Consensus

General agreement on an issue—but it need not mean unanimity. However, a mere 51 percent majority would not be a consensus. Though it is a phrase often used in constitution-making, it often causes difficulties. It is rather vague for legal purposes. And there is always a risk that the consensus can be that of the majority, excluding minorities. In South Africa a practice developed in the constitution-making process of accepting “sufficient consensus,” which meant the agreement of the two main political parties. Many would not view that as really “sufficient.”