[Discussion] MakerDAO subsidies to political parties

With vote delegation approaching, we should see a system of “MakerDAO delegates” flourishing.

Initially, these delegates will probably be rather simple, like “one trusted man” asking people to delegate to them. But, most likely, they will grow over time in more complicated structures. Let me call these structures (MakerDAO) political parties.

In this post I would like the community to discuss the possibility of subsidising these parties with some DAO’s money to support their activity, of course through a dedicated MIP.

Just a couple of very recent examples why this might be (imho) a good idea:

  1. @Planet_X (a future delegate), whom is currently not in any CU and thus does not receive a salary, has recently joined several WGs. If his activity grows, He might seek the help of another MKR-community member, and that will also be free. They need to be compensated for their work, without having to join some CU.
  2. Similarly, I (not a future delegate, but still reasonably active in the community) was recently invited to join a WG on a certain topic. The 95% of people invited are working for the DAO with a salary. Which is great because they will provide professional-level work. But for me, joining this group would be a significant (unpaid) time investment, and I have a full-time job already.

The topic of subsidising political parties is complex. Here is an interesting article about it (link) which analyses some common PRO/AGAINST arguments such as:

  1. [Against] the parties used the privileged position they have […] and simply chose to allocate public money to themselves.
  2. [Against] they interfere with party system change. They are said to do so because they give established parties a much stronger position than emerging party formations and hence petrify or cement the party system.
  3. [Against] they virtually abolish the parties’ interests in sustaining or increasing their membership.[…] By letting the state pay for the parties, an important incentive for parties to mobilise and activate members is abolished.
  4. [PRO] The political and democratic nature of the modern state depends directly on the ability of the parties to serve as integrative links between state and society. Public subsidies to political parties contribute to this end.
  5. [PRO] By supplementing this regulation with public subsidies to the
    parties, the state can mitigate the problem of private (or corporate) support to some parties and ultimately contribute to ensuring responsiveness among the parties vis-à-vis the citizenry.
  6. [PRO] if parties are to sustain their central role in the political system and be able to communicate their message to the voters, some financial support from outside sources becomes necessary, as membership dues alone cannot carry the financial burden of the modern party organisation.

I am personally PRO on the idea of having some support for MakerDAO’s political parties’.

However, before starting to work on a MIP, I think it would be healthy to have an informal public discussion.

I suggest we try to keep the discussion relatively abstract (I.e., not focus too much how ‘HOW’ to concretely implement this), focusing on the PROs and CONs only.

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As someone who seems more and more likely to champion a specific vision in our internal debates, I don’t think this is a good idea.

I’m not opposed to compensation for individual delegates as it is probably quite time consuming and emotionally exhausting at times. But funding blocs instead of persons strikes me as subject to capture for rent seeking and abuse.

I suppose there may be some argument that would persuade me otherwise, but I would prefer to direct resources to units that expand or protect the protocol than for helping internal groups arm for battle with each other.

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I did not have this idea, but I see what you are visualising. :+1:

No, I just meant that if there are (as I expect) some delegates that are not members of any CU (and therefore have no salary), then being good delegates will be rather difficult for them.

A good delegate is, in my opinion, somebody who spends a non-negligible amount of time talking with the people who are delegating on him, illustrating his/her ideas, and perhaps even keep them up with the important news of MakerDAO: not everybody have the time to follow everything on the forum/youtube.

This time consumption is sustainable, I believe, only if it is compensated.

This said… I see (and agree) that MakerDAO is not a parliamentary democracy, and I 100% agree with you @PaperImperium that any compensation scheme should absolutely avoid any:

Hate to say it but perhaps we look to the meat space for inspiration: Party subsidies - Wikipedia

A subsidy for delegates over a certain quantity of MKR delegated (1,000 Dai per month, say) may be a start.

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