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We Need To Talk About The Purpose And Direction Of The Party

I've been talking to various people about this and that and have come to a few conclusions:

1. It's a bit of a sausagefest around here; what can we do to encourage more women to come forward and get involved? Diversity needs to be addressed.
2. There aren't many active members, and by "active" I mean "people who get involved in discussions or in taking responsibility for party activities, etc."
3. We're not being terribly effective at what we're doing compared to the Icelandic iteration. What can we do to emulate their success?
4. We need to be more active in the community, taking part in community life and getting involved with community issues. Loz Kaye is very good at that, we need to follow suit. We also need to be more of a community ourselves. We're not very connected to each other. This should be what everyone who wants to stand for election does, not a few stand-out members. Okay, Loz. He was the most visible of us.
5. We need to be more active politically, getting involved in campaigns for things that matter. Being involved with 38 Degrees and the various progressive causes would help a lot.
6. We need to generate more press, particularly positive press. Loz Kaye did that very well, writing for The Guardian, HuffPo, etc.
7. We need to be more organised; we've all been doing our own thing and kinda sorta helping each other out. We've also not been making the most of offers for help from volunteers which is possibly why we're struggling to get more people to throw their hats into the ring for leadership positions.
8. We need to have a focus and a goal. We need to talk about what those things are and how to achieve them.
9. We need to decide on what image we're going to get across. I've mentioned the suited and booted thing; we actually need a mix so we're presenting ourselves appropriately. T-shirts and jeans work are right for taking part in protests or party activities; suits or jackets and ties are better for formal occasions. That's not all, though. We need to decide what the Pirate brand is and be consistent in promoting it. People's perceptions of us need to match what we're doing and I'm struggling to get my work colleagues to see us as anything more than a tiny single issue party. We also need to do more to raise awareness; 'nuff people have never heard of us.

Okay, those are my thoughts. What do you think?


  • He he!! That's al be rite, lass!!!

    Seriously... completely agree!!
  • This is what I meant when I highlighted the need for capacity building. Does PPUK have a development plan?
  • It flippin' needs one! I worry that perhaps it doesn't and want to get more involved in what that means, otherwise we risk being relegated to being a noisy pressure group that wastes money on standing for election when we've got no chance of winning. I want every Pirate who stands for election to have a realistic chance of actually getting a seat.
  • Thank you for responding, Dave. I agree with all your points and look forward to doing more to help the party. I see myself more as ancillary support at the moment and am willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. I helped Loz out by dishing out leaflets during the last election campaign but really wish I could have done more for the other Manchester candidates.

    We need to meet regularly with people who show an interest in helping out so we can get a relationship going. That way, when it's time to ask for help, we've go a pool of friends we can depend on to help out. We really do need to work on our interpersonal relationships with other members as building trust makes it easier to rely on people when we need assistance on projects, etc.
  • It's good to see the Pirate Party hasn't changed, still disappearing up it's own arse with enough due process to choke a fully fledged parliamentary party.

    I think what you really need is another policy review, the last one only had dozens of useless policies no one cared about in it, you need more of that stuff and more elections. I had never considered it before but an internal election is the only election a pirate party member is likely to win so you should have more of them, make everyone a winner.

    It's actually been a while since I checked in with what the hell you guys were up to and missed your GE15 campaign entirely (like everyone else did judging by the numbers). It's good to see nothing has changed and you're having another election.
  • I think your best course of action would be to form a few subcommittees (after voting for the members of course) to decide how to streamline things then do an STV vote on which new structure you want to have. I saw one proposed outline of your organisation on another post on here, I think it had more posts than you have active members on it. Just a thought though.

    With the policy thing you are free to disagree but you're wrong. You got good engagement from people within your party, which is great but really when it comes down to it that doesn't really matter. I remember when you did this policy crowdsource and it was amazing and took months (unless you've done another since then, I wasn't watching) so you crowdsources tons of polices spent months refining them and what do you have now? literally hundreds of policies, some you've cribbed of other parties to duplicates to the straight up incoherent. Here's a example. You have a might 8 pages (ok 7.1 pages) of Economic polices. So lets look at some of them:

    "Refocus HMRC on tax evasion" Seems ok on the face of it, I mean you don't need to refocus HMRC on Tax evasion, that's pretty much their thing. What you mean is spend more money on HMRC to increase the staff levels working on tax evasion cases. Bit woolly worded but fair enough. But wait a couple of pages later you have "Reduce tax evasion" as a whole other policy. That's not a different policy, it's the same policy twice. Your policies are no where near fine grained enough to be split out like that. You have this all over, in defence you have No Nukes in the UK and No Nukes in Europe, that's not two polices.

