Fairness and Identity within Referendums
The world isn’t made fair, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for a fairer world.
-Written by Darren from EOShenzhen
-Proposal by EOShenzhen
1. Building a Fairer World
The ideals of fairness and equality are two of the core tenets that society is built upon. Such values were enshrined into our beliefs, as equal rights allow for a more prosperous economy. Individuals can feel socially connected and equally participative in their community, equal opportunity to be productive, and to instill confidence that everyone is respected equally (and even the false perception of freedom). That has been the main thrust of society’s progression from single-rule to democracy, and the adoption of capitalism such that every individual feels empowered to chart his/her own destiny.
However, at times, such friends could find differences and become foes to one another. Such encouragement of fairness in meritocracy isn’t perfect, and luck gets in the way - from one’s birthright to one’s inbred personality and one’s network. Additionally, the very same effort encouraged and mindset could turn around and bite one when one doesn’t maximize their chances and slowly find themselves polarized in society to even the most basic of human rights. Does one then have the right to complain when his lack of hardwork led to a lack of food, or even the right to vote? Where then should the line be drawn between fairness and motivation? Or could it be said that resource wealth is the key indicator of who knows best?
This tussle can be constantly seen through the building of any system, even through the EOS Governance framework. Therefore, to build our referendum, the fine line between fairness and determination is examined throughout this write-up on whether either ends, or a balance, should be the ultimate objective.
2. Scales of Fairness
Justice can be thought of as two ends of the scale, and varying degrees of fairness involved within each model will be explored. The system can be as fair as a petition system, or as realistic as the divide between the MNCs and the populace.
Variables affecting fairness include monetary/voting tokens, staking and unstaking, and time. These play an important role in affecting the degree of fairness of the referendum system.
Though the models proposed seem like two faces of the same coin, involving similar elements, the reality is largely different between models.
2.1 Monetary Tokens
在我们社会几乎所有的民主公投中，每个人无论身份如何都有权投一票。 这是我们可以想象到的最公平的制度，同时也是分权所基于的理念 - 除了保护信息之外，确保现在每个人在社区中都有发言权，这些社区装备了完善的技术，可以对任何决策中的每一次投票负责， 没有欺诈或浪费大量时间的风险，并扭转了选举那些我们认为可以认同并代表我们理念的代表的需要。
In nearly all democratic referendums in our society, every individual, regardless of status, is entitled to one vote. This is the fairest system we can imagine, and it’s the same ideals that decentralization was founded upon - beyond safekeeping of information, to ensure everyone now has a voice in a community well-equipped with the technology to account for every vote in any decision, without risk of fraud or wastage of copious amounts of time, and reversing the need to elect representatives who we believe we can identify with and can represent our ideals.
然而，例如美国投票制度不断出现的不公平现象，背后是现实世界的影响，超越了简单的投票机制 ——通过占据我们有限的时间来为他们的候选人宣传，更富裕的个体有能力影响普通人的思想。 类似于人们如何被认为是安全中最薄弱的环节，我们可以成为我们自己的敌人，反对保障那些我们真正想要的东西。
Yet the unfairness constantly voiced out on the American voting system for instance, lies behind real world influence that goes beyond the simplistic voting mechanism - the ability for richer individuals to influence the thoughts of the average individual, through occupying the limited time we have with propaganda for their candidates. Similar to how people are known to be the weakest link in security, we can be our own enemies against securing what we truly desire.
On the EOS referendum system, however, we can choose to make the fairness more or less blatant.
On the fairness front, every voter can be given only a binary option to each referendum that is proposed. In this instance, time does not play any difference as multiple votes can occur without compromising upon the integrity due to the lack of a shared resource between referendums.
An alternative should we choose that there is a need to pay for one’s vote is to set a fix token fee to vote. Such “payment” compromises fairness slightly, but gives those who earned such right to pay for an equal voice, similar to material purchases.
如果我们选择一个不太公平的系统，每个选民都可以获得类似数量的代币，类似于拍卖系统。 例如：每个选民都获得100个代币，并允许在各种公民投票中抵押这些代币。 为了确保公平，时间必须在今后起到一定作用(下文解释)。 同样，这些代币可以从一个人的收入中扣除，提供让人想去获得投票权的动机。
Should we choose a less fair system, every voter can be issued a similar number of tokens, similar to an auction system. For example - every voter is given 100 Tokens, and allowed to stake such tokens across a wide range of referendums. To ensure fairness, time has to play a factor from henceforth (explained below). Similarly, such tokens can be deducted from one’s earnings to provide the incentive to earn the right to vote.
