MIP3: Governance Cycle

MIP3: Governance Cycle


MIP#: 3
Title: Governance Cycle
Author(s): Rune Christensen (@Rune23) and Charles St.Louis (@CPSTL)
Type: Process
Status: <Assigned by MIP Editor>
Date Proposed: 2020-04-06
Dependencies: n/a
Replaces: n/a


This proposal formally introduces a Governance Cycle. The Governance Cycle provides a predictable framework for Maker Governance decisions. Furthermore, it provides participants (MKR holders) with a monthly overview of the decisions that are to be made, allowing participation despite time constraints.


The goal of the standardized monthly governance cycle is to provide advance notification and high predictability of governance activities in order to enable MKR holders to stay informed on relevant topics and participate in voting despite being time-constrained.

The structure of the governance cycle enables active governance participants to join the discussion at the proposal submission level from the beginning of the month, while less active governance participants can simply review the end results at the end of the month and decide whether or not to vote for the final executive vote.

Specification / Proposal Details

MIP3 Components

  1. MIP3c1: Governance Cycle Breakdown
  2. MIP3c2: Default Inclusion Threshold Modification Subproposals

MIP3c1: Governance Cycle Breakdown

Each monthly governance cycle begins on the first Monday of the month, with Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs) submitted by community members (defined within the MIP0 Framework). These proposals will be considered for inclusion at the end of the month’s Executive vote. The governance cycle ends with an Executive vote that begins on the 4th Monday of the month.

Proposals submitted must follow the guidelines defined in MIP0.

Week-by-week breakdown of the Monthly Governance Cycle

Time is inclusive and in based on UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and the Gregorian calendar

Week 1

  • 1st Monday-Wednesday of the month:
    • The Formal submission (Phase 5 described in MIP0c2) of proposals that are to be included in the new governance cycle.
    • The formal submission is done on the formal submission category on the MIPs Discourse forum (as defined in Phase 5 in MIP0c2)
  • 1st Thursday of the month:
    • Inclusion Poll Review (Governance Meeting): Discussion surrounding which proposals are in accordance with guidelines (defined in the MIP0 Framework), which proposals are inadequate (even if technically following the guidelines)

Week 2

  • 2nd Monday of the month:

    • The Governance facilitators publish an inclusion poll. The proposals that the specific Governance Facilitators’ have general consensus on are included, but each Governance Facilitator, in their own can add their own individual short description and list order (which is critical for voter heuristic behaviour and important power of a governance facilitator in times of dispute or uncertainty).
    • The Default Inclusion Threshold is a variable amount that can be changed by MIP3c3 sub proposals. The default inclusion threshold value is automatically counted towards the no vote tally of each item in the inclusion poll. The default inclusion threshold is changed with MIP3c2 subproposals.
    • An MKR voter has 2 options for each proposal in an inclusion poll:
      • Yes or no.
      • Where the no votes simply increase the barrier of the proposal to pass.
    • Outcomes: If the Yes votes for a given option in the inclusion poll are higher than the combination of No votes and the default inclusion threshold, the proposal will be included in the governance poll.
      • If votes: yes > (no + default inclusion threshold) = inclusion in governance poll.
  • 2nd Thursday of the month:

    • The Governance Poll Review (Governance Meeting): occurs, covering the general risk and governance topics at hand and without any MIP decision making discussion.

Week 3

  • 3rd Monday-Wednesday of the month:
    • The Governance poll submitted by the Governance Facilitator.
    • The Governance poll will run from Monday until Wednesday.
    • The Governance Poll is a yes/no MKR poll that accepts or rejects the combination of all MIPs that passed the inclusion poll stage, including any executive vote code from Technical MIP components or sub proposals.
  • 3rd Thursday of the month:
    • Executive Vote Review (Governance Meeting) - this public meeting will focus on either future proposals or controversy around the current governance poll and the future upcoming executive vote.
    • In case there are too many no votes in the governance poll, and there is evidence that there is an effort to silence legitimate concerns in the community this meeting provides opportunities for compromise and the community and governance facilitators must consider whether it is creating a risk of governance split. If a governance facilitator believes that the proposed executive vote will result in a governance split, the Governance Facilitator should not deploy the executive vote and must instead work with the community to resolve the problem. Thus, if all governance facilitators are in consensus that the executive vote creates a significant risk of a community split, the executive vote will not happen and the MIPs that were supposed to be up for an executive vote, instead have their status changed to deferred.