    Your policies are also totally incoherent taken as a whole. You're going to merge Income Tax and NI, You're going to have a Tax Minister to streamline and make Tax simple to understand, introduce a Land Tax and make the Tax Brackets float with median income, but also have the top rate of tax linked to the unemployment rate and adding a higher rate of tax to capital holding (or the poetically labelled wealth generated by other peoples labour, good luck defining that). This system will also ensure that no-one pays more tax than someone who earns more than them (again good luck not making this some massive tax loophole). And your Tax Minister is going to make this easy to understand and streamlined then, yes?

    I do love your 'It's 5pm on Friday and I want to stop thinking of policies' Polcies like 'Create Jobs', that is some low effort work right there. Also your brilliant 'I just had to pay a customs fee' 'Scrap HMRC customs charges for goods delivered to private addresses' Policy. "Why are you having 20 tonnes of steel delivered to your home address?" , "Oh you know, personal use"

    No one looks at the Pirate Party and thinks, oh I wonder what their long term economic plan is? Because it's irrelevant, The first section of your GE15 Manifesto was on the NHS? What are you pirate doctors or something? I read your manifesto and I don't actually know what your 7 core principals are exactly. This used to be the party of pirating movies, that's why you're called the pirate party, the copyright reform is buried in your manifesto when it's the founding principal of your party. It's like the Green party just turned round and said 'yeah actually fuck trees'.

    On your vote share, it's within a margin of error really, the only seat you've stood in twice you managed to reduce your vote share so I wouldn't look too hard to the results for any positives.
  • > The example you reference is essentially, unless I am missing something, more or less what you are proposing with you "few subcommittees" thing. However aside the board and leadership, everything else is appointed. From how you describe it, your model would increase the amount of voting and red tape. Not sure that is a viable solution...

    He/she was being sarcastic/trolling, fyi. They are implying there is too much of that and not much else.
  • edited June 2015
    Oh no Jimk has seen though my subtle disguise, I am of course saying you have too many of these things. As should be self evident.

    @Drowz0r I'm afraid if you can't see what's wrong with your policies section then I don't see much point in discussing this particular topic any more. You did get loads of folk on your sub reddit and they suggested tons of things. Now your polices are an incoherent mess and barely mention your core, founding principals any more. The Green Party have 3 broad policies on the Economy, you have 35. Do you see the problem? I mean if your core principals are not around 'Copyright reform' and are around 'No Customs Duty on things shipped to private addresses' then I apologise as I have misunderstood the direction the party has taken in the last year.

    Now obviously you're passionate about your party, but you have to be objective about your results. You got fewer votes than the last election, that's not a good number. raising your vote share from 0.35% to 0.4% is fairly meaningless because you didn't run in these seats before. The only seat you contested twice you lost votes in. That is to say you cannot say you did better as you may have lost support in the seats you ran in GE15 but you don't know as you have no data. Do you see what I mean there? You just don't have the data sets to draw the the kind of metrics you're talking about from.
  • edited June 2015
    I think you'll see I have provided criticism, you just chose to not address any of the points I raised. I mean if you think your policies section and manifesto are/where good then you're just going to continue circling the drain. If you're serious about addressing the purpose and direction of the party then it's really something you probably should be looking at. Not sitting around thinking, well so many people contributed to our policy sub-reddit! Ignoring the 45,324,000 people who didn't vote for you.


    I mean big up for beating the National Front, but 106 votes is not really very good and trying to spin your vote share as positive when you have no real reference is disingenuous, which you must know.
  • Clearly I do want to discuss it more, as I'm still posting. I just don't think you actually want to engage in any meaningful discussion, You've not addressed any points I've raised to say why you are right, just trying to gloss over them. Like go for any point and have a stab at it. Like how can you claim a major success in the election when you have literally 0 data to back that up? How can you defend having 35 Economic polices including 'Create Jobs' and 'No customs charges on things shipped to private addresses'. What are the core polices of the PPUK, which hill would you choose to die on? All of them?

    So as an aspiring property baron/slum lord you agree you should be paying higher taxes on that income because it's off the sweat of other peoples back and you should be paying Land Value Tax on the property you own then?
  • > How can you defend ... policies... [etc.]

