State of the Party


#1

So do we have some sort of view on the current state and progress to plans? Do we have plans? for the Party.

I would think this was the #1 thing the exec leadership could answer.

From observation, we seem to be degrading our internal engagement significantly in last 12 months, have almost no action or visible campaigns. I want to be proven wrong OR be told what we are doing.

The bottom up “why aren’t you doing something” is not a valid answer to this question imo. Leaders are supposed to… lead… not just take up limited spots on the council.

Help me decide there is a future here. Thanks.


(Frew) #2

I am aware of the lack of activity. We are going to spend a day (pencilled in on the Monday after Congress) having a strategy day to thrash out a plan of what we need to do to go forward. If you have any ideas, please suggest them. A thread to start discussing Pirate Party strategy is needed, I was just going to start it once Congress gets announced (the relevant wiki pages are being set up as of the last National Council meeting).

Being small and lacking in active members means we are best when we are responding to political issues that come up as raised by the government. The other time everyone comes out of the woodwork to do stuff is election time, it seems really difficult to keep people active after the election for some reason (like its the only time that politics happens).

There aren’t a great many issues in Australian politics at the moment that we can use to motivate members, the most likely major campaign we could have run was the plan to extend data retention to civil cases, but the initial response to that was so strong that the government immediately withdrew it at the first hurdle. To do much in the real world we need alliances due to being rather evenly distributed around the country, and most potential allies have their heads up their arses.

I am interested in what we can do about what you raise in the ‘OK I’m motivated thread’, and I will reply there hopefully before I go to work this morning.


(twisty) #3

I’m not on the NC but do hold a position so I’ll chip in. Yeah, I’ve been quiet. Lots of work and stuff ya know …

But I’m not going anywhere, and winter is coming. So I’ll be hibernating and pirating hard, soon. I plan to work more on a recruiting campaign and get some wind the Pirate Bureau sails. oh, and art, lots of art. Any suggestions @edeity?


#4

Sorry, a meeting over a YEAR since last congress to plan what to do?

What have you guys been doing?


(Michael Keating) #5

For what it’s worth, in QLD Emily has been doing a great job kicking off grassroots meetups and engagement in SE QLD. There’s a number of members up here that have been helping in and around universities to get our name out more.

The 12 months following an election is always a quieter period for minor parties. The social medias have been active, we’ve been pushing out media releases on topics that are our core issues and we’ve scored at least one media engagement (me on WA radio late last year). Yeah, Australian politics is a circus, and it makes me frustrated and angry at times, but as Frew says there’s not a huge amount of issues that come into our field of play, but when they do we’re on top of things pretty quickly.

Here’s the thing. The Pirate Party is a grassroots movement. Anyone can contribute and add to the party. And lots of people do - generate content, work on policies to be adopted at Congress, put together visions. In theory, it shouldn’t be up to the National Council to step in and do all the work. Unfortunately, this isn’t seen as the case, as most people see a “governing body” as the one that does the work. The NC is getting better at delegating work, unfortunately not everyone is available and often does the grunt work itself. My point is, people can do stuff without the NC poking them. This shouldn’t be news to anyone, we’ve said it often enough.

The bigger “issue”, is that political parties in Australia work best when people can give them their undivided attention. So many of the big ones are run by people with no full time commitments other than the party. Unfortunately a lot of us don’t have that luxury. It’s one reason why I can’t commit to an NC position at the end of this term. It’s bloody hard when you’re spending nearly 12 hours away from home each day, and you’ve got family and house to look after. I’m not alone, most people on the NC have commitments that can take time away from them. I could be all idealistic and say it’s the nature of capitalism and the system, but there’s always bills to pay, and no everyone has the luxury of being able to focus on one thing while those bills are taken care of.

There’s always plenty to do. There’s always things happening. The next 24 months are more key than the last 12 months to getting ready for an election. I’d love to have our members speak at community events, political events, rallies etc. But it’s much easier said than done. Ideally we can recruit people with enough time on their hands to get out and do it, but thats a separate challenge.


#6

Thanks Michael. Good to hear of some activity - and I’m sure there has been other things going on.

The grass roots argument is valid - to a point. The only reason for leadership or a party is for there to be leadership. If that is not working, there is no reason or purpose for leadership or the party.

For policy creation, I think it’s a nice hobby, but without an effective party it is just busy work.

Hmmm I sound like I did a year ago. Apologies. I just would like to get involved in politics and I’m trying to see if there is a heartbeat here.


(Michael Keating) #7

My point is, there is always room for more help. All the arguments are double edged swords:

The grass roots argument is valid - to a point. The only reason for leadership or a party is for there to be leadership. If that is not working, there is no reason or purpose for leadership or the party.

You’re exactly right. But whats the point of having leadership if there’s no-one to lead? The National Council is quite hands on, but this can be an issue if we want more people to be involved. I’d argue that the nature of the NC doing everything in the past has let people sit back and let things happen, but that’s being far too general and taking too many assumptions. My point is, having good leadership is definitely important, but having people to lead and help with is also important.

