Thank you to all officers, organisers, National Council members, volunteers, party members/supporters and of course candidates. The votes are not yet counted, however it is already clear we have a strong positive swing on our results from the previous election. The amount of time, energy and money put in by our candidates has been above and beyond what anyone could expect from a minor party with a historically low vote. I don’t even want to estimate how many kilometres our candidates and volunteers have walked while letterboxing, let alone the distance travelled to attend regional events and meet volunteers. The true tally will never be fully known or appreciated except by those individuals who went above and beyond - and you know who you are already.
We’ve tried a number of new things this election. The biggest of those are more of a focus on digital organising. The new president of the Ukraine (since March), Volodymyr Zelensky, ran his entire campaign on social media. In the leadup to the election we revived the Discord and Facebook discussion groups which sparked a huge surge in engagement with our platform. We also experimented with some video content which had barely been tried in the past and saw a lot of positive response. The adoption and immersion into emerging technologies was always a key part of Pirate politics and we absolutely must remain on that edge. We possibly the only political parties with dedicated shitposting channels across multiple platforms (Science Party and Greens have something similar).
Some of the things we tried did not work so well. In my time on the National Council (two years) I have advocated for a revival of the local crews with a focus on activity and event organising and eventual view towards state registration. If successful, this would have given us a far stronger volunteer crew leading into the election. I hope the interest and fresh eyes on us Pirates since the election will give us a fresh hot go at that.
Finally, my watchword has been to innovate or die. I have learnt many strategies of organising from the campaigning and activism I have done in the past 10 years and have adopted many of them for the Pirates. But there is far too much organising to be done for any single person. I will need all of your help in the National Council for the years to come to steer this party towards the electoral success that European Pirates have seen. The slowly changing nature of Australian politics is also something we have been both ahead of the game and behind on. For many politics that have been to see mainstream conversations, we were talking about them years in advance. Why did we not receive recognition of that? Because our communication and outreach policy has struggled. In my recent post election Q&A video I posted four strategic ideas for the future of the party. These are:
- More streamlined and cohesive messaging around our policies
- More audiovisual content (memes, graphics, videos, music) taking use of point 1 above
- Stronger ideological links in our platform to make it more cohesive. This will help with point 1 and 2 above, by making our platform more comprehensible in the whole and attracting people outside our traditional demographic of tech workers.
- Young Pirates of Australia. The youth are the future of our country, and our platform absolutely should be appealing to them more than it is. We need to start exploring specific outreach
I invite and encourage all candidates to run for National Council in July. I also welcome the new faces and volunteers that have surfaced in the weeks or months leading up to the election, and the surge of interest in our party post election. You new supporters have a difficult task ahead of you where you must explore the party culture and transform the party identity so you can adopt it to your tastes. The future of this party rests in your hands. We will do everything we can to accommodate you, within the party principles and values.
See you on the internet.