Polkadot Network
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Polkadot Network

Let the hustings begin…

Polkadot is on the cusp of launch and the DOT holders must move to elect the first Polkadot council.

It has been a busy week already, with the first vote started on Polkadot to finally determine how many Planck we shall place in a standard DOT. As that continues, a second feature will be enabled on the Polkadot network’s chain candidate: Council elections. If this all goes to plan, then the following upgrade will be to enable all governance functionality and remove the Web3 Foundation’s administrative (“Sudo”) privileges, phases 3 and 4 in our launch plan. In the time it takes to execute a single transaction, the “Chain Candidate” suffix will be dropped and the true Polkadot mainnet will be born, paving the way to enabling DOT transfers.

But before we can unleash the full governance features of Polkadot, an initial council must be elected and as of Polkadot runtime version 15, this can now happen.

The Council

The Polkadot Council can be considered Polkadot’s main executive body and not entirely dissimilar from the role of a government in a parliamentary democracy. It exists with two chief powers: firstly, in aggregate, it has control over any funds contained in the treasury. At least 60% of those members must agree on any given expense for it to be approved and transfered from the treasury. Around 45,000 DOT are in the treasury at present.

Secondly, it can control exactly half of the legislative timetable, scheduling referenda at least once every two months. This is interspersed with the public referendum queue, which the council cannot control.

The council is a pluralistic body, comprised of 13 individual Polkadot accounts. Those accounts are determined through an vote of DOT holders, and it is this functionality which has now been enabled. The vote happens using the Phragmén election algorithm, in a manner very similar to how we select validators for the network.

Any DOT holder may stand as a candidate in the elections by posting a small (1 DOT) deposit. Any DOT holder may signal their approval of one or more candidates and the candidates with the most DOT backing will be selected for the council.

Those who didn’t get quite enough backing to be elected to the council (the twenty runners-up) will retain their votes for the next round of elections which is daily while we’re still spinning things up, but would normally be monthly. As a spam-prevention measure, those candidates with even less backing will be dropped and will lose their deposit.

The hustings…

Running for office is not something which should necessarily be underestimated, but here are some simple tips that might help the fledgling Polkaticians…

  • Register your identity: If people don’t know or trust who you are they’re probably not going to vote for you!
  • Be active: Whether on Riot, Twitter, Reddit, join the conversation, speak up and let people know who you are.
  • State your vision: Whatever your medium, make it clear what you stand for, what you would like to see Polkadot become and how you would use the council resources to get there.
  • It pays to advertise: There isn’t any single place you can go to address all DOT holders. Be proactive and go hunt those voters whereever they’re hiding.

Let the hustings begin!

Head over to Riot or Polkassembly to chat about the council and its elections. Head to Polkadot JS Apps, for claiming and voting. More information on Polkadot can be found on its website. The latest v0.8 client release may be found on the GitHub releases page.

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Medium account/ publication of the Polkadot Network

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Gavin Wood

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