AIP-138: The Special Council Election Process

Proposal Category: Process

Abstract

Two or three sentences that summarize the proposal.

This AIP establishes an election process for the Special Council. The proposed process aims to ensure that all candidates have an equal and fair opportunity to be nominated for the ApeCoin Special Council Election.

Motivation

A statement on why the APE Community should implement the proposal.

To advance the ApeCoin DAO’s path to decentralization, an election process that enables qualified community members to serve in the DAO’s leadership is required. This AIP covers the most essential pieces of that process. It aims to build critical infrastructure from which the DAO can grow.

Rationale

An explanation of how the proposal aligns with the APE Community’s mission and guiding values.

The long-term health of the ApeCoin DAO depends on a well-functioning nomination and election process for the Special Council. This AIP consolidates much of the great thinking the community has already put forth on this subject. That thinking is reflected below in the proposed specifications, as well as in the following guiding principles for writing this AIP:

  • Focusing on the essentials, knowing that more nice-to-have yet complex additions (e.g., reporting requirements, gamified participation, working groups/subDAOs, complex vote-weighting techniques) can be addressed via follow-on AIPs at a later date.
    • By keeping things simple, the likelihood of consensus can be enhanced while also
    • decreasing risks like gridlock.
  • Balancing stability and fluidity, recognizing that some continuity from one term to the next helps to maintain steady progress, while at the same time valuing the periodic cycling in of new members and ideas.
  • Favor the tried and tested where there is not an obvious reason for doing otherwise – this will limit the amount of complementary infrastructure that needs to be built and new platforms the community will need to learn, which could reduce participation.

Key Terms

Definitions of any terms within the proposal that are unique to the proposal, new to the APE Community, and/or industry-specific.

Candidate: Candidates are the Nominees that become eligible for the elections process.

The Special Council Nomination Process: The AIP that establishes a nomination process for the Special Council.

Specifications

A detailed breakdown of the platforms and technologies that will be used.

Special Council Seats

  • If this AIP passes, this is intended to occur one-time to determine which seats are up for election at the election cycles.
  • Seat numbers will be assigned to existing Special Council members. These seat numbers will be from 1 to 5.

Election Cycles

  • Timing and cadence of elections: Elections shall occur every 6 months.
  • Nomination and election to occur over November & December; elected Special Council member(s) to start in January (“Cycle One”)
  • Nomination and election to occur over May & June; elected Special Council member(s) to start in July (“Cycle Two”)
  • The following seats will be up for election at these times:
    • Cycle One: Seats 1, 2, & 3
    • Cycle Two: Seats 4 & 5
  • Rationale: Succession planning is paramount. A twice-yearly staggered process helps to maintain continuity for longer-term objectives and avoids a cataclysmic change wherein every Special Council seat is up for re-election at once. This should be balanced against the risk of low participation-rates from excessively frequent elections.

Election Terms & Limits

  • Term: Each seat is for one-year term.
  • Term limit: An existing Special Council member may nominate themselves for re-election and be elected to the Special Council up to 2 terms in a row.
  • Following the term limit, the former Special Council member must wait at least 1 election cycle prior to being able to nominate themselves for the Special Council. In other words, if the term limit ended on Cycle One, the Special Council member may nominate themselves for the next Cycle Two election.
  • Rationale: The one-year term-length was outlined in AIP-1. One-year term lengths allow for a balance of long-term orientation while encouraging active participation from Special Council members. A two-year term-limit affords ample time to steward long-term projects and strategy in the event the community supports the member reaching the maximum duration.

Election Vote on Snapshot

  • Candidates for Special Council are determined in The Special Council Nomination Process. Candidate profiles will be in the Discourse category Special Council Elections > Election Candidates.
  • Voting will take place on Snapshot
    • Each Candidate will be an option on the Snapshot vote
    • Each ApeCoin DAO member can only select one Candidate and that Candidate will receive all of such ApeCoin DAO member’s voting power
    • An ApeCoin DAO member who has delegated their votes to another member may cast a vote themselves and override the delegated vote
    • The vote will be released at the Weekly AIP Release and will close at the following Weekly Voting Close
    • No other AIPs will go up for vote at this Weekly AIP Release, and all approved AIPs for vote will be released at the following Weekly AIP Release
  • The top 3 voted Candidates in Cycle One and top 2 voted Candidates in Cycle Two shall be elected to the Special Council, subject to adjustments from off-cycle departures or lack of Candidates.

