I’m thrilled by the enthusiasm to increase participation in Governance, and have some ideas on how the community can make this happen.
For background, these are the principles that guided the design of the Governance process (knowing that it can, and should, evolve over time):
Safety first. As @arr00 mentioned, the protocol manages hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets. While changing parameters is generally “safe”, introducing new code & contracts is a tremendous risk. An overview to remind folks how proposals work.
Skin in the game. The proposal threshold was set high to ensure that only stakeholders or groups of stakeholders banding together (through delegation) would be able to propose changes.
Openness. You don’t have to be a large COMP holder in order to participate in governance. You can receive voting rights by demonstrating intelligence or a commitment to the protocol or a proposal, and garner public support. Because of delegation, (theoretically) anyone can change the protocol if they adhere to safety first and win the support of those with skin in the game.
While by some metrics, the protocol has succeeded wildly at Openness (see successful and pending proposals from @blck, @brendan_dharma, @arr00…), it’s clear from this thread and conversations in Discord that many folks feel like participation is out of reach.
Prior to launching Governance, our team had the hypothesis that individual members of the community would build a base of delegated support. So far, this hasn’t happened. It could be a function of missing incentives–or other causes that the community can analyze.
Solution 1 - Autonomous Proposals
The ability to delegate COMP opens up some very powerful opportunities that haven’t been fully explored.
Rather than delegating to a protocol politician or well-known community member (who, if they receive 100,000 COMP can create a proposal, act in their own interest, or vote for or against anything they want), what if you could delegate to a special-purpose smart contract–called an Autonomous Proposal.
Anybody that meets a low threshold of ownership (e.g. 100 COMP as @lay2000lbs suggests) could deploy an autonomous proposal, with the title, description, and governance actions that they would like to build support for. Community members can delegate to the autonomous proposal, watch it rise up the leaderboard, and when it reaches the proposal threshold–the proposal is formalized and voted on.
Autonomous proposals have the added benefit of providing additional visibility (and ability to audit and analyze) before going into the voting process–which meaningfully increases safety.
Solution 2 - Deploy a new Governance Contract
The “alpha” Governance contract was meant to be a starting point to test the parameters of the Governance process, and expand upon. A new contract could be written and deployed by the community, changing core parameters; lowering the proposal threshold (which itself would be much more attainable with autonomous proposals), increasing the vote delay, or reducing the quorum (voting requirement).