Member outreach - a new model of PPAU campaign organising

The right to privacy is one of our fundamental values, and the main driver behind our activism as a party. We were founded on issues such as government encryption busting, social media data harvesting, omnipresent cameras and facial recognition. In the new digital age we stand as one of the few political parties who understand and care about the effects of technology on liberty and democracy.

But with the dangers of technology comes power and new ways of doing things. Non profit groups such as The Wilderness Society, Getup, Greenpeace as well as political parties such as the Democratic Party in the US and the Greens or Labour party in Australia are all using comprehensive databases of supporter info which combine with data analytics, campaign targetting, supporter profiling and personalised outreach. These new modes of digital organising are credited with helping Obama win in 2009, and since have transformed political and other campaign organising around the globe. “Big data” has likewise helped massively in other areas such as research, education, medical and policy areas.

As a digitally literate party we must not fall behind in making use of technology for the benefit of all Australians. While better informed than other parties in the technology space, that means we are better informed to manage the risks and protect the data we collect.

As National President, it has been my role to support and drive the national election campaign and my number one question from Pirate candidates and organisers around Australia has been “How do I get in contact with party members nearby?”. Up until now, I have had to tell them that our privacy protections in the constitution are so strict that it’s not possible.

But now that needs to change. No longer can we lag behind other parties in using the power of data for good. Our party privacy protections must be amended to allow, with strict protections, the usage of member contact data for the purpose of campaign organising by the party.

I propose the following amendment:

Privacy Policy Update

Amend section “Information collected by or application forms” to add the following section at the bottom:

If you consent, your contact details may be shared with Pirate Party Australia coordinators in your area for the sole purpose of organising events, campaigns or other related party business such as sharing news with you relevant to our platform. Such coordinators are vetted by the National Council and appointed at their discretion.

Membership Update

Save the following new preferences for each member:

  • I consent to being contacted by PPAU coordinators local to me for electoral campaign purposes
  • I consent to being contacted by PPAU coordinators local to me for non-electoral party business such as crew meetups, events or local news of interest

Add the above 2 preferences as tick boxes in the member area and have both preferences updated at membership creation/renewal time. If no previous option is selected (ie for new members or when this proposal is first officially implemented) the default option for these preferences is enabled.

Local Coordinator Vetting Process

In the past this has been an adhoc process operating off National Council discretion. I propose we have the following conditions for any specific coordinator to be given access to their consenting local members contact details:

  • The coordinator has been a party member for a minimum of 9 months
  • In the judgement of the NC, the coordinator understands, respects and values the privacy of our members
  • In the judgement of the NC, the coordinator has the minimum basic skills required to be a volunteer coordinator.
  • The matter may be referred to the DRC by any party member in the event of a disagreement over coordinator.

This is a move in the right direction, and has my support.


Good work. Well thought through with a good solution.

I support the proposition.

Overdue, but welcome nonetheless.

question: what would be the default option?

Default would be “let local coords contact me”.

1 Like

I agree with the intention and stated purpose; however I personally don’t like the approach. For a tech-savvy / tech-centric party, we should not look to copy and paste the methods / approaches of other parties.

I am personally not in favour of collecting data. For data to be effective, analytics is required. What this means is we will be studying our support base. And then expending time and effort reaching out for one-on-one interaction and engagement over a medium (i.e. the phone and/or email) that is at best anachronistic.

To sell you my vision, let me make an impassioned plea.

  • Who are you? - I want to personally know what a Pirate is and what a Pirate does. You people are hackers right? - debunk the misconception!

  • What is this Australian Pirate Party? - Never head of them. Oh wait, Assange right? No, sorry, that’s Wikileaks. Sorry, what did you say again?

  • Why should I care? - I mean, I care about the wildlife, but who cares about Copyright Laws? Surely the Government wouldn’t be interested in what I do on the Internet?

I want you to speak to me directly. Engage with me. Not just once, but in a consistent manner. Make me come to you instead of the other way around.

Focus and learn what Influencers / Youtubers do on social media. Create an organic following and a community based on the authenticity of the Pirate doing and sharing what they love and are passionate about, documenting it daily or a couple of days in-between and posting regularly. Engage with the community directly through social media (again, because they are coming to you, and not the other way around).

All without the need to capture and store data.

It’s going to be hard work, but what’s stopping you from picking up that camera?


Without commenting on the bulk of your post (I want to agree, but don’t have my thoughts sufficiently in order yet): to remain a registered political party we have to collect what information we do anyway.

Thumbs Up

Note: I made a few grammatical edits (nothing major to alter the meaning of the original text).

Good points, strong ideas. This is what I want to see for influencers and organisers - we just need more of them to step up with making content. Enough talking, more videos! Over the election period, we’ve already seen more of this video and graphic media content.

1 Like