The budget of a social organization, such as a local authority or a state, is an ordinary matter that nevertheless tends to overshadow other ordinary matters. At first sight, it may seem inappropriate to link issues of such different magnitudes because the proportions of votes would be very dissimilar. Let us examine this point in further detail.
When a budget is drawn up, there is always difficulty in striking a balance between the burden that can be put on individuals and companies in the form of taxes and the requirements that have to be met by expenditures. There is also a conflict in terms of the individual revenue items, as well as in terms of priorities between the various categories of expenditure items. Fund voting also involves similar conflicts and oppositions. Here is a description of how budgeting can be handled with fund voting.
- The finance committee draws up a draft budget.
- It presents the draft to those who will be involved in the fund vote.
- The participants have the opportunity to propose amendments.
- They are given a certain length of time for this purpose before the vote is taken.
- At the end of the period they present the proposals that have been put forward.
- The finance committee selects the first amendment proposal to be put to a fund vote, adding other variants considered necessary.
- Further amendments can still be proposed after voting has begun.
- The finance committee puts the amendment proposals to a fund vote, one after the other. It may merge two or more proposals into a single issue, presenting them all at the same time.
- An issue can be re-examined in the light of a change in circumstances. In such a case, votes that have been spent in the previous vote are returned to the relevant voters.
The first vote might be held on four alternatives: A, the proposed amendment, B, proposing that no change be made, and C and D, which are variants added subsequently by the finance committee. The amendment proposals are then put to the vote, one at a time. Meanwhile, more amendments are proposed, and the voters are informed of them. It could happen, after several proposals have been passed, that someone might feel the premises regarding the first of these have now changed. For example, the first proposal might have been to increase the contribution allocated to a particular activity, but in the light of proposals passed subsequently, the grounds for this decision are now no longer the same. In such a case, it would be fair that the votes deducted for the acceptance of the first proposal be reimbursed to those who staked them.
In this way, the preparation of the budget would consist of a series of issues, large and small, but it would at all times be possible to consider the whole picture while examining each individual issue.