Remove Abstain Vote Option

After the disgraceful allocation of funds to Cosmic Validator, who received $16,000 for videos that essentially nobody watches, it is clear that the abstain option is abused and unnecessary. The abstain vote makes sense for those with conflicts of interest, but it has not been impactful and only allows validators to dodge responsibility. Less than 27% of the community voted yes and over 47% abstained. Validators are abstaining because they are afraid to tell their peers they are being unreasonable. Validators should not be allowed to hide behind abstain votes as it causes nonsense like this to pass.

Let’s remove the abstain vote or strip validators of their ability to vote their delegators’ share.


we could also try making abstain mandatory for the top 100, 1/2, or 1/3 validators. that could also pull delegations down to lower validators.

1 Like

Why not indeed. Also to avoid not reaching the quorum, maybe we could allow validators to opt-out from governance and voting processes. Here I mean the validator would opt-out from ALL votes. For example a CEX validator would be able to opt-out like that he doesn’t even impact the quorum


Well, if you are trying to lie and troll you should try a bit harder, anyone can see onchain that we voted abstain on the proposal since the beginning NOT yes as you are lying about trying to attack us. What is disgraceful for Cosmos is having people like you attacking others with lies and misinformation.

You claim in another forum post closed recently that ‘I hope others wont let stakefish and cosmic validator forget the damage they have done to the cosmos’. So basically you disagree with the proposal and because of this you try to impose your opinion and encourage others to continue attacking us? Thankfully people like you are the minority in the Cosmos ecosystem. Also, as pointed above, tacolopo is a troll and a lier claiming that we voted yes in our own proposal which isn’t true since we voted abstain since the beginning and this can easily be verified onchain. So you are supporting a lier and a troll, this gives you a lot of credibility :+1:

1 Like

@lexa Please you should monitor and moderate when people are clearly sharing misinformation and lies, you can easily verify onchain that we voted abstain in our own proposal since the beginning not yes as tacolopo is falsely claiming


@Cosmic_Validator I did say that, not because of how you voted, (it’s irrelevant given your delegations) but because the outcome appears to be orchestrated by a group of validators that includes yourself as a form of validator quid pro quo and/or an attempt to manufacture consent amongst other validators to raid the community pool.
your proposal passing (contrary to community sentiment less the top validator) signals very clearly that validators can not be trusted to govern as the community wishes and validator’s power over aggregate delegator votes becomes an untenable risk the higher up the active set the validator is.
your proposal was widely criticized by the majority as a bottom of the barrel validator youtube channel asking for multiple times a reasonable market rate to increase its own exposure and increase delegations to your own validator while minimally increasing exposure to the cosmos.
It was widely signaled that retaliatory spending proposals would be made if yours was to pass against community wishes.
This means that the outcome of the vote was an attempt to encourage spam spending proposals and manufacture consent to raid the community pool or stakeFish is a rogue validator and social slashing should be considered.
I hope that others do not follow your lead and turn ATOM governance into even more of a clown show. If the cosmos has yet to succumb to scammers and validator corruption, others will wait for DAOs to be created and funded to support cosmos content creators.
the shameful validator conduct surrounding your proposal is what holds the cosmos back.
so yes, I hope that others wont let cosmic validator and stakefish forget the damage they have done to the cosmos.

1 Like

My apologies, I thought you voted yes, I corrected the post so newcomers wouldn’t think that. Must’ve mixed it up with 88 and 90. I still think you guys are bad and don’t deserve a dime though.

1 Like

@Cosmic_Validator , @common_spelling , @tacolopo

We’re discussing whether to remove the abstain vote option here. Please keep conversation on-topic and focus on bringing in new ideas and creative problem-solving.

This is a very lightly moderated space due to the constraints of me being a single person. The forum is not the place for name-calling and personal attacks - it is a community space for discussing governance. As a community, we are all responsible for maintaining a welcoming environment even when we disagree about things.


Ah, I think Cosmic Validator might have even more sway as attempts to remediate the governance methods that allowed them getting 5-20k for videos nobody watches is now going to get censored. This is honestly really bad.

1 Like

Well, community sentiment is not a few twitter accounts. Let’s analyse the real sentiment by looking at the yes, no, abstain and also weighted votes. But first, Tacolopo, are you aware about weighted votes? It is not just yes, no or abstain, it is also possible to vote choosing different % weight for yes, no or abstain. So even if you remove the abstain option, it would be possible to do a weighted vote of 50% yes and 50% no which would essentially be like an abstain vote. Then, you would need to remove both abstain and weighted votes which doesn’t seem a good idea leaving just the yes or no options. This could lead to many who would vote abstain to not vote since only yes or no would be available and then reaching quorum for proposals could become a challenge. In summary, removing the abstain vote doesn’t make sense since weighted vote can still be used to vote abstain, and removing weighted vote I don’t think it is a good idea.

