Should proposals require approval before moving to a community vote?

:cool: tl;dr

How do we balance a culture of high-quality proposals without creating gatekeepers?

:sunrise: Overview

One of the key results of the Phased Governance Process is:

I have been struggling to come up with a proposed process and, after reflection, believe that there is a prerequisite question that needs to be answered first: should anyone in the community be allowed to put something to a vote or should there be a moderation process which includes specific individuals from the community?

:warning: Problem

There are two possible scenarios:

  1. Anyone can trigger a community vote
  2. Only certain people can trigger a community vote

Let’s examine the pros and cons:

1. Anyone can trigger a community vote


  • Reduces the chances that a single member or group of individual can act as gatekeepers
  • Encourages more autonomy from community members


  • Without a review process proposals will be, on average, lower quality
  • Possible for a single person to “grief” the server by continually launching votes
  • It may be hard for international or non-ESL community members to understand proposals that don’t have an accompanying translation

2. Only certain people can trigger a community vote


  • Improves the quality of proposals by pairing the creator with an experienced team member
  • Reduces the risk that the community loses interest in voting due to low quality submissions


  • Centralizes a key part of the community governance process among a few individuals
  • Reduces the total number of proposals, since each one will require more resources before being ready to vote on

:thought_balloon: Assumptions

  • Our community will continue to grow, including internationally
  • Most community members are not well versed in writing concise proposals intended for an international audience of thousands
  • High-quality proposals take somewhere between days - weeks to prepare for a community vote

:thinking: Open Questions

If the answer is “anyone”:

  • What happens if a proposal is passed that is clearly not actionable (e.g. mint City #10 from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean). Do we have a process for ignoring proposals?
    If the answer is “only certain people”:
  • How are these people chosen? Is it the “core” team? A group of elected representatives?

:question:Temp Check

    1. Anyone should be able to trigger a community vote
    1. Only certain people should be able to trigger a community vote

0 voters


I agree that choosing between 1&2 is necessary in the near term.

That said , longer term, there is a family of 3rd options such as

  1. where there is an automated process in place which requires agreement by x number of citizens must work together to trigger the vote… maybe even X number of cities ? I really like how the haudenosaunee used to do it… where proposals don’t see bigger groups until smaller groups agree.

  2. x number of citizens don’t oppose the vote in a poll like this.

  3. Could also gate the proposals with needing translations or any other prerequisites (quorum of people who “second” the motion, financial model to support the proposal, etc) - this should be much easier if/when there is a structure in place to incentivize tangible efforts by local citizens in new cities for translations specifically.

  4. Proposals also take a long time to review and execute. Perhaps a cadence is established where N proposals are addressed a quarter, and we vote on which proposals to consider once a quarter.

In the near term I’d suggest anyone can trigger a vote, but its not passed without quorum (positive vote by X% of people). So maybe we should agree upon what defines a quorum ?

I guess we also need to define “vote”, a snapshot vote or a poll like this ?

Could also certainly trust a human to propose and administer a process like the above instead of building SW.

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For votes that require changes to the Bright Moments “protocol” (e.g. votes that affect all cities, or the creation of new cities), I like the idea of requiring quorum for a fixed number of cities. Ultimately, this still requires a “vote before the vote” which just pushes the problem upstream.

Unfortunately we don’t have a way to verify Citizen ownership on the governance forum. Theoretically, someone could create many accounts to spam the poll and vote against proposals.


Let’s stay nimble and develop a cadence based on the number of proposals. Ideally we could parallel process proposals which don’t require consent from all cities (e.g. Venetians review Venice specific proposals, New Yorkers review New York specific proposals, etc.)

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Discord Poll ? Discord is interesting tool for “pre-votes” because its generally one vote per person instead of one vote per citizen…

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I think temp-check 1st is a good way, then if there is community, or leaders, interest and proposal is on-brand and realizable, community vote. If anyone can trigger a vote, we might get flooded with all kinds of possibly non sense proposals… my two cents.

Maybe there should be different types of proposals, for example - global proposals require work with dedicated group aka gatekeepers or delegates to be able to submit those proposals. For local communities, if they become sub-DAOs at some point, the process could be defined in different way, depending on what works best for that particular community.

