Enable DAO-Wide Voting to Elect Working Group Stewards

First of all, I think the Governance Stewards have been doing an amazing job at most things, and they have a lot on their plate. I apologize in advance if my comments come off harsh. But I do have some comments and questions about this proposal.

As one of the authors of AIP-239: Working Group Guidelines & The Governance Working Group Charter, in hindsight, I don’t believe that the Ape Assembly was thought through enough and that’s why it’s so messy rn. It would have been better off as its own proposal with the details thought and worked through with the community here on the forum imo. The goal was to bring together those who were the most highly active governance participants with criteria to join that would make the Ape Assembly accessible to DAO members who had shown a level of participation achievable to anyone interested. It would allow the Ape Assembly and the DAO to experiment when it came to elections to figure out the best way to fill the Steward roles with the most qualified people.

That being said, it was never the intention to have the Governance Stewards run it, but they are responsible for “maintaining operations and supporting governance Initiatives like the Ape Assembly”, so without it’s own leadership to start, they had to take on that role on top of everything else they are responsible for. But a vote was just finished two days ago in which the members of the Ape Assembly voted for it’s own internal representation rather than the Governance Stewards taking on that role. A day later this proposal went up with no mention of it to the members of the Ape Assembly beforehand. One of the Guiding Values is Transparency, but I don’t feel like it was adhered to in this case.

While I appreciate the intention to improve the Ape Assembly’s effectiveness and voting credibility, I’m concerned this AIP centralizes more power to the Governance Stewards by weakening the Ape Assembly. I believe the members of the Ape Assembly should have been involved in the discussions about significant changes that affect their role in the DAO. This AIP gives the Governance Stewards significantly more power. The ability to decide how elections work is something that can invite corruption. While I don’t think the current Stewards plan to use that power in a negative way, future Governance Stewards could use this power to manipulate the system. The Ape Assembly is only tasked with a few things and this AIP strips the Ape Assembly of the first three:

  • Facilitating elections for Working Group Stewards
  • Electing an individual who will serve as the Secretary of the DAO (Vulkan was appointed as the first one through AIP-239)
  • Setting the term limits for the Secretary of the DAO (“The Secretary would have term limits subject to the discretion of the Ape Assembly”)
  • Meet regularly to discuss DAO-wide issues and collectively write AIPs to address them
  • Approve budgets for several committees, which are expected to form within the DAO

I don’t necessarily disagree that the Stewards should be elected by DAO wide vote either though I’m aware that not everyone shares my opinion, and that’s ok. Some excellent points were raised in this AIP imo and the potential for low participation in Ape Assembly in the beginning was one of the reasons we worded the Ape Assemblies mandate in AIP-239 as “tasked with facilitating elections for Working Group Stewards” instead of outright electing them themselves to begin with. I think how elections work is something that needs to be discussed among the community and Ape Assembly and then elections should be facilitated by the Ape Assembly as originally intended.

Some questions for the Governance Stewards:

  • Could you please provide your reasoning for putting up this AIP without mentioning it to the Ape Assembly or involving the members in discussions about the Working Group Steward elections?

  • What do you see as the role of the Ape Assembly if this AIP passes? And what should the members of the Ape Assembly be focused on in the meantime since much of their mandate could potentially be stripped?

  • If all three Stewards for each working group are elected at the same time and each has a 1 year term, what happens if all three lose their reelection or all three reach their term limit at the same time? The SC and Gov Steward elections are staggered so there is someone to onboard new members.

  • This AIP says that “Once elected, Working Group Stewards will have a term of one year, with 2 term limits”. The Governance Stewards, once they reach their term limit, per AIP-239, are able to “wait at least one election cycle prior to being able to nominate themselves for the Governance Working Group Steward position. In other words, if the term limit ended on Cycle One, the Steward may nominate themselves for the next Cycle Two election six months later.” Would the Stewards of the other working groups have a similar stipulation?

  • One of the reasons for the Ape Assembly was to try and avoid future constant DAO wide elections and potential voter fatigue.
    a) How do you plan to navigate the potential issue of constant elections/voter fatigue?
    b) Would you consider editing this proposal to the Gov Stewards just facilitating the initial Steward elections for the Metaverse, Marketing and Comms, and Treasury working groups? That way this AIP would not completely take away the most significant of the Ape Assembly’s mandate and would give it more time to get structured properly and bring more interested people into it. And it would not mean that the Ape Assembly would be deciding future Stewards either, just that it would give the AA back it’s mandate of facilitating future elections.

  • Could you please provide your reasoning for removing the Ape Assemblies mandate regarding the DAO Secretary through this AIP?

  • If this passes, will the Governance Stewards be putting term limits on the DAO Secretary and if so, what will they be?

  • If the DAO Secretary is treated as an initiative within the purview of the Governance Working Group, how will the role be filled if it is not elected through the Ape Assembly?

To the Governance Stewards, I really do appreciate all of your hard work and I look forward to your reply. And to anyone else who made it through my small novel, thank you for listening to my perspective and I would love to hear other’s opinions. :blue_heart: