[PROPOSAL #75][ACCEPTED] Establishing a definition of NoWithVeto

Your post got me thinking and I would argue that all laws are actually social protocols/contracts. In society, I understand that there is this unspoken agreement that if I want to participate in my community and not be punished then I will adhere to some level of social norms and laws. Now if I were to break some of those social norms, say I steal a candy bar from a store, there isn’t actually any built-in mechanism that enforces the law around theft (it’s not like I steal a candy bar and suddenly a cage manifests around me and sends me to prison). Rather it is the duty of my local police force and community members to ensure that I am punished for breaking the law. Laws vary based on a particular geographical region associated with some culture or community and so they are very much social protocols or constructs. I think the debate around No w/ Veto perfectly encapsulates this concept since as a community we are able to give definition to our governance process and use it to hold people accountable.

General feedback.

You guys did a great job pulling in all the various historical context for considering where this debate about No w/ Veto stems from!

“A ‘NoWithVeto’ vote indicates a proposal either (1) is deemed to be spam, i.e., irrelevant to Cosmos Hub, (2) disproportionately infringes on minority interests, or (3) violates or encourages violation of the rules of engagement as currently set out by Cosmos Hub governance.”

I think the definition given here is great and makes the meaning of No w/ Veto very concise with little margin for confusion.

It may not always be correct to invoke the underlying consensus mechanism as justification for the 1/3+ ‘NoWithVeto’ threshold: In particular, consensus can be threatened by one third of the total voting power (i.e., all staked ATOM) while a proposal can be vetoed by one third of the participating voting power (i.e., quorum of 40% of all staked ATOM). Thus the consensus threat requires at least 1/3+ of the total voting power to censor transactions or halt the chain, but a governance proposal can be vetoed by only 13.2% of the total voting power when voter turnout is low.

This part in particular may be my favorite. It’s important to understand that PoS systems DO have a protocol level mechanism for censoring at the consensus layer and that the No w/ Veto option is really just a high level way to achieve a similar end through different means.

All in all, this proposal is great and demonstrates the dedication of various stewards of the Cosmos Hub to their commitment to ensuring process is clear and orderly for all participants.


Very interesting. Really appreciate the background. As an aside, I think we should probably separate out these multiple uses of NoWithVeto into separate options. In particular, add an “abstainSpam” or something like this. It seems like we are actually combining three phases of voting into one phase, maybe two phases makes more sense?

The three phases are:

  1. Is the proposal spam?
  2. Do we have quorum?
  3. Do we accept or reject the proposal?

I think either 1&2 or 2&3 makes sense, and anecdotally I think most systems don’t worry about spam so much and combine 2 and 3.

For the sake of being explicit:

“A ‘NoWithVeto’ vote indicates a proposal either (1) is deemed to be spam, i.e., irrelevant to Cosmos Hub, (2) disproportionately infringes on minority interests, or (3) violates or encourages violation of the rules of engagement as currently set out by Cosmos Hub governance.”

I see (1) as distinct from (2) and (3), given that one could argue (2) really should be a special case of (3).


Nice write up, 100%. so we can avoid “NoWithVeto = i’ll exit from the ecosystem” kinda things again.


Hey @jacobgadikian, @Ethereal, and @AFDudley,

Thanks for the feedback!

Exact definition in voting options

Here we figured the clearest option was to describe the on-chain behaviour of NWV in the voting options, particularly because we are suggesting a new definition. Is there anything you would specifically change or add to make the veto option clearer?

Character count

Very fair - I think we’re currently at around 11k characters and we need to get below 10k to go on-chain. We could separate the context into an appendix, pin the whole thing to IPFS and go on-chain with a shorter version.

Laws, rules, and social protocols

I really like what @Ethereal says - laws/rules are social protocols and we think it’s important to point out that people in our community are choosing to abide by accepted signalling proposals (and that’s a good thing - no one is forcing us but we are all still working together). But you’re right - something special happens to a social protocol when the community votes to accept it.

These may include decision-making processes and social protocols that have passed governance.

Would it be clearer to say something like:

These may include decision-making processes and social protocols that have passed governance and thus become accepted as rules by the community.

