Recruitment, PPAU Objectives and The Big Picture

Hello Everybody,

According to :
Q. Are there any state or territory Pirate Parties?
A. There sure are. We are now focusing on recruitment in preparation to register state branches in each state.

To apply the core tenets of the Pirate Party to the political mainstream (or extreme as we currently enjoy), I would have thought that a substantial member base would be required. Not only to register state based entities but to harvest the creative drive of all those people willing and able to make a difference. And most importantly to unearth likely candidates to stand for election and have a supporter base of people to vote for them.

Corporate experience has taught me that having mixed teams of people from different walks of life and with diverse backgrounds, adding a broad and varied mix of opinions, ideas and skills has a multiplier effect on productivity.

A conclusion could be made that member recruitment should be a priority.

So I have some questions around this in no particular order:

Have any state branches been registered?

What is the recruitment strategy?

Is there a “marketing” plan to get PPAU noticed out there?

What are the initial, prime and ongoing objectives of the PPAU?

Is there an overall plan to achieve PPAU objectives?

What I am getting at is: where is PPAU going, how is it getting there, and when? (In a formal strategic planning sense).

If this is off the mark or doesn’t make sense feel free to flame away.



Damn good questions! :slight_smile: Looking forward to some constructive answers.

I’ve been pondering the recruitment thing a bit recently. I really dislike the whole doorknocking approach, or any approach which forces people to interact. So here are some of my comments on recruitment.

I’d ideally like to see some sort of public debate/discussion/argument, but finding suitable opponents would be tricky. We’d somehow need to be “big” already to justify people doing this. Smaller scale, we could set up some sort of table at some popular local area with a poster saying “Pirate Party - We fight for your rights” and have a member or three available for discussions with locals. I think these would work best if somewhat targetted at places where people would be, however. Maybe local markets, although I don’t know if they want politics at such a place.

Other than that, though, I can’t think of much beyond “recruit like-minded friends”.

For the record, I’m in Qld, and no we haven’t registered. We need many more members for that, and membership is … not exactly skyrocketing.

Hi there.

Firstly, I’ll point out that the following is not an official plan for the party or endorsed by the National Council, but is rather my views and thoughts on a plan for the near future. It is not written in a vacuum however and is does draw from discussions with others, but it is my interpretation of what myself and some others are aiming for.

Now that the issues with PPI, reforming PPI and our membership with PPI are largely put to rest, I feel we have a bit more breathing space to look again domestically and locally as a party and reapply our efforts to our own growth, stability and direction. The PPI issues were a distraction from this, but it was however a necessary distraction for the health of the wider Pirate movement, and necessary also for our own protection and clarity. This is not to now ignore international issues, but rather means we can get on with the business of collaborating with other parties internationally without any bureaucratic barriers. The stuff happening with PirateInt is already quite promising.

But that’s enough internationally, so what are we going to do domestically and locally?

Now, ideally it will be growth with an aim to state registration of parties. However, there are some important things that need to happen first.

Firstly, we have been flagged by the AEC for an audit of our 500 members for continued registration purposes. This AEC audit is a fairly routine thing, not an ‘omg we are being scrutinised for reasons’. This should not be a drama and we have until May to do so, but it is a pain in the butt to have to bother with it. This also makes work on finalising our membership database system and interface etc suddenly more urgent. While much work has been done on it, it’s my understanding there is a little more to do. Generally however we will likely be emailing members, requesting them to verify that they are indeed members and their details are correct, so that information can then be forwarded to the AEC. We have well in the vicinity of over 1000 members, so I don’t anticipate any real problems, it’s just some extra admin, programming and communication work for the party to have to worry about in the short term, however most of this work needed to be done anyway, so perhaps this is a useful motivator.

Without the AEC audit, the immediate plan was to be to audit our membership internally anyway (as well as start getting our membership renewal payments system up and running) to put us in a position to then start recruiting for eventual state party registrations.

