PPAU proposal to host PPI annual conference December 2017

Summary: PPI has put out a call for submission of offers to host their 2017 annual conference. I am preparing a submission for Pirate Party Australia to host it in Brisbane on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of December, pending approval by the NC.


The deadline for submissions is August 6th and I’m aware how close that is. There are several points to consider which need to be discussed.

  1. Prior poor relations between PPI and PPAU leading to our general vote to leave.
  2. Likelihood of PPI being receptive to our submission, given our concerns with their operations and EU-focus.
  3. Logistical concerns with hosting a large international event.
  4. Benefits to hosting the PPI conference in Australia

(3) is the easiest of these to overcome. As this is a submission for offer, but not an actual promise, we can offer what we believe is within our capabilities. Based on the requirements and the quotes I’ve received for venue hire etc, full costs for the weekend could be in the area of $6,000 to $12,000. My proposal is that we offer to provide perhaps $800, which we know is the rough amount we cover each year for the PPAU National Congress. There are other funding options to consider, but none at this stage which are concrete enough to guarantee more than that.

(2) PPI allows conference hosts for non-member bodies and welcomes submissions outside of Europe. They have recently (February this year) formally reached out to PPAU to “refresh” relations and try to improve on prior years.

(1) PPAU joined PPI at some time in 2012 not long after it was founded. PPAU left in 2015 following a number of grievances, the largest of which included a dispute about member fees, that undue importance was placed on supranational advocation of pirate platforms over support for regional parties, that the PPI board did not behave in a democratic or transparent manner.

There is an extensive discussion to be had around these grievances which I think is worthwhile having. I think the time has come or will come soon to revisit talks with PPI and consider becoming an observer member given in part the board is almost completely new since 2015 and being a socmed team member, I’ve been following a PPI rebranding to highlight more on regional activism.

(4) Accompanying an extensive press and social media campaign as well as by inviting prominent Australian speakers to the event, we could provide a huge boost to the profile of the Australian pirates both in awareness and “legitimacy”.


I think the intent here is good.

I do not think we have the right level of engagement with PPI at present to be successful or a best choice, nor are we adequately prepared for a solid submission.

HOWEVER - I think a plan to turn that around by this time next year will be an awesome opportunity for us to re-establish international connections, revive the Pirate in Pirate party culture and sort out some better finances, membership and maybe even sponsors which could shift us into a quite compelling space to truly internationalise the movement.

I would like us to be able to sponsor flights and accom for some key members from Europe. This will help locally as well for building profile and connections.

This will take a lot of work.


Obtaining sponsors will open a huge amount of doors for us.

PPI has been a futile drain on resources from the beginning. I am hostile to the proposal because I don’t want us to pour any more resources down that drain until they stop being such a garbage fire (I’m mixing metaphors, but you get the point). A social media refresh is a start, but there is a long way to go before I feel anything but contempt for that organisation.

They have never done right by remote participants, we have always done remote participation infinitely better than they have, which is why we were trying to help organise a previous PPI GA (General Assembly). The final straw for us was when they relented to our requests to reorganise the GA more democratically and with more focus on international cooperation. We started working on the project, got some proposals together and organised to present them to PPI GA, which the Board approved at first. Then the bureaucrats stepped in, held a special Board meeting and withdrew our proposals. I personally spent weeks on the project only to get fucked by bureaucrats. Still angry about it.

They asked us to recount what was wrong with PPI, we told them to read the damn emails from then, it wasn’t like our opinions changed in the meantime.

We really shouldn’t throw any money at these guys until they show some basic competence. I don’t know how a weekend event would require $6,000 - $12,000 to run unless it was including airfares. It can be done way cheaper. I’m opposed to giving them a cent until the organisation is fixed. We need all the money we get on fixing our own organisation, running in elections, making campaigning materials etc.

Considering our rather public withdrawal I would be suprised if PPI had any credibility in Australia at all. It would get us a bit of media, but if ends up like all previous General Assemblies it would do us more harm than good, they have pretty much always been debacles, which I would hate to have reflect back on us.

Just no.


The public media benefits are from a perspective outside the Pirate movement in Australia. Although the practical offshoots of having NGO consulting status with the UN might not be immediately useful, it would add a lot of legitimacy to people outside the movement who years and multiple elections later still struggle with out name and branding.

That $6000 - $12000 figure is very rough and based off the PPI requirements for the submission, which specify an auditorium with classroom setup for 80 to 150 people over 2 full days as the main cost. That’s an upper figure and I’m confident actual prices will be well below $6000.

Maybe a more gradual exploration of observer member status over the next year then?

Not until they’ve fixed their shit, and are able to produce evidence on demand to prove it.


I’m probably less opposed to that than @CAPT_Irrelevant, but I completely understand his reservations. I suggest going along as an observer and reporting back on how it goes as a first step. If it goes anything like my experience you’d be a lot less enthusiastic. >.>

But you never know, maybe, just maybe they have their shit together.

I don’t think there is any point worrying about people who don’t like the name. Only an asteroid falling upon their skulls will end that gripe. They are mostly old and wouldn’t vote for us anyway.


Can confirm that we are the leading party in the all important preteen demographic.

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“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” Francis Xavier, founder of the Jesuit Order.

Doesn’t actually play out, some great heretics were raised by the Franciscans, like the Marquis De Sade for EG. Sounds good though.

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As we generally talked about in Congress is that most of us prefer to be focused on Australia rather than the International movement aspect of Pirate Party, we want to lead by example.

I know that quite a few people found out about us through them but at the end of the day it is the values that we all share, not the PPI organisation itself.

Their time frame is very tight, not realistic to organise properly, and would be a complete drain on our own resources.

If we get some massive growth that we desire and get into a better position to do one in future years I am open to it as like a “fun little activity to bring members together” but there are infinitely more better ways to do this without PPI. In fact what would PPI even be bringing to the table for us? We don’t need an international following, we need people eligible to vote in Australia.

We can effect worldwide change by leading by example on the work we actually do, not by hosting cushy get-togethers.


I’ll go you one better: I went to the quintessential Australian Jesuit school (as in Shorten is a fellow alumnus … and attended the last function I wandered along to there too). I think we can all see just how well that Jesuit training went … :wink:

Well, actually there’s an element of truth to it, but it’s by comparison to the other Catholic sects and differences in teaching styles. Ninety-something percent of the time they get what they want; a devoted believer armed with all the logical and theological tools of freethinking necessary to sway the masses. Occasionally it backfires and they give the same tools to the opposition.

This is by comparison to all the other orders where the focus is dogma and learning everything by rote. Just another of the many reasons why all the other sects hated or didn’t trust the Jesuits … Not that distrusting Jesuits is a bad thing, it’s just mostly it was for the wrong reasons.