Off-Cycle Departures

  • In the event of the voluntary or involuntary departure of a Special Council member, that seat will be incorporated into the upcoming election cycle, after which it will return to the same election cycle schedule that it would have been on if the departing member had remained.
  • Any partial terms for a Special Council member from off-cycle departures will not be counted towards the term limit. For example, if a Special Council seat is in Cycle One but a Candidate is elected to replace the Special Council member in Cycle Two, then the 6 months served by the newly elected Special Council member will not count towards the term limit.

Steps to Implement

The steps to implement the proposal, including associated costs, manpower, and other resources for each step where applicable.

• A nomination process is required to determine the Candidates eligible for election, as described in The Special Council Nomination Process.
• Candidates will be placed in the appropriate Discourse category, Election Candidates.
• Each Special Council member will be assigned a seat number.
• A Snapshot vote is created with the Candidates at the appropriate Weekly AIP Release.

Timeline

Relevant timing details, including but not limited to start date, milestones, and completion dates.

The first election shall take place in December, after The Special Council Nomination Process occurs in November and December. Please see The Special Council Nomination Process for estimated dates and timelines for the first nomination process.

If this AIP and The Special Council Nomination Process passes, then the estimated Snapshot vote to determine Candidates will take place between Dec 15-21. As a result, the Snapshot for election would be estimated to take place Dec 22-28.

Seat 1, 2, & 3 shall begin in January 2023.

Overall Cost

The total cost to implement the proposal.

There are no costs to implement this AIP.

Nonetheless, each Special Council member shall receive compensation as stated in AIP-1, or $20,833 of ApeCoin equivalent per month for the term.

3 Likes

Does it make sense to combine this AIP Idea with the related " The Special Council Election Process"?

I ask because what happens in the unlikely scenario where one of these is approved during Live Voting but the other is rejected?

10 Likes

YES, it does. Thanks for bringing this up.

It’s vital we get the Nomination & Election process done right, especially given our recent history.

Get involved people!

7 Likes

All of this appears agreeable & it’s also easily amendable in the future. This outlines the process for elections, while the other additional proposal offers minimum requirements for the candidates that nominate themselves during each of these elections. My response & suggestions for that proposal are more in depth and can be read @ The Special Council Nomination Process - #5 by 0xSword.

This an agreeable framework. I do have concerns about elections twice a year, and believe that they could be disruptive to operations. However, I’m willing to be bold and try these out, knowing that these can be amended, and the community has the ability to make changes as we continue to grow!

8 Likes

Thank you for this proposal.

I don’t disagree with most of the mechanics. But I am concerned with the frequency of elections. Given that the election process calls for elections twice-yearly, I fear that 4 months of the year will become election season and just like in politics, less will get done because it will be what most people focus on.

I also have a question.

I might have missed the answer, but how will seat numbers be assigned?

6 Likes

Hi @RedVulkan, open to community feedback. The rationale behind breaking these into two AIPs was that the two processes were thought of as separate and distinct. In the event where the community wished to modify the nomination or election process, it could be done separately without affecting the other proposed process. If one AIP were to be accepted and the other rejected, it would confirm that the community agrees with one process and not the other. A new and/or adjusted process of the rejected AIP may then be proposed.

7 Likes

Hi @adventurousape, I understand the concern of elections twice a year. The rationale behind this was so that at least some existing Special Council members would remain to have continuity on the Special Council and encourage a smooth transition process. After 6 months, the goal would be that the newly elected Special Council members are fully integrated and can then lead the transition process for the next election cycle.

Other scenarios considered were as follows:

  • Once a year election with 5 Council members; while this means less frequent election cycle, it would mean however that the entire Special Council is turned over at once with no continuity.
  • Once a year election alternating between 3 and 2 Council members; while this means less frequent election cycle and promoting continuity, it would mean that the term of Council members would be 2 years instead of 1 year.

