There are a bunch of political parties that are cutting each others knees and condemning each other to failure. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fly a single banner?
The Future Party (now the Science party)
The Pirate Party
Renewable Energy Party
Rise Up Australia Party
And probably some others.
These parties are all shooting in the same direction, with different guns. Most of these parties have been born from a desire for change from the current system and all are future-oriented parties. Surely they can all be conglomerated into one national, federal flag?
By being all broken into a myriad of parties you’re simply ensuring that you will never succeed. It’s a behemoth of a challenge to dethrone Liberals and Labor and take their massive margin of votes over the smaller parties, especially when all those smaller parties are warring for votes themselves. The only reason the greens got so big is because they conglomerated, pooling their votes from fragmented parties.
Now, I’m not saying join the greens, but the political climate of the planet is changing, and it’s starting to happen to Australia as well. We have an aging population starting to drop off the perch, removing staunch Liberal/Labor voters from the pool entirely. We have a youth that is more engaged with international politics now than ever in the last twenty years (arguably) and we have an archaic web of old white men who hold public opinion of being blatantly corrupt (whether or not they really are). If there ever was a time for William Wallace to lead Australia to political utopia, this is it.
Has there been discussion amongst the parties to unite? Are there ideological differences? Can those differences be overcome?
It’s party suicide trying to take on the big boys when you’re so fragmented like this. I still haven’t decided who to vote for, but at this stage it will likely be Labor because they’re the left-most party with any chance of getting in.
You’re not wrong per se. At the moment I think many of us micro party people are waiting for some of the others to die out. We’ll be waiting a while…
There was a thing called the “Alliance for Progress” in 2015 and early 2016. PPAU was peripherally involved, but there honestly wasn’t much point to us being in it.
(There was also some drama; more senior party members might be able to elaborate.) There’s probably also some discussion on that topic if you search for that name.
Oh, and as of 2016 we’re now seeing joint tickets being run, so I guess that’s also partial progress.
Joint tickets shouldn’t be too hard to do. We already effectively leave it up to the NC to decide which states we’ll run in.
For preference recommendations, it might be possible to get the members of the other party in the relevant state to also take part in our vote, but that would probably mean them giving us their member email list, which is probably a deal breaker on several levels. Of course, GVTs are gone now, so if we don’t share electoral material than we can each recommend different preferences.
Rise Up Australia Party
… Is decidedly different to every other party in that list…
Well it was designed as a preference swapping organisation due to the now abolished group voting tickets (GVTs) and wasn’t geared for mergers. It was used by most parties as a progressive faction within Glenn "the preference whisperer’ Drury’s Small Parties Alliance. To be part of that alliance we had to preference all of the member parties before we could preference the Greens, ALP or coalition. The Greens are our closest allies so we weren’t willing to do this. We were happy to preference (most of) the other parties of the Alliance for Progress before the Greens but there was no way in the world we would be preferencing fundie Christians, racists or other reactionary parties above the Greens. We don’t want to go out like the now defunct Wikileaks Party (see link for details).
This was to protect ourselves from the moment that the Alliance for Progress said we were going to preference the Greens below the ALP, the Alliance people were angry about the abolition of GVTs while we didn’t care so much. The new system is a bit worse for small parties, but it wasn’t worth destroying our relationship with the Greens over. They actually said we were going against the Greens and we did have to point to the press release. This damaged our relationship with the Alliance for Progress which made the subsequent discussions about joint tickets a bit touchy and ultimately we had to go it alone.[quote=“alexjago, post:4, topic:1021”]
Rise Up Australia Party
… Is decidedly different to every other party in that list…
I would also exclude the Sustainable Australia, they are great at talking out both sides of their mouth. “Oh, we just think more people in Australia is bad for the environment” to the left and “Don’t let them bloody imagents in they’ll take our jerbs!” to the right… I might be exaggerating a bit, but only a bit.
VoteFlux are all about pedalling their proprietary voting system, they will only negotiate on the basis that we adopt their voting system, same with Direct Democracy (although they aren’t a business venture).
There is space to work with and maybe merge with the other Parties. In some cases we vary significantly on approach and that would automatically make the parties factions, and organisational structures can vary quite a lot too. The people in the Pirate Party most keen on these talks are only keen if someone else does the work.
