At the heart of the FSC system is the democratic process of voting on the motions. In order for a motion to pass there must be consensus between the three chambers: economic, social, and environmental. The balanced voting process differentiates the FSC system from other schemes.
During the members’ assembly each motion is usually discussed for ten or fifteen minutes. After the debate closes, each eligible member starts voting.
Members raise one of three coloured cards to vote.
- The green card indicates agreement and an affirmative vote.
- The red card indicates disagreement and a negative vote.
- The yellow card can have different meanings: it can indicate a point of order, an abstention, a call to limit debate by calling the question, or a call to move to the next item or speaker.
The FSC Statutes establish the below conditions on voting.
- The general assembly shall strive to adopt decision by consensus.
- Consensus is defined as the absence of sustained opposition but does not require unanimity.
- In case of a vote, a decision is made when:
- A quorum of more than 50 per cent of the voting power of the members of each of the chambers referred to in the Statutes of the Organization is present (either physically or by proxy), and when;
- the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the voting power registered by members in good standing less votes abstaining in each chamber present at the time of the vote is reached, and when;
- the affirmative vote of two thirds of the voting power of all members in good standing present at the time of the vote less votes abstaining is reached and this constitutes the absence of sustained opposition.
The Statutes of the Organization provide for the manner in which such voting power will be calculated.