So, key is internal membership database programming, admin and audit, which now has a deadline in some aspects of May so we can send details to the AEC to ensure we remain registered federally.

Beyond that, our eventual goal of state party registration also has some work that needs to be done. Each state party essentially needs to have its own structure, ie it’s own constitution, council, etc etc. Which also means to a certain extent this needs to be driven by members in their respective states. However, people such as Brendan and Mozart have already done a lot of work in creating ‘template’ constitutions and there had been a number of state based ‘Branch formation committees’ in the process of starting up, so we will need to revive those to facilitate state registrations. Additionally quite a bit of work was done on writing a number of ‘standards’ and ‘processes/procedures’ for how we do things within the party (ie administrative issues like adding signatories to bank accounts etc)… which new start parties will then be able to draw upon as advice and ‘how to dos’ for when they need to do similar things at a state level, thus meaning there is no need to reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes all over again.

The other thing to consider, is that we need to undergo a state level policy development process. Pretty much all our policies are Federal level. There is no point going into a state election with no state level policies. The Policy Development Committee is still doing a lot of work on a number of Federal level policies, but in time we’ll see some forays into state level policies I’m sure.
We were never going to manage to register for the current series of state elections (eg recent Vic & Qld, & upcoming NSW). In NSW for instance to be registered for this upcoming election we would have had to have undergone the process 12 months ago (that is the cut off period to register for a state election) and for NSW registration we not only need 750 members who are registered to vote in NSW, but we need physically signed paper forms/stat dec’s to submit in paper form for each of those members (plus, I think, a $2000 fee)… so as you can see state level registration is somewhat more onerous than federal.

We can however register for the Local elections (100 members rather than 750). Now local elections are even further from our policy base of federal issues, and additionally a lot of local council election issues are localised issues that the National levels of the party have no huge business dabbling in. However, people who wish to run at a local level can very likely apply pirate principles (eg to local issues and use that to inform their stances on matters. IN addition there is scope to come up with a bunch of generalised policy standpoints that can be applied at a local level in many instances such as transparency and/or anti-corruption issues and so on. These also could assist in formulating local responses for local candidates.

A key issue when it comes to elections is having a local support network on the ground. Election day is possibly the single best promotional opportunity the party has to reach people. Social media is often a bit of an echo chamber, but anyone who handed out how to vote cards at the federal election will likely attest to a lot of favourable reactions from people who otherwise hadn’t heard of us, or had up until that point largely disregarded us.

And key to this as well, is when you look at the voting patterns in the Federal election (or the Griffith by-election where Mel came in 4th place, in front of parties that were way more well-known and better resourced) is that any polling place that had a Pirate Party volunteer handing out how to vote cards often had a significantly higher number of votes for us than places that didn’t. But for this to be successful then you need a lot of boots on the ground on election day. Which means a localised network of like-minded pirate party members or supporters. This is not necessarily easy to build for a party that is far more federally oriented than other parties and that collaborates almost exclusively online.

However, upcoming local elections in NSW, for example, in 2016 will be a great opportunity to get that extra publicity and reach and hopefully, by factoring into local issues, start to build that localised base in certain areas which will then help when it is time to run in state and federal elections again. . (in addition, depending on local conditions, I do see scope as part of the recruitment drive, to having things like stalls in public places with shirts, badges, stickers, flyers etc and stuff like membership forms etc and hitting things like university open days. It may look a bit like we are trying to copy socialist groups by doing this, but depending on how it is done it could be a quite useful exercise, especially in getting signatures on paper for stat registration purposes.)

So if I were to factor everything so far into a type of ‘to do list’, or ‘priority list’ we’d be looking at:

• sort out membership database
• ensure AEC audit is sorted
• full audit of membership
• renewal payments system
• register for local elections
• work on policy boilerplates for local elections
• run in local elections
• recruit with aim to state registrations
• keep working on federal policies and branch out into state policies
• state constitutions
• state branches (regardless of actually registering the branches can be created, and then work towards registration)
• register at state level
• run at state level
• win :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Many of the above points will run concurrently, ie policy dev will always occur and state branches could in theory be created tomorrow if there were enough people to say “let’s do it”, so don’t put too much stock in the order, even if there is a rough relevance to it.

