CIP 2 Governance Proposal: Quorum, Notification & Readability

Purpose: Charter Improvement Proposals - CIP 2
Status: VOTING Aragon Voice
Voting: July 22- August 5
Author(s): @lee007
Reviewers: @eaglelex

Proposal

dGov proposes ANT holders approve changes to the Aragon Network DAO Charter in respect to the Aragon Network DAO Agreement S 2 (f) 2 a which currently reads

2. The Mutable Guidelines may be modified by:
a. Majority (more than 50% in favour) vote, with a minimum quorum of 0.5% of ANT
Holders. The ANT Holders must be notified of the suggested amendment through
reasonable means at least thirty (30) days before the beginning of the vote, and
the vote must be open for a minimum of fourteen (14) days for the community to
vote.

[Hemingway Grade 7 Readability]

We propose that ANT holders vote simply Yes or No on the following five (5) changes

  1. Y/N, reduce the quorum from 0.5% to 0.3%
  2. Y/N, reduce the notification period from 30 days to 21 days
  3. Y/N, reduce the notification period from 30 days to 14 days
  4. Y/N, reduce quorum only until delegates are officially established
  5. Y/N, reformat the specified text to Hemingway Grade 1 Readability

Proposed Aragon Network DAO Agreement

#. The Mutable Guidelines may be modified by
a. simple majority vote and
b. minimum quorum of [VOTE] % of ANT and
c. ANT holder notified of amendment by reasonable means and
d. notified at least [VOTE] days before the beginning of the vote, and
e. the vote must be open for a minimum of fourteen (14) days and
f. voting must be organised in Aragon Voice.

Rationale

The rationale here is to enable ANT holders to effectively iterate the Charter to develop a document that is easier to read, understand and interact with. Current issues

1.Quorum: Historical engagement on proposals of <0.2% of the Network the DAO can not effectively iterate on the Charter, without ongoing and repeated support of major stakeholders
2. Attention: 44 days is a long time to request people’s attention
3. Ambiguity: interpretations of “majority” and “reasonable means” create ambiguity
4. Complexity: current alpha-numeric referencing of the charter is more complex than necessary

Advice on current legal interpretation

The official position of the compliance committee for a majority is

  1. vote shall be deemed as “passed” with a simple majority (>50%) of the
    participating ANT having voted in favour.
  2. a vote to abstain does not count for quorum

The recommended interpretation of the compliance committee for “reasonable means” is

  1. “the prevailing social network platforms and communication tools used by the AN DAO community from time to time”

Formal Proposal Ends

Discussion

Governance Process .

Public Notification & Feedback: As per the current Charter: The Argon Network DAO Agreement this proposal requires minimum 30 days public notification. Followed by a 14-day voting window.

Voting: The proposed date for voting to begin is 22 July 2022. We ask ANT holders to vote either Yes or No. No option for Abstain is offered as the Compliance Committee’s position is that a vote to abstain does not count for quorum.

Important Considerations IF [**CIP 0**](https://forum.aragon.org/t/cip-0-goverance-proposal-historic-versioning/3583) passes the edits would be applied to [**Charter version 1.1.0**](https://github.com/aragon/network-dao-charter/releases/download/v1.1.0/network-dao-charter.pdf) Section 22 of Aragon Network Agreement one of several documents that together form the Charter. IF [**CIP 1**](https://forum.aragon.org/t/governance-proposal-edit-the-aragon-network-charter-to-be-tech-agnostic/3557) passes clause (f) specifying Aragon Voice would be removed.
Open Questions

1. What is our understanding of reasonable means can we simply state forum posts &/or something else to reduce ambiguity?

@eaglelex In my opinion we should intend “Reasonable means” as something like “the prevailing social network platforms and communication tools used by the AN DAO community from time to time”. It would clarify what is intended (e.g. Discord, Forum and Twitter), but without nominating them.

