🇨🇭 Switzerland's Votes Ongoing: 3 Takeaways for Jupiter DAO

Intro

Roundabout every three months the Swiss can vote on various proposals. As a citizen, I’ve always found that this was the secret sauce of the country that makes it such a peaceful, successful and worthwhile place to live.

It’s for that reason that I wanted to share a few words about certain “hidden” aspects of the system that could be helpful for successfully governing a DAO like Jupiter.

Overview of Swiss Governance

The Swiss parliament consists of 200 members in the National Council and 46 members in the Council of States (legislative). It also has a Federal Council with 7 members (executive) on the national level.

Swiss governance operates on federalism, aiming to delegate as many tasks as possible to the cantonal and municipal levels. This structure is replicated at these lower levels of government.

Semi-Direct Democracy in Switzerland

Swiss citizens over the age of 18 have the power to initiate change through:

  • Initiative: Proposing modifications to the constitution.
  • Referendum: Vetoing new legislation.

Initiative

To change the constitution, a proposal must be made, known as an “initiative.” Anyone can start an initiative, but it requires at least 100,000 signatures to be presented for a national vote.

Referendum

Although the Swiss are not directly involved in law-making, they can veto any law passed by parliament. To initiate a referendum, 50,000 signatures must be collected within 100 days.

Why Switzerland’s System is Effective

The Swiss system empowers citizens and contributes to a high quality of life. However, effective governance involves more than just powerful ground rules. Here are three crucial success factors for Swiss governance that DAOs can learn from:

Grassroots Movement

A clear, well-communicated protocol exists for making proposals, enabling every citizen to participate in the country’s future. This responsibility and ability to act are essential for a healthy democracy.

Two Chambers

Swiss governance balances power between cantons with different populations. While larger cantons have more representatives in the National Council (~50/200 from one canton), the Council of States has equal representation (2/46 from each canton). Both chambers must agree to pass a vote, ensuring balanced decision-making.

Accessibility

To make voting accessible, Swiss citizens receive a leaflet with each poll, explaining:

  • Pros and cons
  • Implications
  • Suggestions from parliament

This ensures informed decision-making with minimal effort from the voter. Hence, more people are empowered to participate and acceptance of the results is higher (which then fosters staying and further contributing to the community/country).

Takeaways for DAOs

  1. Improve Outcomes and Acceptance: Ensure all members understand proposals by providing a single, accessible, digestible source of truth about each proposal (this topic is also covered in the proposal for a VEWG Empowering Distributed Decision-Making: Introducing the Voter Empowerment Working Group).
  2. Selective Inclusion: Involve the community in significant decisions but allow mechanisms to challenge changes through proposals.
  3. Value Small Holders: Empower smaller holders to impact voting outcomes, recognizing their value to the community (i.e., some kind of two chamber model would be helpful)
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The Swiss governance model offers valuable lessons that can be adapted to enhance the governance of our DAO. By promoting grassroots participation, balancing power effectively, and ensuring informed decision-making, we can create a more robust and inclusive governance framework for Jupiter. I look forward to collaborating on implementing these principles and seeing the positive impact they will have on our community.

Thank you once again for this thought-provoking proposal.

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Haha, thanks GPT.

Any idea how we could use these principles in Jupiter DAO? I feel like we lack not only suggestion 1) but also a clear process to 2)…

I like this a lot, and the Swiss indirect democracy has been a long admiration of mine. It is as you say difficult to implement in such a way it is beneficial for the DAO without creating unnecessary noise or abuse.

Easiest solution for 2) that I could think of would be one more step in the voting process that allows for dissenting opinions for instance, but that comes with it’s own set of challenges. I’m thinking a process in which a dissenting opinion gets enough support to push the vote back to the drawing board, or something to that effect.