Now, in addition to the above there will obviously be other concurrent activities, such as submissions to inquiries, campaigns against data retention and draconian copyright rules and enforcement schemes, and so on.

Campaigning around such matters are not only important means in which to get ourselves exposure and be seen etc, but also assists us to hone our own viewpoints & arguments and also practice putting our views and policies into real world issues and have then undergo trial by fire of sorts (this also applies on a personal level as well and potential future candidates argue for our views in the media or with others). Not to mention the fact that a lot of these things are worth fighting against, especially with our current government seemingly trying to take the derpiest route whenever possible.

An aspect of this campaigning, say for instance with data retention, is to move away from our reliance on just getting press releases done, but also look to more proactive options. For example see this discussion here: Proactive responses to data retention
There are also a number of articles in the wings being written, refined or approved which we will start putting out there in addition to press releases and other activities.

Now, again there is so much more in addition to all this which also needs to run concurrently.
For example, the constitutional review needs to get off the ground with an aim to present possible changes to the next congress. See here Pirate Party's Constitutional Review
We are only a few months away from the next congress, so work on organising that is needing to happen now.

Policy development work is occurring and progressing, with work being done on “cryptocurrencies/ distributed digital currencies”, health policy, domestic violence, cultural policy and more.
In regard to merchandise, we usually do small print runs around particular crowdsourced fundraising campaigns (eg translating the Dutch court ruling Pozible campaign), there is a plan to hope to set up a more formal merchandise arrangement and sell t-shirts, stickers, badges etc as a fundraising measure. One can also hope to get a lot more things like meme’s, resources, videos etc being made and shared.

As a volunteer only party it can be very difficult for us to all find the time to do the things we need and want to do, so please, any members out there who want to get involved further and help out, then your help will be much appreciated. see here for example: Call for volunteers

This volunteer nature does mean we often have other family or work priorities that need to come before the party, but one possible idea for the future is to create a paid position wherein the person would do a lot of the party work and support others in that task.

There’s many more issues and ideas I haven’t greatly touched upon and im sure there are many better ideas and suggestions for direction and so forth out there. We plan on discussing a bunch of stuff along these lines at the next National Council meetings so hopefully we can formalise a good plan.

Again, let me reiterate, the above is not an official party ‘plan’ but largely me putting into words my own musings and thoughts on the matter. I’m sure that as we all discuss and plan further the above will be greatly improved. So yeah, this is not a formal strategic plan. But it is at least a starting point of sorts and hopefully will engender some further discussion.

Apologies for length, but actually getting this all down in writing in long form is useful for me personally as well, but I’m not going to bother shortening or editing it down at this stage. A more formal plan would certainly more succinct and refined. :wink:

Lots of stuff. Need get member DB sorted for audit. Then can expand/recruit. Working on state registration/state branches.Register for local govt elections and run in some. Use this as possible base to build locally and work on local support structures etc. This will then hopefully help springboard us to build towards more support for future state and federal elections. Also lots of other stuff happening now.


I’m pretty sure the pathway to success for PPAU lies in state registration. State seats can be won with a far lower vote quota and less need to play the preference game. Parties that win at a state level get staff, resources, and media. Practically all noteworthy parties got their start in state parliaments and - given we don’t do preference gaming in Federal elections - state contests are the only way we can get where we should be.

I think we’ve sometimes diverted our energy into less important things and the time has come to sharpen our focus on this. I’d like to see more free membership drives, more social media promotion, stands at university open days, and regular overviews of our progress in each state. What tactics are we trying, what’s working and what isn’t - all that. Perhaps we should consider a kickstarter drive to fund a short contract for a recruitment expert. Perhaps we should closely examine what seemingly frivolous parties like No Land Tax have done to register in their states.

