Pragmatic Steps for the Spartan Council

The first implementation of the Spartan Council provided for by SIP-93, “Supersede SIP-90 to Delegated Council Governance,” has resulted in a successful first round of voting with some outstanding issues to be addressed.

Issue 1. Stability. The top 7 council members by Weighted Debt vote has shifted like quicksand, with a tiny fraction of 1 WD showing an ability to add or remove a member from the council. This can create logistical problems, and leads to a situation where a council member can go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and no longer be on the council.

Pragmatically this creates completely unnecessary overhead. It also produces a situation where an 8th member must always be “on-call” to participate at a given moment’s notice and not be compensated. Furthermore, given that such a small WD can shift the council composition, the scenario is not “game theoretically stable” as noted by Spreek.

Issue 2. Liquidity. The council needs a mechanism whereby the council and/or its members can be declared invalid by Token Holders. If no such mechanism exists, the council cannot be said to be liquid.

Solutions

  1. To retain structure and composition for the Council, votes for candidates will be locked through the duration of the epoch (1 month.) This allows for the council composition to reach a stable state. This is how we solve for stability.

  2. Recall votes. If a sufficient number of token holders are wholly dissatisfied with the Council’s performance, token holders can elect to dissolve the Council in its present form with 2/3 vote. Token holders can reach out to Council members directly to have their concerns and interests represented, but a recall provides a formal mechanism for an inadequate Council to be dissolved. This recall would precede the formation of a new Council after the non-performant members are relieved of duties.

2 Likes

I am not confident the trade-off here between locking the council for a month is sufficient to offset the uncertainty about the composition of the council itself. There are practical challenges with both, but given that the council has somewhat stabilised I feel like this change may not be needed and introduces additional complexity and risk. I do not believe we should be optimising for certainty around the council composition but instead for immediacy of overturning a vote that does not have the support of token holders. Though I admit both methods proposed to achieve this outcome have risks, the risk is that it will actually be easier for votes to be overturned by a few whales fairly frequently and forcing an entirely new election disrupts the continuity of the council which is a risk and attack vector. It is also likely to lead to less engagement if the composition is fixed and I feel like I can ignore governance for a month. While this liquid aspect is more adversarial it also promotes watchfulness in token holders and engagement in the governance process.

I would like to see a more formal proposal for the specific no-confidence vote mechanism before I come to a conclusion.

The no confidence voting is kind of simple really, anyone in the community can trigger a call for a vote of no confidence. He just simply needs to communicate to others that he had triggered it. Community members could choose to vote yay or nay. Now should more than 2/3 of the total WD that had voted on in the latest council vote, vote yay, the call passes and the current council is dissolved.
Now you might say, well the obvious weakness is don’t vote for council as to lower the total WD and consistently vote to dissolve on the no-confidence as a means to censor… that could happen, but if someone has enough votes to continuously do this, then probably one can do little to stop him in other situations as well…
Also to note, if the 2/3 isn’t reached and the term of the council-men ends, all previous votes on the no-confidence roll are nullified (so basically reset of the no confidence vote).

I mean, honestly I have seen this work it’s magic in the real world. Governments that refused to relinquish power were thwarted with this mechanism.
Now what are the technical challenges, probably you know more than me on this kain. But I believe this control transfer mechanism, is one of those things that isn’t used often, but should the day come and it’s needed, we’ll be glad to have it.