As we are getting closer to having the technical abilities to implement a fully operational governance structure, we are also entering a crucial ideological phase of the future governance layout.
In this discussion I would like to address the technical possibility of delegating voting power („vote proxying“) to centralized entities and natural persons versus turning delegates into mentors („answer recommendation“).
“People need to see what answers are being recommended to them before they decide how to answer the question at hand. With vote proxying, they can’t do that! Vote proxying puts the power in the hands of the proxy - answer recommendation keeps the power in the hands of the people (or, at the edges of the network) where it belongs.” -Sayke*
Current situation (technically)
At the time of writing this basis for discussion, it’s technically not possible to delegate voting power from the token holder to another delegate („vote proxying“). Even when SC will be available, it will still take some time and energy, to implement this feature. This has been subject to several discussions and blog posts in the past weeks.
But do we even want and need to invest this time and energy? Where to go from here?
From Liquid Democracy via vote proxying (left illustration) to Educative Democracy via answer recommendation (right illustration). Instead of transferring the voting power to delegates, mentors are educating the holders and increasing their own reach by receiving upvotes.
From a technical point of view, the delegation of voting power („vote proxying“) can be achieved, but it will counteract our main goals, when it comes to building an active and independent governance system.
Current situation (ideologically)
Instead our goals should be to
- motivate as much token holders as possible, to take part in governance in order to have a widely spread consensus for each proposal.
- provide the condensed informations every token holder needs to make valid decisions.
- reduce complexity of the process and the proposals at hand.
- decentralize voting power in order to prevent misusage.
- prevent bad actors from voting more than once/with several accounts.
But implementing a delegation process („vote proxying“) holds the risk of
- demotivating the token holders to take part in governance, as someone else is doing it for them.
- adding to keep token holders rather uninformed, as they are lacking the motivation to dig into crucial informations.
- putting an inappropriate and potentially even dangerous voting power in the hands of only a few people or an entity (centralization).
In order to work towards our desired goals, we should
- implement a platform/section of govern.iota.org, where the required informations for a proposal are to find in an condensed way (preamble), as well as in a detailed format, compiled by the mentors. The time and energy, that would otherwise have been invested into the delegation process, could be used to build this platform/respective section of govern.iota.org.
- implement a voting system in order for the holders to vote on the quality of the mentors answer recommendations. The more valuable and understandable a recommendation is, the more upvotes it will get and the higher it will rank among the mentors recommendations list (increased reach). If those provided informations are faulty or even fraudulent, the mentor will be downvoted and lose reach until he/she gets insignificant to the process.
- link this platform/section and the compiled informations in the FireFly wallet (as soon as technically possible) next to the proposal at hand. The precedent discussion link at govern.iota.org may be additionally added.
- keep the voting process in the Firefly wallet as it was with the BUILD/BURN vote (voting power depending on the amount of MIOTA and the timeframe of staking). An optimized balancing of the voting power might be needed in order to prevent misusage. But that’s another discussion.
Educative democracy is activating users. It incentivizes mentors to optimize their lecturing skills to underline their legitimacy with every single new voting. Furthermore it brings the psychological effect of emotional involvement by active contribution to both groups (holders and mentors). In this process it can turn neutral holders into system promotors and delegates into ambassadors. This will be an excellent foundation for generating intrinsic growth.
I plead for educative grassroots democracy and I’m really curious to hear your take on it.
*„Liquid Democracy In Context“ by Sayke
„Liquid Democracy: True Democracy for the 21st Century“ by Dominik Schiener
„Whats the deal with DAOs? Exploring the DAO Landscape with IOTA“ at blog.iota.org