GSE and Quorum: The DAO’s Options to Repair Governance Processes
Quorum is a procedural requirement that sets the minimum number of people (in our case BANK tokens) that must be present (in our case, cast or accounted for) for a vote to become enacted. It exists so proposals can’t be shuttled through without a sufficient number of contributors casting votes. A quorum requirement can be thought of as a legitimacy requirement. It shows that a sufficient portion of the community cast their vote.
A quorum of 36.8 M BANK was set in this post, which was voted in favor of. This snapshot vote did not itself reach the quorum standard, but as it was introducing the standard, it did not need to. The quorum requirement simply needed a majority to become enacted, which it received.
We have two polls. These polls are temperature checks, not final decisions. The options are complex because the situation is complex. Ask questions in the comments or the governance channel. Please think carefully about the precedents these choices may set before weighing in:
Poll 1: What to do about the GSE Program:
Honor the quorum, meaning the project doesn’t move forward. This means the GSE program is not enacted. A new proposal or new program may be created and put to vote.
Void the quorum, meaning the project can move forward. Submit a new snapshot to eliminate or reduce the quorum, and state that this second snapshot only needs a majority to pass, not the 36.8M BANK. After the elimination or reduction of the quorum, open another brief application period and re-run a vote for GSE applicants.
Void the quorum, meaning the project can move forward. Elect the individuals with the five highest vote totals to the GSE program, except for frogmonkee, who has withdrawn from consideration.
Void the quorum, meaning the project can move forward. Re-vote among previous applicants to account for frogmonkee stepping down.
Void the quorum, meaning the project can move forward. Also void the vote for individuals, but keep the program, allowing all individuals who ran for GSE to step into the GSE roles, if they choose to. This would mean we’d possibly have more than five GSEs.
Poll 2: What to do about the quorum requirement for future votes:
Keep the quorum requirement. This may set a precedent of grid-lock and/or needing to get Genesis members to vote, which they typically abstain from due to the size of their BANK holdings.
Vote out the quorum requirement via a snapshot vote that must reach current quorum to do so. This means we will have to seek out the whales who have not been voting and get them to vote. This may set a precedent of Genesis members voting, which would skew the results of all votes going forward significantly.
Vote out the quorum requirement via a snapshot vote that doesn’t need to reach quorum to do so (corresponds with second option above). This may set a precedent of contributors being able to quickly change quorum and voting standards.
Thank you and feel free to comment with your questions—I will do my best to answer them.
I’ve also been wondering about how we can create a “proof of humanity” voting mechanism and move away from token voting. Number of wallets might be the most resistant to attacks, although I have to admit I’ve done very little research on PoH methods.
I don’t think the polls can be modified now, but it would probably be good to add a final option on both of these polls (in future versions) that’s a “I have a better idea and/or am not comfortable with these options–will add comments in thread”. I know I’m trying to wrap my head around the many factors in play here and am trying to come to terms with implications/interconnectedness/etc and imagine others may have novel ideas. Thoughts?
The Google doc only went live 4 days ago on a *Thursday afternoon, and the general community (outside of whoever was watching #governance) only got pinged today in Discord on this being in the forums, yes? If we have strong reason to believe all major views/options have been surfaced, I’m in agreement–I raised this because I haven’t actually seen that many people weigh in and the notifications seem recent, so didn’t want to make that assumption on my end that we had everything we needed and were upholding our values in consensus.
If the group feels we’ve got all the major inputs to make a decision on this combo of existential topics, then great–let’s move.
I get that some of the genesis members don’t want to vote as they feel like they’re imposing their will on the DAO, but even so, I think that the quorum requirement was set too high. I mean if we can’t say that it passed with over 80%, which is far above a simple majority vote, then going forward nothing would ever get passed and we wouldn’t have room to govern. I think setting quorum at something like 65% or 70% would give us the room to make sure that nothing gets passed too easily, but not so much that nothing gets passed at all.
One thing that’s not mentioned is that the S3 guild and project funding was disbursed even though quorum was not reached. To me this indicates the quorum proposal lacked teeth.
We don’t have anyone responsible for ensuring our governmental norms are followed. Should treasury guild be responsible for this, or is that beyond their mandate? I think this might be a question to be answered in a quorum reform proposal.
Second poll is super difficult, obviously we cant stay in gridlock and the best solution would be to get out of it without “breaking” our own gov-rules. So nr 2 then, but it would be a bad president if genesis start voting in general. I think we should simply talk to RSA and David and explain the pickel we are in (if they are not already aware). The best option imo would be to have them vote so we could get ridd of the quorum requirement by the book. There is nothing stoping them from voting as is so they obviously choose not to im sure the will continue the same path even if we ask for helt this once.
Changing the quorum requirement first seems like the most legitimate path. The issue is we need to set another arbitrary number and deal with the possibility that it won’t be met again in the future. Removing the quorum requirement entirely doesn’t seem in line with the original intent to firm up this process and make each snapshot determination a true reflection of the community’s will.
So how do we set a minimum necessary quorum level that doesn’t have a high probability of failing in the future if BANK becomes more distributed and the average token holder is less involved in the DAO? The established trend is that the average BANK holder is becoming less engaged in voting over time.
I don’t have the data on hand to say for sure, but my hunch is that level 2 contributors are fairly active voters in this community. They are also, one could argue, more informed on governance matters than the average member and likely to have a larger than average share of voting power.
Consider a quorum requirement that looks at the proportion of core contributor wallets that participated. I would be willing to consider any vote that has, say, 60% or 67% participation of level 2 contributor wallets as a valid vote, regardless of the number of BANK tokens allocated. We would need only write a forum post to say that the original quorum requirements in firming up governance are null and void and the new requirement applies retroactively. I’m not sure if this requirement would be sufficient to consider the specific GSE program vote validated, but core contributor engagement numbers would be interesting data to see nonetheless.
We will likely be unable to pass a change to the quorum requirement without lowering the threshold for passing, and keeping the quorum requirement is a non starter. If we keep it (and hold ourselves accountable to it) getting things done will be very difficult.
The first order of business should be getting rid of it. These other topics:
are items to be tackled later.
The quorum requirement should be lifted as soon as possible. Once we’ve done that, we can move on to other things.
Alternatively we can give people the option to lose voting rights (they wouldn’t be counted to reach quorum). I don’t know if this can be easily implemented but this mechanism would give them the option. It is my understanding that they already relinquished their voting rights, but only informally.
I think verification based on badges would work pretty well for Bankless. All community members have a guest pass, L1 or L2 (or 3 or 4) right?
Could issue POAPs or some other form of NFT and make voting dependent on holding this in you wallet.
Not a fully Sybil resistant approach but it would involve setting up multiple discord accounts and and false identities to fraudulently vote. Especially if votes were limited to L1 or higher this would require holding sufficient tokens to qualify for voter eligibility.
There are also tools out there that would work directly with discord role badges but if we want an on chain solution some form of token would do the trick.