另一方面是一个自由资本主义制度，媒体影响力现在被公然转化为投票权。 任何人都可以自由地将他们拥有的资源投入到投票中。这鼓励个人以建立公平的制度为代价来争取这一权利，这可能损害某些公民投票的完整性。 有人强调资源丰富的公司可以在一次公民投票中轻易抵押选票，然后再跳到另一个公投中去。
At the other end is a free capitalist system, where the media influence is now blatantly translated into the right to vote instead. Anyone is free to stake whatever resources they own into voting. This encourages individuals to strive for this right at the expense of building a fair system, which could compromise the integrity of certain referendums. This has been highlighted that resourceful companies could easily stake votes in one referendum and then hop unto another.
Time plays a role only when the monetary resource is shared between referendums. This potentially compromises decision-making when one has now to consider how his decision in one referendum could affect that of another. This is similar to example buying goods in the real world, where an individual has to consider how to best use his cash. This person might need to purchase a microwave oven and a bed for his home, but has only resources for one. He now is forced to choose which is more necessary to him, rather than based on the mere merits of the item itself. Forcing such a comparison could mean that an item that is equally beneficial can be neglected due to the lack of resources.
上面用于说明的例子仅适用于对称信息。 但是，当引入时间时，由于共享资源，现在存在信息不对称。 根据上面的例子，现在想象消费者找到了一个更便宜的微波炉，让他可以同时买床和微波炉，但因为他有非对称信息，他相信第一个微波炉的价格非常合适并买了它。 因此，他并没有被给予一个公平的机会去达到购买物品的最佳效用。
The example demonstrated above only works in symmetrical information. However, when time is introduced, there is now asymmetrical information because of the shared resource. Working upon the above example, imagine now that the consumer found a cheaper microwave oven that now allows him to buy both the bed and the oven, but because he had asymmetrical information, he believed the first oven was well-worth its’ price and bought it instead. Therefore, he was not given a fair chance to decide the optimal utility amongst the items.
This works similar to that of an auction, but the auction system only works well because it is assumed that all individuals at an auction house are wealthy individuals, and therefore money is not a ceiling, and thus the price discrimination between individuals is matched at what they exactly value that very item. Such is not the case with referendums.
公平性的一方面，公民投票应在前一个月的截止日期前提交，例如6月20日。 然后在7月1日审理和发布公民投票，给出一个月的投票窗口。 下个月的公民投票必须在7月20日之前进行核对，并在8月1日公布。为了公平起见，可以同时发布相同数量的公民投票，或者针对一些同等的投票机会分为几个类型，例如每个类别1个或所有来自同一类别，具体取决于比较是在类别之间还是在类别之内。
On one end of fairness, referendums should be submitted by a due date within the previous month, say 20th June. Referendums are then collated and issued on 1st July, giving a month’s window to vote upon. The next month’s referendums then have to be collated by 20th July and released on 1st August. To allow for fairness, an equal number of referendums can be released simultaneously, and/or categorized into types of referendums for equal voting opportunities eg. 1 from each category or all from the same category, depending on whether the comparison is between or within categories.
On the other end, time can be a non-issue, allowing for asymmetrical information, and potentially hoping that individuals will value the referendum for what it is worth rather than comparing against what could be future opportunities.
2.3 Staking and Unstaking
This depends on the referendum system chosen, ranging from a non-necessity in non-shared resource systems (binary systems). As highlighted, a rich voter could easily hop around and stake to meet the acceptance threshold, then unstake and jump to another referendum, easily giving false positives for referendums that might not meet the widespread scrutiny and approval of the community.
这可以通过几种方式来解决。 首先，可以使用时间因素，使得在月末决定的任何内容将被计为投票。 否则，可以引入一个锁定期。 目前在社区中流行的是3天的锁定时间。 然而，如果对这个区块生产者进行的各种重要的公民投票或者提议的所有公民投票之间不知何故提前3天或有更长的时间间隔的话，那么这将不是一个解决方案。
This could be solved in a few ways. Firstly, the time factor could be used such that whatever is decided upon by the end of the month will be counted as the voting. Otherwise, a down period could be introduced. Currently circulating amongst the community is a down-time of 3 days. However, it can be argued that this is a non-solution if various important referendums to this block producer, or if all the referendums proposed somehow had a lead-time of 3 days or more between them.
