Official Strategy for 2017-18

The National Council are working on the strategy of the party, and you are invited to take part in it too. This is being done in plain sight rather than National Council meetings so that everyone in the party can be part of it too, so you will see a mix of National Council members and regular members in here.

The strategy discussion will take place in this thread and there will also be a meeting on IRC/Matrix at 9:00PM AEST 11/09/2017. This is where we will get a feel for which ideas have support. There may be further meetings if there is a lot of interest or maybe even an Official Working Group.

We are quite concerned with participation rates within the existing member base. Winning back existing Pirates to become re-engaged with us to become active members is the main focus most immediate focus of this discussion.

Long-term planning and bringing in new Pirates is also important and on topic,.

As we build on this, topics may be split out and if they are, use the existing link below to continue with that line of discussion if there is one


General Direction

  • Your opinion on where you think that the party should be heading

Re-engagement with existing members

  • @Simon: We should be promoting loyalty. We know for sure that our existing members are interested or have been in been interested in being involved with us in the past.
  • @Simon: With the new members area (which has almost completed rollout), now memberships will be allowed to lapse (with 30 days notice) so it is important to try engaging with inactive members while they are still members in case they would decide to let it lapse.
  • @Simon is putting together a Monthly Newsletter
  • Focus on promoting Local Meetups, Contributing to Policy, and hot topics on Discuss.
  • More reliance on Discuss as a central point of engagement.
  • “Getting Started in Pirate Party Australia” guide
  • your suggestions or build on above

Local Crews/Meetups

  • @Frew is working on State Branch Formation under a new structure, and is currently re-working the Branch Formation Working Group as the vessel to implement this.
  • @miles_w is the QLD co-ordinator and is quite active on this at the moment.
  • @tserong is the TAS co-ordinator.
  • We are really looking for a NSW co-ordinator because there is currently a monthly meetup (still active) which nobody is in charge of.
  • We are looking for co-ordinators in other States or Cities too. Even if you are regional, that’s fine too.
  • @alexjago is working on a guide for running a meetup
  • your suggestions or build on above


  • Running a ToR exit node - @pault4
  • @Simon: Is it a good idea to ask a commercial VPN service (or a few) for a special promo to be used with the “Data Retention Protection Guide”
    (with appropriate disclaimers that we don’t endorse a particular VPN) to make adoption easier for newcomers, and potentially faster speeds than ToR
    • A lot of interest in Pirate at the moment due to around round of Website blocking
    • Crosspost to other social media, i.e.
    • reddit /r/australia
    • OzBargain - come for the cheap VPN deal, stay for the message
  • Panel at PAX AUS 2017 Topic: Censorship - by @Ben
  • your suggestions or build on above


  • @Simon: Perrmanent Merch store?
  • @Simon: Members Area - What should the suggested amount for a renewal of membership look like?
    • Note that $0.00 is a valid option
  • your suggestions or build on above

Alliance/Collaboration with other parties

  • Reason Party
    • @rundll will elaborate (Please hold off discussion on this until @rundll chimes in)
  • Flux Party
    • @miles_w will elaborate (Please hold off discussion on this until @miles_w chimes in)
  • Liberal Democrats
    • @Simon thinks that we should Pirate some ideas/policy around Civil Liberties, not all of it though.
    • Open door to collaborate on the policy which we both agree with?
  • Nick Xenophon Team
    • @Simon thinks that they also have some good policy ideas worth Pirating, even if vague.
    • Open door to collaborate on the policy which we both agree with?
  • The Greens
    • @Frew Not too far away politically
    • @Frew Strong Activism to learn some things from
    • @Frew Not confident about being able to work with NSW Greens at the moment
  • Science Party
    • @Frew Most common to us in terms of approach, principles and outlook
  • your suggestions or build on above

Other areas

  • your suggestions
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So, umm… I am not sure that IS the main focus of our strategy discussion. Strategy is about achieving goals. Our goals are to change policy and ultimately politics in Australia. Engaging members is important, and part of a good strategy going forward, but it is not what we are trying to do here.

What we are trying to do is be an organisation that people want to join, that people want to contribute to (including people who are already members) and want to vote for. We want everyone in Australia to think of us when they think of digital and civil rights, we want everyone to think that we have the solutions for the future.