    Because we committed to running an open policy process, committed to having members vote on the resulting policies, and ended up with what we got.

    Is what we got good enough? No.

    How do we make this bit better?

    Well we can ignore the ideas from people outside the Party - but personally I think that listening to as many voices as possible is to our advantage.

    We can apply some sort of non-democratic filter on those ideas before we put them to member vote - we actually did that this time around... though in the very lightest way possible, i.e. we dropped out the things that were utterly incoherent. We could raise the bar on this filtering but where to? At some point we'll be ignoring policies because those doing the filtering don't like them which makes the process less democratic within the Party and may discourage members from being actively involved.

    We could have more discussion of the policies in advance of voting to flesh the details out a bit better, which would help members understand and argue the pros and cons more, and might allow those with greater understanding an opportunity to guide those with less understanding away from crazy stuff.

    I'm in favour of that last option - but that needs members to get engaged and have that greater level of understanding and be willing to apply it to policy discussions. We could post each policy as a starting point of a discussion and let them unravel (or tighten up) form there. We could even call those threads subcommittees in honour of aramoro (by the way, hi @aramoro, havn't seen you since the old forums, welcome to the new one!).

    It turns out we don't have many members who actually want to get involved with deep nitty gritty of policy discussion. I can't blame them. But TBH a new political Party that wants to offer something different ought to have a significant chunk of activity dedicated to exactly that (i.e. defining all the things it would do differently and importantly WHY).

    If we saw 50% of our membership demanding we do away with the wider policy base, we'd do it. Instead the involvement we do get has led us to the policies we currently have. At some point it is on the members to make the Party change direction if that's what they want and on the leadership to make sure the members have the means to exert greater control of the Party's operations.

    @aramoro - no idea if you are a member. If you are then keep demanding what you want. If you don't have the voices of other members supporting you it could be you're in a minority - so don't be surprised if you don't get your way. If you feel you do speak for a significant number of members, then get them involved - we'll all be better off if you can.
  • I have some sympathy with aramoro's point that the Party's structure and policy statement are far too complex for this stage of the party's development. With regard to the paraphernalia of a political party, this needs to be grown as the Party's capacity grows, rather than pulled fully formed out of a constitutional handbook. And does the Party really need to tell people what it would do with tax and national insurance (say) were it to form the next government when it clearly ain't?

    The point of standing in elections (at least at the present stage of the Party's development) can't be to get elected, but must be to raise the Party's profile, get its core values across, and (hopefully) attract more members/supporters as a result. I like the Píratar's clean and concise statement of its Core Policy and Platform, and I think we should be aiming for something of the same. It's the Party's core values and principles that attracted me to it; not its policy on military procurement.

    And, at the present moment in time, does the Party need (and can it realistically fill without dysfunctionality and/or burn-out) a Board of Governors AND a National Executive Committee AND a Leader's Office AND a Policy Group AND a Secretariat AND a Press Office. It may do in the future, but for now wouldn't a single elected steering committee suffice, with an appointed Chair, a Treasurer and a Secretary, maybe supplemented by ad hoc 'juries' of randomly selected Party members to deal with specific issues as and when they arise AND when there's an actual need to deal with them ? - governance partly through election and partly through sortition, in other words.

    I'm keen to see the Party grow, but as I've said elsewhere this is a long-term project that requires careful planning. I think one of the priorities in the short-term is to produce an achievable and realistic development plan that takes into account our present limited capacity and addresses how we can increase it.
  • I'm also aware that I'm virtually just in the door as a member and that there will be a history to all of this that I don't appreciate. Please don't think I'm just knocking all the hard work that's undoubtedly been done to bring the Party this far. I just fear it might collapse through overstretching its capacity.
  • @azrael What can I say, I think it's good to engage with the party on issues, it's always fun.

    On the policy front though, think back to when you joined the party, even just as far back as last year. I used to know what this party stood for it was clear and your message was strong. When you were at peak membership back in 2012 what you were about was really clear. Now what are you guys about exactly? This shambles of a policy "Scrap HMRC customs charges for goods delivered to private addresses" is more prominent (Page 1 of Economic policies) than this one "Achieve significant copyright reform" (Page 3 of Digital Rights and Surveillance, which is the wrong section incidentally as Copyright isn't just digital but anyway). So you don't really stand for anything, you'll go which ever way the wind blows. What do you do if Copyright Reform doesn't make the cut in the next policy review?

