AIP-318: APECOIN DAO Voting Reforms

APECOIN DAO VOTING REFORMS

Process

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.

RFC : Riding The Wings Of Change "

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.

In recent examples with AIP-218, AIP-250, AIP-295, a count of 5 wallets controlled over 50% of the voting power. That’s concerning in and of itself. And those are just the most recent examples.

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 APEgoverning mandate established by the DAO founders.

  1. Implement a 1 Ape (voter) = 1 vote system whereby the value of the voter’s token is IGNORED.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  1. Revise Snapshot strategy to Implement Quadratic Voting strategy.

  2. Revise Snapshot to use a ticket system as that’s required for the implementation of the Gitcoin Passport system.

  3. Require voters to have a Gitcoin Passport in order to vote. This is a requirement of the ticket voting Snapshot strategy above.

  4. Implement shielded voting in both Snapshot and the ApeCoin website.

  5. 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.

  6. Remove the ability to change a vote once it has been cast.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

N/A


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.

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A word about the abstain votes based on discussions with another DAO member.

Abstain is hidden during live voting. As per this thread, it appears to have been a change by the Special Council - without consensus or vote.

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  1. We have real (Abstain) votes not being counted as part of the total.
  2. Example: 9 votes In Favor, 1 Against, 900 Abstain. As it stands now due to this arbitrary change, we have the pretence of this vote passing by 90% In Favor when in fact only 1% of actual total votes were In Favor.

We can go ahead and accept this example vote passed despite only 1% In favor and approve / fund the AIP. I’d much rather not, but that’s how it’s set up and it would at least be factual to say it passed with 1% of the vote. Pretending it passed by a factor of 9-to-1, with 90% of votes In favor is inaccurate; but that’s how the DAO does it.

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Reserved spot for future additions-2

Reserved spot for future additions-3

I have seen the idea of ​​changing the voting system several times in this discourse and I appreciate the commitment you have put into the creation of this AIP, however I am against many of its aspects.

The main aspect that I don’t like is the limit of 10 ape to vote and that subsequently the vote is worth one regardless of the apes owned. In this scenario, some people could promote AIP in their exclusive interest simply by dividing their ape into multiple portfolios and thus having greater voting power.

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@Mr.and89

That’s a valid concern that I too share. However, my 10 $APE was only a suggestion in order to illustrate how this would be used. I would very much prefer 1 $APE instead as long as we adopt other gated means, e.g. ticket voting. Because, as you stated, people can just spread their bags around. However, they can’t do that with a ticket system that also uses Gitcoin Passport.

What other aspects are you against? I would very much like to address everyone’s concerns regarding this highly substantial AIP.

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Re: #5 in first numbered section, I don’t think the 9% / 11% example is clear.

As for legit votes - Abstain included - being hidden, or not, all legit votes including Abstain should be treated the same. Why discriminate?

While Abstain votes do not and should not count as for or against, we really should have discussions and a vote on a better pass/fail threshold than 9%, 30%, or 50.1% of all legit votes including Abstain. Even if we vote to adopt the status quo, at least it’ll be by vote whereas we’ve currently adopted the worst IRL system - which no reputable or successful organization uses to dole out big $ or place ppl in key roles - because…. because why, exactly? Because IRL governments who employ those systems (with shielded voting at least!) are such a rip-roaring, efficient, incorruptible, beloved success to be emulated?

Do you have plans to address pass / fail threshold in this AIP? FYI - AIP-265: 2/3 "Supermajority" Requirement to Alter Fundamental Tenets of ApeCoin DAO and its Operations - #76 by br00no

Those IRL elections are 1 vote per person yet have tons of quite reasonable doubts and issues about the system, its vulnerabilities, shortcomings, and its results. There’s no perfect system or one that’ll please everyone, but voting, especially without merit required to earn that vote, is the worst there is yet we can make it less terrible and corruptible than it currently is.

It’d be interesting to know how many wallets below a certain value threshold voted against shielded voting vs larger wallets. I don’t have an issue with whales in general though, as the DAO’s arguably been saved from bad, wasteful, doomed and big-$ AIPs by some whales, but eventually in bad systems those with good intentions or unfairly demonized eventually leave - be they whales or not - while eventually only grifters and power peddlers remain at top of the pyramid, so long as the money’s there, just like IRL.

Same system as IRL = same results, dissatisfaction and divisions as IRL. No maybes. No exceptions. Not in all of history.

Lastly, consider your proposal would necessarily do away with delegated voting, which is a very, very, very good thing.

Thanks for provoking these discussions and going the extra mile of offering solutions.