Re-engaging members is a means to that end, important work to do because we need more people putting in more hours so we can do more. It will be a part of the strategy going forward, but not the strategy itself.

We need to be focused outward a lot more. We need to do things to challenge attacks on human rights, on civil liberties, on injustices too. Having good policy is worthless if no-one bothers to look at it and if no-one bothers to try to make it a reality. (IMO the party focuses way too much on policy and not enough on campaigning, but it’s what people want to work on.)

Doing stuff needs to be more than having a nice press release(PR), we haven’t got media from a PR for months, journalists are not interested unless we are doing something interesting to report, our opinions are not enough.

Local Crews and Meetups stuff is all good. Will try and get the state branch stuff sorted out before the strategy meeting.

The Greens are close to us politically and we should work with them where we can. They do a lot of actual activism that we can collaborate on with them. NSW is probably the worst state to do this due to the factional fights within the Greens at the moment, but there is fertile ground in other states, where the party is likely to be a lot more reasonable. It is still possible in NSW, just harder because of their radicalism.

The Science Party has the most in common in terms of approach, principles and outlook. They too are IMO better targets for collaboration than any of the other parties listed, with the possible exception of Reason.

The most important thing to remember with collaboration is that any effort we put in must result if benefit for us. I think some previous proposals for alliances and collaborations have no benefit for us that I can fathom. I don’t want to spend energy promoting another party, I am here because I want us to succeed.


I’m going to try and tie together bits of the Marketing and Alliances topic here. (This idea popped into my head as I was thinking about the post, it isn’t fully formed or completely thought through yet).

Back at the first ever Congress we planned on having local crews as the geographically founded sections of the party and (if I recall correctly, I couldn’t find the documentation, even on the wayback machine) Squadrons for campaigning around specific issues.

The idea of Squadrons is based on swarm principles, where interested members come together to campaign on a specific issue regardless of geography. We could resurrect this idea to get energy focused on campaigning for change.

Much like the idea for state branch formation I proposed last week, it would consist of 1-2 ‘Officers’ and n volunteers who want to contribute. These Squadrons would organise the parties’ campaign on the issue, help make advertising materials, organise actions, liaise with other parties to make shit happen etc.

We can pull off smaller actions by ourselves, but with the help of other organisations we could organise much bigger actions with much more potential to raise our profile apply more pressure to the government over the source of our ire. Collaboration with other organisations around clear goals are worthwhile collaborations.

The Squadrons would need at a minimum an Organiser to call and Chair meetings and coordinate with the NC, then an optional Bureaucrat for documentation (we could give them Piratical names, like Captain and First Mate if people like).


I clarified- existing members are our “most immediate focus”. If we don’t engage, we could lose them for good if their memberships lapse when it comes up at some point this term.

I agree. Do we have anyone watching/skimming over legislation bills before they are passed looking for a concern? It seems like we are waiting for the media to do an analysis for us and then pick up from that. Perhaps we should find some new volunteers to do this, to beat the media and pick up things that the media may miss before it’s too late. I call it “Legislation Watch”. Don’t forget State laws too.

I am on the Attorney General’s mailing list, and he loves to toot his own horn a lot. I found this slipped passed in the name of terrorism.

I’d just point out that many Pirates are profusely dissatisfied with The Greens in one way or another and is why they chose us over the biggest left-leaning party, so keep that in mind that we don’t want to become too much like them. They have some great policy (Mostly thanks to Scott Ludlam, who I think is secretly a Pirate) but a lot of it is not so much.

I think that a lot of their success is because it’s an easy outlet for a left leaning person to express their views in front of a lot of people when they want to be heard, with more focus on being heard even if they don’t understand or have a balanced view on the actual topic…they are a “catch all” for all left views no matter how extreme… While we are balanced against our core principles.

Way too much walls of text here already guys, all of it very much cart before the horse. I might suggest stopping here and having another go at this.

Most of what both you Simons have written is the how outcome of a completed strategic development process.

  • Re-engagement activities / programs
  • Local Crews/Meetups
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Alliance/Collaboration

This is a list of activities we could do, effort placed into each has a cost/benefit to the party. Before stating which actions you think should be taken, what we should be doing here first is agreeing on the process to move from: values -> position review / opportunity discovery -> then to actions.

