[Governance] New type - Referendum

Reason

In light of the recent proposal 18 and the backlash it got, one of points made by the proposers is that the forum is a poor way to gather community feedback and so they went to the proposal in order to reach a bigger audience. It’s my understanding, and I imagine the rest of the community too, that proposals once passed should be binding and so that poses a risk, to both governance and proposers, in using this mechanism to gather feedback. In the specific case of proposal 18 even if it passed the challenges of implementation were massive and the impact on the current state of Anchor, and I believe this is what contributed mostly to the backlash.

Idea

The idea is simple, create a new type of governance vote “Referendum” this one isn’t binding in the same way that TEXT is thought to be, this should only be used to gauge community interest, if it fails then the proposer knows it’s not of interest, but what if it passes?

If it passes, we would need commitment from the development team to engage with the proposer in order to assess feasibility, impact on the roadmap and even discuss if it clashes with the teams narrative for the product. From that, the team and proposer could announce to the rest of the community what the result of this discussions was, if an agreement is reached then together, the team and proposer, could create the actual proposal with the finished version.

Communication could be done via the official channels, Twitter, Forum and Discord, and if there’s the time and willingness maybe even open the discussion to the broader community.

Thank you for reading this.

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I think this is a simple and elegant solution to some of the more questionable pools we have seen in the past!

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The lack of forum engagement appears to be the first problem we are trying to solve.

The very nature of Anchor - a beautifully simple and passive strategy that is mostly set and forget, is probably a contributing factor. The need for multiple identities (web 3 for anchor and web 2 for the forums) additionally complicates engagement, leading to reduced responses.

Forums are the best medium/structure for governance discussions/proposals, but until a vote comes out nobody really pays attention.

Perhaps referendums might be most useful as informative stubs on the governance page such as to draw attention to important forum discussions.

The second problem appears to be the economic benefit gained by the person(s) behind Prop 18.

Governance is always a plutocracy. In Prop 18, the overwhelming majority won the vote but the proposer won the profit.

Some may observe that the same governance token modus operandi can repeated throughout the entire terra ecosystem and beyond.

Perhaps in Anchor developers could allow $aUST to be pledged for voting instead. This would decouple governance democracy from $ANC price volatility.

Significantly reducing the opportunity cost of voting to just a few days of foregone interest -
is one benefit, but more importantly we, the community, can be better protected from future Prop 18-esque scenarios.

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Interesting idea, just a comment on the semantics. The definition of “referendum” is:

a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.

so it implies finality. What you’re suggesting is more like a poll, weighted by people’s stake.

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Interesting, I’ve relied on past events on my own country, referendum were used to gather the opinion of citizens but the final decision was always up to the parliament, I assumed they’d follow the result only due to political pressure. But maybe this is just a politics thing…

We can go for a different name, it’s the concept that matters… hope I can get feedback from the team itself as it relies on a social contract with them.

Thank you for the feedback.

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This in general is a really good idea but I want to lay out some counter points to consider.

  1. The proposers of Poll 18 were told numerous times in ways - in the forums, on AMAs, in their talks with other stakeholders, with TFL dev teams - that this didn’t have support, was not in line with current stakeholders or the community or dev resources. They just didn’t want to listen. There is also on-chain data showing 5 large wallets holders bought ANC on Binance prior to this poll.
  2. It’s hard enough to get regular polls to pass right now. Sadly this is the state of defi gov right now. Adding another thing to do probably won’t be a true gauge of the real out comes.

I think this is a great idea for when the governance does actually become more engaged. My counter to the ones I made above would be the question, maybe your idea would make people get more engaged? Thoughts?

Let’s try not to be prematurely defeatist?

A mechanism that increases the floor price of $ANC will make it economically more challenging for Prop-18esque attempts to succeed.

The current tokenomics for $ANC do not encourage hodling, since the token is dumped form the borrow side.

We could discuss if incentivised $ANC hodlers begets stronger governance.

Doing nothing will fix nothing?

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@paletas Can you explain what you mean by the proposer won the profit?

Blockquote Governance is always a plutocracy. In Prop 18, the overwhelming majority won the vote but the proposer won the profit.

I agree that more participation in the governance and on the forum would be good.

Is there a place to find stat on what percentage of anchor users are using the forum?

Maybe most of them are reading post without having an account which in a way still count as passive participation.

Do we have access to stat that shows the traffic on the forum?

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That claim was by @dojakron so I wouldn’t know what he/she meant exactly, but I imagine he/she’s stating that the proposal was used to pump the price of ANC in antecipation of the change, and the proposer bought at the bottom, sold at the top and went ahead with the proposal knowing it wouldn’t pass, and therefore sending the price back down.

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I appreciate and agree with your counterpoints, but I also agree that the forum has less engagement and is a far worse tool to find an actual decision, we saw this with the proposal to make wrongful liquidations whole.

I didn’t add this to the original idea as I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, and this is one I’m not sure I 100% agree also, but removing the loss of ANC tokens when quorum is not reached and lowering the amount needed to create, for this type of proposal only, considering it’s non-binding and has no immediate effects, would probably make it more appealing. But I fear it can still be abused and spammed just because…

But I know that governance “as is” lacks the engagement necessary to become a useful tool, I for one would vote it out if I could and give the team free reign for a year or two, but since it exists perhaps this could make it a little bit better?

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Assumptions correct. Someone had run the chain analysis. Fait Accompli.

The application is on decentralised finance, whilst this forum isn’t. Besides chain analysis, it is difficult to establish a direct relationship.

Having said, cracked crystal ball is better than none, and we can infer the dichotomy of $ANC holders and establish trends using publicly available blockchain information, and present it as an dashboard.

To quote an example, Defi kingdoms, a gamified dex on the harmony network, has something called kingdom watch. It won’t be very hard to establish something similar for $ANC.

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