Bennelong - Call to action!

Ahoy Pirates!

The seat of Bennelong is up for by-election on Saturday 16 December 2017.

We are going to contest this election, but only if we get enough volunteers to do it properly. If there are not enough volunteers by Monday, our campaign will not go ahead. I know that this isn’t much time, but there is a lot of paperwork to nominate a candidate and very little time to do it in as nominations close soon.

We are looking for Volunteers locally who are in commuting distance to Bennelong NSW, and Australia-wide who can offer assistance online. We particularly need a coordinator who is on the ground in Sydney.

Types of volunteers we need in person:

  • Coordinator on the ground in Sydney
  • A candidate
    • John August has expressed interest in being the candidate
    • If there is a contest for this position, this will be handled democratically and in line with our Constitution
  • Help hand out flyers at Polling Places
  • Help with letterbox drops and sign distribution
  • Putting a corflute election sign on your property
  • Engage with local community groups
  • Engage with the public in public areas
  • Tell your family and friends in person
  • Anything else you can offer? - Please come forward

Types of volunteers we need online:

  • Engage with Traditional Media for interviews/stories
  • Engage on Social Media/Forums
  • Tell your family and friends
  • Make a donation
  • Participation on our Discussion forum
    • Strategise
    • Talking points/angles
    • Graphics (Social Media/Print)
    • Flyer design
  • Anything else you can offer? - Please come forward

If you have any connections which you think could be helpful, please come forward.

To volunteer, please reply to this forum topic or email


Background of Bennelong:

  • John August contested the seat in our name in 2016 (but on his own dime)
  • 2016 result was Liberal scored 50.4% of the Vote, but the successful candidate resigned due to the Citizenship Crisis
  • Most recently 50.2% of this electorate voted AGAINST Same Sex Marriage in the Postal Survey
  • A lot of media attention expected for this by-election

Reasons for contesting:

  • Reinvigorate our existing member base.
  • Recruit more Pirates!
  • Spreading the Pirate message (Media/Social Media/Meatspace) locally and Australia wide attention
  • Passing of knowledge from seasoned Pirates to new ones fresh off the boat.
  • Real life election experience, especially for new Pirates
  • New ideas
  • Entire party focused on one geographical area to increase penetration.
  • Formally document efforts to feed back into Official Strategy for future generations of Pirates
  • Commitment to Bennelong, being that we contested the 2016 Federal Election here.
  • It’s our mandate to contest elections, that’s why we are a Political Party not just an advocacy group.

Reasons for not contesting:

  • It’s going to be extraordinarily competitive and we expect that every person and their dog will contest it for attention (as is the case for New England)
  • The demographics point towards this electorate as being extremely conservative. It would be unrealistic to think that we would win, but we’d give it our best shot anyway!
  • We will need to run a donation drive to refill the coffers. It costs $1000 just to run a candidate plus thousands in marketing expenses.

Action 1: Help make an email calling for Volunteers:

Goes out TODAY

Hi, officially volunteering.

Can send physical material for quarterly letterbox drop off in zip code of residence of self.

Also for online discourse. Even projects leading towards the time decoupled dream!

But let us be aware that configuration is ideally kept different from code.

And we may be well served by having a small motley crew of programmers on FreeLancer helping with projects.

One step that is in a good direction but feels like token is world ID ( our token being memberdb ).

Facebook has developed code to reverse engineer code and graphically represent it.

Also an opinion poll would be handy. It was not so long ago that those used to govern the direction of entire governance in Australia. Given our open architecture credentials, our opinion polls may hold trustworthiness.


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I can help on the night before election day and election day itself on the ground, and can help remotely in the lead-up.

For motivation:

Whilst we can’t win, it will be closely watched due to the closeness of the race and is a good vehicle to raise our profile.


I’ll help online/socmed.


Other candidates thus far:

  • Greens (presumably)
  • Affordable Housing Party
  • Conservatives
  • Progressives (huh, they’re alive)

I live in Bennelong and would be happy to help. I can hand out flyers at my polling booth and in letter boxes, put up a sign on my house, distribute signs locally etc


Whilst there has been some good interest to contest Bennelong this time around, personally I don’t think it is enough at this point with the rushed timeframes. We do need a strong campaign manager to assist a candidate on the ground and online, as well as a few more internal people able to work quickly on graphic design and media assets during a campaign.

On the Party process side we’re not really ready. Our Party has some well developed processes in place but I also think we’re lacking active members familiar with them. It’s all on the wiki essentially and doesn’t take much to find, however we don’t have an election ‘to-do list’ developed.

I would recommend we use this by-election to ‘wargame’ the next good opportunity, in an effort to be on the front foot to run in another federal election soon (which is looking more likely each day).


Tom - I respect your view, but would want to know what others think. I think there’s enough momentum to move with, and it is worth doing, though it would have been good to have more people properly put their hat into the ring.

If there’s a clear consensus against, I’ll bow down to that …How do we find out what the consensus is?


My criteria for running is being able to have people at the 10 largest booths and signs at at least another 15. There will be about 35 booths total, judging by last year.

In person:
1 person who emailed
1 people in this topic (yay a new member :smiley: )
1 person volunteered on Whirlpool forums (yay another new member :smiley: )
1 National Council member on the day
1 friend of mine I could probably sway to help
= 5 people handing out flyers, which is appreciated, but no one for a co-ordinator.

(plus a CANDIDATE of course :stuck_out_tongue:)

1 on discourse, National Council, Twisty.

Personally I don’t think that we have the numbers, but we did the right thing to put it out there.

It’s a shame on that aspect, but it’s also good because we took a more realistic approach, willing to challenge an inner city electorate where we have members and relatively short distance to travel, over a country one where local member base might likely be 0 and would be a PITA to get to any do anything.

I live in the Watson electorate and could make the commute, but my availability is unlikely.

A bit sad that we’re only finding out about well defined cutoff points this late in the piece. Still, fair enough. I guess we would want to be confident we could do a better job than last time, and that does seem a good way of describing that.

Anyway, nice to think I can get along with other stuff. I’ll see if I can stick my oar in during the campaign, and/or help other candidates for the other parties.

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I think it would be good to get a candidate in there just for the exposure too.
It would be good to get the pirate/georgist approach mentioned somehow in the media.
Especially with Greens and Affordable Housing Party both contesting on the issue of housing affordability,
I realise it basically needs to be done this week. I could help handout flyers too.

I said 15 people in email a few days earlier…

Anyway, those are just my criteria, nothing official.

An Election Committee would need to be formed and motions put through the National Council, for example.

Given the current state of politics it seems to me that forming an Election Committee would be a good idea … regardless.


If we do run a Pirate Party candidate I’d be willing to help out at pre-poll locations on my days off.