As we are about to ponder around way to improve engagement in our governance, I would like to restart the conversation on solving voter’s apathy.
I brought this topic on many occasion in the past [1, 2], this(Solving voter apathy) complete thread by Polynya is dedicated to this topic(highly recommend reading that thread if you havent already). But so far we didn’t see any progress to include more community member is Optimism Governance.
But this is not a new problem, forbesfinancecouncil defines lack of user engagement as one of the three major challenge within DAO. In a paper published by World Economics Forum on DAO defines engagement as challenge within DAOs along with privacy, scalability to name a few.
Where We Stand
Voter turn out :- Total percentage of users who vote could be metric to show overall community engagement . We see downfall in both, total OP delegated and actual vote count. In phase 0, total $OP delegated was around 35M and in Cycle 7 its only 22M.
Give incentives to user delegating their token to active delegates (definition of “active delegate” could be defined later) Rational :-
Its more beneficial when a group of participant take an informed decision based on their research and due diligence compare to a larger group of users casting their vote just to gain the system and to collect the reward.
Could motivate more token delegation, either self or delegated to someone
Token house is responsible to distributing governance fund to grow Optimism governance and I believe increasing user engagement is a part of it. So, a proposal could be submitted requesting token house to allocate an arbitrary amount of $OP to reward participation. (complicated than first one)
Expected Benefit :-
Sustainable participation, out of seven pillar discussed in SOK research paper on DAOs, it was suggested that giving incentives to participant could lead to sustainable governance. SoK: Blockchain Governance - IOHK Research
This is an important topic, and it’s one that we need to address urgently.
There might be legal implications around token incentives which will need some figuring out, but another option is to gamify governance participation by creating quests, badges, etc., to keep the community engaged.
I think this is a pretty urgent matter, the situation has gotten worse since the last time we discussed it. Looking at the participation in Cycle 8, it’s barely representative of the Token House - there’ll be some proposals that’ll pass with <2% tokens voting.
The short-term solution to drive interest would be Airdrop #2 as mentioned, though of course I don’t know how that can be executed - up to OF I suppose.
(I’d guess that a lot of the spam participation to date has been in anticipation of such an airdrop.)
For voting: a ton of noise in vote outcomes, again because people will do the minimum: vote (YEA, probably) without reading the proposal
It’s not simple participation you want to incentivize – it’s quality participation by a broad, informed citizenry. Incentivization of some sort is probably in order, but achieving that sort of participation is probably more of a slow grind, facilitated by structural changes (in the vein of what @raho proposes here) and, of course, effectively demonstrating that participation in governance is worth it.
You can’t invoke that Munger quote without actually thinking about where your incentives will lead.
I don’t have a formal opinion on governance incentives… But I do think it’s worth noting that the total number of voting addresses has consistently been up each cycle despite the votable OP supply decreasing.
In a plutocratic setup like Token House, we’re trying to solve for % of votable $OP tokens participating in governance, not number of voters. With more projects applying for grants it’s no surprise the number of voters is up.
Also, it appears that the votes mentioned passed by accounting for the ‘Abstain’ votes in the Quorum count but not accounting for them in the Approval Threshold. Do you think an adjustment to count ‘Abstain’ votes in the Approval Threshold would be beneficial?
I see, you are right. You are looking at total delegated token which is close to 11% of total $OP supply and I took the total supply to prepare the graph. What I am advocating is increasing total OP delegated by encouraging users to delegate( will update my last comment to reflect the same)
Haven’t spend time reading on how not/including Abstained vote will impact, so cant comment on that.
The first one is the amount of time required to be “involved” with the community. We could ask around but my feeling is an average person with a day job has 30 min to 1 weekly hour to spend here if not less and it’s impossible to catch up. If we want to capture the attention of these people then we need a 10min daily TLDR for them.
The second one is delegate participation. In this case, I ask myself
Do I want to those who don’t want to get involved to be involved because there’s some sort of compensation?
Do I want to reward those already involved even if they don’t get anything about it because they think this matters?
Personal opinion, I prefer people to find that if they get involved sooner or later could have some sort of compensation. But those who are here no matter what have a bigger interest and that is to keep Optimism as the priority and not themselves. That is the kind of people I would want to be involved with optimism.
It would be nice to see not involved delegates losing some % of their delegation every time they are not active and distributing that % between active members. You may think this is against people choosing their own representation but in the end, they choose someone not representing them at all. At the same time, those who want to participate will know some % delegation will go their way if they keep getting involved.
Each voter puts up a stake to be able to participate (this could be airdropped initially). The proposer can also place a nominal bond or a nominal amount of incentivisation OP can be placed as a bond.
Different types of votes can have different levels of minimum stake requirements depending on the complexity of the proposals within those sections. The more complex votes with higher stakes ensures that those participating in those votes have the required competency and skill set to be able to vote coherently.
The vote totals would be kept hidden until the end of the vote cycle. If everyone votes 100% coherently, then you receive your stake back and the nominal bond is split between everyone. If you vote incoherently, you lose a portion of your stake and the cumulative lost stakes are split amongst the coherent cohort.
This system forces people to do individual due diligence and also have actual skin in the game. This would probably need a rework of the incumbent delegation system, but I feel it would cut out alot of the noise that exists now.
I heard about the SoulBound token before and that would be the best in my opinion. With that, voting would be more democratic. A way would be sought for the community to commit itself more to governance. Then there would be the part of encouraging the vote, but that is something very easy to achieve. Look at the example of Los NFBeez of the GnosisChain
You are right, one address one vote has many benefits and Optimism Citizen house will use the same approach for voting, its more democratic as you mentioned but in token based gov we need to look for different way to motivate users so that they are willing to participate in the gov, either self or giving power to someone else (delegation)
This is definitely an option but I am afraid it require complete framework change and need wider discussion.
What do you think of this? Similar thought from nickbtts as well.
Distributing reward on basis of gov engagement could have domino effect. If Alice gets more reward compare to Bob because her delegate is active then Bob might do his research and either self-delegate or delegate to someone he finds more active in gov. Reward will help with rational ignorance and it could increase total token in delegation.
If you offer a reward, you will have plenty of voters. This is not duty!! If instead you make a demand to be able to interact or to gain an extra benefit, you could get the habit of voting to obtain a better benefit. this would be part of the protocols that make life in the network