What I love about the Pirate Party so much are the policies, it is truly beautiful how we can take an issue which divides the “Left” and “Right” spectrum of Politics and propose a solution in the middle that would practically please everyone if it came true [What’s not so beautiful is that nobody damn listens].
But a true fact is that we are still pretty damn socially progressive which puts us “Left”. Those with us with prior political experience usually come from the Left and the rest of us consider ourselves central (but still slightly to the left).
But what about the Right? Are there an ideas of value there?
Do we just continue to dismiss them as “extremist nutjobs who nobody listens to”? Well… Not Anymore, I don’t think that we can. They are numerous as shown by the surging popularity of the Liberal Party of Australia, One Nation, Brexit, Donald Trump. Something is getting them riled up about something and made them vote for something which they would probably not publically admit to.
I get it that probably most of what they believe would be fundamentally incompatible with Pirate Values. We can’t solve everything. Some people are just bigots pure and simple and will never be changed.
I get it that there are going to be issues which are going to be too politically incorrect (from the left perspective) to even mention it. But that shouldn’t stop us if there are thoughts to be challenged, no matter how politically incorrect.
What are the issues that these people face to drive them this far to the right? can we find any problems in there which we can explore from a Pirate Perspective?
I’ll give an example: Islamic Extremism values and it’s influence domestic and migrant Muslim people.
Is it politically incorrect because it’s an issue specifically about Muslims (a minority to us).
Or are there serious issues within the Islamic community which need to be addressed, and if so, is there a solution which respects human rights and civil liberties?
Obviously the Right’s “solution” is not in line with any of our values (and not even solution which would even work), but without being presented with alternatives to the “problem” (real or perceived) this is what they stick to.
The Left’s view on the issue is to pretend that it’s not an issue AT ALL - that it’s just “thinly veiled racism”. This really shuts down the discussion on what could actually be something that needs looking at.
Which is right? I don’t know. Maybe a little from column A, maybe a little from Column B. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do some objective research on the issue without any preconceived notions of what is being presented in the current state of politics.
If there are serious issues (as demonstrated by empirical evidence) they can be addressed with a policy if someone can be bothered writing one. We did address immigration, which was a hot topic. We’ve addressed climate change, which is also controversial in the sense that there are many within Parliament that do not agree with the scientific consensus. Even our copyright reforms are controversial within the creative industries. We have not shirked in the past from tackling difficult topics. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, then we can consider an evidence-based solution. Usually this (disappointingly) results in relatively novel reforms.
This I think is why we avoid self-labelling as ‘left’. It’s a term that has become so distorted by perception that it’s virtually meaningless. It now seems to mean some vaguely-socialist quasi-libertarian progressive-authoritarianism — not a helpful label or concept whatsoever. We took on immigration with a measured approach, presenting a viable solution. That’s our approach generally. If the evidence indicates a problem, we pick a solution backed by evidence, respect for human rights and civil liberties, and typically end up with a new perspective on an old problem.
This has been the approach so far. We have not yet adopted a domestic violence policy, in part because no one was able to lead it effectively in the long-term, but when doing so we looked at evidence as to what the situation was, and found that the typical narratives did not add up with the studies and raw statistics.
Indeed, I just wanted to correct what appeared to be an implication that the Pirate Party has shied away from ideas that are ‘politically incorrect’, when the reality is that it’s a case of ‘no one has bothered yet’ or ‘no one cares enough to bother’.
Region really should be discouraged, it cant be stopped, because people can think what they want, but it should be taxed, and there should be restrictions on teaching it to children. (they need to learn critical thinking first)
I suspect a lot of religious people consider their god to be more important than the government, thats a bad thing, religion preach their own set of values and rules that are not always consistent with Australian law. It confuses the rule of law, it divides society.
I see religion as an early for of government, it had its time, but its just not needed in the modern world. Most of them are well intentioned and they do good charitable work, but they should be able to separate their charity work from the religious work.
What drives people to the ideas behind Brexit, Trump and One Nation (The Liberal Party is well behind in the polls) is the loss of economic security that has come with casualisation, the reduction of tariffs and the general attacks on working conditions that have featured in the last 20 years of politics in the West. As Waleed Ali explains in ‘US election 2016: It’s not about racism or sexism, it’s about class warfare’ people have lost their full time manufacturing jobs with health insurance and decent pay for shitty casualised jobs for low pay. It makes it harder to get loans, to pay for your kid to go to college etc. For these people the future looks darker than their past.
This is what drives them to people like Trump, he offers someone to blame (immigrants). His criticisms of Clinton’s economic policies are otherwise spot on. Free Trade Agreements like NAFTA gutted the US manufacturing industry and Clinton was likely to sign the TPP (which we have opposed) this promised more pain to those who had already suffered under NAFTA. His solutions are likely to be smoke and mirrors and not much is actually likely to change for his supporters as a result of his election, but we’ll see…
The political Establishment such as Clinton, both major Parties in Australia, Blair’s New Labour in the UK offered more trade liberalisation, greater inequality, dwindling public services, a continued push for the sell-off of public assets, none of which address the dislocation that plagues the former middle class. People rightly see the cosy relationship between corporate interests and political elites and the shift in wealth distribution to the top and get really angry because they are excluded from not only the economy, but the political process.
