The Council and Council Elections

The Council and Council Elections
(co authored with @Ash)

The Centrifuge Council plays a vital role in the governance of Centrifuge to represent the interest of stakeholders. Any on-chain CFG stakeholder can become elected to the council. The Centrifuge Chain Council currently comprises a body of 7 elected members (which could increase) who have the ability to vote on referenda and propose motions that other on-chain token holders can vote on.

The Altair Council is about to launch and it follows a very similar structure to Centrifuge Governance, this ‘primer’ is intended to give information on what to expect.

The primary goal of both councils are to propose practical and helpful referenda and veto potentially malicious proposals that may compromise Centrifuge chain or Altair. Altair will also require governance of its treasury.

Council parameters

For proposals to the council to pass, a strict majority of members in favor with no member exercising a veto is required. Vetoes can only be exercised once by a member for a single proposal, therefore if the same proposal is resubmitted it can no longer be vetoed by the same member.

Council motions that do not reach a unanimous vote while still obtaining a super-majority vote will move to public referendum. In this case the option that the majority of the public votes on will be enacted.

Proposals that do not pass a majority within the council do not make it to a public referendum. In situations where the council is in unanimous agreement, proposals only need to pass a less-than-majority threshold in a public vote for approval. The council can also fast-track proposals. Fast tracking a vote means the voting period is shortened (the current minimum is 3hrs).


For Altair, after nominees have submitted their ‘Introduction’ in the Forum in order to submit candidacy for the council election, a candidate submits their candidacy with a 500 AIR bond (The bond will be reserved for the duration of your candidacy and membership). Each person submitting their candidacy will need also100 AIR to set an identity on chain. This amount is forfeit in the case of non election.

Council members are elected in rolling elections, with one council member up for election every two weeks from a list of candidates who nominate themselves. The term of each council member is determined by the size of the council, which will change over time due to the adaptive nature of Polkadot governance. This means that one council member’s term length is equal to 2 weeks times the number of council members. For example, if there are 6 council members, one council member’s term lasts for 12 weeks (6x2).

For Centrifuge there are currently 7 council members. For Altair we will look to establish a council of 7 and it can be increased to 10 depending upon nominations.

Council elections are handled by the same PhragmĂ©n election process that selects validators from the available pool based on nominations. However, otherwise token holders’ votes for councillors are not related to any of the nominations they may have on validators.

At the end of each term, the PhragmĂ©n election algorithm runs and the result will choose the new councillors based on the vote configurations of all voters. If the same person gets a majority twice they can be elected again. If the vote changes between the terms didn’t move candidates on the board, they all or some would be re-elected again. The election also chooses a set number of runners up that will remain in the queue with their votes intact.

Among the elected council members will be a prime member whose vote will act as the default vote if other members fail to vote before the timeout. This helps to prevent abstaining of votes from other members to avoid soft-rejection or soft-approval of motions.

Voting for Councillors

All stakeholders are free to signal their approval of any of the registered candidates in the off chain process (i.e. in the Forum Introductions posted by each nominee).

Token holders can vote also for candidates on-chain (current councilors as well as new candidates).

(example of what voting looks like)

When the term is about to be changed, which is every 7 days for Centrifuge and every 10 for Altair, votes are counted and top candidates will be elected as new council members until next term. Token holders can change their votes anytime and the change will be reflected in the next term.

The Democracy upgrade (Runtime Upgrade 3) will allow people to vote for councilors. The period for posting introductions will run from now until when this democracy functionality is enabled (expected week starting late December 2021)

Questions and comments, ask below
:books: :balance_scale: :hammer_and_wrench:


Excellent @Kate_Centrifuge and @Ash . Excellent nominations for Council Elections till date and we except few if not more community members to put their candidacy, it would be quite exciting and watch decentralized Altair governance in play.