Week 4

  • 4th Monday of the month:
    • The Executive vote is submitted if the governance poll has passed and the no votes are not too high to deem it a threat to consensus.
    • Regular Executive votes must have an expiration of 7 days, meaning they blank themselves after 7 days.
    • MIPs and Sub Proposals only get the accepted status if the executive vote they are included in passes within the 7-day limit. If the executive vote fails to pass within the 7-day limit, the MIPs and Sub Proposals have their status changed to rejected.
  • 4th Thursday of the month:
    • The Retro & Planning Meeting occurs, covering the general risk and governance topics at hand and without any MIP decision making discussion. Discussion around the governance poll outcomes (for proposed collateral types) and proposals for next month, or retrospective on current governance cycle controversy.
    • MIP3 sub proposals focus on modifying the default inclusion threshold for the inclusion polls.
    • They are submitted to the governance cycle like any other proposal and their modified default inclusion threshold takes effect from the governance cycle following the successful passing of their governance cycle’s executive vote.

Governance Cycle Overview Diagram

MIP3c2: Default Inclusion Threshold Modification Subproposals

The Default Inclusion Threshold can be modified with subproposals. The subproposals will follow the logic below:

  • Default Feedback Period: 3 months
  • Frozen Period: 1 month
  • Subproposal Template:

- MIP3c2-SP#:
- Author(s): 
- Date Proposed: <date created on, in (yyyy-mm-dd) format>


- Proposal to modify the Default Inclusion Threshold

- Input the motivation and reasoning behind the proposed change of the default inclusion threshold.

Specification / Proposal Details
- The new default inclusion threshold amount (number).

1 Like

Is inadequacy deemed by rough consensus in the governance meeting? Or by the governance facilitator? In the diagram it states GF, but the component text does not specify.

Personally I would like to hear more about the rationale for having multiple parties “approve” MIPs as they come through. First (correct me if I am wrong) the MIP Editor approves a MIP by merging the authors Pull Request. The editor is looking strictly for adherence to the standards defined in MIP0? I dont necessarily agree with that set up, since I dont think we need to be so restrictive, but it makes sense if the main goal is highly ordered proposals.

Second, either the GF(s) or some consensus in a Thursday meeting determines what is adequate. Why is this necessary and whats the rationale for the departure from “governance happens on the forums”? Historically we don’t make any decisions in the governance call.

In general this seems to be moving in a direction of giving the GF more power. I am curious about the reasoning behind that. Rich has stated many times that he does think his role (as it currently stands to be fair) should be making decisions.


Why do we need an on chain inclusion poll in general? Couldn’t that function be served by the governance poll?

I also would like to point out for everyone that in this governance cycle there is no place for forum polls. All voting is done by MKR holders either in the inclusion, gov or executive votes. From what I am seeing, technically the only place for input by random people is the RFC stage before formal submission. I need to look at MIP0 again to see how feedback should be integrated.

1 Like

Do all MIPs need to pass with an on-chain poll and executive vote? In the past, we’ve regarded on-chain polls as sufficient when the proposal is just a social contract and has no technical implications.


The structural vote, this is what it’s based on. The gouvernance etc. It’s all about vote.

I don’t think so, it will make it more attractive and put the emphasis on, but even without text component, i think it’s way better like this.

I also think you are more than right on many points @Mitote , about the gouvernance i must say, i did read a lot of post and i am not on either side, but this forum is all about the #governance

And @rich.brown is now doing PR on github ?? I don’t want to be rude or seem or seem to be, but this is what i understand. It’s out of context a little but in concordance to this, how can you get involved in the gouvernance and in the foundation at the same time, should not be ?>

1 Like

I’ve been thinking a bit about how to make this more robust. I was also aiming for less complicated, but I’m not sure I achieved that goal. Here’s what I came up with:

Week 1

  • Summary of the Accepted MIPs that passed last month.
  • Any MIP or SP that has been Formally Submitted takes one of two paths:

Path 1: For MIPs/SP that do not contain on-chain technical changes to the Maker Protocol.

Create a single yes/no poll for each MIP and SP that lasts for one month. In order to be considered ‘Accepted’ when this poll ends, the ‘yes’ votes must outnumber the ‘no’ votes by an amount of MKR defined as one third of the total MKR locked in DSChief at the time the poll ends. For votes to be counted in these polls, the voting MKR must be locked in DSChief at the time the poll ends (not in the hot/cold wallets.)

