CIP 3 Governance Proposal: Retire AN DAO Governance SubDAO’s

Purpose: Charter Improvement Proposals - CIP 3
Status: Public Notification & Discussion
Voting: Tentatively 14 - 28 September
Authors: @lee0007 @daniel @fartunov


We voted to transition to a delegate enabled DAO therefore many changes are required to the current Charter as it relates to the three governance Sub DAOs. Specifically (but not exclusively) the following sections

  1. Aragon Governance Proposal Process
  2. Sub-DAO Agreements
  3. Main DAO and Sub-DAO Parameters

Our leading question is what do we need to keep from these sections to retire ourselves while maintaining the safety (veto) and continuous legitimacy of the Aragon Network Charter during the transition from Governance Sub DAO structure (21 October) to Delegates ( ~November).


In multiple places, the Charter currently defines the purpose and powers of three governance Sub-DAO. We propose the need to edit the Charter to reflect the use of a delegate-enabled governance system effective as of October 21 2022, as the official end of term for currently elected Sub DAO members.

We therefore request the participation of Tech and Compliance committee members and the community to discuss the changes required so that over the course of the next month we can specify well in advance of voting ~14 - 28 September the required and prposed changes to the Charter that is in force as at the start of the voting period. (Currently subject to voting here)

Tech Committee @p4u @voronchuk @nivida
Compliance @eaglelex @ronald_k @Tayy

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Thank you for leading this Renee!

I understand that the delegation-based DAO will be a separate vault [might be wrong]. But under that assumption, wouldn’t it be easiest just to have the existing Govern contract empty during the transition period and find other ways to meet obligations (i.e. the AA multisig).

This could be a poor example, but my logic would lean towards “decrease the exposure and use a bandaid for that month, which is easy to deploy before and remove after” over “maintain exposure, invest resources to build a prosthetic and then invest more to remove it.”

Would be curious to hear other opinions focused on resolving the challenge at hand.


Maybe we could talk governance attack vectors @fartunova. Of the total supply of ANT currently in circulation do we know what percentage is held by whom?

That gap between what we know and what we don’t know, is an open attack vector. The larger that vector the greater the need to retain every legit governance mechanism we have at our disposal

  • Veto Power
  • Execution Delay
  • Challenge Mechanism (once we have a tech agnostic Charter, we have options besides Court)

I believe you would have a good understanding of this and would appreciate your insight on what % of ANT holders are closely aligned with our direction.

I have no insight here it is my “great unknown” so I revert to the worst-case scenario where we get rugged by “the great unknown” pulling their funds as soon as they hit the DAO.

If you’ve got positive insights on this front - that our governance attack vector is nothing to worry about - I’m always keen for good news. In the meantime, I’m in plan for the worst, work and hope for the best (mode)

The main question should be “How to balance power in our governance processes, taking into the account low engagement and current distribution of tokens and influence?”
What I see here is an idea that a delegate voting tool is a holy grail of governance.
From our history and experience we know that delegate voting is not working in the most of traditional systems, so what will make it work in decentralised?
The answer to it is “method”. Yes, some new innovative or old and proved method of application of delegate voting. So yes, experimenting is a great idea, trying to apply this tool to a specific processes, testing on possible attacks, comparing results - looking for a method! But not shifting all the DAO to it - sorry guys, with my great respect to you, I have to say it - is a horrible idea!

Why is it bad?
Because of distribution of power
Based on the fresh analytics dGov: Participation in Discord and Forum, we have strong leadership influence over the information flow. That means that few people are pushing the agenda - few people influencing political capital. This is normal and happens in any social group, I highly appreciate energy and hard work these leaders put into the Aragon Network :blue_heart:
Also we all know about token distribution - we have few whales that are also influencing decisions simply because they have more of political capital. This is also normal and it happens in any free market.
So what will happen when we will shift to delegate voting only?
These 2 classes of people will find a way to meet each other and communicate privately: Influencers will look for Electorate and whales will look for Lobbyists. And we all know how this works in a real world when whales and influencers working together for their own benefit.

How to fix this?

Hence, the four great strands of democratic decision making: direct democracy, representative democracy, participatory democracy, and deliberative democracy cannot be viewed as inherently practically or morally superior to one another. Rather, you need to see which types of decisions can reasonably be made by which forms of democratic governance.
3 Design Principles for Protopian Governance | by Hanzi Freinacht | Medium

By diluting the power of few and empowering many.
It doesn’t actually mean to redistribute tokens or increase governance engagement, it simply means to setup an open and inclusive process of empowerment - give anyone a guided way to participate in every stage of a decision. We will always have leaders, influencers, investors and whales, what we need is an equilibrium of power maintained via collective intelligence.

So lets get back to the question we need to ask: How to balance the power?

The most effective method was to create interconnected institutions - organisations of specific culture and procedures, like legislative, judicial and executive branches of power (Lately we understood that media is also branch of power, only hidden). Why exactly this institutions? Simply based on decision-making process: we agree on an action, comply this agreement with current rules, execute an action and report results so we can agree on the next action. Does it look familiar to the sub-DAOs structure? yes, indeed.

As a regular member of our community, contributor, I don’t want to repeat history, I am here because of opposite - I want to create history!) we are all here because we believe in a decentralised governance as an evolution of human cooperation and we are looking and creating and testing new methods and tools.

As a solution I propose a procedure of agreement with formal debate-based meetings and open and inclusive participation. Procedure, that we will record and share with the network, showing that governance is not so complex as it looks like for a regular member trying to navigate in a forum, discord and notion. Procedure that anybody can join at any moment, can contribute by the idea, question, argument or a vote.
During this procedure we will outline all the questions and issues we need to address to effectively update the charter and find how to govern better together.

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Always good to see awareness of the governance challenges we face

Yes. And being we have already voted to move to delegate system the question is now, how to best align or as you say balance the two. Your solution is a solid methodology however in practice how does it account for

  • decreasing participation as shown in the Governance Participation Baseline (due to i.e competing priorities, limited bandwidth and interest, awareness and engagement)
  • the timeline for delegates (Nov’22)
  • governance processes, forum discussion + voting = time required to pass governance resolutions (currently 44 days, subject to vote here)

Participation, is one challenge that we are aware of. I have provided transparency on dGov activites here in an attempt to increase awareness and opportunities to participate.

However, in light of the move away from?? the division of powers of the current Charter and toward delegate-enabled Representative Democracy it is the things “we don’t know, we don’t know” that pose imo the greatest risk when deciding what to do about the current Charter-established system of DAO governance

So I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on addressing governance attack vectors. Here’s an example of an open conversation on this topic and perhaps one we need to explore to begin to understand the risks we could face, maybe this could inform some clear deliverables and a timebound plan for your workshops @MikeAnanyin

@mroldann has an analysis been undertaken to identify the scale /volume of ANT that has the potential to align against us in a worst-case scenario of a hostile takeover