Now, going back to the sentiment looking at the votes in the proposal:

  • YES: 8548 individual votes, and 24 validator votes
  • NO (including a few NWV): 4670 individual votes, and 47 validator votes
  • ABSTAIN: 7698 individual votes, and 35 validator votes
  • Weighted validators votes: 3

-Individual votes: it is clear that a lot more individual votes are yes than no, so here the sentiment is positive for the proposal

-Validator votes: while the number of validators voting no is higher than those voting yes, considering also the validators who voted abstain or weighted, meaning they were not strongly opposing the proposal, then it is 62 validators with positive or neutral sentiment versus 47 validators voting no, so overall the general sentiment of validators was positive or neutral, not negative

1 Like

you can celebrate spoof’d numbers all you want, it doesnt change the fact that validators control the chain using delegators votes & without being required to have any skin in the game. prop82 also had an unusual number of dusted wallets vote yes and some people claiming the vote was advocated for by the community and stolen or whatever.

the lack of validator investment in the chains they govern poorly, incentivizes validators to use other people’s voting power NOT to benefit the chain or those who delegate to them, but themselves and their validator cohort. This was obviously the case in prop89.

the risk presented by sloppy governance seen in 89 illustrates the nepotism amongst validators and prevents the ecosystem from growing and attracting the outside investment that IBC ecosystem should.

89 exemplifies this trend among validators, and the attempt to manufacture consent to raid the community pool for personal benefit rather than public goods as CP funds are intended suggest that validator voting power needs to be restricted.

I dont think that removing abstain as an option addresses this issue at all, but believe a solution or partial solution can be achieved by using abstain to restrict top validators disproportionate power over the community.

I favor reducing validator voting power to =√delegations + self-stake
forcing the top 1/3-1/2 of validators to abstain (delegators can still override the abstain) would reduce some risk of harmful validator cartels and boost decentralization.

either of the above would also help manage the substantial governance risks associated with liquid staking, but penumbra would make the 2nd option pretty useless.

I hope the cosmos comes up with a way to govern fairly or stops marketing it as if anyone other than validators have a say.


Are you serious? Have you really come to the Cosmos Forum to air your anger at a successful prop? The majority have spoken bro… And rather than looking to the future you have come here to scream and hold your breath. Then to put your whining under the title Remove Abstain Vote Option… Lame!

We can and haven’t spoken about misusing No With Veto and it’s impact of governance, but you lot want to remove validators access to Abstain Vote Option? How about we talk about removing NWV from validator options as well?


I think removing it is a better idea as making it mandatory would help contribute to quorum and thus allow bad props to pass with very little support

1 Like

I have come to advocate for a governance alteration, hence the purpose of the forum “bro”. BTW the majority did not speak “bro” as the yes vote was 27% “bro” which is not a majority. Are you serious? Did you really come here to complain about someone complaining “bro”? “Lame” “bro”! Now let’s stop with the nonsense and get to actual discussion. If we were to allow validators to vote on behalf of non-voting delegated share, then the only thing that should be stripped is Abstain. I am very open to stripping validators of voting for non-voting delegated share altogether. Happy to coauthor a prop on this with you.

1 Like

And your solution is to not allow validators to Abstain? This doesn’t seem wise, props would fail because they cannot hit quorum if validators don’t vote or be forced into votes that they think the wider diaspora should make rather than Whales.

Okay, good luck advocating for this position…


@Hush that is irrelevant. quorum is more or less arbitrary under the current paradigm. currently there are <100 validators that determine governance by voting with their delegator’s stake, artificially meeting quorum to appear as if users are participating. delegators overriding validator votes makes approximately no difference to the outcome of the proposal.

despite the nominal reduction in total votes, i would wager that community participation would increase if delegator’s votes actually mattered to the outcome of governance.

the lack of validator investment in the chains they govern (poorly) incentivizes validators to use other people’s voting power NOT to benefit the chain they are governing nor delegators, instead, validators vote to benefit themselves and their validator cohort.

This was obviously the case in prop89 and 82, for example.

1 Like

Yes, don’t allow them to abstain as it is precisely the issue that we are hitting quorum without taking concrete positions. Voting should only be done by those who have the active stake (their share) and actively participate. Doesn’t make sense to embolden validators with the power to vote with other people’s funds, that is not the purpose of delegating. Quorm can be reduced to reflect active participation. If there aren’t enough active independent voters, we can write a proposal to lower quorum.

1 Like

Related to prop 89, can anyone help me to understand how the proposal was passed with 26.74% yes vote? From what I know, to pass, the proposal must have more than 2/3 of the total staked ATOM voting yes. Thanks.

it requires 40% of staked Atom to reach quorum and be eligible for passage. abstain counts toward quorum, but neither for nor against, so it counts as as part of total votes cast.

validators vote with other peoples votes making governance <100 validators incentivized to govern in their own interests and at the expense of delegators, and in the case of prop89, appearing to pay themselves out of the community pool. The last minute intervention of stakefish to pass the proposal prompted wide spread criticism and demonstrated the unreasonable voting power held by the top validators.

delegators can change their validators abstain vote by voting like normal. so by validators voluntarily abstaining they left it up to the current participants to vote so it doesnt appear as if they are giving each other kickbacks.

a marketingDAO should be proposed with annual budget for content creator support for whatever spending criteria, not: never ending retaliatory passage of funding proposals from validator content creators.

top validators have all that governance power, yet many have nothing at stake themselves. to subsidize the lower validator profit of a bear market, validators are incentivized to govern in their own self interest & at the expense of their delegators.

the solution is to remove validator’s power to vote with their aggregate delegations. to participate, validators have to invest in the chain they are governing; making all votes cast done in the interest of the chain.