Strategy development has lots of buzz words and there’s no right way to do it, so buckle up.

Brainstorming ideas of what / how we could do things is something that should be workshopped and then reported back on to an overall process, doing it here and now without scoping what we are trying to achieve is unlikely to be productive.


These ideas have been building up for a long time, so there’s a lot of different topics coming out at once, and it’s likely I will split similar threads into their own topic as we go. Feel free to restructure/put in a process as you see fit

I think we have covered values sufficiently, do we need to re-go over that?


Case in point. What does this mean?

What I forgot to mention in my last post was what we should use to measure success.

The measurable parameters of success would include:

  • Raw member numbers
  • Members actively contributing (raw numbers and as a percentage)
  • Google search trends
  • Media mentions (not sure what tool is available to measure this, but we can get a good gauge by searching google news).
  • Positive changes in government policy and bad ideas dropped due to potential for political damage. (hard to measure, but we celebrate our victories when they happen).

That they have, my brain would probably stop completely if I tried to dump all of my own ideas from over the years at once :slight_smile: So if I assume that is the same situation for others, it tells me we need to be careful and methodical at the outset when discussing the huge question of what we should be doing as a party and where we should be directing our efforts.

As I mentioned briefly last night, and I consider this very important: some of what we need to discuss in the subject area of Party strategy is not well suited to linear discussion formats such as IRC / forums, as the conversation can move on before participants have had the time to finish what they really wanted to say (@Frew replied while I was writing this post :stuck_out_tongue: ) the method by which we discuss topics can be a constraining factor on what outcomes are possible, so we need to consider how we brainstorm ideas and the mediums we are using e.g. use Discuss threads or hold a Mumble voice workshop or meet in person etc.

I thought I should throw this into the mix - The Radical Centre Party
Got an email from them - I think it was once a civil liberty group…

This is where I think we should start: agreeing on how we are going to conclude a round of strategy development for the Party.

I have added two outcomes I think might be good

  • What do you think about them?
  • Should there be more or less outcomes of the strategy development process?
  • Do they need longer definitions to explain the purpose and scope of the outcomes themselves or are they self explanatory?

Personally I don’t know exactly how we should complete this process, as I said above there’s no perfect way to develop organisational strategy, but I hope I am helping by trying to define the process a little first.

It’s just a concept at this point, the process we use for it isn’t defined at all yet. It’s basically just the idea that before the Party does something at a top level (since this is a top level strategy discussion) we should do it primarily as a consequence of having a good whole of organisation understanding of the opportunity cost that decision has to efforts we could otherwise undertake in other areas, and how a decision to do a thing is aligned with achieving the goals and values of our Party.

There’s also different ideological ways we can review and brainstorm. The corporate way is: top-down, review / SWOT analysis of the whole party, structures teams/wgs/committees etc. The Swarm way is more: tell teams/wgs/committees to review themselves and report back. We are big enough in some areas to be more swarm-y, and not so much in others areas. It’s a choice though, maybe we need to use a combination of both.

These are great, I’ll add them to the pad I’ve created. Having metrics to measure the outcomes of actions we take from applying decisions made as a consequence of the strategic directions we choose from this process is very important. And now I want to shoot myself for writing that sentence, probably not a good outcome.

I’ve just read @adam 's draft strategy document and really liked it. Formatting needs some love but it’s just a draft after all :slight_smile:

I think a big part of our strategy needs to be what Adam calls “Evangelism” which is a combination of values outreach and recruiting.

What channel on IRC will we be using for the meeting tonight?

“Adams” LOL! :rofl::joy:

#ppau would be the best channel. We should socmed it. Can someone socmed it? I am cooking dinner and replying while the water comes to a boil. >.>

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Oh I’m sorry dude! Adam linked it and there was no attribution so I assumed it was his. @twisty can we get a twitter and FB shoutout for the strategy meeting at 9 tonight in the #ppau channel?

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It was Edeity, I thought you were subtly trolling him for being such a cry-baby sook. I was enjoying it. :rofl:


Probably best to use #PPAU

will do, after dinner

edit: done

Is it possible to access #ppau in I’m hopeless at irc. Is there a link I can paste in?

Connect to #PPAU via riot here.

For future reference the url format is:


This should really be put up somewhere more visible on the website.