Democracy Project

With the parliamentary citizenship crisis rolling on and bipartisan opposition for a federal anti-corruption body remaining, confidence in Australian democracy is pretty low. Our commitment to democratic values is one of the real positives of our party.

In order to help make the case for our politics I propose that we develop a project to outline the problems with Australian democracy on an ongoing basis. We should form the Pirate Democracy Squad to collate and publish research on the various issues facing the Australian democratic system.

The first question we would need to address is ‘what would a good democracy look like?’ From there work out where and why Australia falls short. I envisage the reports would cover everything from corruption and influence buying to the extensive powers granted to the Governor General under the Constitution and everything in between.

Further reading:

Brace yourself NSW – you can expect a return to the bad old days unless ICAC’s funding is fully restored

Are Australians Disenchanted with Democracy?

Is there a Crisis in Australian Democracy?

Who wants to join the Squad? What does everyone else think?


This seems to be some overlap with what the “Open Democracy” Group (search our forums) is trying to achieve, which recently started from scratch

I would suggest working through them because they are non-partisan and already working with other minor parties, so the impact could be broader.

We already have overlap of members with Open Democracy, so our interests are well represented.

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Seems much broader than what I have proposed (not necessarily a problem). How is remote participation going to work? It is Melbourne-centric at the moment, which is useless for people elsewhere. Also keen to use the research to promote the party and get people involved in a project as Pirates, not sure what the relationship is there.

This seems in-scope with what they are trying to achieve - a review of all democratic processes

They are still in the setup phase, as I posted internally they are looking for help getting their own Discourse instance started.

They want to be prodominently online and they have met up in Sydney before.

If they stay nonpartisan that gives them a pathway to becoming a NFP/charity down the line. They can still advocate and rank parties, similar to how APF does.

As for our best interests, well, good question. The way I see it is 1. The political affiliation of people participating in the group is known and 2. if we adopt any Open Democracy recommended policy, we stay on top of the scorecard.

This makes room for lateral movement of members between parties who find out about the other through the Group, but more importantly anyone not in a party will be able to tell the there are a lot of Pirates in the group taking it seriously which might make them take a closer look at being with us.

People into Democracy but not affiliated with a party will see PPAU is a popular choice and scorecard.

There is also open doorways to collaborate with others. It’s well known how fragmented the progressive side of politics is which is collectively holding us back, so there are opportunities for individuals to network with others.

Also, my experience trying to reach out to NFP/Government (when I was looking into Gambling PAX Panel) as a political party makes you tainted because they don’t want to be seen as partisan. Even inter-party stuff is hard. Working on the issue through a fellow nonpartisan organisation will take you further.