To clarify, allowing tokens to be reused is a non-issue in voting as for example, if a poor producer produces 1 token per month while the rich individual produces 100 tokens, unstaking the 100 tokens utilized the previous month for the rich individual and 1 token for the poor producer might lead to a numerical difference, but not in percentage. So long as the threshold is a percentage issue, this is a non-concern.
One way to solve this issue other than preventing staked votes from being reused, is to collate identity, and set an internal threshold that is significantly lower than the threshold of acceptance, for example, 50% of the 15% required can only be held by any single identity.
Otherwise, another method is to ensure that on top of the threshold, a minimum of 3 individuals must make up the threshold.
Finally, these two can also be combined such that a minimum of 3 individuals, each with minimally 5%, to allow for a referendum to pass. Such measures would then allow a referendum to better represent a community.
Identity can be argued as an issue in fairness only if it concerns the final scenario posted above, if the argument is the prevention of double-voting or vote-laundering.
如果一个选民用多个身份进行投票，这并非是问题所在，因为投票仍然反应了他的欲望。 总而言之，它可能是一个更好的代表，因为他将全部资源投入到投票过程中。 这只是一个透明度的问题，因为它可能会给社区带来关于支持的错误印象，但如果没有对上述建立公平性的最后一种情况投入的话，它与投票的公平性无关。
If a voter votes from multiple identities, it isn’t an issue as the voting is still illustrative of his desires. Altogether, it might be a better representation as it’s the utility of his full resources being invested upon the voting process. This is only a concern of transparency as it might create a false impression upon the community about the support, but it is staunchly a non-issue in relation to the fairness of voting if the final scenario above of creating fairness is not invested upon.
However, identity merely to create transparency for the community and affect their impressions is still an important investment that should be looked upon. If there are other threshold of acceptance, then identity is arguably a crucial factor to consider.
4. Threshold of Acceptance
Crucially, as slightly discussed above, any consecutive days for a criteria to be met could potentially reduce fraud of a rich investor jumping between referendums, but adds significant delay to the entire business process, and does not completely eliminate the issue.
Below is currently the criteria discussed. Contentious especially are the vote totals, for which there seems to be no reason to choose such arbitrary numbers.
When a new proposal is entered into a smart contract, a 120-day countdown begins and token holders can begin to vote on it: yes or no.
Throughout the day, the smart contracts save account names and their vote selections to a table.
At the end of each day, the smart contract takes a snap shot of the staked token balances of the saved account names.
From that snapshot, count the amount of staked tokens held by each user for each vote selection.
- 同意投票总数>(反对投票总数+ 10%)
Vote totals are recorded if the following criteria are met:
- total_votes > 15% of total EOS
- total_votes_yes > (total_votes_no + 10%)
If the criteria continues to be met for 30 consecutive days, the vote passes.
如果在第90天之后的任何时候投票下降或保持低于+ 10%或> 15%，它就会被自动否决，因为它不再能够再保持两个门槛连续30天。 (假设它在90天之前尚未通过)
If at any point after day 90 the vote drops or remains below either +10% or >15%, it dies, as its no longer possible to hold the two thresholds for 30 days. (Assuming it didn't already pass before day 90).
If 120-days pass before achieving the threshold for 30 consecutive days, the proposal dies.
The long-standing recommendation in the constitution should be discussed as to the rationale of these numbers chosen as they neither hold simple majority or any reasonable interpretation.
Conclusively, EOShenzhen believes that one should tip more towards a fairer system. Ultimately, basic human rights should be untouched as necessary, and voting should be one of them. It might be agreed upon that although the vast majority might not know what is in their best interests, it is also the vast majority who should still chart their own future.
Consequently, EOShenzhen proposes that every individual should be merely entitled to a “yes or no” vote on each and every referendum similar to that of a petition, and identities be collated, but not released, to create transparency and not influence an individual’s decision on what each individual voted for. This historic system of our established democracy ultimately has had centuries of experiment to come out triumphant, and indeed there must be a reason so.
Though there should be an incentive to collecting EOSTokens, however, voting should not be the incentive nor avenue for their battleground.
We are EOShenzhen