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Shielded Voting - Meaning clarification

FYI All, Shielded voting IS NOT ANON. The details of how your wallet voted is visible after the vote ends. This is how the function works in snapshot.

I think shielded is useful for the main elections of SC and Steward roles, but I like to see how people vote for other AIPs. Hence personally I selected abstain for the shielded AIP. Abstained means I have seen the AIP, considered it but CHOOSE to abstain.

FYI UN has the option of abstain vote.

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If we’re going to be messing with vote reform, lets do it right and make it 1 BAYC / MAYC = 1 VOTE. Can token-gate these idea channels for higher quality conversations also.

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Thanks for the informative commentary. Everything noted, understood, and taken into consideration.

Yes in fact I do. I just haven’t had time to think through yet how I want to approach it. I have notes on it in my Notion dB. I will use one of the reserved post slots above with my final thoughts.

This AIP idea wasn’t ready to go up because there are some loose ends that I still want to cover. However, as I mentioned above, I felt that it was prudent to get the discussions going sooner rather than later.

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I agree with this. It’s also one of the options that I was considering for the AIP. However, it seems to me that anyone with one of those NFTs would already have $APE token. So, I don’t see the need to add this to the mix. Your thoughts?

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Fact correction

There is some conjecture in this posting. Let me provide more complete information so the community can better form their opinion. See the Abstain totals are clearly listed.

They are shown. Perhaps some people don’t know where to find it as it isn’t shown on snapshot but can be seen at the official ApeCoin website.

Also a core function for Abstain is for proposals that need to reach a Quorum. E.g if we have 100 tokens total, the quorum might be 10 or 20 depending on the amount asked or the importance of the vote. YES, NO and Abstain would all count to a total for a Quorum. The YES vs NO percentage is a different aspect.

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It’s not conjecture.

It’s a fact that they are not shown in the totals during live voting - on Snapshot.

What’s shown in the ApeCoin website are the final results of the vote - not the live voting results. The same info shown on Snapshot when the vote ENDS.

Again your information is incorrect. Note how a LIVE vote still shows the total for Abstain on the Official Apecoin website

The LIVE votes are listed as ACTIVE.

FYI this vote just ended after I made the screen grab. So if you check now it will show as REJECTED.

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Let me repeat this:

How is that incorrect? It’s basically what I stated and which you confirmed. It’s also what is in the AIP idea post.

I don’t know what you are seeing on the web site but I will take a look again even though it’s not relevant to my commentary that it’s not visible on a live vote on snapshot. We don’t vote on the website. We vote on snapshot.

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To clarify this information is 100% incorrect.

Snapshot does not show them live but the Official Apecoin.com website does. Please see:

Your screen cap is not live votes. Those are completed votes, and they aren’t screen caps of Snapshot.

Abstain totals are not shown during live votes. They used to be, but SC changed that without formal request for input (which I define as a thread here on the only official ApeCoin DAO forum), without a DAO vote, and without an announcement to the DAO after the fact. This was and remans publicly documented.

The UN has nothing to do with this, however if you look up a live UN vote they show the Abstain totals during the live vote and at the place they are voting. Key difference is they do their harassment, influence peddling and vote buying before the votes, since the votes are public and quick and can’t be changed, while we can do our vote rigging and harass voters over the course of a week and without having to do much planning since our votes take a week and how people are voting including the totals (except for Abstain) are visible plus votes can be changed up ‘til the last minute.

Abstain here has nothing to do with making a quorum. First I’ve heard of a need or specific number for a quorum, but in any case the Abstain option is a relatively recent voting option that didn’t exist the first year or so of voting and may never have existed had someone not made an AIP, which passed, to add that Abstain option.

If you assert otherwise, please cite where it states a specific quorum figure is required and where it states the Abstain option was floated as an AIP to help achieve that quorum.

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Yes they are shown on the ApeCoin website just not the snapshot. Maybe an oversight when they removed it from view from snapshot it still showed up on the ApeCoin website.

Look at my second post with the screen grab which is shown as ACTIVE.

FYI they don’t call them live they call them ACTIVE.

I hadn’t seen that second screen cap. Yes, that seems an oversight and maybe an important bug in Snapshot or probably the ApeCoin website has a script that adds up the visible individual votes to come up with a total.

Thanks for making another strong argument for shielded voting and against executive actions to change voted-for and already implemented processes without formal community input or a vote!

In any case, this AiP idea is clearly focused on Snapshot and much bigger issues.

Noted: “Active” votes.

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I think my comment is agnostic to whether shielded voting should be on or off. It is relevant for a need for a bug hunting program which I am drafting an AIP to solve.

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