I agree - what I’m advocating for is a process anyone can trigger that may or may not lead to a vote, for true decentralization its ideal if that process is facilitated by software, however, if we establish a process we can pick a person we trust to execute it (as opposed to just saying a human decides, without structure).

I would suggest all proposals get submitted to Bright Moments leaders and only the best proposals , as determined by the leaders, are put to a vote on a monthly basis. Without this layer of filtering, it will get overwhelming

This feels like the right direction. For additional context, ENS DAO defines several “types” of proposals depending on how the decision will be implemented. From their Governance documentation:

There are three main types of governance proposal you can make:
1. Executable Proposal: This is a proposal for a series of smart contract operations to be executed by accounts the DAO controls. These can include transfers of tokens as well as arbitrary smart contract calls. Examples of this include allocating funding to a workstream multisig wallet, or upgrading an ENS core contract. Executable proposals have a quorum requirement of 1% and a require a minimum approval of 50% to pass.
2. Social Proposal: This is a proposal that asks for the agreement of the DAO on something that cannot be enforced onchain. Examples of this include a proposal to change the royalty percentage for the ENS secondary market on OpenSea, or a petition to the root keyholders. Social proposals have a quorum requirement of 1% and require a minimum approval of 50% to pass.
3. Constitutional Amendment: This is a social proposal that asks the DAO to amend the constitution. Your draft proposal should include a diff showing the exact changes you propose to make to the constitution. Rules for amending the constitution are set in the constitution itself, and currently require a quorum of 1% and a minimum approval of two thirds to pass.

I believe that decisions which affect the entire DAO (e.g. the addition of new cities, changes to airdrop percentages, or dilutive changes to the collection) should probably require input from all cities or delegates from those cities. Decisions which are local to a specific city (e.g. should Venice do a show with x artist that will cost y budget) can have a lower threshold since they don’t require approval from other jurisdictions.

Another possibility would be to introduce a type of bicameral legislative system, where CryptoCities have distinct representation.

For example, we could have two bodies responsible for reviewing proposals. To use a U.S. centric example:

  • “The Senate” would have equal representation from each city (e.g. 1 representative).
  • “The House” would have a total cap and representation would be proportional to some metric (e.g. 90 day trailing secondary sales)

In this example, you could draft a proposal and shop it around to delegates in either house. A delegate could champion your proposal and campaign to have it approved by a majority of delegates. Once this happens, it could either go to a community wide vote or directly to the multi-sig to execute.

Here’s how it works in the United States:

“The process for that differs in each, but basically speaking, bills are proposed by senators or representatives: a small percentage get voted on in one chamber; and if they are passed, they cross over to the other chamber. If they pass there, too, they go to the president, who then signs them into law or vetoes them. A veto kills a bill, unless two-thirds of both the House and Senate vote to override it, in which case it becomes a law without the president’s signature.” (Nick Capodice, A User’s Guide to Democracy)

Bicamerlism is nice because it removes the risk of having a single echo chamber. This concept goes all the way back to the Federalist Papers:

“Every person, moderately acquainted with human nature, knows that public bodies, as well as individuals, are liable to the influence of sudden and violent passions, under the operation of which, the voice of reason is silenced. Instances of such influence are not so frequent, as in individuals; but its effects are extensive in proportion to the numbers that compose the public body. This fact suggests the expediency of dividing the powers of legislation between the two bodies of men, whose debates shall be separate and not dependent on each other; that, if at any time, one part should appear to be under any undue influence, either from passion, obstinacy, jealousy of particular men, attachment to a popular speaker, or other extraordinary causes, there might be a power in the legislature sufficient to check every pernicious measure. Even in a small republic, composed of men, equal in property and abilities, and all meeting for the purpose of making laws, like the old Romans in the field of Mars, a division of the body into two independent branches, would be a necessary step to prevent the disorders, which arise from the pride, irritability and stubbornness of mankind. This will ever be the case, while men possess passions, easily inflamed, which may bias their reason and lead them to erroneous conclusions.” (Noah Webster, An Examination Into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution Proposed by the Late Convention Held at Philadelphia)

Goodness those guys were smart, I’ll put Federalist Papers on my reading list, the time has come.

I’ll take some time to read on this, I’m especially interested to see examples of bicameral legislature working better in other countries vs here in the US. Btw, do you have any interesting examples of bills that we can use as a IRL case study?