    So you end up with situations as with your candidate @Drowz0r who doesn't really support all your policies, I mean no sane individual could support them all. Not that I'm suggesting @Drowz0r is sane, he is a libertarian after all. So if no one can really support all your polices what are you getting from having such a mishmash of random ideas. PPUK used to be a politically neutral party mostly, now it's a left wing socialist party. And that's cool if that's the direction you want to take the party in but people running the party have to believe in what they're supporting, and not just because some people upvoted something on a subreddit.


    The policy discussion is critical to the direction of the party. If you as a group of people cannot decide your own policies then you cannot decide the direction of your party, it's as simple as that. You're running a political party like you're playing Knightmare but instead of a team it's random members of the public telling you to step left. The Import tax policy is mearly an example of your bizarre and poorly thought out policy soup that you have, I could have thrown a dart at your list of policies and picked out something equally bizarre. I don't want you to take what I said about yourself as an attack, it wasn't. It was just to illustrate the problem with having such a diverse manifesto means your candidates don't even support the policies you're advertising. I'm sure people will think long and hard about the policies you do and don't support and vote accordingly, or more likely it'll be uncontested.

    You're right in saying the Greens did not do well defending their economic policy but it had nothing to do the number of policies really, more the content or lack of in them. I would be incredibly entertained to see you defend you're economic policy as Deputy leader when you get voted in, especially when you don't even agree with it all. Please say you'll do that to show how your policy structure is superior to the Greens. please.

    I'm not 100% you understand why your increase in vote share is not something you can assess. I mean you can keep saying it but it doesn't make it true. You increased your vote share in Bridgend 100%. you got 100% more votes than ever before there. In Manchester Gorton you reduced your vote share by 23%, that's the only like for like comparison you can make is that one result. You've never run before in Bridgend so you've no idea what your vote share could have been in 2010, maybe you've gained support, maybe you've lost it you can't really say either way. A 0.08% increase in vote share whilst overall getting less votes it very hard to spin into being a success. Since 2012 the party has lost 8% of it's members. Why are you losing votes and losing members, is it perhaps that you've lost your way as a party, lost focus on your core ideals and values.
  • @aramoro - there's an argument to say that when we were at peak membership we were expanding what we did and how we did it and that accounts for some of our growth which now perhaps isn't supported by the smaller size of the Party and significantly the smaller size of active membership (or perhaps not smaller just smaller than it was expected to be at this point). Another argument to say that we're trying to behave like the Parry we want to grow into rather than the Party we are.

    I don't think these need to be massively negative things - just as long as they are recognised openly as being our approach. More importantly if that approach isn't working we shouldn't be tied to it and we should change,

    It is really hard to change if you have the same people trying to make the change - it is human nature to have blind spots for failures in the things you're responsible for.

    That's why it is important we do have constant open dialogue about what we are doing, why we are doing it, if it is working or not. Also why it is important for our members to push the direction of the Party so it is what they want. To answer the question - if the Party ends up being something totally different and not what I want it to be, I guess I'll leave. Before that point I will try to be part of the dialogue and say what I want it to be - but I certainly don't think it is right for a handful of us to impose our view on the members. I imagine that would drive them away even worse than asking them to get involved.
  • edited June 2015
    @Drowz0r I understand the policy process very well, I participated in the process when you did it last time and upvoted a couple of policies myself, as the policy review was under taken on reddit. I don't recall you being in the party at the time, perhaps you were? I don't know. What I did not appreciate at the time is that no one would give any structure to the policies. I mean why do you have 3 separate Copyright policies, 2 Nuclear disarmament policies, like 18 Tax policies. Do you not see that someone needs to collate these ideas into something more coherent? I am of course being flippant about your policy procedure, it wouldn't be the PPUK if there wasn't a huge amount of process associated with it. It did take you months to produce this carefully crafted mess.

    Can you show me in your Manifesto or Policy section of your site what your core policies are? It tells be you've got a broad range of policies your candidates are proud to stand on, except you're not proud to stand on them, not all of them. You've said a core policy is reducing copyright, is it really? It's less prominent on your policy document than re-empowering the unions and your NATO defence spending commitment. Looking at your policies as a whole your party is socialist, not libertarian.