Path 2: For MIPs/SP that do contain on-chain technical changes to the Maker Protocol.

Create a single yes/no poll for each MIP and SP that lasts for three weeks. In order to qualify for inclusion when this poll ends, the ‘yes’ votes must outnumber the ‘no’ votes by an amount of MKR defined as one third of the total MKR locked in DSChief at the time the poll ends. For votes to be counted in these polls, the voting MKR must be locked in DSChief a the time the poll ends (not in the hot/cold wallets.)

Week 2

  • Reminders about the above polls.
  • Other business.

Week 3

  • Reminders about the above polls.
  • Other business.

Week 4

  • Reminders about the above polls.
  • Summary of the items included in the new executive.
  • Other business.

Path 2: For MIPs/SP that do contain on-chain technical changes to the Maker Protocol.

Create an executive vote with an expiration of one week that includes all the ‘executive-code’ requiring changes that passed the inclusion poll as defined for path 2 above.


Also, on an entirely separate point. How does this governance cycle affect the current weekly cycle we have been following up until now?


Maybe with mkrgov.science you could figure it out, but seems like a pain to see what mkr left the chief before 1 month and subtracting that on whatever MIP polls they voted on. Can that be built into the polls themselves? idk

I think it’d just require a UI change to make the polls only pickup MKR locked in the Chief as votes. In terms of figuring out what amount of MKR is in the Chief at the time the poll ends, that should be fairly easy to calculate too, can just look at the last block for which the poll is active and look at the MKR locked in the Chief.

Admittedly it’s more confusing than the current polls though.

mhm yea I think I like their idea for a minimum threshold (just acting as a predetermined set of NO votes) for the polls. I don’t think it really solves any actual issues, but is a neat idea which is a little simpler than what your proposing.

The difficulty is that any minimum threshold would have to be updated as more or less MKR starts voting. Tying it to the MKR in the Chief means that it doesn’t have to be adjusted manually. It’s slightly more complicated but there is less maintenance overhead.

Why would it have to be adjusted often or at all? I thought the point was to weed out MIPs that no MKR holders really cared about, so a static set of NO votes would accomplish that regardless of the general flux of voting MKR.

Because a threshold of 10k MKR is different where there is 20k MKR regularly voting than to where there is 500k MKR regularly voting. I think the point is more about making sure that whatever is included in the bundled poll is as likely to pass as possible. Assuming that a large portion of MKR is only paying attention in the last week of the cycle, I think the threshold would need to increase based on the total participation.

Might be I’m totally wrong about it though. At this stage I’m having trouble getting my head around it all.

I asked this question privately about how the monthly governance cycle affects the now normal weekly one and got no answer.

My question was whether this cadence was meant to supercede normal business cadence or if it ONLY applied to MIP processing.

1 Like

@MakerMan For now this is just a proposal. Drastics change do not hurt i guess.

There is so much question here and there on the forum right now but i like it, i mean.
We can’t agree on everything but we should wait a little and give them some time and see.

I can’t link something major for now that would really affects the normal weekly. So this is something that will work.

There are people who use a CLI to interact with these contracts so one would have to look at that generally.

Above is definitely more complicated than existing polling.

When I am looking at changes I ask a few questions.

What goal is the change being made trying to accomplish?
Is there a measurable metric for this goal?
If the above are both yes then the last question is whether there is another method to achieve the same goal that is simpler.

1 Like

@MakerMan there is no technical details for now, it’s just a mockup.

Adding here a question posted in CC today that deserves its own thread.

I was wondering why we are using fixed MKR amounts as triggers for system decisions
The above 3000 MKR threshold as well as the 50000 MKR for ES.

  1. @MakerMan, the “Default Inclusion Threshold” has to do with whether MIPs get included in a Governance Poll (which bundles all accepted MIPs) together and - if successful - then gets put up for an Executive Vote. The “threshold” works simply. “Default” implies that whatever number is set gets counted as “NO” votes. Therefore, to be included, an MIP has to garner “YES” votes > "“No” + “DIT”. It is not used to trigger system decisions - just to provide some cursory protection at this early stage in the process. I agree, in more general instances like ES, with the point made in your linked post. These amounts should be made dynamic imo.

  2. @charlesstlouis, I have a gift for you:


@andytudhope This is incredible! Do you mind if I make some edits/play around with it? Credit will still go to you :slight_smile: