State Branch Formation


I think that might be me. I hope that’s not a euphemistic “rare”.

(Alex Jago) #22

Along similar lines, I’ve been putting some thought over the last 6 months or so into local branches. Conclusions:

  • subordinate to their State branch (obviously)
  • cover one or more Federal electorates
  • everyone automatically becomes a local branch member on joining if one exists in their area
  • you may only join the branch that covers your area, but as a courtesy, you don’t have to change branches if you get redistributed out
  • local branches have primary responsibility for running campaigns in their geographic area, possibly jointly with neighbouring local branches in the case of state/local districts
  • elect a core three convenor/secretary/treasurer
  • minimum population of 20
  • you get to vote in local preselections if your branch covers the area that’s getting preselected for

(Andrew Downing) #23

I get what you’re saying there, and I’m seriously not that person, but I have found such people to be incredibly common in most work places. The thing is that people who love fulfilling bureaucratic roles are what psychologists would call “low in trait openness”. They’re usually conservatives. They like rules. They like the status quo. They tend not to like change or new ideas. Maybe you can imagine why we don’t get so many of them hanging out with Pirates.


I really don’t think that is a fair thing to say and is quite discouraging to anyone who might want to fulfil this important role. Sure it might be a bunch of boring paperwork, but we’re not talking about about TPS Reports (Office Space) here, this is something that needs to be done to bring about greater change. We harness the system to change it, rather than use force.

(Andrew Downing) #25

It wasn’t a criticism of such people.
I expect that the rare bureaucratically minded individual that is also down with the Pirate way of thinking will be one of the most valuable people in the party, precisely because they will be a rare commodity.

In the business/management world, it’s quite well understood that a diversity of personality types make for more functional teams. A team comprised entirely of creatives is a disaster for most purposes because they won’t get anything done, while a team comprised entirely of bureaucrats rapidly fails to adapt to changing conditions. There’s a lot more to that but I hope you get the gist.

In political organizations, there can be a problem forming such balanced groups because of the sort of personalities that are drawn to different politics.

For example, I expect that bureaucrats are common as muck in the Liberal party but they lack creatives.
Anarchist groups have a hard time getting anything done because everyone has authority issues. Etc.


I don’t see how you can assume anything other than “high in conscientiousness”. Highly open people may be drawn to bureaucratic roles by other traits like obsessiveness. They may express creativity by writing top quality documentation or identifying inefficiencies in mundane processes or finding novel ways to organise unstructured data. I’d imagine there would be a lot of analytical types in the party who might be good at that sort of thing.

(Andrew Downing) #27

Sure, it’s both. High conscientiousness is a key trait for the efficient purveyor of bureaucratic services, but the context of a political party filters our choices …

Take a look at:

Conscientiousness, along with (lower) openness, is also one of the trait markers of political conservatism.[8]

Then take a look at:

There are social and political implications to this personality trait. People who are highly open to experience tend to be politically liberal and tolerant of diversity.[33][34] As a consequence, they are generally more open to different cultures and lifestyles. They are lower in ethnocentrism, right-wing authoritarianism,[35] social dominance orientation, and prejudice.[36] Openness has a stronger (negative) relationship with right-wing authoritarianism than the other five-factor model traits (conscientiousness has a modest positive association, and the other traits have negligible associations).[36]

(Andrew Downing) #28

And you’re right about this too, but it expresses itself as policy documents. Lots and lots of policy …

Meanwhile, organising Pirates is like herding cats, and that’s what we’re talking about here in a State Coordinator role.

(twisty) #29

*snort … lol

or kangaroos …


That makes sense. In my experience open conscientious types are also good at creative rationalisations for not expending effort where there is no accountability, ownership, or recognition. That’s why I like the idea of assigning roles.

For state branch formation I’d really like to see a live dashboard of membership numbers and a countdown to the target for registration in each state. I think that could motivate people to start talking like a pirate more and recruiting everybody they can.

(Kelly Lynch) #31

I’m not sure what the process is in other states, but in NSW we could probably register for local elections with 100 members in the state.

It might be worth registering for local elections now if it makes registering the state branch easier, although it would probably be best to consult with the NSW electoral commission about transitioning from local to state registration as their handbook doesn’t really deal with that scenario.

(Alex Jago) #32

Worst case scenario, just deregister at local level and register at state level, I guess.

edits to add:

NSW should definitely register at a local level first. Even if it doesn’t get State done anytime soon (and there’s no guarantee it will; need 750 members and $2000 vs 100 members and what looks to be $0), running mayoral candidates has acceptable bang for buck. For example, running for Wollongong mayor would’ve got the Pirate name in front of about 100,000 voters for a nomination fee of $125 (unless Mayor is costlier). NSW Senate was 4.7 million voters and $4000. So cheaper per potential voter, but a much larger ballot paper, and vastly different levels of fundraising.

I agree, we could have this done before the end of the year (just to have it done and up our sleeve, because NSW has that silly 1-year-out freeze). The timing isn’t fantastic, but there should be some sort of Federal electoral event in 2021-22, and the next batch of NSW council elections should be in 2020-21.


Wow I thought we had to be registered in NSW to run in local elections. I was planning to recruit 500 members before July 2019 to register for the next Council election. How long until non-renewed memberships lapse, so that we know if we have enough?

(Kaz) #34

Completely agree with this sentiment and I am keen to help participate or contribute funds specifically for the purpose of getting state and local party registration up.


It will happen well before then, it’s on the cards to happen this term of the NC

(Kaz) #36

So what still needs to happen to register the party for NSW state elections?

(Frew) #37

From the NSW Electoral Commission website:

To register to contest State elections a party must:

  • have an acceptable name
  • have at least 750 members, who are enrolled on the NSW electoral roll, and are not relied upon by another party for registration purposes
  • have a registered officer
  • have a written constitution that sets out the platform or objectives of the party
  • pay the $2,000 registration fee.

What that doesn’t mention is that the 750 members need to sign paper forms and snail mail them in like barbarians.

We are well off the 750 members at the moment.

Local Council elections are more doable, requiring only 100 names, we just need people with the time to engage in local politics in their area.

(Andrew Downing) #38

Lolololololololol. The extra lol’s care of character limitation rules.

(Peter Fulton) #39

There’s a sense of irony that the membership requirement for NSW state level is higher than country-wide federal, but I also would not be surprised if this is attributed towards the fact that NSW as a state was formed before federation.

Do we have any avenue to legislate this to be lowered, and added bonus to not make paper forms the only option?

(Alex Jago) #40

The membership requirements are largely a result of politics around excluding minor parties. They’re so large in NSW because their upper house is elected statewide at such a low quota, so it’s very attractive for the minors. NSW also has a $2000 registration fee for contesting parliamentary elections (but not for Local govt).

According to the latest registration handbook, they appear to have a process now for some electronic stuff.

I’m not sure what the per-candidate nomination fee is for the Upper House, but I believe that’s quite high too, considering that 15 candidates are effectively required for a group.