Call for Congress Discussion Topics

Hi everybody.

We are less than two weeks away from this years Pirate Congress.

Last year we had a number of formal Discussion Topics on offer and we covered:

  • Freedom of Speech: what are acceptable limits
  • The why of the Pirate Party
  • Civil liberties in an online world

So far this year we have had a popular suggestion from Simon Frew for “Constitutional Reform for Australia

In addition to this we also had a number of topics last year that were options but never manage to get to.
This list is below:

  • How can we be more engaging in the “real world”?
  • The Pirate Party’s position on becoming a republic.
  • To encrypt or not to encrypt? That is the question.
  • What does “non-commercial” actually mean?
  • International cooperation between Pirate Parties.
  • The Pirate Party’s position on the G20. (*Note: this topic was specific to Brisbane at the time, so not relevant for this years Congress)

Please suggest in this thread any other topics you may wish to discuss at this years Congress, or rate one of the above topics as something you would wish to cover this year.

We will again aim to cover the most popular three topics but may get to more if time permits.

I really think a Republic (or not) shouldn’t be decided at the party level, and needs to be a conscious choice.
I dont think it should be a topic for discussion.

Maybe their should be a topic about internal party organisation, ‘Should we raise/allocate money to pay a secretary ?’

(i really need to read before i post, so many typos)

I really think a Republic (or not) should be decided at the party level, and needs to be a conscious choice.
I dont think it should be a topic for discussion.

The discussion topics aren’t decision making enterprises, more just hashing out ideas. If we were to adopt a republic etc as a formal party decision it’d get developed as a policy and raised for a vote and congress and then voted on party wide for adoption.

The result of the discussion topic could inform the policy development direction, but it would still go through the formal processes before the party decided on a stance.

Maybe they should be a topic about internal party organisation, ‘Should we raise/allocate money to pay a secretary ?’

Not a bad idea. In fact this has been raised from time to time, including on the NC etc. It’s a good idea as a paid staffer would be of immense assistance (especially as we are all volunteers trying to squeeze in party work between family and jobs).

It likely wouldn’t be the “Secretary” role per se, the paid position would possibly, i’d suggest (as others have), be a non-elected position, rather a paid employee of the party who assists the party administration and those in elected positions.

That way the person can be hired/fired as need be (if they work out well, dont work out, do their job well etc etc) Coupling a paid position with an elected mandate could be a recipe for trouble, potentially anyway. At least at this stage of the party’s development and budget.

There’s also other issues needing discussion around this such as membership payments vs crowdfunding etc etc (ie how we afford to pay such a person)

I mentioned Secretary because its the one position that is required in order to have a registered political party, and one of the most important in keeping things running smoothly, and hard to find volunteers.
But if a paid person is another role that takes pressure of the secretary that would be just as good IMO.
Regarding funding, i expect it would be a part-time position, and more a question of how many hours we could afford and are they doing something people arent happy to volunteer for.
I was thinking if we paid a member (elected or not) we would probably get value for money because they are “emotionally invested” already, and its probably not all about the money. But its a good point about keeping elected members separate from paid positions.

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We have topics that must be discussed, which are:

  • Membership engagement and utilisation of social media
  • Internal party organisation and paid positions

We have a very detailed proposal from a member on the first item that will be included. The second is something I spoke about in my taking a break post on the website, in that I believe we need to have paid employees to take the Party forward. This also must be discussed as it flows into party finances, engagement, etc.

These are the most pertinent, and everything else is arguably secondary.

If there is a detailed proposal on member engagement, we should have access to it now, so it can be considered before the Congress. It would make for a much more productive discussion, rather than everyone having to digest new ideas before quality discussion can occur.

In the same vein this is Brendan’s post about his taking a break.

The topics Brendan proposed should probably be discussed in conjunction with each other because they are dealing with how the organisation operates. If there are introduction speeches on these issues, perhaps they should be directly after each other so it all can be discussed together as they seem to be very interrelated.