Hello Cardano Community,
I’ve been listening to a few of Charles’ talks over the recent weeks and was inspired by his goals with the new Scotland EDI to develop metrics and ranks blockchains in terms of their decentralisation. This is a great effort and will help the industry, but it got me thinking about a fair referendum or voting process to help Cardano’s governance processes through similar independent expert bodies.
I think there needs to be 2 components added or expanded in the discussion to ensure certain elements of governance are held to a higher standard than day to day elements and that these Core elements should be included and formally addressed in any voting process which might impact them with higher than usual standards and requirements to pass.
- Core Rights in the Cardano Constitution
I by no means imply this is comprehensive, but I think everyone should have the right to a continuation of Cardano and that the tokenomics should be rather difficult to change.
Perhaps winning a vote by 51% as a simple majority should be an ok standard for smaller changes or for peripheral changes, but if a vote is going to impact the core aspects of tokenomics or the future sustainability of Cardano, then it should require a much higher standard of perhaps 75% or 80% as a super majority of votes in order to make such a change.
An example would be the 45 million total ADA to be created, the distribution curve between now and when all Cardano have been minted, the k factor, or other factors affecting the SPO model as sustainable small businesses, etc.
I think this idea of a Core Cardano Rights or similar set of higher sacrosanct rules would be very helpful in establishing Cardano’s community governance in practice and as principles within the Cardano Constitution. Which themselves are also Core, i.e. you need that 80% super majority to alter the Cardano Constitution as well as to pass any measures which affect those Core Rights in the ecosystem.
And that whatever form governance takes in the future with elected bodies, etc. that ANY change to the constitution itself should always be done through direct democracy in an open vote for all Cardano holders.
But then the question arises…how will we know if a legislative proposal or CIP affects Core Rights or not? We need trusted independent bodies to assist us, perhaps those will have independent funding from the treasury to ensure their continued operation. New foundations set up as NGOs/Charities or as Institutions of whatever appropriate sort to not be profit driven and to have a reasonable budget such that they can operate meaningfully to offer advice, guidance, and reports on Cardano Legislation Proposals or CIPs or whatever they are or will be called.
- Fair and Transparent voting with key common elements in all proposals
Not everyone is going to be financially literate and we can’t expect individuals to parse complex code, financial models, or governance ideals when they engage in voting.
I don’t know if there will ever be any sort of elected representatives made up of MBOs or SPOs or various institutions forming a governance board or whatever form that might take. But I think direct democracy through referendums as open votes, such as currently the case in Project Catalyst, should continue to be a key feature.
As such, I would posit that we put in ‘Rules for Legislation’ where any item must be evaluated and categorised and within its category it MUST include key features such as its impact on tokenomics, changes in game theory, impacts on the stakeholders such as community/SPOs/instiutions/projets built on Cardano, a 10 year impact assessment, etc.
This set of principles would be worthwhile so no covert or accidentally negative legislation could get through or it couldn’t do so without an honest review of the impacts and changes to Cardano by one of the independent governance institutions I have proposed.
i.e. no one project could hide something in a vote to cause itself to gain some advantage as the only oracle or dex or lender or SPO list or whatever. Maybe some SPOs want to raise fees for themselves, but this could jeopardise Cardano’s long term future with bad tokenomics/game theory or it might overly penalise new dapp development with onerous costs in some way.
The purpose of this is to ensure that any CIP or future model for changes is properly categorised and uses transparent easy to understand common language summaries for the proposed changes and any impacts on the primary shareholders of community, SPOs, dapps, institutions, and the governance model along with the overall future of Cardano.
This would make proposals a bit more difficult and support on how to draft legislation and evaluate changes in your proposal can be offered as educational material along with formal reviews by the independent institutional governance bodies. But I think this will avoid potential catastrophe through malfeasance, incompetence, or accident. A governing body must protect itself and the current state of affairs through due diligence and more than simply hoping every random member of the community is somehow an expert in 10 different fields of study.
We would need to this ensure a vote is set properly as a Core Cardano vote needing 80% to pass or a regular vote needing only 51% to pass. Along with the independent review of impacts.
As such, similar to many governments around the world. I’d like to see existing or new foundations perform independent evaluations of all legislation and to provide commentary on anything put to a vote. This may be a brief commentary saying the proposal is honest and does what it says it does, or it may include a motion to flag a vote as Core Cardano or to rate the proposal as inauthentic.
Honesty and fully trustless human processes of governance cannot be meshed perfectly. There can never be full governance via smart contract since governance includes higher principles such as how a smart contract even works in the first place.
Voting processes can be on chain, but actual evaluation for quality and impact along with writing proposals or CIPs etc. will always remain a human process which requires trust to be given somewhere. Rather than ignore this, we should embrace it and prepare for a future of Cardano Constitutional governance by creating such independent advisory and educational institutional bodies.
We cannot avoid bath faith actors or clumsily written legislative proposals ever being put forward, but we can create an independent institution, or more than one, which we can trust to be transparent, honest, and thorough in analysing proposals using expertise which the everyday Cardano voter will not have.
Thanks for reading!