2. Thoughts on quorum + majority to pass changes to the charter?

The vote will be decided by the definition of “majority” advised by the Compliance Committee. To reduce ambiguity a definition will be published as part of the final version of this Proposal and will establish the precedent that dGov will look to uphold for consistency and governance legitimacy. Current compliance advice

@eaglelex here reasonable means, abstain and majority votes
@eaglelex here majority, dual choice vote (yes/no), abstain
@ronald_k here majority, dual choice vote (yes/no)

3. What is a reasonable amount of time for this process?
4. Immutable Guidelines deserves its own conversation here
5. The lower quorum is proposed as a temporary measure and seeking input on when and how this should be increased in future.

For additional content please see Charter Updates - Discussion

@eaglelex @ronald_k @Tayy @mlphresearch @joeycharlesworth @AlexClay @luis @jorge @fartunov @daniel-ospina @jessicasmith @mheuer @alex-kampa @Sertac

3 Likes

This iterative approach to evolving the charter is definitely a step in the right direction that has been long overdue!

Progressive iteration is a better path to the wholesale change that has been proposed, so I’m very glad to see this happening!

About “reasonable means”: this is very hard to define as the forum, discord, etc. Could suffer outages at which point a proposal could not be shared there.

That’s why instead of using a simplistic mechanism (defining things in black and white up front) the charter used two higher variety mechanisms that can arbiter on this:

  • compliance committee and Aragon court

Then, we have “best practices” for simplicity and so everyday users don’t run the risk of being incompliant.

3 Likes

Hi @lee0007 ,

Thank you for posting this and attempting to improve the effectiveness of governance. Regarding the suggested reduction in the quorum minimum, what steps are being taken to increase voter turnout as opposed to reducing the quorum? I am not particularly informed on the issues related to low voter turnout other than issues upgrading old ANT tokens, however, in my opinion the current quorum minimum is already ridiculously low and further reducing it cannot be seen as an improvement in any decentralized governance, other that it being a workaround.

Thanks Renee.

1 Like

Yes, agree

It is not ideal and is intended to be temporary with stakeholder engagement built in parallel. I will update the proposal to reflect this temporary nature.

Without a lower quorum already signalled here we are wholly reliant a few non-engaged stakeholders to pass EVERY vote. We need to vote to progress mission-critical changes to the Charter that will get us to the position of being suitable for the pending transfer of funds.

There are other options on the table such as launching a new DAO

@lee0007, thank you so much for this very well written post.
As to the relevant points that you mention:

  1. I agree with what @daniel-ospina points out as to the need of not exactly specifying the tooling. In my opinion we shoult intend “Reasonable means” as something like “the prevailing social network platforms and communication tools used by the AN DAO community from time to time”. It would clarify what is intended (e.g. Discord, Forum and Twitter), but without nominate them.

  2. Quorum is low, but I think that it corresponds to the actual engagement that we have in this community. So I would bring it to 0.3%. Otherwise I fear that we will remain stucked with this text. As to the meaning of majority (and also for the quorum), the problem are the “abstentions” and votes with more than 2 options. It seems to me that abstentions were used in the AN DAO to meet the quorum. I would frankly indicate in the Charter that abstentions do not count as a vote and do not count for the quorum. In addition, I would specify that the option that gets more votes prevails. In fact, we should also consider cases in which ANT holders will be required to select among three or more different options (e.g. 20 days; 30 days; 40 days). In these cases the 50% rule would not make so much sense. An alternative could be that we require only dual votes.

  3. I think that the modifications proposed by @lee0007 as to the periods to express the vote are reasonable. I support them!

1 Like

Thank you, Renee for driving the discussion!

  1. Reasonable means - Discord, Forum, and Twitter can be down. The world wide web can be down as well. Should we design around that as well at this stage? I do like what @eaglelex is suggesting in spirit, except instead of referring to “community” we should be explicit that it should reach the people/organizations that can vote (have legitimate voting power).

