Rule makers should not rule Agree/ Disagree?

This is my first ever post on the forum- Apologies for taking the liberty, but this is important-

As I was trying to understand the narrative of power dynamics in the NDC Governance framework V1, it became imperative to me that we address the philosophy of rational power in its creation process as well. Antifragile systems originate from antifragile agents and in this context, the fragility of any governance framework put forth by GWG begins at the level of its working group itself.

Of all bases of power - legitimate power(1) predicated the longevity of a governance system(2). Democracy remains the darling framework for human governance undoubtedly because of its legitimacy(as it was “of the people, by the people, and for the people”). Thus, for any scaffolding constructed as a product of the NDC GWG’s effort, it is quintessential that the ‘legitimacy’ of such structure be beyond reproach. With such concrete delineation between ‘creator’ and ‘creation’ in mind I suggest the following:

  1. The GWG participants shall not run as contestants to House of Merit, Council of Advisors, and the Transparency Commission(3)

  2. Such restrictions to participation in election processes, should be in place until a final constitution is delivered(4), enacted, and accepted as legitimate by NEAR Ecosystem - with a minimum of one full election cycle (regardless of how long a term might be according to the final constitution) attesting to a successful experience of its virtues before it is lifted a referendum (ideally)

  3. Once there is consensus on a method of governance delivered as a result of GWGs effort, the unit should stop dialogue with anyone who wish to contest in the upcoming elections(5)

  4. The GWG should not be an active element during the governance process. It should not comment, judge, or intervene(6)

  5. The rights of GWG during governance should be limited to that of a careful observer; whose only objective is to silently observe, collect data(7), validate assumptions, and iterate such reflections objectively on the constitution.

It is imperative that there exists a chasm between the ones that makes the rules (which governs many) and the ones that deliver it.

(1) Power, as attributed by a legitimate entity/process
(2) As ordained by Gods - ruled the Kings with thy mandate- as long as the god and the proponents of such a god mandated, the legitimacy of his rule was unchallenged.
(3) The covenant is intended as it pertains to participation, action or intervention. I personally believe that GWG could learn a great deal as a muted observant to the social exchange dynamics that evolves out of this framework.
(4) It is assumed that the framework will keep iterating over a timeframe and during that time; governance processes as imagined and consented at the time of the first election will run in parallel.
(5) The intent is to prevent any backdoor additions or ‘inserted as fineprint’ triggers post acceptance of the framework by the community.
(6)UNLESS THE SYSTEM FAILS- and even then only in a capacity that assumes responsibility for such failures OR unless specifically ORDERED by the Trustees of Community Treasury
(7) NOT ON PEOPLE- but on systems, practices and in total efficiency of the framework’s dynamics

Inviting detailed comments on the document - [Feedback](Rulemakers should not rule- Agree/ Disgree - Google Docs

Members of GWG should not contest elections, Rulemakers should not rule. What do you think?

  • Agree
  • Disagree

0 voters


However, the individuals drafting the governance model are community members in good standing. So advocating for their potential appointment has these benefits:

  1. They are already outside the GWG and actively involved in the governance of the ecosystem in some capacity.

  2. They also will have the best understanding of the governance model and will see the pitfalls of the proposed model more quickly

  3. Just because they run, it does not mean they will win.

If it is decided by the community members that contributors to the GWG should not be allowed to participate in the first elections, then we should allow a window for members to recuse themselves from the GWG. Their passion may be governance in and of itself and helping ensure the ecosystem is governed transparently, fairly, and with a broader distribution of power.

This poll alone is not indicative of community sentiment, as the ecosystem exists beyond the bounds of the governance forum. I would recommend running this once we have an initial voting system online.

I am not 100% advocating for it. Let the community decide.


According to some issues that I indicated in the group, we need to decide on effective ways to vote, otherwise the GWG will be a study group and not a work and execution group.

The top priority should be the search for the best tools or ways for voting, choosing the most effective one, and then these other issues.

Decide voting system > Constitution > Specific/Parallel Texts > Candidates […]

House of Merit, House of Stake and Executive boards naturally cannot have cumulative powers because of the veto prerogative between them. The GWG is an NDC node so there is no problem having representation on the NDC board, however the GWG will be funded initially by the NF so it should not accrue financial remuneration (which would likely result in few people wanting to work in two or more roles).

