I recently ran a referendum and everything was proceeding smoothly. Initially, voting fluctuated between 40/60 and 45/55 in the first week. I engaged with some voters, received feedback, and clarified things. The process was enjoyable.
Then after a week or so a whale with no contact voted ‘Nay’ with 9M DOT, skewing the vote to 96% in favor of ‘Nay’ without offering any opportunity for discussion (actually left a generic comment on PA but didn’t reply to my attempts to clarify this further)
Reflecting on this, I revisited previous proposals. As a validator, I dedicate hours each week to reading OpenGov discussions to cast informed votes, and many validators do likewise. A quick analysis revealed a recurring pattern: in almost all referenda I reviewed, the votes of the validators or normal users in general didn’t significantly influence the outcome. The 1% ‘whale’ voters alone (less than 10 accounts) could determine whether a proposal passed or failed, regardless of others’ votes.
To be candid, I’ve decided not to invest further time in OpenGov. I’m inclined to either abstain from all proposals or delegate my vote to someone at random, as it appears to be inconsequential.
I believe there should be measures to curb this disproportionate influence. Ideally, implementing KYC (Know Your Customer) alongside a mechanism to reduce voting power logarithmically could be effective. This way, ‘whale’ voters would still have a larger impact, but not to the extent of having a 2000-fold influence.
I’ve read this perspective many times before, for years, on projects where token holders are voting to decide on various items. It’s an issue worth reflecting on.
In my opinion, Polkadot is already doing much better than those other projects I have in mind, however evidently there is still room for improvement. In my opinion we should, as a community, make it clear that large votes without much of an explanation, are not respectful. And respect, in a community, is extremely important.
I can see how large token holders could have busy lives and do not feel like they have to explain themselves. However as this comment shows, their decision does negatively affect those that have invested themselves in debating an issue.
If such large token holders are too busy to explain themselves, it would be much better that they delegate their tokens to someone they feel aligned with, that does have the time to elaborate on their decision.
I think it’s worth considering that whales don’t actually have anything like a majority voting power position in the network. Their outsized influence is due to low turnout, and in my view, the antidote to that situation (if it needs an antidote at all) is vote delegation (and not “at random” as the OP suggests above).
In fact, some orgs and individuals, notably including ChaosDAO (disclosure: I’m a DAOist), IVY, and Paradox, already have substantial governance influence, and delegation is so new that many community members aren’t yet even aware of it!
I hope we see more organic community governance delegation orgs spring up, somewhat like incipient political voting blocs…or even “parties”.
I disagree, AFAIK Ivy is not a delegation group but just a set of anonymous whales accounts, that said Ivy ALONE can turn ANY vote even if Chaos DAO, Paradox and any other vote in the other direction, just check the previous proposals and do some math.
I think this is a valid point, AT LEAST as voting power increase there should be an increasing interaction with the proposer, if you vote with 5K and do not respond to queries is ok but with 9M you need to provide a way to discuss the proposal even privately.
I don’t see any org reaching 10M DOT anytime soon, 1KV program scoring somehow tries to solve this encouraging validators to seek delegations but right now i don’t see this bringing out anything, the only validator with some voting power is Paradox and has only 300K, compared to Ivy is nothing.
Maybe if a flag were introduced in the staking pallet to enable delegation alongside staking, with sensible defaults, it could significantly alter the dynamics. Validators would gain considerable influence in this scenario, i mean right now there is no penalty in not voting nor delegating, maybe reducing staking rewards by X% if vote is not delegated could be an option.