I don’t have all the answers but I’d like to see more of our effort going into this space. For me, state registration is the supreme priority for PPAU at this point.

State-level parties are definitely the way forward and to gain that extra attraction for PPAU at the Federal-level.

I do have a few concerns though which should be clarified;

If we introduce State-level Parties, then are those parties bound to our Constitution or a set of base principles? Or would that simply be completely up to them?

How would the parties be managed in comparison to PPAU? And would the Federal-level Party have any kind of authority/or rule over State-level Parties?
Or would it be best to implement some kind or umbrella organization much like Pirate Parties International? (Forgetting the recent episode of PPAU resignation. I am simply using this as an example.)

Also, what would be the regulations in regards to naming the parties? As an example, let’s say we have a Pirate Party Victoria and Pirate Party Queensland. Undoubtedly, there would be others wanting to create their own smaller parties that follow the Pirate Party principles.
What are the rules about creating other parties using the term “Pirate” in the title?

All these issues would need to be considered and have a process in-place to deal with any problem that may arise.

These questions are (or should hopefully be) covered by section 2.1 of the party constitution, which states:

  1. A State or Territory Branch is considered a subordinate organisation of the Party for the purposes of this Constitution.
  2. These branches exist for the purpose of contesting state/territory elections, and relevant local elections of their region.
  3. The National Council or National Congress may, at its discretion, opt to offer a mandate to form a state or territory branch to the State/Territory Coordinator of the given state/territory.
  4. A State or Territory Branch may not contradict a Federal policy, but may expand their policy set beyond the scope of the Federal Party.
  5. It is mandatory that members of the Federal Party are members of their local State or Territory Branch, and vice versa.
  6. No State or Territory Branch may enact or enforce policies that contradict this Constitution.

I feel it does answer most of the concerns I raised, however specifically referring to the issue I raised of using the term “Pirate” within a Party name;

What if we get people creating parties called “Pirates United Party” or “Pirates Victoria”, as examples.

I feel this can not be stopped, however it should be made clear of using such terms may not represent the values of the official Pirate Party and its basic principles. I am yet to read anything that relates to this issue.

I do need to point out though, I don’t believe creation of new parties based on the ‘pirate’ principles is a bad thing. We live in a somewhat democratic country which allows for this and we need to appreciate this freedom.

They can do as they please, but they won’t be affiliated with us without meeting the requirements of our Constitution.

By creating a party without working with us, the likelihood of that occurring is low. It should of course be a non-issue if we get a proper recruitment program together.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) s 129 forbids registration of political parties with the same names or similar names unless they are related. Similar provision is found the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 (NSW) s 66G and others, including the Electoral Act 1992 (Qld) s 75.

It can be stopped quite easily as a result.


Thanks @piecritic that’s really interesting. I never knew such policies existed.

The highest decision making body of PPAU is the National Congress. Every member has the right to put forward constitutional amendments, policies, run for positions on the National Council and put forward strategies to make the Party stronger and to grow. The National Council carries out the will of the Congress.

The Policy Development Committee (PDC) prepares policies to be put at Congress. We point people with policy ideas there because they Committee will bash it into the style of the rest of our platform and modify it to best fit with evidence and our underlying principles. It can be slow, there are always multiple policies under development that have to be well thought through, researched and supported by most of our membership. That said, there is no need to go through the PDC to introduce new policies, you just put them up at the next Congress, which as I said above, is the highest decision making body of the Party and includes all members.


A large part of the recruitment plan was launched this morning, with pay what you want memberships. Tell your friends and family. :smile:

One the questions I asked was “Is there a “marketing” plan to get PPAU noticed out there?”

Given that not only gets PPAU noticed but as Nick mentioned it has a link to the homepage which is rare, I might add the following question to the list:

Is there an official media strategy?

No. But there should be.

I think a good way to sum up the original post is ‘What is the PP expansion strategy?’

Speaking of that, what is there in that type or similar form?