Perhaps early candidacies and informal leadership can influence the vote, but this influence can also be negative depending on performance, so it’s a risk.



I think the proposal is interesting in the way that it raises questions that have been overlook previously when discussing the NDC.

The distinction between 2 groups (rule makers and rulers) seems antithetical to the proposed idea of decentralization (namely FUBU, for us by us).

Isn’t the NDC a ‘for us by us’ kind of proposal? I would say NO, others would say yes - regarding this, I think honesty is what is important.

If it is the case that a group is somehow ‘not part of the general population’ than it also means we should at least ask where that authority comes from.

If it comes from within, then the distinction does not make sense. There are no groups, such as described by OP, only temporary allocation of individuals.

If it comes from NF, then we should try and figure out if there is indeed a transition of the project to the hands of the community and when (or not).

– (extra)

I submit the idea that if a community does not have the power to shut down a project, then it does not have agency over it.

Question: If I create a poll asking the community of it feels the NDC should be shut down and the community says yes, would the NDC be shut down? (no point in saying that a poll does not represent the community, since polls have been use to legitimize the NDC… Can’t have it both ways)

Maybe NF thinks that what we call the community is incapable of creating innovative and better governance systems on its own and so it needs to guide and enforce some positions. Probably a fair assessment and the reason why no serious crypto projects have talked about governance without having something real to propose. Just letting people with no experience on it decide what is best is just way of saying that hundreds or thounsand of years of political and philosophical discussions on the matter are overlooked.

What we know so far (for a fact):

  • NF proposed the NDC model
  • Blaze was awarded a grant to champion that model

We also know or are told that:

  • The goal is to end up with a decentralized model
  • (implicitly, the start does not need to be a decentralized effort)

However, we have no information if:

  • The goal of having a decentralized model includes the possibility of NF losing control over it.
  • i.e. It might be possible that what is being proposed by OP is against NF will and therefore simply can’t be accepted by ‘rule makers’.

If that would be the case, it is reasonable to suspect that:

  • The NDC only makes sense (to NDC) if those in charge of creating it (rule makers; chosen directly by NF) are also in charge of running it (rulers, chosen indirectly by NF).

Either way, interesting topic to think about and discuss. Thanks @UhthredB


Thanks for starting this important discussion!

I did not vote in your poll because I’m contributing as a Lead in the Governance Working Group (GWG).

Just replying to bring attention to the fuzzy definition of GWG membership. According to Einor Ostrom’s first principle of Governing the Commons, clear boundaries are necessary.

Because community engagement is vital for GWG and NDC success, it might be hard to exclude all contributors (rule makers) from participating in governance (as rulers). For this proposal to be practical, we may need to clarify who is not eligible to participate.

Also, for the record, GWG Leads are not chosen by NEAR Foundation. We are volunteers at this point. Certainly, our goal to have a decentralized model includes the possibility of NF losing control over it.


Nice post @UhthredB seen this since but I’m free now to make my thoughts known.
“Members of the GWG should not contest an election, cause rule makers are not suppose to rule”
Who are the members of the GWG ?
First the NDC is a community-driven project that collects all the different stakeholders from the diverse ecosystems and give them bold participation, ability to make pragmatic decentralized model to iterate and improve the Governance FW, on-chain voting, transparency, decisions making, openness and accountability in the community.

Therefore the Members of the GWG are the community, so are you trying to say non in the community should contest ? Cause the community where the rule makers also
Or where you trying to say the once with defined roles (Admins) cannot contest election?
So making a decision for leads not to be involved in elections cause they’re law makers is a nice idea :bulb: but might complicate things cause people who where not involved in the NDC would be having higher chance to contest.

Who are the rule makers ?
The Rule makers are the individuals involved in making a rule either by contribution, comment, addition and subtraction and all rules and docs where opened for communities, so IMO the community made the rules.
Wouldn’t say much, but hope for your clarification, big ups


I understand saying that Leads are community members and are not selected by NF, even if I disagree in principle. We can have a discussion about what it means to ‘choose’ or if the pool of possible candidates is relevant to the ‘choosing’.

i.e. we can have different opinions and it’s all good.

However, what you are saying in the quote above is, sincerely, playing with semantics. Why not have rigorous and open discussions in which terms and definitions are not used to fog the discussion?

