SIP-282: Replace 'Emergency Elections' with the newly-created 'Intra-Epoch Councillor Replacement'

NetworkEthereum & Optimism

Simple Summary

This SIP seeks to replace the concept of the emergency election with a councillor replacement process that takes place within an epoch, to be used to fill spots within the various Synthetix councils when they become vacant without the need to trigger a full election.


The implementation of the V3 Governance Module (V3GM) with SIP-266 and the formalization of a minimum number of active council members through the passing of SCCP-300 have established the concept of an election held outside of the election period that occurs at the conclusion of an epoch. Though this 'emergency election' exists in principle, the process by which it would be conducted remains undocumented. Given that the bar for triggering such an election is relatively low, currently requiring only one member of any of the councils being deemed inactive (through either voluntary exit, absence or dismissal), remedying this is a priority. This SIP seeks to propose an efficient means of maintaining council integrity by establishing the procedures for conducting an “emergency election,” which, from hereon in, will be referred to as a intra-epoch councillor replacement.


According to SCCP-300, when the (minimumActiveMembers) threshold for any council is hit (set at n-1 at the time of this SIPs creation) an emergency election is triggered, taking place within the current epoch. Rather than proceeding with a time-consuming and disruptive full election cycle, this SIP proposes capitalizing on the on-chain records of results from the last election period in order to determine and assign a suitable candidate to fill the vacant spot. In addition, it also proposes that the election component of this intra-epoch councillor replacement be instead a Spartan Council vote to ratify the candidate sourced from data held on the previous epochal election.

The procedure would be as follows:

  1. A intra-epoch councillor replacement is tiggered when the (minimumActiveMembers) number is met or exceeded for any of the Synthetix councils five days prior to the nominations period of the next epoch election.

  2. The Spartan Council looks or is asked to look to the data held on the last epochal election and seeks to establish the availability of the account with the greatest received voting power that is not currently on the relevant council but that was a nominee during that council’s election. In order to routinize and speed ascertaining availability, the next candidate in line has 72 hours from the point at which the minimumActiveMembers n-number was met to make themself known before the next candidate in line will be sought out.

  3. A governance or meta-governance SCCP is created that specifies the replacement of the non-active council member with next available candidate in line.

  • In the case that it is a Spartan Councillor being replaces, the replacement is ratified through a meta-governance SCCP and thus requires unanimity on the part of the remaining Spartan Councillors.
  • In the case that it is a member of any of the non-Spartan Councils, the replacement is ratified through a regular governance SCCP and thus requires only five out of eight of the Spartan Councillors to pass it.
  1. Upon the SCCP vote passing, the council owner transfers the relevant NFT to the replacement and the epoch continues.

Once the intra-epoch councillor replacement process has concluded, the epoch proceeds and concludes as usual, with all council members required to renominate themselves for the following epoch (should they wish to run). The stipend owed to the original council member for the month in which the replacement occurs and any subsequent months remaining in the epoch will be paid to their replacement.


The reason for implementing this SIP’s proposed response to the loss of council members during the epoch is that it reduces the overhead on the protocol, with epochal elections already consuming several weeks of attention, while simultaneously deferring to the community’s will in determining who fills council seats. Having the Spartan Council ratify the replacement by voting them in using an SCCP also provides an opportunity for oversight in a process that might otherwise be opaque through being carried out within inter-council communications. Lastly, it provides a motivation for promising though unsuccessful council nominees to remain engaged with the project despite not having been initially chosen for a spot.

Test Cases

Using results sourced from the election for the last epoch of 2022, we can see that, were Treasury Candidate 1 to be dismissed, Treasury Candidate 5 would be contacted. Once Treasury Candidate 5’s availability to serve on the Treasury Council had been reaffirmed, the election process outlined above would be carried out.


Rejected as per the SIP author instructions

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