SIP-263: Clarify the Definition of Unanimity in Meta-Governance Votes

NetworkEthereum & Optimism
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Simple Summary

This SIP proposes a clarification of the circumstances in which meta-governance votes conducted by the Spartan Council may be considered valid. Should it pass, the proposed interpretation contained within this SIP would establish that affirmative votes from dismissed members of the council are unnecessary to achieve a unanimous result due to these dismissed members no longer being considered active Spartan Counsellors.


At present, in order for meta-governance SIPs to be passed and subsequently implemented, it is required that the Spartan Council vote unanimously during the voting period of a proposed SIP. SIP-263 facilitates the continuance of meta-governance votes in cases where a Spartan Counsellor has been dismissed by specifying a unanimous vote is one in which all non-dismissed members of the council vote in the same way. This would alleviate the possibility that governance could be compromised by a well-funded single member able to continually re-elect themself to the council.


The current assumption that meta-governance votes must unanimously pass with all members of the Spartan Council that began the epoch voting together, rather than those that are currently active, creates a weakness in the governance system. By intentionally or unintentionally hindering the implementation of proposals through a failure to vote with the other council members, a single Spartan Counsellor is able to hinder the implementation of improvements in the protocol's governance system design. What is more, were the relevant Spartan Counsellor to be removed in response to a continued failure to vote, there would be nothing to stop them being re-elected and sabotaging valid meta-governance votes going ahead indefinitely.

Should a Spartan Council member be dismissed, the interpretation of unanimity outlined in this SIP would allow meta-governance to continue in the run up to the next election (be it either a regular election or one triggered by council member dismissal). This would facilitate both the smooth continuance of the governance process, while also granting a window of opportunity during which the active council could act to prevent a danger that they might remain perpetually unable to conduct meta-governance.


A unanimous meta-governance vote = All current Spartan Council members voting affirmative, with the positions of any that have been dismissed since the last council election disregarded.

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