Silence Is Consent

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Silence Is Consent is a truth of politics that has roots in the legal norms of the Middle Ages. During the trial before his martyrdom, Sir Thomas More famously observed that "Qui tacet consentire" ("Silence gives consent").

In Roberts Rules of Order, silence on a vote (abstention) has the same effect as voting for it, because a motion typically carries by a majority of the votes cast (unless otherwise specified in the bylaws of the organization).