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Deputy Leader Nomination

ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
edited January 7 in Candidate
Hello fellow Pirates

Welcome to our Internal Elections 2017 (or IE2017?). As nominations come in for the positions of Deputy Leader and Secretary, I'd like to encourage everyone to also consider standing for the positions of Treasurer, Nominations Officer and not forgetting, party Leader itself and encourage others to #BeThePirate so they can take part and vote in these elections.

But enough plugging and on with my nomination.

For those of you who haven't heard me bang this drum yet; I feel I must first apologise, I have become one of those things we all seem to complain about - a politician! On St David's Day last year I became the first Pirate Party representative in any level of government, a Community Councillor for St Athan. Since then I've been involved in a lot of local events[1][2] and I am currently, seemingly the main candidate in the local elections for 2017, hoping to reach County Council level but at a minimum retaining my Community Council seat. While I consider reaching this higher council seat unlikely, it will be good to see how our polling has changed over these 7 years. The party's vector of attack on elections has certainly changed. We used to be primarily raising awareness and trying to change the political landscape, which we have certainly achieved but now we're fighting for actual winnable seats on lower councils with the eventual goal of pushing into a higher council.

In short, while before we were more fighting against the established parties, now we are fighting for representation.

It is firstly because of this and secondly that more people have come forward as active volunteers to make this strategy become a reality that I feel I can now stand as Deputy Leader once more. That and I feel the semi-impulsive or reactionary side to my political approach has some what calmed. I'm perhaps less likely to make a John Prescott comment in reaction to a UKIP or Liberal Democrat supporter... but I do think it's still important to occasionally turn cannon on neighbouring political parties as nothing should be free from criticism but remember that the criticisms should be targeted at the party and less the party's membership.

If the vision of increasing Pirate Party representatives, starting from the bottom up, is a strategy you agree with then I would be grateful for your vote.

For more information on "Who is Dave?", here is my public facing Bio, which contains my affiliations, political history and one of the only two good pictures ever taken of me.

Currently @Termy aka Jason Winstanley is the only other nomination for Deputy Leader and he also deserves your consideration. Check his thread here. We've both spoken and neither will be discouraged by losing the election - and will continue to volunteer for the party in whatever capacity we feel we can be most useful.

Finally, naturally many of you will likely have questions. So catch me on Discord or post it here. To Pirate shipmates or newcomers to our crew I ask if there is a nagging question somewhere... and if there is, I urge you to ask it now. Whatever it may be, it would be better for us all for it to be aired now than wait until it's too late.

Yours piratically

---

[1] https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press-hit/pirate-party-councillor-fund-raising-success
[2] https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press-hit/pirate-party-councillor-road-safety-must

P.S. a common problem I come into when speaking with older or ex members is they feel we have drifted from our core policies. After this, I went on a bit of a youtube spree and created videos like this with the help of @Lennon

Comments

  • I certainly can't fault your commitment to the Party.

    Given that you occupied this role previously I ask you the following:

    1. What work did you carry out as Deputy Leader that you felt was most helpful for the Party?
    2. Would you take the role in a different direction this time round? Would you remove some functions from the role or would you add new ones, and why?
  • ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
    edited January 7
    Hello @topperfalkon

    Thank you for saying so :)

    1) Some of the smaller things when there was a functioning NEC such as being a go-between between the Board and NEC really helped bridge a bit of a communications gap. Seeing as the Deputy Leader role is something a little less fleshed out in terms of it's definition I think it would be worth working with the Secretary to see how to best make that one of the Deputy's official functions. I think since then Discord has really helped bring the party a lot closer together and while I definitely cannot claim credit for the idea - I've been pushing it not only inside the party but over social media too, which seems to have brought in some new faces. It's a really nice ability to be able to just chat to someone and accidentally get them interested in the Pirate Party, which I think was something mostly missing from our online presence.

    On a grander scale, outside of getting into the council, I would put expanding the Wales Branch and the Pirate brand down here. Some of this is directly me, other times it's simply being active so that other Welsh folks know that we have a pulse down here and are more willing to come forward. It has been a lot slower than I would have liked but we fielded our second candidate in Wales a little while ago as a result and there is talk of another in Swansea getting involved. As mentioned in my OP, we're shooting for four candidates in 2017, so the branch or at least our reputation should increase even more.

    2) The first thing that I think we should do is implement a clear recall/challenge system into either our code of practice or constitution for leadership positions. No, I've not gone mad and think we should have annual leadership elections like Jeremy Corbyn but we have this as party policy, that we can have parliamentary recall by the people but currently our own party doesn't have this function with it's own internal elected reps. I think it's important to practice what we preach - which I am happy to say for the most part we do actually do.

    Perhaps more exciting I really want to see us win seats in local government but failing that see our polling increase. Previous NECs have always been deflated when not improving their polling result as much as expected over 5 years... but I think this was a symptom of shooting for national seats as a minor party. We do very much still need to challenge national seats but more as a platform to boost our profile, then focus winning seats on local levels. It's a tried and tested approach that worked for the Liberal Democrats for years under this broken FPTP system and also a way we can maximise our threat value against established parties. We can expand beyond embarrassing their terrible policies in the news and actually take a seat or two off them while we're at it.
  • Hello everyone!

    I thought I would just publicly back up what Dave said, and confirm that we have indeed spoken at some length about the idea of running against each other during this election, and of course without a shadow of a doubt I support him in his endeavours. Neither of us will be dissuaded from actively volunteering after this election, and neither of us will shy away from any challenge. :)
  • ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
    I can think of a few parties that could learn a lesson or two from these kinds of elections :)
  • 2) The first thing that I think we should do is implement a clear recall/challenge system into either our code of practice or constitution for leadership positions.
    Strictly speaking, this is provided for by 10.2-4 through the use of the VONC system, but I guess you're suggesting something slightly different.
  • ThyPirateDaveThyPirateDave South Wales
    edited January 14
    Yes I found myself re-reading that when looking at the constitution yesterday; as we're due a referendum to the membership on the Board of Governors size.

    I found the vote of no confidence issue a bit lacking. This is probably in part due to us never having had to use it - and thus never been tested, unlike other areas such as the conditions around seconding.

    Ideally I'd like to see more or less the same conditions for a vote of no confidence but the wording cleared up and clarity around if someone is voted out, can they simply re-stand as a candidate for something else or indeed the same position. Secondly though I think a Challenge scenario would be more useful option to a simple no vote of confidence. My working is simply that it is easy to eject someone from their seat, be sceptical or complain... but it is a lot harder to find a replacement or generally do the job yourself. While the vote of no confidence mechanism is needed as sometimes you really might end up with the membership preferring an empty chair over the incumbent (indeed this is why we have RON in elections), it would be better for all if they were simply challenged and replaced by a democratically elected alternative, rather than having to wait to the end of a possible 2 year term for this other candidate to run.

    There is of course the argument that you can simply vote of no confidence someone, then have someone new run for the empty position. However this doesn't seem a particularly open system to me - the challenge mechanism means a candidate for the NEC position would have to declare their interest out-right as an alternative, rather than only having to argue against a then empty chair.
  • That seems like an interesting solution. Given that we'll be approaching the membership over Board size soon, this might be another good one to bring to the Board's consideration at the same time.
  • Yeap. It's more an administrative change, my main focus would and I think should be on the external in this year, at least until after the local elections.
  • Hello all.

    I have posted my Deputy Leader bid here.

    Feel free to discuss, here, grab me on discord or send me an e-mail~
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