective fate or the rejection of a system that is clearly driving us apart.