My opinion sways towards this. We need more proactivity to get our name out there, especially outside of election times. I know that elections is a core component of us getting any power, but I would 1 day like to hear a friend ask me about us without me first mentioning it to them. I can count such people so far all on 1 hand.
Though I’m open to discussions about if other parties want us to absorb them, I’m not keen on us championing the idea of any merging. It can suggest a sign of defeat which can hurt our marketing credibility.
Do you really have that much marketing credibility? I mean the party has been around for a while now but I think the majority of Australians still haven’t heard of The Pirate Party enough to be concerned that they formed a coalition. I think the majority of the voting public is pretty blind to the minor parties, even with the swing away from the majors we saw last election (the momentum of which should be maintained). Unless you want to mount a gigantic campaign all the way up to the next election there’s just no way you’ll be able to swing all the minor voters to vote just for PP.
Not merging is a losing strategy, as you’ll never get a large enough chunk of the voters to really make a difference.
Funnily enough this was one of the reasons we decided against a joint ticket in the last federal election. By being a part of an ‘umbrella’, you don’t tend to stand out as much as a lot of the other minor parties. By standing on our own, we had our own logo on the sheet, our name as a standalone. Anecdotally I had a few people notice us as a party standing on our own, which was nice to hear.
As for merging, it’s not as simple as it sounds, and I don’t mean from an ideological or policy standpoint. A lot of people are very political and don’t want their ideas/policy/parties merged into another (even if they are similar). Call it ego, call it politics, it is what it is. We’re not against merging per se (the Constitution deals with this scenario pretty well). It’s just easier said than done.
In the meantime, we will fly the flag as best we can. Gaining attention in the landscape well before any election is critical, especially with the way the current government and opposition are seen in the public.
We are a minor party with zero paid staff, since our founding we’ve essentially been in a state of being ‘crushed by limited resources’, this is natural for most small parties. Nothing happens in this Party unless unpaid people donate their time and resources, so if you’re a member you should assume our governing body (the National Council) is permanently screaming out for help from our members. The aim is obviously to build towards a position where we have staffers and the ability to continuously campaign with a more professional foot print, but we’re no where near there yet.
Well that is our aim either way, ignoring the question of mergers for the moment, there’s no better time to put in place what we need for elections starting from the moment after the last one.
But on to the question of mergers. As an elected Party rep, the question of mergers just equal problems / wasted energy to me. The cost/benefit in my view would crush any ability for us to grow ourselves and I still see a lot of potential in us on our own, you seem to be of the view @Stormy that if we don’t merge with others we won’t get where we want to be, that’s fine but I disagree.
Of all the parties on your list, to me we’re different and our movement is different. We are the only party on that list with 40+ international brother and sister parties with the same name around the world in other countries. Though they are completely independent from us, they sprung up just the same, based on the same founding values and principles we hold.
Some of the parties on your list are seriously undemocratic in how they’re run, and like all party politics some of the people and internal machinations that are involved in the running of those other parties in my view makes them simply incompatible with us and our values, i.e. we would be sacrificing too much of our values to merge with some of them. For example the Rise Up Australia Party is just destructive in my view.
As regards marketing, its no doubt helped by the relative success of Pirate Parties overseas - so in our current guise the perception of their success or otherwise will reflect on us. This is likely to remain the case whilst our ability to impact on the local political scene remains limited. As a newbie, I appreciate the openness of the discussion on this forum, but was certainly disconcerted by the thread on persuading Bluebie (I think) to stay as it revealed the predominatel maleness of the membership and looking at the platform statements it definitely has a male sterility about it. Nicely ordered, logical, sparse, cogent and strangely emotionless. Clean code. I exaggerate but you may get my drift. Why then might I have been attracted to the pirates? 1. Internal Party Democracy - I’ve been on the fringes of party politics for a long time but I was last a member during the '80’s of the Labor party. The arcane and ponderous processes, coupled with blatant manipulation and corruption meant that I was soon out of there. The Green’s processes are more opaque, and they have this weird ecological religious aspect that precludes clear policy development. Their current difficulty with Left Renewal is both predictable and disappointing in the way the leadership is dealing with it. ( I note that the PP states something about being without factions, but that’s probably a function of limited size). 2. Modern - the initiation of the party as a response to developments in the digital sphere indicates at least an openness to the future. 3. Progressive Social Policy not limited by external dependencies, interest groups - it can be radical and incisive. 4. Potential to influence and change - at this point i feel I could have some influence and the party platform is not immutable.
