Communication works differently online. So it's no surprise that for groups that try to do democratic decision making online, things can get a little strained. People have to learn to speak in different ways, and to come up with different strategies for reaching understanding. It takes more than just a forum plus voting for people to actually understand each other.
InterTwinkles is a research project and platform for developing tools to help reach the type of deep understanding that is necessary for consensus decision making.
Voting and proposals are part of this – but only the easiest part. :) The real challenge is getting diverse groups of people with varying degrees of computer literacy and access, varying communciation styles, and varying experience on the same page.