This proposal is a new version of following proposal draft.
Slash validators who fail to vote in 3 consecutive proposals in order to increase awareness of the voting and participation rates.
Validators in the cosmos network are to senators in a congress. Therefore, validators must be aware of the network’s issues and if possible, notify and explain the issues to the diverse stakeholders in the network. The validators who are not interested in the governance process are negligent of their duties. For example, Proposal #57 failed to reach quorum. Although such phenomenon is not a big problem as of yet, it may become a problem if vote absence continues or increases. Failure to reach quorum results in failure to reach a decision which obstructs network development and adaptation to changes. Cosmos network’s governance proposal process takes min. 2 weeks as it is and the failure to reach decisions due to absent voters further delays time. Recent failures to reach quorum were solely due to certain validators’ repeat absences.
Though the negligent validators should lose voting power over time, due to the information asymmetry their failures to do their duty cannot be easily discovered. By slashing validators, the delegators would be aware of past (non-)activities of certain validators. In turn, it would provide an incentive for the validators to actively practice their duties. Ultimately, this will adjust voting power accordingly; more power will go those who deserve it. Alternatively, an incentive can be offered as opposed to penalty, but under the current governance this may incentivize submission of meaningless proposals instead. This, in turn, would divide attention given to each proposal and diminish the quality of decision making- slashing seems a more appropriate action. Also, the penalty function was disabled to prevent validators from voting without consideration of the issue but solely to avoid penalty, which is a valid concern. But if “abstain” is an option in the vote, the concern will become null.
I propose that we will only slash those who fail to vote on three consecutive proposals. It seems fair to assume that anyone who fails to vote on such numerous occasions are deliberately not exercising their rights to vote. Validators’ duties are not limited to validation but extends to development of Cosmos ecosystem projects, and may be on en route for business trips, etc. Given their broad spectrum of duties, penalizing a single absence seems harsh. We should start with three consecutive absences and monitor how it affects the voting turnout- if the number needs adjustment, we can discuss that later.