    And please I'm absolutely serious, I would love love love to see you defend your parties Economic policy, see if your 35 policies does make it easier to defend than the Green Parties 3. You need to provide links to this stuff if you've said you've already done it!

    But you've got me with masterful stats, you did increase your vote in Bridgend infinity percent from your base of 'unknown' to 106. You still don't seem to be getting it, you increased your national vote share by 0.08%. But you're comparing apples to oranges here as the only seat you contested twice you lost 23% of your vote. In 5 of the 6 seats, like Bridgend as you said you did not increase your vote share at all, and in the 6th you lost share. Your mighty 0.08% jump in national share has more to do with having fewer candidates and standing in different seats than anything else. This is due to how you're working out your national vote share, by averaging the results from each of your seats. Your actual national vote share in 2010 was 0.00451%, and in 2015 it was 0.00368% so as you can see you've actually lost national vote share (I only used voter turnout to 3 decimal places so there's likely rounding errors in there). Trying to claim you increased your national vote share is extremely disingenuous I would say.

    You did produce a massive list of no hope candidates you beat but that's really reaching trying to draw out positives. I mean working out a cost-per-vote ratio? Is that a useful stat in anyway? Your party leader resigned, in part, over the failure of your GE15 campaign. You didn't hit your goals at all, that's pretty much the definition of failure. I'm not trying to paint a gloomy picture, that painted itself, sometimes you just need to accept failure and move on. You seem to be trying to pretend it was all fine and a success, which is clearly wasn't.

    You're pulling out arbitrary stats to back your case (cost-per-vote?), but my absolute fact that your party membership has fallen since 2012 is not good enough? As you are going to be ordained as deputy party leader I wait with baited breath to see what other fantastical facts and figures you produce to show that everything is actually fine, and a total success in fact!


    I actually feel a bit sorry for you @azrael because you've worked really hard on this party. Active membership is your biggest issue really. Everyone is happy to throw tuppence worth in when it comes to voting a policy into your manifesto but no one is actually going to do it. If you are truly committed to the process then I really don't see a way out of this quagmire for the party. (Not that it's a quagmire, everything is fine)
  • @Drowz0r Just trying to communicate with you in the language of your people. I mean you can brush it off I guess but you're still straight up lying about increasing your national vote share. I've put the figures there for you which clearly shows your national vote share decreased. In your defence I don't think you're lying consciously but a lie is still a lie even if you truly believe.

    I get the feeling you think you're being clever when you avoid the point and pull up some contrived stats etc. It's just sad though, it's like you've watched one too many question times and decided not answering questions is cool and right. I really feel sorry for the people who've put years into this party who are going to end up with you as the Deputy Leader, unless NOTA wins don't know if you're still doing that. I can't make you take me seriously though, and it's far easier for you to ignore what I've said in favour of your own version of reality. So shine on you crazy diamond.
  • I don't know what maymays means, I guess it's bad? Anyway you're still evading any kind of point. You're like logical fallacy bingo, without the fine Iraqi information minister there everything I said in that post is still true. It doesn't stop being true because I put an amusing picture to illustrate my point at the bottom.

    Let's try and distil this down into a single point and see if you can respond to that You lied, knowingly or unknowingly, about increasing your national vote share. Do you accept that and that you decreased your national vote share between 2010 and 2015?
  • You've not answered the question though. You cannot say you increased your national vote share when you actually decreased it. It's truly bewildering that you think you've answered this at all. Here's the thing, I personally don't need credibility, I don't need anyone to trust anything I'm saying at face value. I've given you the figures, you can verify them against independent sources. You're the one who's trying to bare faced lie about the numbers to people. I gave you enough wiggle room to put your hands up and say 'you know what, I was wrong' but instead you've doubled down on your if not a lie a wilful misrepresentation of the facts.

    I came into this thread to talk about the purpose and direction of the party. The failure at the 2015 General Election is indicative of some pretty major issues at the heart of the PPUK. You're trying to refute that you even failed at GE15, despite your former party leader saying you had failed. That's a pretty big stumbling block to address when it comes to looking at the direction of the party.
  • @aramoro Yes, active membership the biggest issue. I would hope that the greater number of active members we have the more likely we are to resolve a whole bunch of our challenges.

    I am inclined to argue that we have the policy that we deserve for the effort it has been given. We could blame that on the active members - equally we can blame it on all the inactive members who let it happen in their name. A gentler perspective is that the mess will sort itself out as we mature, and maybe that's ok.

