A Wind of Change at the PPI GA in Warsaw
The General Assembly for PPI took place 4-5 July 2015 in Warsaw, Poland. The organization of the GA already had some problems before it started. First announced to be in Warsaw, then changed to Lodz and finally back to Warsaw again.
The meeting was chaired by Jens Stomber (PPDE) with assistance from Alex Kohler (PPDE), tabulator was Mikuláš Peksa (PPCZ) and minute keeper Gregory Engels (PPDE) who was later replaced by Pat Mächler (PPCH).
Correction 14/7: Gregory Engels was not the original minute keeper, he only stepped in when Alex Kohler and Mia Utz had to leave to catch their plane…
The discussion during the GA was also messy at times. Personal insults, threats of CoA and failures in communication. There were also questions posted online in a discussion pad. The volume of complaints made the minute keeper resign from his task and a new one replaced this role.
There were no applications for new memberships except a late application that will be treated at the next GA. The application was from a Pirate Party of Japan. Considering that there is already a different PPJP in PPI as a member this will become an issue to solve later for the new board at their next GA.
The first three Statutes Amendments passed
SAP-1 Admittance of Members
A significant part of this amendment is to remove the requirement to have the word “Pirate” in the name. This means PPRU can change its name and become a registered party as the Russian courts refuse to allow them registration under its current name. Also PPNZ has entered into negotiations to merge with the Internet Party in which the name might become a factor.
SAP-2 Supportive Membership
However the fourth amendment, about the board composition, took a bit longer. First SAP-4a was incorporated into the initial proposal (SAP-4) and voted upon. This vote just failed because of a late vote from PPTN that was unable to be counted. Later in the meeting the Statute Amendment was re-tabled with SAP-4b that got a clear pass.
SAP-4a Board composition fix
SAP-4b Composition of the Board
The only suggested Statute Amendment to not pass was the suggested
SAP-5 Term of Office
The last two suggested Statute Amendments were received after the deadline and could therefore not be voted upon. However, the suggestion from SAP-6 was used in SAP-4b and could therefore be passed in another amendment.
SAP-6 Composition of the Board
The following day the motions were discussed and voted upon. Most of the motions for the GA had been postponed from the previous online GA. All suggested motions passed after some amendments.
MO-1c Access to medicine
MO-3 Net Neutrality
MO-4 Basic Income
MO-6b No to TTIP
MO-8b Political Manifesto
However, PPCAT were not able to be present at the time of the voting for their amended motion,MO-1c, and they were not pleased at all with how it was passed. The entire MO-1c was voted as a block instead of voting for each part of it separately, as was intended by PPCAT. They were especially concerned about the part where the patient should be able to decide whatever treatment they want:
“It is going to sit very badly among our Pirates and sympathisers that PPI opens the door to homeopathy and other bogus treatments, as well as being able to avoid getting vaccines for your children thus endangering everyone else. This is not a core pirate issue, it should not be declared by PPI.”
They attempted to re-table the motion with help of the new rules of procedure but the chair of the meeting had to leave and decided to close the meeting with two procedural motions unhanded as well as one agenda item (re-tabled MOP-1)
There are six votes here in Poland and minimum two from remote so that we reach the quorum of 8.
Procedural motion to recount the votes on CoA elections and Alternate Board Members order voting according to Art 7.3.l (PP-PT problem)
Procedural motion according to Art. 7.3.m to revoke a decision of chairperson to consider passed Motion MOP-1c valid as it was re-tabled.
Despite the problems and delays the GA managed to elected a completely new board with representatives from all five continents. They also elected a Court of Arbitration and Lay Auditors.
The New PPI Board
Andrew Reitemeyer (PPNZ)
Patrick Schiffer (PPDE)
Min Chiaki (PPJP)
Chemseddine Ben Jemaa (PPTN)
Henrique Peer (PPBR)
Richard Hill (PPCH)
Karla Medrano (PPMX)
1) Anders Kleppe (PPNO)
2) Nikolay Voronov (PPRU)
3) Koen De Voegt (PPBE)
4) Gregory Engels (PPDE)
Court of Arbitration:
Kjell Segers (PPBE)
Marco Confalonieri (PPIT)
Thomas Gaul (PPDE)
Nuno Cardoso (PPPT)
Pat Mächler (PPCH)
Sebastian Krone (PPDE)
Mikulás Peksa (PPCZ)
Incoming Chair, Andrew Reitemeyer said:
The new PPI team (board and alternates) includes Pirates from nine countries and have speakers of at least the same number of languages. There are two women on the board and a wide range of ages are represented. This is a diverse body and goes a long way to representing the Pirates of the world. There is an appetite for reform of PPI and I hope to move as quickly as possible to talking with current and ex PPI members as to how the organisation can restructure itself. We will also look at new ways we can achieving our goals as laid out in the preamble to the statutes. Above all, I want PPI to encourage and assist the formation of new parties and grass roots initiatives that can flourish and grow in a more swarm-wise manner. For a start I will be asking the team to investigate ways that we can better conduct a two way communication with Pirates around the world.
The new Vice Chair, Patrick Schiffer added:
The election of the new board is a clear signal: Pirates want change in the PPI. But reforming and modernising the structure and the scopes of participation & discussion will be a task for all Pirate parties, fellow travelers and the new board. We are in need of an online assembly, a sophisticated network, a creative playground and a supportive cohesion to leave a strong message to the world stage. My focus will be on the formation of a multi-language press relation & information team, which shall spread ideas, activities and political initiatives of pirates and the shape of the Pirate movement worldwide in a global context. Our questions, ideas and understanding of 21th century politics and legislation are developed in a non-ideological way of thinking and should be presented everywhere and to everyone. We have to get more influence and audience. I am absolutely confident, that we will accomplish this missions.