  2. For me the quorum question is closed by the current signaling vote on Voice and Snapshot

  3. Shortening timelines make sense

  4. On the tech agnostic and immutable guidelines I have shared thoughts in the respective threads.

1 Like

#1
Agree, I value @eaglelex guidance too and your point to be explicit about who we are trying to engage in voting. Would “ANT holders” cover that?

#2
I am looking to confirm the signalled consensus as I do not see a signalling proposal that opens with - “Important! In all cases, the Aragon Association (AA) will consider the answer with the highest support as the winning option” - as a basis for building decentralised governance.

Moreover, in the final stages it was decided to contravene the legal advice provided by Charter mandated, governing compliance members

@eaglelex here majority, dual choice vote (yes/no), abstain
@ronald_k here majority, dual choice vote (yes/no)

Effectively the vote was great for signalling but imo provides no legitimacy for decentralised governance, which is why I am here.

Thank you for helping to drive these conversations and you valuable insights across all of these topics @fartunov

On the question of defining what “reasonable means” is, I believe this could be achieved through naming 5 outlets where these notifications would be made, 1 being the aragon forum itself and 4 other platforms, such as social media channels.

The notification through reasonable means is achieved if the token holders are able to access the notification through at least 3 out of the 5 of these. This would also help compensate for the possibility of outages / platform closures etc, during the voting period.

At the end of each cycle/season/year/period, the relevant committee can update this list of 4 other platforms depending on latest trends/technical developments.

1 Like

Thoughts on this definition?

Does this cover the bases? I like the idea of not being specific so that we don’t have to undertake a governance proposal process to update as things change.

I was thinking the list of the social network platforms and communication tools could be easily decided by a body without the need for a governance proposal. Two of these would be platforms/tools of Aragon itself and 3-4 would be periodically determined by general public sentiment or even metrics like “most active userbase” etc. In my mind this was something that could be taken care of in a few minutes, not necessitating formal proposal procedures.

However if you think that is not feasible/appropriate, then @eaglelex wording sounds like the best choice out there.

Thanks for your insight @sertac and agree.

In practice we have a great comms team @jessicasmith @fmurphy et.al who are able to leverage multiple social platforms - Twitter Reddit Quora Telegram - while discord and forum also serve the purpose of notification.The intention here is neither to vote on the meaning nor to edit this reference in the charter but to establish a shared understanding of “reasonable means” that we can reference in future.

a. Majority (more than 50% in favour) vote, with a minimum quorum of 0.5% of ANT
Holders. The ANT Holders must be notified of the suggested amendment through
reasonable means at least thirty (30) days before the beginning of the vote, and
the vote must be open for a minimum of fourteen (14) days for the community to
vote.

1

@eaglelex @Tayy @ronald_k do you agreed with this interpretation of reasonable means to be applied to future proposals

“reasonable means”: the prevailing social network platforms and communication tools used by the AN DAO community from time to time.

Your guidance will be included in the final proposal for reference. We are not editing “reasonable means” in the charter, just confirming a shared understanding of the term.

2

Can we simplify or specify the wording around “Majority (more than 50% in favour) vote”
I understand from your multiple advice that abstaining votes do not (to date) count for the quorum, so where the option to abstain has been applied - can we say “simple majority” in the Charter and provide the official interpretation in the proposal i.e

"simple majority vote: the highest number of votes for or against where votes to abstain do/do not count for quorum or outcome

Suggesting simple majority as it is the term used in four (4) other places in the current Charter so would be good for consistency

vote shall be deemed as “passed” with a simple majority (>50%) of the
participating ANT having voted in favour.

resolve the dispute through a simple majority

Tech Committee decides on a simple majority basis

decision overturned through a simple majority vote

Thank you

I agree with both definitions (abstentions should not count for quorum and majority vote in my opinion)

1 Like

VOTING Aragon Voice