    Active membership is repeatedly highlighted as a problem and it is, I hope, increasingly being regarded as an issue that needs more NEC attention than it has previously received. I believe the NEC candidates we currently have standing have recognised this and indicated it will be one of their priorities.

    With more active members we have a better pool of resources to do stuff. The greater pool of people we have the better calibre of people we'll have available (hopefully.. just based on a weak grasp of statistics) - so the better work they'll be able to do.

    I look forward to the day when a whole bunch of us (sadly probably including myself) can't even get a look in 'cause of the high calibre of competition we have for the top roles in the Party for getting stuff done.
  • That diversity is inherent to Icelandic society is a boon but I'm not sure whether or not comparing ourselves to Iceland is a great idea. For a start it's got a tiny mostly communitarian population. Can you imagine getting into a hot tub with David Cameron? Over there, you can get into a hot spring with their prime minister. Their outlook, their culture, and their way of doing things is vastly different from our own because they didn't have a socially fracturing industrial revolution like we did so their family and relational ties are strong.

    The British people (and many Europeans) have been infected with Neoliberal Syndrome, a horrible disease that takes the worst parts of right wing big L libertarianism and pretends it's beneficial to the nation. Symptoms include:

    ■ the breakup and privatisation of the welfare state
    ■ resistance to raising the minimum wage
    ■ belief that there's such a thing as the free market
    ■ sociopathic selfishness masquerading as individualism
    ■ echo chambers
    ■ identity politics
    ■ demonisation of opposing views
    ■ a tendency towards authoritarianism
    ■ excessive blue-skying and rejection of empiricism

    PPUK used to be a politically neutral party mostly, now it's a left wing socialist party.
    That is largely true. I would argue that it's our political immune system's allergic reaction, like swelling, sneezing, or coming out in a rash. The only cure I can think of is regular doses of empiricism and rationalism, followed by regular readings of the Pirate Wheel posts on Rick Falkvinge's blog.

    If we're going to attract new members we need to move away from the left/right dichotomy, recognising them as outdated and irrelevant to our needs in the 21st century. We also need to move away from pink busing, etc., since pandering will most likely lead to fracturing down the line as we can see in the discussion so far. I'm not in the party because it appeals to me as a woman but because it appeals to me as a person. I was looking for a middle-ground common sense party that doesn't demonise aspiration like the Left tends to do; wall up All The Things, as the Right tends to do; or get all woolly-minded and abandon common sense, as the Liberals tend to do. I thought I'd found it in the Pirate Party but I do get uncomfortable with the left-liberal drift because it alienates problem-solvers like me and because of the authoritarianism that goes with it. I don't like being told what to do by people who believe they know what's best for me even though they haven't got a dratted clue.

    What we are good at is building consensus and running with new ideas. I've been working on the development of a new personal political philosophy that builds on the best of the old ones. Pirates tend towards communitarian utilitarianism and I'm on board with that. Add the Twofold Principle:
    The individual must be free to act and the will of the people must be respected
    and you can't go wrong. That the will of the people has been to create disparate policies is all well and good but as has been pointed out we do need to go over them with a fine tooth comb, weed out un-Pirate policies (anything not based on solid empirical evidence or that is riddled with partisan authoritarianism has got to go!), merge the duplicates and resolve the ones that contradict each other. We need dissent because it shows us where our limits are, what we're good at and what we're bad at. Dissent is where the edges are, so I welcome the comments made by aramoro, even though I disagree with many of them and think he's being a bit too aggressive in his approach.

    If we're going to build diversity I suggest talking to people outside of our comfort zones, starting conversations with them then casually mentioning that we're Pirates. I do this at work. They all know I'm a Pirate and love to talk about it and ask me questions. This is the kind of thing we need to be doing. In religious circles this is called "evangelism." I see no reason why we shouldn't do so for the Pirate Party. What do you think?
  • That's okay, I wasn't having a go. Iceland is THE example but our society is too fractured to permit that to happen, which is a shame. Community-building ought to help towards making us more like them, though.
  • I wonder how possible it is to implement the best of those systems over here. I'm sure there are communities in which they would fit, and we could build out from there.
  • Perhaps. And we can certainly work towards them but power imbalances will always be with us. The trick is to minimise the harm being done thereby.
  • So we had the GE2015 policy discussions and are now going to be moving forward via further discussions. While we do of course need more members, we also need further discussion outside the membership. I guess that those non-members who find such discussions engaging then may sign up and help out. It's early days post-GE2015 and I think it'd be helpful to unify around certain fundamental areas before seeking amendments in others. I guess that this is something the NEC will be considering over the coming months.
  • @azrael Membership is going to continue to decline whilst you deviate away from your core beliefs. Every time you have yet another board election, another 2 month long policy review which churns up what you've got now you erode the good will you have from your party members. So they drift away back to being non-political or other parties. The PPUK has one real strength which is your Copyright Reforms and Digital Freedoms stuff. That's your bread and butter but the message is being confused and lost in the stramash of your policies. But then you know this really, I've said it before last time your membership collapsed. It's as true now as it was then.

