A 2016 Congress Discussion Thread.
This is not an official discussion thread. Intentionally under General discussion, not Congress as topic breadth of coverage is larger.
So lets start.
I think congress this year will be very important for the survival of PPAU.
Our current situation:
- We are from a legacy of socially responsible activism and genuinely visionary thought leadership for the future of democracy in an information enabled society.We have a voice and a vision that people want and need.
- Our policy breadth AND depth is significant and meaningful. The hard work and debates it took to get here are an asset of the Party and a testament to real good done by our membership.
- Our brand is interesting and relevant. What Pirate Party is, what it stands for has NEVER been more relevant for Australia than now.
- Tired Leadership.
- Complete lack of strategic vision. As in why this party should lead Australia over all others.
- Inneffective Management. Not they are not bad people, They do put a lot into it. But our internal engagement is tumbleweed emoji level. Its too hard and too boring to contribute.
- Factions. Don’t believe the BS that we are too small for factions. There are small organisationally mediocre groups pushing agendas to make us even smaller and even more irrelevant because they are afraid of the dangers of growth and the risk they may need to open their mind just a little to accommodate more. I would actually respect them if they were attracting people to the party and making us stronger. They are not. This is your writing on the wall btw. I’m coming for you.
- Technology - our technology is rubbish. Teenage nerds with a total budget of $0 have vastly superior technology infrastructure for co-ordinating large scale international real world and online cultural and organisation outcomes. Our technology is flat out rubbish for building a modern internet cultural and political movement.
Now straight off, I’m a big supporter of what Simon Frew is pushing with a strategic agenda. I’m behind him 100%. I will quibble about the priority of various bullet points in his lists, but that is of less concern. Frew is good. Support the Frew. Ultimately, if broadening awareness of his pushing for a strategy is all that can be achieved from posting about this here, it’s a good start.
Roadblocks. Now there is an almost despair amongst many of the older members I have talked to. Even some of our leaders come across as thinking it’s all too hard.
- We don’t have enough people
- We don’t have resources
- People think the name is a joke.
That’s the 3 headlines.But lets run a thought experiment on this. In our mind, lets solve one of those problems. Lets say resources. A tech billionaire gifts Pirate Party Australia three million dollars. Lets call him Kim DotCom just to pick a random name, How many of our problems does this actually solve? Where are we after another election cycle? How much more advanced and relevant is our party to Australia?
In my mind, the answer is - actually not that much different. We blow half the budget on some awareness campaigns, build a vanity IT project which is staffed by friends of our leadership, buy some ads which are popular for about a week with the Brunswick Rd cafe set and a couple of hardcore libertairan tinfoil hat nerds in the country. And then its gone. We are back to where we were. “Nah I voted Greens, but man those were some great ads you had back then. Want some of my spliff?” will be the last political reference to it in a discussion.
Our roadblock to success as a party is deeper than these three issues. They are the symptom. Not the cause.
What we need: Priority 1 & 2
- Leadership. A group with vision and conviction to see it through.
- Organisational Effectiveness. People, Systems and Processes overhauled to actually help us do and achieve more faster, and easier than ever before.
Thats it. Thats what we need right now. Without this, this party is about to dissipate into a third rate group that will be taken over by a second rate party. All your work and contribution will be consumed for another parties vision, and worse than that - the meaningful vision of the future that the Pirate Party exists to help bring into existence will never be.
The name debate, when it happens at Congress is a bad attempt at solving the three symptoms I raised. It is a variation thought exercise to the money injection solution. The strategy is flawed. I will be as actively as I possibly can campaigning to retain the name Pirate Party Australia
Now, as politics is “decided by those who show up” this Congress, this time, its REALLY important to show up. One of the biggest barriers is our utter garbage technology platforms and social engagement within the party. So if you do not make an effort, you are going to get more of the same. Voices like mine - and there are others, there are in fact many will be drowned out by the few using boredom and ineffectiveness as tools of control of your votes.
The party deserves more, needs more than reactive yawn inspiring culture of fear of offending that permeates how we not just talk to the electorate, but how we talk to ourselves. We are Pirates. We are activists. We exist to storm the political system because it does not work for the world that is already here and doubly so for the world that is on the horizon. We should be expected to BE FUCKING OFFENSIVE because our message is important and sometimes shock and raw brute force of politics is what is required.
Get your ass to Congress. In person. Physically. If you cannot afford it, talk to me. I want to organise real participation in making this Congress meaningful, because if we don’t I genuinely think it will be the last one as a functionally independent political party.
To this end, I have gone to the effort of writing this massive wall of text because there needs to be someone holding a banner up for people to rally around. So I’m doing it here. I’m here for the party and it’s vision of the future. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t need or want any job or title that can come from this for my personal linkedin profile / resume. Being a Senator is a pay cut and I’m sure as shit not interested in media attention. This is a real deal idealist taking a stand. The party needs help. I’m here. So I’m doing it.
Get on board, or if not, at least damn well turn up. If you want to get on board this sort of view, we need to talk and get organised. I want to help put together a coordinated team to lead and run the party. In case you were ever wondering in politics, how that happens… it happens like this. One person taking a stand, makes a position, it attracts others, then negotiating with other groups that started the same way. This is it.
So PM me, email me, talk to me. I’ll set up some technology infrastructure, we will talk more as a group, and then we will have a plan that delivers a vision for Pirate Party Australia to present to Congress.