Consensus mechanism

It’s appropriate to cite it as a representation of what should happen in a perfect world, absolutely. Mentioning both situations (perfect world = all validators voting and 33.3% of total voting power is required to veto, reality = sometimes we just barely hit quorum and only 13.2% of total voting power is needed to veto) highlights a gap between design and reality that many people may not be aware of.

Voting phases - @AFDudley

I think spam gets lumped with veto because of the deposit burn - if we combine 1&2 of your options then you might get burned for not meeting quorum (which is not such a huge penalty in this market but when ATOM was high that would have been a big deal and maybe discouraging for governance participation). If you combine 2&3, which I think is what the Hub does, it’s just that NWV is a special case of ‘reject’ - when the community chooses to reject a proposal they might do so in a way that bring us back to 1 (it’s spam) or to a potential 4 (rejected for being actively harmful or not in line with the Hub’s rules of engagement).

1 - Is it spam? (if yes - reject and impose penalty as in phase 4)
2 - Do we have quorum? (if yes - move to phase 3; if no - reject with no penalty)
3 - Do we accept it or reject it? (if rejecting, move to phase 4 and decide if we impose a penalty)
4 - If we reject, do we also impose a penalty by vetoing?

Another member of the authorship team had more thoughts, maybe he’ll comment further :slight_smile:


Hey really good point about the 13.2%.

Also, @Ethereal isn’t exactly wrong, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should not follow non-defined protocols. Best example of this being osmosis proposal 188, I rushed it to the chain you see because I thought that it was a rather emergency situation. Now, after I rushed it to the chain, the wash traders, who were washed trading, he climbed to take incentives on their wash trading because their wash trading was intended to screw with bots that they felt were harming their pool.

In the end, I ended up being roundly criticized for violating a non -binding social convention that says hey put stuff on Commonwealth before slamming it on the chain, and okay like that’s fine, however very similar to the myth and lore that made 69 so challenging, there was a real problem with lack of clarity and definition on rules. So I figured that since the social convention was in fact very strong and I didn’t know that at the start, that it made sense to pass a governance proposal, osmosis 191, that set the expectation that proposal should be discussed on Commonwealth before putting them directly on the chain.

Likewise, I’m wondering how people would feel about a cosmos hub governance proposal laying out a similar process. The hub is different. Where osmosis values fast governance and very very frequent governance proposals, on the hub, I think that we value a slower approach we’re proposals are discussed for let’s say at least one week before being put to vote.

Another alternative is the creation of some kind of Cosmos SDK module that serves as a message board, perhaps using the ORM module that regen has put so much work into.

So I guess that I would really like to narrow the scope of rules on the hub to items that have been approved explicitly by governance.


We should not follow non-defined protocols

My team is definitely interested in doing the work to analyze our unnamed social protocols and put forward proposals that can be voted on to turn them into rules. This proposal itself is hopefully the first of many we put forward to enshrine. I hope that this collection of passed proposals could become the Hub’s governance constitution, made of all the agreements that the community has committed to uphold.


Stakin agrees on having a official definition for NoWIthVeto as it clears doubt for the voters, also having it on chain sets a precedent for future community members.

I do think proposal can be shortened a little more and maybe specify that although this is a guideline for the hub and its networks, any network can use the definition that better suits them.

We have vetoed in the past, with the intention on keeping the networks we participate on secure and integral, will continue to vote with our delegators best interest


I voted No to this proposition as I would use the “No with veto” option in none of the proposition provided.
To me a no with veto has more a sense of, no with the exact definition of this proposal but could be a yes if slightly amended.

So I wouldn’t recognize myself using the no with veto in for any of the possible option mentionned below.

" “A ‘NoWithVeto’ vote indicates a proposal either (1) is deemed to be spam, i.e., irrelevant to Cosmos Hub, (2) disproportionately infringes on minority interests, or (3) violates or encourages violation of the rules of engagement as currently set out by Cosmos Hub governance.”"

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I define NWV from the code. I always will.


There is one rather large topic I really do not seem to understand when I come across props like this one. I do understand the importance of having stigmas (no pun intended). They often help us, humans, to put things in place without having the trouble of opening up a huge airplane-pilot-help style guide to check what is what. But… there is always a but.