    You're a small party with few active members too much of that available effort is spent organising yourself which leaves little effort available to actually push your message. You guys still follow Falkvinge pretty closely it seems, do you think the success he gained was by being totally democratic? Though he will love you guys trying to increase your diversity, he likes to have some women to sleep with as he tours around as we all know.

    Dissent is where the edges are, so I welcome the comments made by aramoro, even though I disagree with many of them and think he's being a bit too aggressive in his approach.
    Apologies if it comes across as aggressive, it tends to do that when you have to restate a question over and over again. But hey it's not your Deputy Leaders job to answer questions about your party. I'm just slightly incredulous people can look at your policy soup and think 'Yes, this is fine' when it demonstrably isn't working on some level. Diversity is an excellent goal but PPUK starts from a pretty difficult place as it's young white male dominated, and it's so small that it's hard to gain any momentum in recruiting people. I think all you can do is to be concious of your membership issues and try to do some polling to workout what it is which does not appeal to more women and minority groups. Internet libertarianism in general is dominated by the the young white male group and there are probably studies already into why that is, those lessons will be broadly applicable to PPUK as well so you can see what you need to change/tweek to get your message to the right groups and appeal to them
  • @aramoro your tone from your first post in this thread was not constructive/helpful at all. Despite the unnecessarily hostile approach, your points are valid and I do agree with you on most of them. Indeed, I've been considering resigning my membership because I've had these thoughts recently myself. If you tone down your hostility then I'm sure your posts will be more gratefully received.
  • edited June 2015
    @JimK and betray my gimmick? Never! You see there's only so many times you can tell some people to stop being a shambles and for them to continue to be a shambles before you have to accept they are just a shambles and will never change. Repeating the same action and expecting a different result I think we can all agree would be stupid, I don't expect a different result.
  • @aramoro Given that your approach tends to be confrontational and put people's backs up - and doing the same thing and expecting a different result is stupid... maybe a different approach would be worth a try.

    Basically you're saying that the leadership should postpone any ideas about letting the Party be governed by the membership and steer the Party in the direction it feels is best (though maybe the direction you feel is best).

    To some extent the leadership already does that (has to do that - because the membership aren't really active enough to be involved in directing the Party) though clearly not to your satisfaction. Arguably not to the Party's satisfaction either - if that's why the membership disengage. Arguably not to the benefit of the Party if you think the Party is in a worse position that it was or ought to be.

    We have a requirement that NEC gets full elections every two years (sadly this is due in a few months time which means this rigmarole again rather soon) and full Board elections every five years. I do not think this 2 and 5 year schedule is too much. The problem of too many elections occurs from too many vacancies (you could read that as too many positions! though also arguably the NEC cannot work with fewer members, the Boad probably could).

    Better engagement with members and more engagement from members would hopefully mean fewer elected positions becoming vacant quite so often.

    Is a shambolic policy set the cause of member disengagement? I don't think so. Thus sorting out the policy isn't immediately helpful (which doesn't mean it doesn't need to be done, just about where it sits in the list of priorities).

    Better engagement with members ought to include finding out what they want, what they think, how they can help, getting them to help, getting their involvement in shaping what the Party is and what the Party aspires to be.

    That can knock-on into how the Party works. Members might say we have too many elected positions - or too many elections - or too much policy - or too little policy - or just shambolic policy - etc...

    I feel a real sympathy for elected officials (of course I would, being one!) who are new to all this who feel like they want to be directed by the will of the members and feel a total absence of that will.

    If you want things to change the best way to do that is by (and I say this to everyone reading) being a member and letting the new leadership know your will - where there is competition for posts (I wish there was!!!) by casting your vote for those that best reflect your wishes.
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