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.
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.
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.
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.