Full review of current Party Constitution

Below are the questions and comments posed by @dcrafti at the CRC meeting. I said I’d provide my feedback on the forum as a form of live minuting and as discussion. Unfortunately, this took me way longer than I thought, but here it is!

Everyone feel free to add your own discussion to this as well.

All quotations are from @dcrafti (with some minor stylistic modifications where required) with quotations from the Constitution where necessary.

My replies are below the quotations.


  • Para 2, sentence 2:

Overbearing and restrictive private monopolies constructed via regimes of antiquated, unfair and unbalanced laws which prevent the free development of culture and ideas are detrimental to financial, economic and cultural outcomes for the citizens of Australia.

Too many words. Needs to be broken up.

Patches welcome (from anyone).

  • Para 3, sentence 1:

Change “International” to “international”.

Patches welcome (from anyone).

  • Para 3, sentence 2:

The basic tenets of this movement are free culture, civil liberty and intellectual rights reform.

Should there be a reference to social inclusion? It seems the party has moved towards this. Intellectual property reform could possibly be inferred from free culture and civil liberty.

First sentence of the Constitution: “Pirate Party Australia strives to protect and expand civil and digital liberties, social equality and freedom of culture.” I think this is sufficient.

  • Objective list, point 3:

To educate and encourage other political entities to adopt our objectives, whether that be through advocacy or preference allocation.

Unclear if that means we offer preferences in exchange for parties adopting our objectives.

It is unclear by design as it allows strategy to be adapted within the framework of the principles as necessary.


  • Article 2(2):

comprised -> composed, " formally elected" -> “formally elected, or appointed in the case of the party agent”.

Grammar change fine, although I’d see if there isn’t a better way to solve the party agent wording. Seems this was simply overlooked when we flipped it to be a responsibility of the Registered Officer.

  • Article 2(4):

Uncertainty for someone who wants to be party agent as to whether they should run for other positions.

As above. You can no longer run for Party Agent.

  • Article 2.1:

Should there be a definition of what a state/territory coordinator is?

NC Resolution 2011-4 is sufficient, as this position is meant to be temporary until state branches exist, in which case the role is fulfilled by the local council.

  • Article 3.1(3):

“must be” -> “can only be”

There are parts of the Constitution that preclude that phrasing. See 9.4(1) for one example.

  • Article 3.1(4):

It’s possible to have a quorum that is unable to accept the previous minutes.

This is by design, but could be lowered to “the minimum to achieve a two/thirds majority of those present.” to make deadlocks much less likely. In practice, this hasn’t yet been an issue, but could become one.

  • Article 3.2.7:

Registered officer: is this merely the party agent?

The other way around. explains this.

  • Article 4.1(1)©:

We should start allowing members who are members of other parties as long as it is disclosed, so we can prevent stacking and know who to submit to the AEC.

Being discussed here.

  • Article 4.1(4):

“membership fees” -> “applicable membership fees”

Unsure why this would be a necessary change.

  • Article 4.2.1:

It’s not clear if committees can exclude any members or whether they must accept anyone who wants to be involved.

4.1.2(d)'s wording could be improved. (e) uses the word “defined”, and I would argue “define” encompasses the terms of references determined by the National Council or Congress, but that could be clarified.

  • Article 4.4:

What does “abusive” man in this context?

It is left up to the National Council to determine, and up to the National Congress to provide retribution for if the power is misused. This is something that could be considered in an overhaul of the DRC and related provisions, as I proposed in my kickstart post in the original thread.

  • Article 6.3:

No definition of the purpose of the policy meeting. Coincide is used in contradictory ways.

A definition could be added, and when originally drafted I had interpreted from 4.2.1(1)(f) “Policy Formulation, Development and Adoption proceedings”. The wording drifted from that so a definition would help.

I am not reading how coincide is being used contradictorally. Please explain.

  • Article 9.4(3):

Ambiguous majority: “majority vote of the members at a National Congress”. Is it even the right type? Is have thought 2/3 majority of the National Congress quorum.

Missed in the last update of the Constitution. The part: " and may only be resurrected by a majority vote of the members at a National Congress." could be removed and replaced to say the National Council may not use the powers to resurrect the provisions again without an amendment proposal being put to a Congress.

  • Article 10.1(5):

I thought there was an amendment already to ensure that each person on the National Council could only have one vote, independent of how many roles they are filling, but I couldn’t see it.

Seems it was overlooked. Patches welcome.

  • Article 11(1):

Implies that every National Council motion forms a part of the constitution, which conflicts with earlier that the constitution can only be modified by the members at the congress.

I would suggest re-reading it, as I can’t see how you’re interpreting it this way. If this isn’t in error, please explain.

  • Article 11(2):

Doesn’t sound right. Maybe that’s some kind of standard term, but how can we say that anything our council does for the party (like paying for services) is not legally binding?

Could be replaced with a proper indemnity clause. Patches welcome.

  • Article 12(1):

At the National Congress, members of the Party must elect three (3) members who will form the Dispute Resolution Committee, as per the requirements of Article 10.1.

Proposed paragraph:

If any committee members, elected at a previous Congress, have not completed serving their term by the end of the congress, their position will not be considered up for reelection, and the number of members to be elected will be reduced accordingly."

This would merely be adding what is already convention, so I have no qualms.

  • Article 12(5):


(a) This section does not apply if a policy or bylaw that would prevent referral to the DRC is the policy or bylaw being disputed.

Unsure if this is actually needed due to 2(5).


Should any of the bylaws be incorporated into the constitution?

I only see that 2013-03 should be incorporated. All others are either temporary or related to the management of the National Council, that are only particularly of interest to those members for organising themselves in a transparent way.

I’ll add stuff about my other proposals later. :smiley:

Effective competition is essential to ensure the development of our financial, economic and cultural values. Uncompetitive business practices shall not be permitted to impair the development of free culture and ideas.

(my 2c)

Here’s a list of proposed changes.

I’ve taken Brendan’t explanations into account (and other people’s comments about membership levels) and kept the changes pretty minimal.

@dcrafti, that link was broken somehow - the text was included as a URL. Fixed.

I will assume the entire secretariat has been busy for the entire week and just couldn’t find the time to put these on the wiki, so I’ve done it.


@dcrafti, please finish adding your rationales for the items that do not have any.