Having these stigmas isn’t a good thing. It hasn’t led humanity into any prosperity. Having laws or the institution of law, which seems to confuse millions and hundreds of millions of people over the centuries, has not helped anyone. Especially considering having those laws different in each existing state (read blockchain here). On the other hand, if we just had one law (I’m serious) - do not do onto others what you would not want done to yourself, to start with, we as humanity, would get a lot further than having all those confusing books.

My point is… Decentralization and the beauty of finding new (or at least - more - efficient ways) of governance is kinda exactly on the opposite point of defining what No with veto means for someone. It can mean 1 thing is one case and a different thing in another case. It can mean one thing for me on one day, living in one country and a different one at another place. The whole essence of free and decentralized governance is the unification and the ability of the mass to act as one, even if they have different opinions. Not to repeat the mistakes of democracy (the enforcement of a majority opinion onto the minorities and calling that freedom). The essence of decentralization, imo, is to find solutions beyond the box. Sometimes, a ‘no with veto’ will mean one thing and then another. The danger of centralizing / encoding / enforcing definition in such manner, is in my opinion a very dangerous path.

Would love to discuss this beyond the reasoning of ‘yeah, but this way everyone agrees’… well, no. Everyone does not agree. The mere fact that we ‘require’ a definition of no with veto, means that there is more than one opinion as to what it stands for, and this is what decentralization is about. Reaching consensus at a given and a desired point. Not engraving. Nature moves and flows. It doesn’t regulate.


new world order intensifies

But in all seriousness your definitions in your post are grossly inadequate and borderline frightening. It seems to me that you are arguing both that humanity and society needs no laws other than, “do not do onto others what you would not want done to yourself” and also that they do not need a shared sense of truth or reality. If the entire world lived by one law, as you put it, “do not do onto others what you would not want done to yourself” we would see the world descend into nothing short of madness. Take for example the case of a sexually deviant person who for the sake of this argument has a rape fetish. Now this person would not mind being raped since it is part of their kinks, does that mean that them raping others is found just and fair under your proposed one rule? Sorry for the gross extremities here but I think this makes the whole do unto others thing palpably unreasonable since we can quickly conclude that what one person wants done to them is an extremely subjective experience.

Language is a shared communication tool used to express thoughts and ideas amongst members of some group. Now, imagine that there was no objectivity to words. You say up and i think you mean down, I would imagine most people can see how this quickly becomes a problem… Imagine a programming language where there is no agreed meaning amongst the keywords and syntax, in fact every update to the language shuffles the meanings around randomly. Could you imagine feasibly building anything with that language?

The point of this proposal was to come up with meanings for the options used when voting on the Cosmos Hub, of course other communities could build their own social norms and conventions as they see fit as there is nothing in the code that enforces these meanings. The idea here is to build some consensus around these meanings in context to this one community so that in the future there may not be as much volatility and confusion surrounding these words. Imo this fits pretty well into the context of localism and network states where a group of people can build their own rules, norms and conventions outside of the confines of the state/government.


i voted no on this proposal, and my reason is because i believe the " no with veto " is a more powerful way of saying " no " to something that may be ridiculous or stupid proposal.

To me, a " no with veto " signals Absolutely NO nd further enforces the disagreement with it

  1. I suggest to start with one, not to live with one. BTW - the last 5000 years we have been living in a world of madness. It’s ok to be afraid. It’s time for a change.

  2. The example you bring is a typical example to argue logic. Let’s start with that, and then let’s catch all the 100 new fetish criminals and try to think of what to do with them. In today’s society I would rather deal with those 100 than with the current law system in countries like US, Russia, etc.

  3. Who said that we should not threat (with their permission - yes… as crazy as that sounds, there are other ways of punishing people. 1 example - exclusion from society) mentally ill people? BTW, it is the current law that stops us from dealing with depression properly and puts mentally ill people back into society or gives pedos 2 years and people that build open source tech several life sentences. Where is the logic?

  4. Exactly. Communication is a tool of freedom. The thing that killed the most people on earth so far is censorship of communication. Starting with Religion and ending with government. Being enforced to speak a language of others isn’t freedom, it’s enforcement

  5. I understand exactly the point of the proposal. I strongly disagree with it, as it is a reversal of principles out of fear and lack of, imo, thinking out of the box. The world had long been screwed. There has been 0 examples over the course of our history where 1 human stood up and said ‘I love law, my government, and the job they are doing / did’. 0… That calls for a change. Not for repetition of old over new.

