Changes to governance proposals and voting reward weights (Proposal)

If this passes, would existing neurons no longer be configured to follow the foundation on governance topics? Or would this change only apply to new neurons?

Currently neurons by default follow the ICA (#28) on “all topics” (aka fallback topic), but without override for any specific topic. This change would exclude the governance topic from “all topics”, i.e., fallback would not apply to the governance topic. Thus, the proposed change would apply to all neurons with the default configuration. That is, if this change is made, neuron holders have to explicitly add followees on the governance topic if they don’t want to vote manually.

Will the ICA or foundation continue to vote on governance? So that neuron holders could configure their neuron to follow ICA or foundation on governance without incurring a penalty?

Good question. I think there will be proposals where the ICA and/or the DFINITY Foundation would like to abstain in the future. However, this is not a change from the present situation.

How would a neuron holder get notified when a governance proposals is available if they wanted to vote?

There is a Telegram bot @NNSProposalsBot. However, I acknowledge that the notification mechanisms need to improve!

Is there any bonus for voting on a proposal yourself vs configuring the neuron to follow another neurons vote?

Not as part of this change - but this is a good idea (Dominic has also mentioned this). However, this is not uncontroversial. Perhaps it should be tied to people party validation of personhood and/or CAPTCHA-like bot prevention to ensure that only truly manual votes receive an extra voting reward. I think this warrants a separate discussion.


Voting rewards don’t take into account how the vote was cast - neither on mainnet today and not after the proposed change. That is, it does not matter (for voting rewards) who you follow (as long as they vote) or whether you vote manually.

Note that you can follow multiple neurons, in which case you vote with the absolute majority. For example, if you follow five neurons, you automatically vote yes/no as soon as three of the neurons you follow have voted yes/no. In addition, if you manually vote before your followees have reached a decisive majority, your manual vote stands.

(Outside of the proposal discussed here, it has also been proposed to provide larger rewards for truly manual votes. But this is also a can of worms, as pointed out by other community members.)


As @diegop points out, the proposed change is just to the behaviour of the “fallback”. Neuron holders can still configure their neurons to follow other neurons on the governance topic.

The motivation for this part of the change is that most neuron holders have not changed the default setting and follow the ICA.

For “maintenance proposals” (e.g., upgrades, adding/removing nodes, etc.), this is a reasonable choice as the ICA and the DFINITY Foundation have a lot of insight into these types of proposals, which are typically put forward by employees of the DFINITY Foundation.

However, for proposals on the governance topic - currently motions guding the future roadmap and canister uninstalls (aka takedowns) - the ICA may want to abstain and it is preferable that the community has a stronger voice.


It can, see GitHub - chmllr/nns-proposals-bot: Telegram bot notifying about NNS proposals

Enter /start to subscribe to the notifications; use /stop to cancel the subscription. Use /block or /unblock to block or unblock proposals with a certain topic; use /blacklist to display the list of blocked topics.

So for example /block topic_subnet_management will block the Subnet Management topic.


This is great, thank you

@diegop my point is that disabling option to follow the default (ICA…) neurons for governance proposals could be quite dangerous:

  • people who want to follow neuron will often make just a quick search through social media - so paid advertisement could give anyone a huge voting power
  • other neurons will be more prone to manipulation or eventual corruption
  • may be later could be even sold (?) - IC is/will be a multibillion $$ business, what would be a value of neuron with 1m followers?

For this reason I believe that best for healthy decentralisation would be to motivate people to vote directly:

  • nothing would change for passive investors
  • rewards for manual voting would follow same path as for people party
  • if above would be not acceptable, could we think of some other kind of rewards like other tokens, cup with favourite developer in underwear or something else… :slight_smile:

Regarding opening a big can of worms, isn’t Internet Identity purpose to prevent this and if there are some gotchas it should be rather fixed?


Thanks for the great suggestion!

1 Like


I accidentally copied the images in the main summary in the wrong order, but discourse is not letting me edit, soo I will paste the correct ordering below:

Neuron holders have been able to change their default followees since Genesis, as well as specifying overrides for specific topics, but this feature is not yet widely known or widely used.

Click “Edit Followees”.

Click “Add Followee” for the “Governance” topic. Then use a known neuron ID or pick one of the named neurons. In this case, I picked the DFINITY Foundation.


Is there really a difference between scheduled and voting period? I mean, it is a computer system so if a proposal is “scheduled” I should be able to indicate how I want to vote once voting “opens”. It would be great if an item could go in and be “scheduled” and I could indicate my vote…and change it up until the “voting opens” period. I want at least a week to get indicate a vote. Once we get our axon fork up we’ll be putting ICDevs votes up on it. If we only have 24 hours to get it up, rally the troops, and get votes in…we aren’t going to be successful.


Deliberation will continue as a vote is spread out over a long timeline, which means early voters will make decisions based on different information than late voters. It seems preferable for deliberation to occur first and then for the act of voting to occur based on a consistent information.

There is also (or at least should be) a buildup to these motion proposals because they can have wide ranging implications for the IC. It seems there is value in expecting folks to take the time to vote in a relatively narrow time window to make it practical to rally around the governance process and advocate for participation.


I like this change. Will vote for it (provided the deadline gets extended to, say, a week).

Guess I’ll have to set aside more time in my day for IC… :sweat_smile:

This has been a challenge for cycle_dao

It’s ok if you want people to deliberately vote on governance or at least stop using the default DF follow.
But why do you want to change the voting weights? A vote is a vote in my opinion. That aspect is not broken.

1 Like

Could we please give this 10 - 14 days to stew? I feel like we want the broader community to become aware of this coming change before the proposal is submitted. Also, Both ICDevs & cycle_dao, as groups offering follow target neurons, need time to prepare an outline of governing philosophy & ideally submit proposals to have our neurons in the NNS follow target list. This has been on the radar since your earlier proposal @diegop but you just move so darn fast (if you’ll pardon my french).


This is a great suggestion in my opinion…motivate Manual voting by rewarding with something that is fun to get but has no significant $$ value

1 Like

Let’s do this on the 10th? Agree with sentiment, since this change affects governance, but is pretty straightforward. We need more people actually voting on key matters using their brains rather than just auto-voting by following big neurons. I think once people realize they actually have to vote on motions to get their rewards, and start looking at them, we will see rising engagement. I expect this to catalyze the growth of ICP’s digital governance ecosystem.


Since this is the first time Dom posts on the dev forum, I want to confirm this REALLY is Dom (Founder and Chief Scientist at DFINITY). :wink:


Sweet. If the gauntlet is being thrown down, cycle_dao will be ready.


I agree. This sounds like a great plan and I fully agree with the desired outcome. Thanks for voicing your opinion on this topic Dominic. It’s good to hear from you in this forum.

1 Like

Well for sure better than searching for neurons to follow in random media, but doesn’t seem to address the decentralisation much (ICA & DFINITY => ICDevs & cycle_dao) - but hopefully during time the list would grow.

Still, could you please consider the option to motivate people to vote manually (though not sure if it’s technically feasible)?

Rewards could be even just some ‘IC Engaged NEURON Level X’ NFT badge or so, I’m sure people would want it (I just got here ‘First Like’ badge and I liked it :wink: ), vote manually more and thus engage more…

1 Like