[PROPOSAL][ABANDONED]Slash validators who fail to vote in 3 consecutive proposals

This proposal is a new version of following proposal draft.

Proposal Statement

Slash validators who fail to vote in 3 consecutive proposals in order to increase awareness of the voting and participation rates.

Why do we need it?

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.

Why slashing?

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.

Why penalize 3 consecutive absences?

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.


Strong disagree. This sort of forced governance can only lead to harmful outcomes for the network.

This “problem” is not really a governance problem. If proposals are not meeting quorum, then the proposals are not interesting to the voters.


I disagree, I think voting should be encouraged from end-users.
Maybe we should find a way to incentivize voting through different means.

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Issue with this is that it encourages validators to run automated voting scripts which would be counterproductive.

The problem is that “not interesting” proposals do not equal insignificance of the proposal.

Also, I am no suggesting forced governance. The voting option to “abstain” is available, and I suggested that penalty only apply if the validator misses three proposal votings.

If it is too easy to submit to proposal, there might be a “spamming” issue. However, submitting a proposal requires a deposit, which is forfeited when the voter vetoes- which discourages spamming. If the number of submission of proposals becomes overwhelming, we can increase the deposit value to hinder such activities.

I agree that encouraging the end-users is important. I am preparing a proposal for increasing accessibility of end-users to the proposals. But I think that the solutions can be found simultaneously and in parallel to each other; I don’t think one proposal can solve all issues.

If you have any suggestions to incentivize voting, I would really appreciate for you to share your thoughts.

I agree that this should be taken into consideration. Perhaps that is why the compulsory voting was in the plans but was not activated.

However, I don’t think that passing this proposal would result in counterproductive voting results, since I think that the negligent validators that purposefully missed voting would be likely to vote “abstain”.

Conversely, if this proposal does not pass, and the current trends of failure to reach, or barely reaching quorum continues, it would actually give too much power to the “swing voters” who only vote when they choose to. Keep in mind, time allocated to Cosmos hub’s voting is long- a slow process- and the high possibility of postponed governance (what we are experiencing now) is a higher risk.

If you have any other suggestions on unintended results from the proposal, please share them here so that I can strengthen my proposal.

But we are not experiencing “postponed governance” at all. Out of 59 proposals, only one has not reached quorum, and the other rejected ones were well over 50% votes.

I don’t see a need to incentivize or coerce voting. The record so far speaks for itself and it has been good.

Since validators are elected and one of their roles is to participate in governance, they really should vote .

I tend to agree with Mircea that this proposal could motivate validators to script their governance participation. Then again, validators scripting abstain taking some time to refine their position, and then choosing another vote doesn’t seem all that bad to me. The key to this is quorum. There are of course validators like the random string, who is endorsed by the ICF:
Interchain Explorer by Cosmostation

Who simply never vote. I don’t think that this is because they don’t find the proposal’s interesting, I think that this is because they do not ever read the proposals or participate in Cosmos in any meaningful way at any time.

Of course, it could just be that the ICF wishes to remove 300,000 atoms from quorum on every gov prop, and of course, the ICF can delegate to any validator that it would like to.

Even if the vote is ultimately abstain, I think that it is important that validators vote. Validators are paid a commission by their delegators and according to the protocol, validators represent delegators.

Finally, I do believe that there is a real question that should be discussed regarding whether or not that representative role is healthy. Governance participation is very time consuming.

Would rather see positive incentives implemented rather than negative, forced ones. This could just result in a lot of “Abstains” IMO.

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Abstentions are in fact much healthier than non-participation.

Abstentions remove themselves from quorum.

notional believes that there’s a net-negative for participating in governance fully on the Cosmos hub, and that this condition is unique to the cosmos hub and driven by ICF policy

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social engagement is the best direction. wallet providers can help out here by mentioning the no of participation by a validator. Or a community drive project to make a report on the reporting pattern of the validators and their ideology on the proposal.

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I agree with you!

Just being present, matters a great deal.