I think Brendan raises quite valid points. We have as a party moved past the single issue if copyright and patent reform, which our Pirate banner encapsulated well.
I was a candidate in the 2012 ACT legislative assembly election and did a few media interviews and had to explain to many people about who we are, what we stand for and why we had such a silly name. One of the most common responses I got was that while they really liked what we were about, they could never seriously vote for a party with such a stupid name. During the Griffith by-election where Melanie came in a solid 4th, I watched Antony Green try to avoid saying our name, I think he said it once, and it looked painful for him to legitimise what I think he saw as a joke name.
The first major article that we got in the Canberra Times ahead of the 2012 election, we had a photo shoot, and the journalist told us about how they lined the story up because they thought we were a joke party in the vein of the sun ripened tomato party, or the party party party party. They were disappointed that we were serious, and the only other time we got much attention from them was when they put my face on the front page and talked about the drama that Falkvinge stirred up with his child porn trolling blog.
I agree with MarkG’s assessment that using the pirate name gave us a floor of votes, but has also created a ceiling not that far above it.
I was there to see when iiNet’s chief regulatory officer mocked Brendan for the pirate name. I think he basically said that he liked our policies, but can’t seriously talk to someone with such a stupid name as pirate. Goodbye.
Apart from the Icelandic party, the Pirate name has gone nowhere but backwards in recent times, and now carries nothing but baggage.
So, for the above reasons, I am in favour of a name change, but I do not like Libertarian Left.
I don’t like the inclusion of the term Left, as I feel it implies that all of our policies are left wing, whereas many people would consider that some of the policies lie to what they see as the right of the spectrum. Right/Left also appear to be weighted to an individual perspective; far right Libs see Labor as lefties, we see Labor as moderately right wing conservatives.
I prefer the name Social Libertarians, to describe our balance between social responsibility and individual autonomy. Bernie Sanders seems to be proving that socialism can be retaken, especially amongst the younger generation that didn’t live through the cold war reds under the bed fear mongering that linked communism with socialism.
Or we can move away from from trying to describe our ideology in our name, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything in Australia with the number of parties that have incongruous names, and instead try and describe what we think our demographic is.
We had a lot of overlap with the Occupy movement, which still has simmering discontent with the lack of solutions to what triggered the GFC, and growing discontent with the systems that are causing this generation of young adults to have a lower level of prosperity than their parents with rising housing, education and health costs and stagnating wages.
We could call ourselves the 99%ers, or the millennial party, or another name that describes the people that we represent, rather than an ideology.