PS. I once served in the air force (alas). Anything painted was considered new, and anything washed was considered good to go as new. IMO painting the grass to make it look greener is certainly not the way to build a decentralized society. Stopping enforcement, censorship, weapon development, using FIAT money and other paper - is. Trying to play with communication tools, such as (verifiable) consensus (without reverting to pushing complicated, unnecessary explanations onto people) - is.

P.P.S. If anyone thinks that new citizens of cosmos hub (we don’t think that this is the end of the hubs development / growth right?) will go back to read this prop, and not define the choices as their own, imo - that’s wishful thinking. Seems like a tool to ‘tell people off’ in the future. The hub will (hopefully) grow *10000 from here. These new people (just like im sure that not everyone here read all of the last 75 props - and that’s a bummer BTW, but that’s life) will NOT read these definitions. One of the worst things for governance and or law is to make thing complicated. The new comers, which will be the majority, will not read this and use those options as they see fit IMO.

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Know what is a little scary, robot?

I think I agree.

Also I think that things are well-defined enough in the code and that we do not need a sprawling definition.


Code will only execute what is written and not what we want to mean or further define outside of code.

Since code is unable to enforce the intent of this discussion, there is ultimately little direct effect with respect to future state change.

The place to explain to the general public what the code means is not in governance, but better in manuals, tutorials or guides.

Your efforts are recognized and appreciated despite our No vote.

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I am going with no for this prop. In my opinion “no with veto” should be used when the user think that the prop is going to harm the ecosystem and it is up to the user what he thinks is harmful for the hub. Like in the case of prop 69 some were against it and thought only no with veto is a proper signal that in no way we will allow contracts to run directly on top of the hub.
No with veto should not be bound by a definition.
Thanks for putting a prop which is highlighting the importance of good governance practices.

who is going to decide if the vote is a spam or malicious. As seen in the osmosis prop 320 I don’t see the prop as spam or malicious but people are still vetoing it out. but its just a prop and a yes or no should suffice and the proposer shouldn’t be punished.

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Thank you for developing this thoughtful proposal.

While we generally agree with the proposed definitions, we feel that -

1 - There may be other reasons, e.g. #4, #5, etc. that appear over time, i.e. it’s difficult to capture all future possible reasons that NoWithVeto may be relevant.

2 - Regarding #3, rules of engagment, it’s not clear to us where these are laid out and who has approved or otherwise agreed that they are the canonical rules of engagment for the Cosmos hub. This seems to be a benefical project to take on, i.e. develop the rules and put them up for a vote.

With this as context, we will vote “Yes” for this proposal, as we see governance as an evolutionary process and this being a step in the right direction.

We do recognize that there may come a time when we choose to vote NoWithVeto that does not fit within the currently defined 3 categories. If that happens, it may signal a time to draft and submit a new proposal to revise the definition.

(We also note that is unfortunate proposals like this do ot receive more engagement via thoughtful and considered feedback via this forum, particularly from the larger (by stake) validators and specifically those within the Nakamoto Coefficient.)

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Hi there Chris, I’ve actually decided to change my vote on this one to veto. The reason that I’m doing that is that I feel that providing too much guidance on the definition of vote options will ultimately be used to compel votes.

I also want to say and super clearly, that this is obviously a high effort proposal.

I want to thank @lexa @hxrts and others who worked on it.

I have just begun to think that this is really a very high risk proposal and that opinion is definitely being driven by the endorsement of “Robb stack” coming from @Thyborg who is an informal systems employee, and therefore funded in some way shape or form by the ICF.

This is super similar to what occured with Mr. Rick Dudley and I just think that we need to take a harder line on things.

Like I don’t hate anybody here and yeah I’m disappointed in a bunch of stuff that has happened but like for real, the ICF does have a leadership role in the cosmos ecosystem and so does informal systems and I’m really disappointed in all this and this contributes to a continuing loss of trust and due to that loss of trust I think that this is a proposal that could easily be abused and I wish to recommend that everybody veto this one.

The entity voting should make that determination. All this proposal is saying is that by voting NWV the voter believes a proposal qualifies as described.

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This has passsed, and I’ll note that as an amendment here:


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