[Draft 3 - Final] Firming Up Governance

Title: [Draft 3 - Final] Firming Up Governance
Authors: frogmonkee#6855
Squad: frogmonkee#6855
Date Created: October 27th, 2021
Date Posted: November 17th, 2021

:warning: Changes from the previous draft are marked with a :warning:

SUMMARY

This proposal introduces some voting parameters and guidelines in response to feedback around the recent Proposal: Olympus Pro post.

Included are:

  • Specificity on what goes to snapshot and what does not

  • Quorum and voting requirements

  • Community education guidelines

  • Proposal wording and presentation

BACKGROUND

  • Olympus Pro was first formally mentioned on October 1st during the inaugural tokenomics discussion.
  • On October 14th, Proposal: Olympus Pro was posted to the forums.
  • On October 22nd, the proposal was uploaded to Snapshot and went live for voting on Monday, October 25th.

Since then, voting is 78% in favor, with 6.7M BANK voting no. Relative to previous snapshots, this discrepancy shows a divide in the community’s sentiment. Previously, the largest deny vote we saw was just under 600K BANK at 2.66% voting Deny.

Having spent much time listening to people thoughts and concerns, I’ve identified the following pain points:

  • Many individuals were surprised to know this vote would go to snapshot and not to the Grants Committee, as they were accustomed to seasonal specs being ratified on snapshot and the GC distributed the seasonal allocated budget.

  • The proposal went to snapshot before some members could even participate in the forums. Specifically those with less time to participate in day-to-day activities

  • Individuals that were not educated on the topic felt like they had to sit out

  • Individuals felt like their opinions were ignored.

  • The snapshot vote left out crucial information, like a link to the forum post and the voting options were worded were not impartial (Deny option)

MISSION & VALUES ALIGNMENT

Back during Season 0, when we began outlining our governance processes, we emphasized the importance of gathering consensus within the community and using Snapshot as a way to ratify decisions, hence a consistent 95%+ approval rating on prior snapshots. This was because, historically:

  1. Many snapshot voters are not engaged in day-to-day operations in the DAO and will miss a lot of context. Simple things like framing language are enough to significantly sway votes.

  2. Voter fatigue is real. Too many votes is too much noise. This is reflected in Index Coop, which has very low participation on many of their snapshots and is reflected in our own snapshots, with a variance of almost 50% of voters at times.

This is consistent with what Boardroom, a governance platform, is noticing as well.

For these reasons, we have a robust proposal process (unlike Sushiswap that has proposal like this) and a seasonal spec that embeds much of our decision into one ratified vote.

To align with these values, I’d like to introduce a number of different rules and mechanisms that will help us gather community consensus before moving something to snapshot.

SCOPE OF WORK

Proposes a series of changes to governance that, upon soft consensus will be ratified with an on-chain snapshot vote and subsequently included in each Seasonal Spec thereafter, as parameters are likely to change.

SPECIFICATION

What Goes to Snapshot?

Part of the confusion here is understanding what goes to snapshot and what doesn’t. Historically, we’ve sent the Seasonal Spec to snapshot, along with validating project and guild funding. This is the first time we’ve had a purely tokenomic post gain traction and it wasn’t clear to the community that it would go to snapshot. As such, here are few reasons something should go to snapshot. Please comment if you have further suggestions:

  • Seasonal specification (including Grants Committee allocation) [1] [2]

  • Seasonal Project and Guild funding [1]

  • Major Governance changes [1] [2] [3]

  • Tokenomic changes [1]

  • Grant committee decision with sufficient conflict of interest (eg. cannot achieve majority vote) [1] [2]

  • Extending budget

  • Emergency vote / “Break glass” scenario (See Appendix A)

What does not go to Snapshot?

  • Individual projects funding

  • Additional guild funding

Quorum & Voting Requirements

:rotating_light: Quorum requirements are formalities to achieve sufficient consensus. Culturally, we should thinking beyond quorum. If a proposal reaches quorum and voting requirements, it is your responsibility to capture feedback and dissent in order to achieve better alignment. If someone raises a good point or you gauge sufficient disagreement, go back to the drawing board and incorporate that feedback. @Kouros has a great example with his Gas Reimbursement post. Despite having a nearly 90% in-favor voting, he has opted to redraft his post to incorporate feedback. We are a DAO, we move together. Ape strong together.
:warning:As such, authors will be expected to have reasonably attempted to incorporate feedback. as part of the passing requirements.

:warning: Below is a table for quorum, timeline, and voting thresholds. Numbers are a weighted average of the results from the previous post.

:rotating_light: Each season, quorum & voting requirements can be updated as part of the Seasonal Spec

Education Requirements

Proposals with big asks and governance changes are often complex. As such, they need to be properly communicated to the DAO with time for them to digest and process new information.

