Discussing concrete guidelines for individuals

Hi fellow Meritians,

This thread is a follow-up on another thread in the Discussion forum. If there is some desire for guidelines for individuals who want to actively participate in governance through discussions hoping to become proposals, we will need to come to a consensus of which process to follow. That we can do here.

Below, I have drafted some concrete guidelines for anyone who wants to create a discussion in our DAO, with the subsequent steps on how it can become a proposal. If the discussion gains enough traction and has merit, it can move to a proposal if so desired and if the topic is thoroughly discussed and explored. Here are what I have found to be the courses of action for discussions by individuals to move to proposals.

After an in-depth discussion, the proposal is drafted according to the main concerns/sentiment of the discussion. This would thus be a somewhat arbitrary sentiment as the proposal has to make a gist of the discussion. The proposal can, however, have more options than a yes/no proposal. All major and viable options, again arbitrary, are to be implemented in the proposal.

Now, the above does not go for all discussions of course. I do feel we need to distinguish a few to appropriately assess the will of the DAO. This list is non-exhaustive and do feel free to add where necessary.

1. Investments or products

This discussion does not intend to address the way we currently deal with proposals regarding investment or products. These discussions naturally are a yes or a no due to being worthy of investment or not.

2. General proposals/revisions where the direction of the DAO is concerned

When a discussion is started regarding aspects such as treasury, cashflow, proceeds, governance and whatnot, the author feels a change is necessary to improve the general health of the DAO and which direction we are heading. There may be multiple ways to accomplish that, and this process is mostly what this discussion is addressing. There is an implication with the two-stage voting process which goes by the name of paradoxical voting. This implication is elaborated on here.

3. Issues where the DAO is on polar opposite sides

This issue is not to be mistaken by being opposite of each other in terms of yes and no. The real issue arises when one part of the DAO wants to increase staking rewards or exposure to a certain project while another part wants to decrease the staking rewards or exposure. Unless the majority of the DAO votes for one part, we reach a stalemate for which we need clear guidelines ahead of time. The voting process would also take a different shape for these issues, an elaboration with an example is given here.

4. Options in polls that are not mutually exclusive

There also may be times when one or more solutions are not mutually exclusive. In these situations the majority may vote one way, however, it does not mean the other way should be excluded altogether. The more we grow, the more flexibility we could have. The most recent example is Staking V2. I was not here yet during the discussion but I do not recall having seen replies concerning an argument for having both ETH and USDC pairing and what this would mean compared to just one pairing. I am not here arguing for both pairings, I am simply saying that it may be fruitful to keep an open mind towards solutions that are not mutually exclusive.

Having said that, the issue I want to focus on from now is the general proposals/revisions within the DAO. So, let’s say you have started a discussion addressing some opportunities or concerns. If you happen to have a (general) solution in mind, please do include it in the initial post. The issues will be talked about. After a thorough discussion a proposal will be drafted using the main sentiment of the DAO with the major viable options and this will be put to a vote if no other arguments arise.

The scenarios we have for the voting process are the following three scenarios. This would need to be decided upon if we are to go forward with adjusting the proposal process. Feel free to add if you see an additional scenario(s).
*The shown percentages in these scenarios are not set in stone but act to exemplify the scenarios and its consequences.

(1) A possibility is that only one vote occurs for the proposal. Everyone votes for their preferred option/solution while anyone can vote for no change at all. E.g. the voting options could look as follows

A; Yes to change with option A
B; Yes to change with option B
C; Yes to change with option C
D; No to change

Whilst agreeing a change is needed, votes can be split amongst three options. Therefore, the aggregate percentage of votes on options A, B and C needs to exceed 60%. To be reviewed quarterly.
E.g. votes can be distributed like below

A; 20%
B; 30%
C; 15%
D; 35%

As the aggregate percentage of votes for Yes to change exceeds 60%, the DAO votes in favour of change (A 20%, B 30% and C 15%). As B is the preferred option, this is the solution that will be implemented. If we would not take an aggregate percentage nor unite voters who are in favour of change, the vote would not go through as D carried the most votes.

(2) Another possibility is that the first vote focuses on whether the main sentiment is to be accepted as dao sentiment, thus voting in favour of change or against change:

A: Yes to change
B: No to change

The second vote (only to be had with the first vote having passed) splits voters between choosing the option to go ahead with. E.g. a proposal has 3 options; A, B or C. The first vote would be yes or no to change. The second vote would be voting for one of the options, thus choosing between A, B or C.

A: Option A
B: Option B
C: Option C

In this voting process, anyone can vote in the second voting round, regardless of what their choice was in the first. This would allow entities to be opposed to the change at first while still having a vote on which option is chosen if the DAO chooses to go forward with change. So if someone votes no to change but the dao votes in favour, the voter would still be able to choose the option he or she prefers, even though being opposed in general.

Possibility 2 offers an example of the two-stage voting process where only one issue is addressed, since we have only addressed topics with where such voting is necessary. If we were to tackle topics where several issues need to be changed, such as revising the use of proceeds, there is an additional step. These extra steps cannot be voted on in one poll and would need to be split, as is done in the issue of Staking v2. Building on the example of ‘general proposals/revisions’ the extra steps are elaborated on here to showcase and discuss how this can be done.

That is pretty much the process as far as I thought it needed to be worked out. If I have missed any steps, please fill me in and I will add my thoughts where needed.

These are my current thoughts on guidelines to give to you. I’m hoping this will at least pave the way for some of our members to have their voices heard and I, and hopefully others, encourage you to take a more proactive stance in governance. I’d be glad to hear all of your thoughts.

What we need to keep in mind with new governance

  • We all have the DAO’s best interest at heart. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to share his or her thoughts. When many individuals share a certain sentiment, another may use those insights to shape it into a viable and actionable option to vote on which would otherwise not be possible if no one shares their thoughts or a desired pivot from the initial proposal.

  • Subsequently, we cannot take offense if someone tries to introduce an option, and another takes this option and improves on it making it more desirable for the DAO. We are all on the same team in the end.

What I am still missing

  • Someone still needs to draft the official proposal, but who?
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