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Australia quits PPI

Today via the Pirate Party International mailing lists I noticed Australia has quit.

I recently met one of the guys involved with them and saw this decision coming, I'm happy to say that I two have written off PPI. That said, I remain an internationalist and look forward to new international pirate organisations springing up in a more effective fashion :)


  • Indeed. I'll be following the development of http://pirateint.org/ with interest.
  • Likewise. It is probably also worth noting (it'll hit the minutes of the Board's next meeting) that the Board voted on the following:

    The Board of Governors of the Pirate Party of the UK (PPUK) hereby finds that "Pirate Parties International" (PPI) is by its actions and deeds an organisation that is at odds with the principles of PPUK.

    The result was overwhelmingly in favour of this motion and the result has been passed on the the NEC for their consideration.
  • You'll love this... doesn't that mean that membership of PPI is now grounds to be kicked out of PPUK? :D
  • Perhaps it individual members of PPUK were individual members of PPI...
  • Appears I've been out of the loop a fair bit here... What was wrong with PPI if I may ask?
  • What was right with it is more the question.

    It doesn't actually do anything except cause strife, mainly because certain people tend to... dominate things and it's very hard to get rid of them.
    In the US, there's a thing called Gerrymandering, where state legislatures redraw congressional boundaries (with very few restrictions) to ensure that their party gets as many seats as possible in future elections. PPI has a similar sort of thing. The Board gets to set the location of subsequent General Assemblies. It then gets to select the Chair of that event. That Chair (and the board) controls the agenda, as well as the method used to vote through things, and who qualifies as a delegate, and the wordings of the votes. This means there's a huge incumbency problem, as well as a geo-centric problem, as non-European's are often excluded, especially as remote delegates and candidates have very limited ability to communicate, while others run roughshod over the rules.

    Our party secretary was the PPI treasurer for 2012-2013, and his report is horrific reading.
    Despite efforts, I have seen no financial statements past 2010 (in fact, they were deliberately withheld from me)
    (emphasis mine)

    In 2013 we had a members vote, asking for feedback, and slightly more voted to stay a member if we helped work on fixing PPI problems, than wanted to reduce our membership, or wanted to leave, but while the majority wanted to reduce our involvement, staying was the single biggest group, so we said we'd stay, and see about making things better.

    We tried.

    Our Treasurer tried to help them sort out their bank account issues - not a success. One of the biggest issues of the GA's as well, is that they're slow, badly written and give a two-tier undemocratic system. If you're physically present, you get to participate fully, but you aren't given the ability to confer with your party if (and it happens frequently) something new is presented to vote having been written overnight. If you're not present and are just an online delegate, it can be impossible to even be acknowledged to exist, let alone participate fully or keep track of what's going on (which is only understandable when you realise they've actually held votes, on how to vote on a method of voting - yes, a vote on a vote on a vote). So, last summer, I wrote a method/process for holding an online GA that allows all parties to participate equally, with no ambiguity, allowing time for debate, time for parties to get a good look at the proposals and think about them, and then give a proper, accountable voting system, and using only things that we already used. The Australian party refined some loose ends, and their request was for an online GA using that method, and run by a team independent of the current Board.

    The Board initially went for it, agreeing and approving things. especially after the CoA threw out the funding proposal from the (controversial) Paris GA of last year because the vote didn't pass as required in the statutes (it barely got half the cast votes, statutes required a 2/3 majority). This got some of the board upset, claiming the CoA "didn't hear our side of it" (which I can only interpret as 'I wanted to tell them I need the money').

    Anyway, the online GA was announced, finally, last month. Proposed statute amendments started being circulated and we felt that finally PPI could be fixed; and then the core PPI group reverted to form.

    On Feb 8th, Some of the Board decided that they didn't like their earlier vote, and thus decided to redo it. Now the online GA was not approved. There were also childish remarks made by some of the board because of a complaint about the German board members (there's 3 members of PPDE on the-then 6 member PPI Board, including both of PP-DE's international coordinators) when a threatening email from PPDE's deputy leader against the US Pirate Party's deputy leader stated that those two represent PPDE, in violation of PPI's statutes.

    Anyway, 6 months of work for an online GA that PPAU (and indeed the rest of us) had been promised for 3 years now discarded, PPAU said enough is enough. At their national conference last year, they'd had a member vote, who voted something like 90% in favor of leaving if an online GA was not forthcoming.

    Anyway, today the PPI Board had another meeting. They've decided they're going to have an online GA, but it's basically going to be a mumble version of the usual mess. Oh, and to quote someone else's paraphrasing of today's "announcement"
    "Yes, you can have your online GA, but only about the topics we're happy for you to talk about, and we'll be responsible for running it, despite the well known problems with our handling of online participation in GAs historically. It'll be fun!"
    Hope that covers the basics of the whats and the whyfores.

    Chairman, PPUK Board of Governors
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