For policy creation, I think it’s a nice hobby, but without an effective party it is just busy work.

Another double edged sword. We pride ourselves on having evidence-based, factual policies that look to solve problems and progress Australia. We receive huge compliments from our member base and those outside of the party on both the content and what the policies do. You can’t have a party without policies, and we’re lucky we have (and have had) a great group of contributors over the years to get us where we are. It’s not busy work, it’s pretty central to what we do as a party.

The actual bit that doesn’t get much traction (and makes a lot of work for small result), is getting the ideas and policy into the mainstream. It’s bloody hard. And that’s more the point of having strategy meetings and engaging members, is getting them up to speed with the policies and giving them freedom to discuss further and take it further into the world… but again, easier said than done.

Remember, we are a relatively young political party with a decent member-base. There’s a number of behind the scenes things that are still being set up to assure the party’s future. But we’re always open to new ideas and contributions.


(Tom Randle) #8

How come you haven’t started a Crispy Fresh Pirate Memes facebook page @edity? https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/socialists-seizing-memes-production/

Just an idea.


#9

Because members of the executive and much of the votes of the party thought that was a terrible idea and they had a habit of blocking or removing meme content because it was embarassing and not of the standard for communications of a serious political party.

So my attention is on the black hole of internal leadership and complete absence of any viable strategy instead.


(Alex Jago) #10

Hmm. There is a significant difference between PPAU formally putting out (i.e. endorsing) memes and a FB group of PPAU supporters making memes.

OK, Three Pirate Rule invoked. Two other volunteers for co-admin-ing a new group requested. Or else we just convert the existing FB group into a Dank Meme Stash™, not like it’s being used for anything particularly useful right now.


#11

I do think the discipline of doing something would be beneficial.


(Tom Randle) #12

My suggestion doesn’t require anyone’s permission. It would be a way you could evangelise pirate ideology and philosophy without requiring the party itself do anything. When we do things as an org is when all the messy electoral law stuff kicks in and we all get edgy. My suggestion was meant to imply it would not be a party effort and would cover world wide pirate views outside the Australian context. I hope that makes more sense.


(Michael Keating) #13

Electoral law is a bitch. Thats why we have an auth process for things that our logo goes on, that we need to “endorse”…

I don’t see a problem with a meme stash if thats what you want to do. But it’s one part of a greater strategy, not a be all end all…

BTW, no-one like bureaucracy, but it’s there for a reason. Don’t let that make you think things can’t be done.


(Frew) #14

Start another group, the main group is useful for legitimate purposes. I can admin, but maybe we don’t want El Presidente having his finger in this pie, for deniability reasons.


#15

ok this is moving in a direction


(Alex Jago) #16

I have started a group. It is currently secret; I’ll shift it over to ‘closed’ once I get a few other things sorted out, and to ‘public’ once I get some co-admins.


(Stuart Rutherford) #17

I’d volunteer to admin for a Pirate Dank Meme Stash™ Page, although I don’t have experience modding anything in the past.


(Sunny Kalsi) #18

How’s the Membership database thing going? I’m still not getting any emails about yearly membership fees. I thought we got a company to do it for us.

Which gets me thinking… how’s our cash flow? I can’t help but feel like we can do something more substantive than Dank Memes. I mean, @SamKearns as done an incredible job in the past with long-form talk shows, and he’s doing Youtube videos now. Can’t we hand him some cash and have him produce some short videos talking about Pirate philosophy, etc.?

We seem to have decent success with smart-arse campaigns. I feel like if we have some sort of “brand identity” it’s got to be smart-arse campaigns like Peter Sunde’s copymachine. For every piece of copy we produce on our website on issues we could get good coverage if we had “one neat trick” that subverts the ideas we’re against.

This is not to say we’re doing anything wrong now. It’s been ages since I’ve been able to contribute in any meaningful way. I guess it’d just be nice to have open and transparent information about what the party is up to.


(twisty) #19

I’m open to ideas … have at it[quote=“alexjago, post:16, topic:1179”]
I have started a group.
[/quote]

I’m in.

I’m a “joiner”.


(Sunny Kalsi) #20

I’m not too good at the sass but here’s my crappy idea:

The most recent issue we’ve decided to tackle is AFP’s data retention breach of Journalist data. A long time ago @dc84 gave some training to the elderly to allow them to access information about euthanasia, since the filter was going to potentially ban it. We seem to have friends in Sydney Cryptoparty. Why not work with them to invite journalists to a special journalism cryptoparty? Teach them how to do encryption, what to take care of, etc. Produce material under the pirateparty.org.au domain which has information for journalists. Essentially make it clear that Journalists have no actual legislative protection, and they need to solve the problem technically.

Then talk about how legislation shouldn’t allow for this sort of mass surveillance. It helps journalists understand. It helps them write about it.