Been lurking here for some time watching the development, discussion and voting process around various proposals and it is causing me to have serious concerns about flaws and shortcomings in the Pocket Network governance process as follows:
If you look at all the snapshots to date, there have been a maximum of 8 participants voting and more often than not typically only 4-5 participants. This is a disturbingly low number to control the fate of the entire project that represents itself as a DAO.
The majority of the snapshots / votes are decided by a rotating cast of the same 5-7 participants (as far as I can tell) and who don’t seem to reflect an accurate composition of the views of the larger community discussion I see happening around the proposals.
For example, on PUP-13 and PUP-11, arguably two of the most important, influential and contentious proposals to date, currently there is a unanimous approval vote on both of them by 4 participants who are from the group of the same 5-7 participants who decide virtually all votes.
In the case of PUP-13 and PUP-11, you can clearly see in the discussion around these proposals that there are many valid and well thought-out dissenting opinions / suggestions that may represent as much as 40-50% or more of the collective opinion around these proposals (judging by the composition of comments), but these are being totally un-represented in the voting process.
So essentially, you have something like a dynasty that is controlled by a select few people who are clearly not representing the views of the larger community, which for a DAO, is—in my and many other peoples opinion—a problem. The best that the vast majority of the community around Pocket can do is make a thoughtful post in the comments of a proposal and hope someone with voting power is doing a comprehensive survey of all the sentiment around the proposal and doing their best to vote in alignment with the larger communities wishes. There is a lot of trust assumptions there that I am near certain are not being met.
Surely the logic from the team (based on how they have setup governance) is that the most active members of the community are the most qualified to vote and that theoretically, these people/orgs will do what is in the best interest of the community because if they are good actors, it will benefit them as well. But again, this relies on many assumptions and this process can be gamed and taken advantage of by purely self-interested actors with different motives. The possibility of bad / gray / overly self-interested actors capturing governance happening is lessened by more people having access to voting in my experience.
And finally and perhaps my most important point, many of these proposals and in particular PUP-13 and PUP-11, are based on heavy speculation and personal opinion—regardless of how thought out they are—and could have serious and damaging implications for the project if they are wrong. The lack of representation of dissenting opinions in the voting composition is disturbing and makes me feel like the communities input is not being heard. In the case of PUP-13 and PUP-11, I witness a few strong personalities pushing through a proposal that is contentious at best without really meaningfully integrating or addressing critiques.
I believe that the bar is currently being set too high by the current governance rules for acquiring a vote and it is negatively impacting the project by causing a misalignment between the larger communities sentiment and the voting block.
I am more than involved, invested and educated enough about Pocket and crypto in general to have a meaningful take on the project that is worthy of representation by a vote, but I do not. As an investor and participant in many projects over the course of a decade in crypto, I have extensive knowledge and relevant experience to make a meaningful vote, but I do not have the time to invest in overcoming the hurdles necessary to acquire one for Pocket.
I witness the same situation in many highly experienced and intelligent governance forum participants who also do not have a vote or say other than pleading in the comments to have their views represented and hoping that someone with a vote is reading their comments.
I think the bar should be lowered for participation otherwise I am worried that the future of the project is in jeopardy as too few people are deciding big things without adequate input and checks and balances on their power and general reasoning.