Australian General Elections 2013

Australian General Elections 2013

September is going to be a busy month for Pirates around the world as a cluster of elections take place in countries where Pirate Parties are taking place. The first is Australia.

Australian Pirates are now on the final leg of their campaign to get the first Pirate Representatives into the Australian government. The election will be held on Saturday 7 September 2013 and is for the House of Representatives and roughly half the Senate.

For the Australian Pirates, the Senate is the race of most interest as the Australian Pirate  Party has decided to concentrate their efforts there. 40 out of the 76 Senate seats are being contested and the Pirates have eight candidates: in New South Wales – Brendan Malloy and David Campbell,  in Queensland – Melanie Thomas and Liam Pomfret, in Victoria Joseph Miles and Geoff Hammett, in Tasmania Thomas Randle and Tom Storey.

The Australian Pirate Party was founded in 2009 and registered as a political party in January 2013. As well as the basic Pirate Principles PPAU has extended its policies into areas such as taxation, immigration and energy giving them a platform that will speak to a wide range of Australians.

Australia has a rather unusual voting system. Not only is voting compulsory but they use a preference system which makes voting a time consuming undertaking. In order to make the process easier for voters, the parties state publicly how they would like their supporters to rank the other parties. In a press release the Pirate Party made public their preferences:

“In NSW, the Party’s preferences will go to the Greens, followed by the WikiLeaks Party and the Australian Democrats. The Greens and WikiLeaks Party reciprocated these placements. In Queensland, preferences will go to the Australian Democrats, followed by the Greens and Secular Party. The Greens reciprocated this placement. In Tasmania, preferences will go the Greens, followed by the Sex Party and Senator Online. The Greens and Sex Party reciprocated this placement. In Victoria, preferences will go to the Australian Democrats, followed by the WikiLeaks Party and the Greens. The WikiLeaks Party and the Greens reciprocated this.”

Voters have the right to put in their own preferences should they choose to. As one can see the Pirates are supporting a variety of other Parties including the WikiLeaks Party and this reflects the ongoing close relationship that WikiLeaks and the Pirate Movement have enjoyed in recent times. The Daily Dot  reported a recent ‘misstep’ by the WikiLeaks Party, leading to several resignations of members, including candidates, that may have lost them some support. Whether this will have any effect on the Pirate vote remains to be seen but it is expected that Julian Assange will win a Senate seat. The discontent with Australian main stream politics is palpable.

Featured image: CC BY PPAU

Andrew Reitemeyer

About Andrew Reitemeyer

I joined the Pirate Party of Lower Saxony in Germany in April 2012, once I found out that non citizens were welcome to join and become active members of the Party. I joined the Pirate Times soon after it was started as a proof reader and am now an editor and author. Since then I have returned to my native New Zealand and joined the Pirate Party of New Zealand. Politically I come from the libertarian left and have, up to now, not regarded any political party as having a solution for the democratic deficit that envelops the world. With the advent of the Pirate Party, which truly embraces grass roots democracy, I have found a political home. The Pirate Times is a way I can contribute to furthering the Pirate Movement around the world. Skype: frithogar