More frequent elections were also considered but as you mentioned, it would mean election season throughout the year.

Current Council members can voluntary choose not to run if they wish. However, if all Council members wish to remain, seat numbers would be assigned randomly.

8 Likes

Thanks for the clarification @btang! I get what you are saying and can see why keeping them separate might be a good idea.

4 Likes

Hi @btang,

Your topic will be automatically closing in less than 24 hours. Are you content with the feedback received, or do you wish to extend community discussion for a further 7 days?

If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after your topic closes, your topic will be moved straight to the AIP Draft process.

We look forward to hearing from you.

-Escape

Thank you so much for your reply and the details about what scenarios were considered. After looking them over, I agree with your approach at this point in time. The DAO is young, so hesitant to have anyone have a 2 year term, but wouldn’t want to risk there being no continuity if all 5 members are turned over.

3 Likes

Considering that the scope of this proposal is rightly to focus on the essentials, I think that the election process by cycles is a good compromise between stability and rotation, its functionality can be assessed after some time.

I just wish to comment on one point which is the incentives for Council Members (as per AIP-1, $20,833 of APE equivalent per month for the term). If my understanding is correct, as it is structured now it doesn’t look to “align incentives of Board Members with DAO Members”, but rather a monthly salary fixed in USD and paid in APE.
As such, if we want to really align incentives, and I think we should, an ideal setting could be that at the beginning of a Term the Member is entitled to $125K translated in APE (so, for example to 27,777 APE at spot rate 4,5 USD/APE - or the ex.rate could be the average of the previous 3months), which are vested till the end of the 1 year Term. In this way, Board Members has the real incentive that during their Term Apecoin will thrive. In case the Members leaves the Board before the Term ends, it will be a pro-rata of those initial 27,777 APE. It is assumed that this incentive has not the purpose to cover cost of living (as relates to some hours work per week, should not be the only source of income), so doesn’t need to be on a monthly base. Multiple and intermediate structures can be thought, but I hope that the general idea is clear.

7 Likes

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Thank you @btang for your ideas and the ApeCoin DAO community for the thoughtful discussions. A moderator will get in touch with the author to draft the AIP in the appropriate template. Once the AIP is drafted and meets all the DAO-approved guidelines, the proposal will be posted on Snapshot for live official voting at: Snapshot

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. @btang please see your messages for the next steps.

-Pearson

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@btang has completed editing their AIP Idea to be their AIP Draft.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

Kind Regards,

-Pearson

Love this!! Would align much better with board comp best practices.

2 Likes

Are you proposing this AIP as a moderator or a community member? Am I the only one that sees a conflict of interest in mods/admins submitting AIPs and preparing their own AIP Analysis Reports? It is in the founding documentation that admins will not make decisions for the DAO…

That said, I agree with this AIP. I just struggle with a Cartan Group member submitting it.

There were a couple of office hour meetings where this was discussed in detail. How it was decided that this would work is that the Administrators would compile the feedback for the election process AIP. Feedback was gathered from multiple sources like discourse+twitter+community leaders.

It came down to a question of “who should be gathering feedback and writing this?” It was decided it should be them vs me or vulkan or the other exp’d proposal authors. That’s the quick & simple explanation!

9 Likes

Hi All
Thanks for putting together this proposal, it is simple and easy to understand a couple of thoughts/questions:

  • In terms of the tried and tested philosophy, are there any lessons learned from the current Special Council and how have these been incorporated into the proposal (e.g. size of the council, term etc?
  • Term limits: You can serve as many terms as you are elected for but need to wait six months between successive terms. What is the rationale behind this? If the process is democratic and on chain why impose a limit on term or re-election?
  • In the unlikely event of a draw for the final seat in each cycle, what happens?
  • I agree with @giacolmo.eth on having vested remuneration to incentivise longevity and action
  • I agree with @0xSword that ideally we should have a voting criteria based off trust levels to ensure that we have active DAO participants voting

Thanks
St01c

3 Likes

This makes complete sense now. Thanks for sharing the history behind it!

3 Likes