Limitations: 1. Funding - always an issue in the absence of some magnanimous benign geek tycoon. 2. Foot soldiers - membership is tiny
Happy to take that as a.comment - Shrug - but IMHO - it feels male and whilst I would happy to be proven wrong there would seem to be a significant dearth of non-male participation herewith. Has that been identified as an issue except by bluebie? Surely the pirates aren’t a vehicle.for some hidden men’s rights agenda?
Maybe this thread will clarify.
Anyway, in relation to marketing - you can pay for it or you can try to be popular/viral. Or both. One of the issues that hooked me was the stance against Centrelink debt recovery. Probably wouldn’t have joined without it - but I had to search to find it. A presence at the demo (I went to the Melb one) would have been useful. So responses to current issues that we can say something about are good. And at this stage we should attempt to be a little outrageous to attract attention.
We could also bend the idea of what a political party is - I.e actually do something rather than just talk and I’m aware of limited resources, but raising money for good causes in conjunction with our own fund raising would demonstrate a difference.
Enough for now
I do recognise this, but I’m not going to label it an “issue” as the gender imbalance of that thread was pure happenstance. Besides, that thread ended up never being a civil discussion about bluebie’s contemplation to resign. Observing all her posts, she never accepted any facts we gave her, and kept to her own story and circumstances and remained unswayed. Someone made mention in the thread (cbf looking for the post to quote) that her opening post and attitude throughout the whole discussion suggested that she appeared to have already made up her mind before even raising the topic. I otherwise don’t understand your intent on singling the mannerisms of all participants of that thread.
Frankly, I’m getting a little annoyed overall about arguments against the happenstance of male dominance with nothing actually being done about it. Every argument made is effectively recycled/rehashed, yet no one seems to be bringing to the table any objective ideas on how to “fix” it. There doesn’t need to be a policy for it, or specification in the constitution, or any oversight by the NC, except maybe to approve any formal establishment of an autonomous working group.
Perhaps what you’re noticing about our online presence @propagatum is not a gender thing, but a community thing? Our membership is largely male biased, but primarily that large block of males are nerds and geeks (self included and I mention it lovingly ), and what you describe is simply I think a statement of our dominate personality types, not our genders:
The outcomes of what we do well here currently (policy) comes I think as a product of the majority personality types of our active members, I would argue we lack the level of humanising / community presence we should have, and that we struggle to put a human face on our messages (we need pictures/videos of us pirates doing things damnit! ).
We won’t grow at the pace we could unless people really want to belong to our Party (begins chant “one of us, one of us, one of us”), and I think that’s probably where @edeity and others feel the frustration, yes we have a really good policy platform, but that alone won’t ever create a large enough movement of people or the momentum needed to reach parliament quickly.
My comments on the style of the website and the policy was in some way leading towards a suggestion to address directly this issue through policy. Or at least to have a discussion on some form of policy on participation or non-discrimination that might have some visibility in the policy summary/outline. I recognise that it is implicit in the policies, but making it explicit so that it has visibility might help.
I was attempting to provide my first impressions as a way of presenting how it might appear to someone browsing, looking to see whether they might be inclined to join/participate. Perhaps the reason I’m here is that I’m male and a geek (system admin). The bias shows. It helps me to appreciate the wiki which is better than any other I’ve been on - so great work on that. I need more time to really gain an appreciation of the complexity of the policies, but their lack of waffle, is deceptive. Not easy to consume without time for contemplation.
But i was also an arts student before I became a system admin and a student activist during the '80s so I have some experience of older style gender politics. I think I saw something here that detailled how women won’t put themselves forward - they prefer to be asked. That’s not going to be easy, but its worthwhile trying to make a start.
Marketing is an art form, multi-faceted, the Pirate Party should be a a more visible brand. It should be rowdy, transgressive, rebellious. It should be fun.
Suggested slogan - Pirate Party - Party for the Future