Any citizen can create a proposal. When a proposal is submitted, a json data object containing the proposal parameters is uploaded to the IPFS decentralized storage. The IPFS link is then timestamped via a data-embedding Marscoin transaction by the Marscoin blockchain for notarization purposes and to expose them to any other nodes/servers that watch the Marscoin blockchain and might offer up this information to other decentralized participants of the Martian Republic.
What does it look like to create a proposal? The Martian Republic interface comes with a basic proposal editor. Besides a self explanatory title and proposal description form the citizen proposing a new piece of code-change (ammendment), rule change, etc. selects from a pre-set drop down the type of proposal he has in mind. This impacts a series of parameters which can also be fine-tuned:
The proposal editor
Those presets include:
Each selected preset explains in a text-based "Total Citizen Commitment" preamble what the particular preset would require for this proposal to pass. The higher the threshold the more weight a proposal carries.
Let's take an example. In the case of selecting the preset "Law" the Total Citizen Commitment block explains:
The criteria you selected above require a 80% percentage of the entire Martian Republic citizenry to participate in this proposal. The duration for casting a vote on this proposal is set to 30 days. To pass successfully and be adopted at least 65% have to vote in favor of this proposal. This would indicate that 52% percentage of the population would support this proposal. It will automatically expire after 2672 sols (4 years). Any proposal that reaches the threshold of required participants via ballots requested will automatically be considered a bill. Any bill that passes the threshold of required votes becomes part of the Constitution (if it is a code change to the system) or an active piece of legislation. Any such law can be amended or terminated with the same or more citizen voting in favor of a change before it naturally expires.
The main parameters are run-time of the bill and its necessary minimum threshold of affirmative votes. These parameters are not set individually but determined by the Constitution ("source code") itself - open to further discussion and modification.
Thus the citizens are in full control of their own governance system: They explore ideas via the forum, they make various proposals and try to garner support for these. Any code changes are actual software pull requests ("patches") that get merged into the Codebase (Constitution) itself and become effective with the next automated reboot of the system. If they are simply rules, laws, regulations they are visible in the archive where they show their origination date, their expiration date and their voting and forum history.
A view on the open proposal page
Once a proposal gets submitted, the proposal creator is asked to fund the proposal notarization transaction from his wallet (a small Marscoin amount prevents someone from spamming the system). Upon successful submission the Martian Republic automatically generates a forum entry in the "Proposal" discussion section with the name of the proposal as reference.
Example of a proposal notarized on the blockchain with link to IPFS for details