APECOIN DAO VOTING REFORMS
The current voting mechanism as a whole needs to be revised in order to make it more robust, resilient, efficient and less prone to the various issues - known or unknown - that currently plague it.
The primary objective of this proposal aims to address the various deficiencies in the pre-existing voting system by implementing safeguards in the Snapshot voting strategy, as well as by making some minor revisions to the overall voting system and its reporting.
This proposal includes switching to QUADRATIC voting and the implementation of GITCOIN PASSPORT, TICKET-BASED voting, and SHIELDED voting. It also includes revisions to the pre-existing ABSTAIN vote counts, as well as the removal of voter ability to CHANGE votes once cast.
It is no secret that the existing voting system is highly deficient, prone to manipulation, and blatantly inequitable. This [flawed] system was put in place by the original DAO creators and was used and adopted in the very first AIP-1 . It’s implementation was ratified in AIP-2 .
I had previously created a thread in which I had written extensively about this voting issue. It’s essential reading.
Due to how the voting system works, and in which the value of a voter’s $APE holdings creates a whale controlled system, this gives whales a significant influence over the voting system and indeed the DAO.
The DAO was setup as a non-prof that literally gives money (in the form of $APE) away to enterprising grantees. Noble intentions indeed. However, due to the fact that token holdings have revenue and investment based incentives, there’s seemingly near zero incentive to deplete the treasury by way of these grants as the treasury itself provides the liquidity for the aforementioned incentives.
The end result is that more often than not, AIPs are rejected (via voting) out of hand - even when they meet and in some cases exceed the criteria established by the DAO since its inception.
As of this writing, the DAO voting system is controlled by 17 whale wallets.
Further, the ability to buy tokens in a bid to influence the voting outcome of an AIP, is just another five alarm fire. And the more the value of $APE depresses, the easier it will be to do this.
The founding fathers had a clear mandate of “One APE equals one APE”. There was nothing ambiguous about this simple mandate. However, the voting system has rendered this concept meaningless, ineffective and inequitable due to its implementation in the Snapshot voting strategy.
The notion of allocating tokens based on participation or capitalism incentives cannot be applied here because unlike in the DAO, in the real world, nefarious activities and selfish motivations by board shareholders of a corp have legal and actionable consequences.
Further, any formula used to calculate a capitalist basis for using a wallet’s holdings in voting power, would still yield the same problem due to the current average token holders of a single voter. That average is currently 1.2 $APE. So, it doesn’t matter if a group of whales hold 1M $APE or is capped to 500 $APE, whales will still be a part of the voting system.
When AIP-2 was created, it had clear specifications and implementation steps.
There was NO REQUIREMENT for the value of a voter’s token to be a factor in the voting strategy created in Snapshot. In short, the current voting system Snapshot strategy clearly VIOLATES the “One APE equals one APE” governing mandate established by the DAO founders.
Implement a 1 Ape (voter) = 1 vote system whereby the value of the voter’s token is IGNORED.
Implement shielded voting because we have a RIGHT to keep our votes anon IF we so choose. For an entity that’s entrenched in Web3 and where KYC is riled against, given the privacy issues with this, it’s shocking to me that something like this wasn’t already implemented; and AIP-288 failed.
Revise abstain counts. In the live voting, the “abstain” votes aren’t being displayed in the total. You can only see individual abstain votes if you expand the voting list. And that doesn’t show the combined totals. Also, legally, an abstain vote can in fact be challenged in court. Seriously, look that up. So, it’s vital that abstain votes be shown and tallied correctly. To be clear: The abstain votes do NOT and should NOT count as a “yay” or “nay”, and should NOT be used in totals when calculating (fail or pass) the vote margins. e.g. “passed with 11%” that includes abstain votes, isn’t the same as “passed with 9%” when not including abstain votes. So, for this issue, it’s either hide the abstain votes from ALL views or make them visible from ALL views. People vote to abstain for various reasons; and it’s unfair to expose them in this regard. Here is a primer on how this works in the corp world. More on this in my follow-up comment below.
Once a vote is cast, it should never be changed. This is just a massive Red flag, I don’t even know how nor why it was ever a thing.
By revising the voting system to fit this mandate, it ensures that the DAO community is treated equally and fairly. It will also spurn growth because an equitable voting system yields results based on merit rather than the value of a voter’s holdings.
This task requires:
- Modifications to the pre-existing Snapshot config & reporting UI
- Modifications to the ApeCoin website vote reporting UI
- Implementation of Gitcoin Passport API to the pre-existing Snapshot config
Some minimal changes can be made to the pre-existing Snapshot voting spaces config to preserve KYC guidelines and to protect against Sybil style attacks.
See the Snapshot strategy guidelines.
Revise Snapshot strategy to Implement Quadratic Voting strategy.
Revise Snapshot to use a ticket system as that’s required for the implementation of the Gitcoin Passport system.
Require voters to have a Gitcoin Passport in order to vote. This is a requirement of the ticket voting Snapshot strategy above.
Implement shielded voting in both Snapshot and the ApeCoin website.
Revise the abstain voting mechanism so that i) abstain votes are NOT counted in the pass or fail ratio in the totals (e.g. 50 For, 40 Against, 10 Abstain means that only 50:40 are counted in the final totals percentages), and ii) the abstain vote count should be visible in both Snapshot and the ApeCoin website.
Remove the ability to change a vote once it has been cast.
No new AIPs are to be sent to vote once this AIP passes. AIPs can still be written and submitted, but they would be held in admin review until the new voting system revisions are in place.
Upon passing of the AIP, the ApeCoin DAO community must be notified of the impending changes to the voting system and given steps required for the creation of a Gitcoin Passport.
Implementation must be completed within 30 days of passing.
The voting revisions must be active on the 1st day of the month following the completion of the implementation.
Proposals submitted to the AIP Ideas category can be vague, incomplete ideas. Topics submitted here are not required to be submitted as a formal AIP Draft Template, however, you may still use the template if you wish.