There are progressive options for these issues, in the US there was the massive support for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries (which were clearly rigged against him), there is Jeremy Corbyn in the UK who has managed to seize control of the Labour Party against the economic conservatives who have run the Party since the time of Blair. Importantly for us, in Iceland there is the Pirate Party.
The Icelandic Pirate Party offers the best guide for us, having a lot of luck pushing for government transparency and more democracy in the face of corruption and economic thievery. Our policies like Universal Basic Income are aimed in the right direction too. We can do more work on this, but I am not entirely sure what off the top of my head.
Whenever I hear someone railing against political correctness I hear it as code for ‘I want to be a bigot without someone calling me out for it’.
All for taxing religion, the not teaching it to kids bit is too authoritarian for me. How could it be enforced without mass surveillance and massive opposition from all religious people? Totally not worth it IMO. I suggest if you want to debate this specifically, you start a different thread.
I dont disagree, but we should be willing to listen to people with dissenting opinions. If people dont talk about their differences, they dont resolve them.
The left is all about inclusion and tolerance, but we dont always extend that to people who disagree with us. I think thats part of the reason for ‘the deplorables’, if both sides stay in separate bubbles nothing gets resolved.
From the point of view of the Australian Political landscape i think there is a lot of value in the PP trying to be a center libertarian party, not left or right.
I don’t oppose their right to say racist shit, I however have no interest in listening to it. When it gets to harassment, I stop supporting their right to speak. Just because you have a right to speak does not mean I have to listen.
We have our own platform that addresses the political corruption, crony capitalism, gutting of the social safety net etc, all of which makes for a positive alternative to the racist crap being pedalled by Trump and Co. What we don’t have is the free media access, both Hanson and Trump have used free media access to get where they are. Trump with the Apprentice and Hanson with her regular spot on the Today show. If we could somehow get that sort of media coverage, we could build a plausible alternative on the minds of voters.
I don’t know how you approach politics, but I am here because the Pirate Party represents my views and values as it exists today. I have no interest in selling out my beliefs for power, if I wanted to play that game I would be in the ALP already.
Our members joined because they support the politics of the party, significantly changing what we stand for will throw all of that loyalty into doubt. Our ability to do stuff is based on people who believe in our platform wanting to do stuff to make it a reality. Mess with what we stand for and our support will evaporate like the Australian Democrats or the Wikileaks Party.
We on the left tell people we are about tolerance and inclusion, so when we ignore them they are right to think of us as hypocrites. We marginalise people we disagree with to deny them the benefits of inclusiveness, expecting that will weaken them, but they still get to vote.
It depends what you mean by ‘listen to’, if you mean address the underlying concerns that drive the support for overtly racist candidates, sure… If you mean trying to appease the racist ideas, then you are creating a situation where you can’t help but wedge yourself.
To go down that path is to lose the votes of people who come from ethnic minorities, who vote for progressive candidates in large numbers because they aren’t stupid and won’t vote for people who use them as convenient scape-goats. Meanwhile the actual right wing racist Parties will continue to attract the committed racist vote.
Then there is the fact that we are a progressive party and we should, as decent human beings, oppose bigotry.
I hope I am simply expressing the bleeding obvious but it seems to me that the “smartest” approach lies somewhere between Glenn and Simon’s above. We ought to be aware of viewpoints other than our own even even if we ultimately assess them as unacceptable (for arbitrary degrees of repugnance.)
Surely the surprising nature of recent events reflect the extent to which both the media and the public have been living within their bubbles, ignorant of the extent of opposing views? I certainly have.
To go down that path is to lose the votes of people who come from ethnic minorities, who vote for progressive candidates in large numbers because they aren’t stupid and won’t vote for people who use them as convenient scape-goats. Meanwhile the actual right wing racist Parties will continue to attract the committed racist vote…
however, there are also some people from migrant groups who bring conservative values with them and are attracted to conservative parties.
You probably don’t realise this but you have just confirmed my fears. Please note I wrote “be aware of” NOT “accept”.
If the response to a controversial issue is simply to go “ewww!” and then ignore it then the opportunity to establish policies and arguments to combat it when the other side brings it up have been squandered.
Ever heard of “forewarned is forearmed”? Or even more simply “be prepared”?
There is a lot to go through there, but the exit polls and the discussion of the demographics of Trump voters are probably most relevant for us. We should probably do a similar process with the Australian electoral data at some point.
I wouldn’t draw any solid conclusions about anything based on the outcome of the US Election…
The electoral college has been a broken system for at least a hundred years if not more, both major party candidates are the most hated presidential candidates in recorded history, neither candidate got more of the popular vote than Romney did when he lost to Obama, Clinton won the popular vote leading to fallout but she won it by a smaller margin than Gore won the popular against Bush. It was an absolute shit-show of broken American democracy.
The only thing I think could possibly be taken away from it is that economic issues override every other issue, Trump quite clearly courted the bigotry vote (as pretty much every Republican has done for decades, usually subtler) but it ultimately didn’t dissuade more general support because he also presented himself as a fighter for the economically disadvantaged which Clinton just didn’t do enough of to convince anyone that she would do the same.