What OP is proposing is that the ‘team’ working on the rules of engagement are later stopped from being considered to rule the NDC.

Is OP pretenting there are leads when in fact there are not? No…

Then why stop the community from discussing this matters? No one is being accused of anything, it is ok being a Lead in the CWG, it is ok having direct channels to NF while being a community member, it is ok having access to info that is not accessible to the wider community, people are just having an open discussion, isn’t what allowing a community to participate is?

See, James here is clear about it. He is a Lead and so he thinks his vote is ‘compromised’ on this specific poll. Therefore he didn’t vote. He still can, as even politicians can vote for themselves in most democracies. The way I see it is that he is open to discussing the matter.

He is still a community member. People can be multiple things at once and it takes honesty to talk about these matters, because ‘roles’ change and so responsibilities also change. If we prevent discussions or minimize them we are alienating people…


A couple updates:

The GWG will be funded from the community treasury once established. Estimated timeline late December.

Your point regarding voting was very valid and the tech governance workgroup is actively discussing and proposing voting solutions. With a phased approach.

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Good morning! I respect your point, but I can’t agree with it. Furthermore, in my opinion people not involved in the NDC building should be disqualified from any NDC roles in first election. It’s not essential for them now and won’t be necessary in the future, unlike great people (mods team, leaders, testers, etc.) who daily do their charity outstanding work for NDC and the Near Community.


Potential solution: establish a team as members of the Governance Working Group (GWG), who are ineligible to participate in certain ways. For example, being candidates in elections.

Also, we may define “Governance Community Groups” (or simply, communities) for engaging contributors without affecting their eligibility.

This would resemble NEAR Developer Governance, which combines Work Groups and Community Groups to achieve both quality and flexibility.

What do y’all think?


@blaze Could you send more details of this information?

Regarding the decision on the voting system, I think it’s better not to discuss these important general issues in specific groups that have not yet been officially defined, but I don’t see a problem as long as they don’t choose a single model, but present the best options established for that.

@jlwaugh I liked your approach to this, it would serve the diverse interests of anyone who wanted to contribute.


thank you for the interesting link (not that the point needs proving or papers adding weight)

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Why you see that as a flex SER?? Maybe that was a flame to attract the moth :yum: :yum:


no flex, I mean, i am thankful for the share. Not wanted to convey the idea that ur point needed proving, everyone (well, most people) can see it


Of course. Any community member can join the GWG after completing the onboarding process. gwg-contributor-onboarding | wiki

No decision has been made, just discussions started by active developer community members. Please join the GWG and join the conversation.

Based on community feedback on the forum to the budget, telegram and in discussions the concept of a “core team” has been removed, and the GWG will operate on bounties instead.

Sounds very promising.

@UhthredB, thanks for the testament and clarification. It was your passion that created the realization that an onboarding process was needed for the community. There needs to be a certain background and understanding to fully contribute to the GWG process. You took the initiative and did the deep work.


Can’t help but noticing the significant number of anonymous / pseudonymous accounts in this forum. It seems to be the norm in today’s online world. It’s hard enough to police KYCed accounts, let alone pseudonymous accounts. With this, I would tend to default towards one-person-one-vote and allow GWG members to vote.

Hopefully we get many more members in the NDC than we have GWG members, such that their potential to collude is minimal, and we get a level of transparency that makes it impossible to create back doors. And in the off chance that the NDC membership is very limited, then we need those GWG members to continute to actively participate and vote anyways, or we would risk losing momentum altogether.

There is also the consideration of how easy it would be to create a secondary anonymous account just for voting purposes. It would make sense to me to NOT encourage secondary accounts, which would be the outcome if we ratified this suggestion. I’m assuming that at least some people would feel such a ratification to be unjust, and in response might create another (or several?) accounts to instead submit more than one vote. Let’s not encourage this.

Which brings me to my last suggestion: I think it will be imperative that we create some form of proof-of-unique-human protocol on Near. If we make one where humans verify humans, then we would not only prevent Sybil accounts but we might also contribute to a friendlier world in which we are encouraged to actually talk to each other a little bit more :slight_smile:

(and yea, I realize that my last point once properly implemented would invalidate my first point, but I still think every person should be allowed to vote, that’s how democracy works)


Call me a prophet - name one from the ‘original’ WG ‘contributors’ who isn’t in a position of power - I will start - ME

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