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After much thought on the issues we face in regards to the referendum contract and collaborating with many of the top minds working on this, I would like to bring forth a proposal for review that combines all of the best ideas presented so far.
Process for submitting a referendum proposal:
On-chain & Public Discussion - Until the EOS Forum is ready and all communications can be on-chain, anyone seeking to submit a referendum must first submit their full proposal for discussion here in the EOS Go forums, and provide a full copy of the text on-chain at eosproof.io. You must include the cryptographic hash in your actual post as well, so it is recommended you submit it to the chain BEFORE posting it here for discussion.
Public Support & Validity of Referendum - To combat frivolous referendums from clogging up the system, your proposal must meet a certain number of comments and approval from key community members and have a clear path to execution. Ideas are great, but vetted, principled arguments that meet real world standards of public consensus are still relevant, even here in the land of EOS. An exact number of comments and what metrics meet this standard are up for debate.
Process For Submitting Referendum - Once there is ample support for your referendum, you must submit your proposal officially to a Google form in the short term (or relevant EOS public forum once that is set up) to be reviewed by the EMLG group (or perhaps several governing bodies tasked with submitting your referendum to ensure the system is not flooded with spam). The person submitting the proposal will be asked for their cryptographic hash and proof of the data points I outlined, as well as relevant contact information and some level of verification that they are in fact a real person. If that should be decided to beI suggest we appoint at least three competing interest groups who are appointed to do this at different vantage points in the ecosystem to combat the potential for favoritism and censorship of unpopular ideas with incumbent power structures taking shape in the ecosystem now.
Referendum Cost & Support - A fee should be associated with proposing a referendum of 20-40 EOS. This serves two purposes: if you cannot collect that much in public support financially, your referendum may not be worth reviewing in the first place. The other part is the fees paid into the system could be put toward RAM staking to run the actual Referendum forum / eosvotes.io initiative. This both mitigates spam and provides funding to host the contract and referendums ongoing.
I believe this is a good start, please let me know your thoughts. We have many challenges ahead to make this work and we need the best and brightest from our community to make this a well thought out process end to end.
In the spirit of this process, I have registered this proposal on-chain here...