In the Additional Requirements section, there are three education tools to use:

  • A short 5 minute presentation on the community call

  • A longer Q&A and presentation, selected at an optimal time via Lettucemeet (needs to be included in the forum post and scheduled after surfaced on the community call.)

  • Presentation must be recorded with at least 1 week to let people listen to the on demand video. This could extend the 2 week timeline if the recorded video is uploaded with less than a week in the timeline. PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

  • Tokenomic and governance decisions would get priority editorial placement in the Weekly Rollup as an educational explainer piece while they are in the forums.

Proposal wording, presentation, and conflicts of interest

  • Snapshot posts must always include a link back to the proposal’s forum posts

  • Snapshot voting options must have a clear ask followed by two options: “For” and “Needs Revisions” as much as possible. Given that soft consensus is meant to be gathered well before moving to snapshot, multiple voting options can skew the outcomes, as pointed out by HashedMae.

  • Proposals can have more than two options when asking the community to select between an array of options for an already-approved option. For example: [1] and [2] are not asking for consensus on whether we should execute a particular action, but rather asking for consensus on how to do something that has already been approved.

  • Proposals must include a section for disclosing any conflicts of interest, namely if (1) Members of the squad are associated with any party involved outside of BanklessDAO and (2) Members of the squad hold any investments with any party involved outside of BanklessDAO.

  • Proposals on Snapshot must include quorum and voting requirement criteria

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Not applicable

BRAND USAGE

Not applicable

SUCCESS METRICS OR KPIS

Not applicable

NEXT STEPS

  • Move to snapshot

SQUAD BACKGROUND

@frogmonkee - Long time contributor to BanklessDAO. Active in Writers Guild, Ops Guild, and strategy for the DAO. Care deeply about governance.

POLL

Should we move this to snapshot?

  • Yes
  • Need Revision

0 voters

APPENDIX A - Emergency Scenarious

An “Emergency Scenario” would refer to a proposal/motion that needs to fast track consensus and would likely consolidate power into the hands of a few for a short period of time, often the multisig signers. Examples could include:

  • Liquidating positions due to black swan events
  • Legal action against the DAO
  • Smart contract hacks
  • Immediate changes to governance (IE closing a governance loophole)

Emergency proposals would be titled with “Emergency Protocol” in the heading, which fast tracks soft and hard consensus by increasing quorum + voting requirements and removing all time requirements.

Frog: I am firmly in support of the spirit of what you’re proposing here. However, the harder I squint at {Screenshot 2021-11-17 164421} the less I understand it. I think it’s perhaps due to my unfamiliarity with the nuances of snapshot voting. Could you do me a favor and explain what the column headings mean, as well as the datapoints within the table? Feels like it should be obvious, but I’m afraid it’s not.

1 Like

Agreed. The table makes it seem that snapshot votes need >77% support to pass, and that this number will be updated season-to-season. Is that a correct reading?

1 Like

I‘m agree this proposal,so I voted yes!

@links @Brustkern

  • Forum Quorum (Column B) refers to the # of participants required on the poll at the end of each proposals
  • Snapshot Quorum (Column C) refers to the amount of BANK required on each snapshot vote
  • Forum Voting (Column D) refers to voting threshold required for a proposal to pass in the forums
  • Snapshot Voting (Column E) refers to voting threshold required for a proposal to pass on Snapshot
1 Like

OK understood. And “Category” segements the amount of the ask. Makes sense.

Amazing solution to the issue of the minority beating the majority because the majority was often split in the polls of the last post. Didn’t even have to break out ranked choice! In favor, let’s vote!

Thanks for the clarifications. I might still not understand - looking at Snapshot, I see the last 8 proposals had less than 36.8M BANK committed. Would all of these proposals have failed?

Here’s the Tokemak proposal for instance with less than 25M BANK. Am I reading this correctly?:

I’m also a little worried about the high thresholds to pass proposals - if we had a mass-disengagement event and we lost a lot of people’s attention, would we be able to adjust quorums and vote thresholds the following season?

Appreciate the thought put into the post, my questions are posed in the same spirit.

Correct. Though Tokemak was a bit different, as we hadn’t implemented the Balancer BPT token strategy, so people that had deposited into Balancer could not vote.

I’m also a little worried about the high thresholds to pass proposals - if we had a mass-disengagement event and we lost a lot of people’s attention, would we be able to adjust quorums and vote thresholds the following season?

Yes, 100% adjustable.

1 Like

Well written as usual! Thanks for working through these kinds of issues. I know I feel overwhlemed with trying to keep up on everything going on in the DAO, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. While it’s great to be nimble and move quickly, there is also wisdom in being patient and taking time to weigh things and educate ourselves and others. It may be that we miss some opportunities because we don’t rush things, but there’s always another opportunity coming along.

Cheers!