2020/2021 PPAU President agenda

Hello everyone. I’m writing here to put my thoughts down about the future of the party. As we are facing a risk of being deregistered in the coming year, it is again time to consider the future of the party. While it’s possible to run electoral platforms without a registered party, it introduces new complexities and difficulties to what is already an exhausting process.

As such I think the party would benefit more from focussing on non-electoral advocacy, at least until we build up a critical mass. In the coming year if I’m re-elected I intend to refocus party to non-electoral activism and advocacy. This will take an enormous financial and labour burden off our volunteers while enabling us to continue having a presence and voice in Australian politics, while not ruling out future Australian Pirate elected members

Without having to save donations for an electoral campaign, this frees up a huge portion of our budget and enables 2 exciting new possibilities for us:

  • A paid administrative position to carry out core party duties (social media, outreach, press releases, volunteer and campaign coordination bill review, submission writing etc)
  • Financial grants or prizes for notable activities that support pirate politics eg songwriting competition, policy writing, tech startups, celebrity endorsements etc.

This refocus will have the added bonus of doing significantly more for our presence and brand which will help the party grow. On Sunday in the candidate AMA session I’ll happily answer more and discuss some of the challenges we have faced (as I see it) over the previous years of party history.

If you are reading this please consider nominating for National Council, and I hope to see on the weekend.

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Miles –

The way I see it, we can be either fish or fowl. A party or a lobby group. We could be a great Free Culture lobby group, or indeed a Basic Income one. (I reckon everything else is covered off already).

But the lobby-group tactics for influencing politics are not the ones a party uses. From the perspective of other parties, if we’re a lobby group, our votes directly are up for grabs; as a party, our preferences are maybe up for grabs.

I don’t want to fear-uncertainty-doubt, but I don’t share your perspective on our budget. Every cent the party directly put into covering the 2019 federal election, plus the fees certain candidates donated, plus everything people spent independently on material, would not hit minimum wage for one year. And as far as donations go, past performance is no guarantee of future performance and all that. Especially considering we’d have a different goal, would have to go get a more rigorous form of tax deductability, and that when we fund-raise for an election we have very tangible goals and timing.

I’ll help make it happen if this is the direction the party wants to go – but also, I want to be in a party that, y’know, contests elections.

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It’s a sad state of affairs for me to come back to for this year’s congress. While I have been MIA for about 12 months and am no longer able to be an active member (of political parties in general) for a number of reasons, I am greatly disheartened to see this. The PPAU branding, rich history, and lens of viewing the world is always something I have admired and supported since I first became a member. I would be greatly sadden to see “The Pirates” disappear from the Australian political landscape.

However over the past 12 months I have also been doing a lot of reflecting on theories of change, the direction of Auspol, the electoral system and how I as an individual can make the most impact towards positive social/economic change.
I am increasingly of the view that Australia doesn’t need more micro-parties on the ballot (if anything the Federal senate system has made it mostly redundant). But we do need the voice of “the Pirates” as a movement. It’s regrettable that in the great micro-party attrition, it appears the PPAU has not won the battle of natural selection to groups like the Science party. I always loved the PPAU commitments to party democracy, engagement, history, values, and the eccentric branding.

I’m not sure if a lobby style group is the way for the Pirates to go, but it depends what that looks like. I personally would be supportive of the Pirates moving to modelling themselves off the Australian Fabian Society - The Australian Pirates Society? I’ve been to quite a few Fabian events, and they do a great job as a civil society org in engaging with the public on issues and also channelling that engagement towards their relevant political party of influence (the ALP) e.g. they do a letters to Labor series of events. It would be relatively simple to turn the Pirates into a sort of membership based society, which then allowed its members to be members/candidates of other political parties, while still subscribing to a values based movement that allows the Pirates to do practically everything it currently does other than contest elections as a party. There’s nothing I suppose to also stop members of such a society from running as independents and also presenting as speakers at Pirate events to talk about and demonstrate support for pirate issues (without per se requiring formal endorsement if that makes legal matters more complicated).

I suppose we’ll hear more about it in the congress in a few hours.

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