"Wait for quiet" (W4Q) allows the passing of proposals with a simple majority (majority of all votes cast) instead of an absolute majority (majority of all eligible votes). The problem with simple majority is that if the voter turnout is low, then it may be possible for a large voter to “snipe” the election. For example, say the large voter wants to vote “yes” but an absolute majority wants “no.” The first votes come in and the trend is towards “no.” A large part of the “no” group will not bother voting due to the early trend. The large voter waits until the last second before the deadline and turns the relative majority around to “yes.” Given more time, the “no” group would have been able to increase their turnout and re-establish a relative majority. The current W4Q takes care of election sniping.
The W4Q algorithm is relatively simple:
- Each proposal begins with the deadline set at 24 hours.
- Any time the vote “flips” from majority "yes" to majority "no," or vice versa, the deadline is adjusted to be the greater of the current deadline, E + (W + (P - E) / 2), where W is a fixed value of 12 hours, P is the original deadline (24 hours) and E is the time elapsed from the beginning of the proposal. This means that a vote flipped 1 hour into the proposal would change the deadline to 24.5 hours, 1 + (12 + (24 - 1) / 2).
- If vote flips keep occuring near the end, causing repeated extensions, the maximum possible deadline would be 48 hours, 48 + (12 + (24 - 48) / 2) = 48.
Learn more about the wait for quiet mechanism on our DFINITY Forum.