Request for Feedback/Suggestions: Delegate Code of Conduct

The recent proposal to implement a delegative ANT voting system to control the Aragon treasury and the ANT token contract includes a reference to a Delegate Code of Conduct - a list of principles and guidelines that delegates would be expected to commit and adhere to. An initial draft of a possible Delegate Code of Conduct, inspired by a similar document of MakerDAO, is presented below. Feedback/suggestions welcome, keeping in mind that the Code of Conduct should be as short and unambiguous as possible. The goal is not to micromanage the delegates but simply to ensure that they understand and commit to performing their duties with integrity.

The current thread is for initial discussion only. Assuming that a delegative ANT voting system gets implemented, a canonical version of the Delegate Code of Conduct can be included in the Aragon DAO documentation and reproduced in a separate thread on the forum for redundancy, public delegate commitments, and ongoing discussion.

Delegate Code of Conduct

Aragon delegates are expected to adhere to the following principles and guidelines:

  1. Act with honesty and integrity with the long-term health of the Aragon Network and DAO in mind.

  2. Thoroughly review each proposal prior to casting their vote.

  3. Notify the community of major shortcomings or risks associated with each proposal.

  4. Communicate the rationale behind their votes in a clear and accessible manner.

  5. Disclose any conflicts of interest and, if necessary/appropriate, abstain from voting.


Thanks for pulling this together @mlphresearch.

One other point I think to maybe add:

  1. Delegates are expected to vote on the majority of Proposals

Not sure if you think this is necessary.

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Good suggestion! Given that token holders can re-delegate at any time, and assuming good visibility into delegate participation levels, low participation is likely to result in re-delegation. That said, the expectation to vote on the majority of proposals can certainly be included in the Code of Conduct, thereby ensuring that delegates commit to being active not only in the discussion phase but also in actual voting. Curious to hear what others think.

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Short and simple is good. +1 to @AlexClay addition, subjective but I prefer five or seven points, six just seems incomplete. So could we say,

  1. Thoroughly review each proposal prior to voting and vote on the majority of proposals

Also, words here that I’d like to get a shared understanding of. How do we define

  • “Aragon Project” I’m more familiar with the Aragon Network are these interchangeable terms or different?

  • "conflicts of interest’ given difference of perspective what constitutes a “conflict of interest” we may need a statement (forum post) to specify and provide examples and determine a process.

Here’s a recent example to establish a Conflict of Interest Disclosure process that we could model. I don’t see this as being necessary prior to voting but prior to deadline as a task for dGov as per the objective to

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That is indeed subjective :slight_smile:

I’ve been using “Aragon Project” as the broadest term possible. In the past, I used “Aragon Network” to refer to the actual network that was planned but ultimately scrapped. Not sure what the current terminology is throughout documentation. The DAO should obviously strive for consistency but, in this particular context, I would be extremely surprised if someone knowingly made harmful decisions and then justified these decisions through a semantic argument around “Project” vs. “Network”. If that were to happen, we’d be dealing with a much deeper issue than inconsistency in the use of terms. Anyway, I suggest using the broadest term possible and I personally found that to be “Aragon Project”. If that’s different from what’s generally used, happy to change it to whatever.

I would take the common definition as a starting point: if a delegate benefits personally by voting one way or another (e.g., they themselves and/or a project that they’re closely affiliated with have a financial interest in getting a particular proposal passed), that needs to be disclosed beforehand. By definition, each delegate can still decide whether to abstain or not but, as long as they commit to the Code of Conduct and disclose everything that may be viewed as a conflict of interest, I don’t think we need to try and predefine every imaginable situation. However, I do agree that it might be helpful to provide some examples of situations that are more likely to occur than others in the context of Aragon specifically. These examples can be included in the canonical forum post but I would keep them separate from the Code of Conduct itself. Of course, not tied to any of this - whatever folks feel is most appropriate/effective.

The difference between Network and Project is fundamental, where Project can be construed to mean the Aragon stack or primarily what the AA has been building. In contrast, Network points to a more expansive definition that includes the broader community of projects.

If Aragon wants to be true to its mission, then it needs to strive for the health of the Network > the health of the ‘Aragon Project’.

These are all semantics, of course, and as a result somewhat arbitrary, but the distinction matters tremendously.

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I remember there being something on the website explaining that it was the opposite: Network referring to a concrete technology and Project referring more broadly to everything Aragon-related. Perhaps I remember it wrong or that distinction was relevant only in the context of the planned Aragon Chain. If “Network” is officially and consistently used as the most expansive term, I’m happy to stick to that.

For the time being, I changed it to “…with the long-term health of the Aragon Network and DAO in mind.” - Suggestions on alternative phrasing welcome.