First time elections for the Galician Pirates
The Galician Pirates are going into the elections as a political party for the first time and they are declaring: “We know that the current system of political parties does not work in the twenty-first century society and we want to change it from within the system: to hack the laws and reach our goals of direct democracy and full transparency.”
Their programme consists of 8 basic principles: privacy, transparency, sharing, humanism, diversity, resistance, economy of the swarm and tolerance. Their principles are based on Rick Falkvinge’s “Pirate Wheel” from 2011.
Galicia, an autonomous community of Spain
The parliamentary elections in Galicia, an autonomous community of Spain will be held on 21 October 2012. Galicia has a population of about 2,8 million people. The Parliament (Parlamento de Galicia) is the unicameral legislature of Galicia. It meets at the “Pazo do Horreo” in the Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela and is formed by 75 deputies (deputados). Deputies are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of the Xunta of Galicia, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four constituencies, the Galician provinces: Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra.
Galicia has been an autonomous community in spain since 1981. In 2005 a debate started about possible reforms of the statute that gives the Galician parliament full powers with control e.g. over the economy and taxes. But it is expected now and in the future, that political discussions on the question of “nationality” will not be resolved easily.
36 candidates in 2 provinces
Isabel Fernández, Coordinator of Public & International Relations says that there are about 40 – 50 Pirates in total, but the number of affiliated people is growing more and more every day. The Galician Pirates are campaigning with a total of 36 candidates in 2 of 4 constituencies in Pontevedra and Ourense. Her expectations of the elections aren’t that high, because they only had the chance to present candidates in two of their provinces: “If anything this election will help the Pirate movement to be better known in Galicia.”
Torrent portal for educational material
But the Galician Pirates don’t have to be humble: one of their candidates participated in a panel discussion about the draft of education reform that the central Government is preparing in Spain. Additionally the Galician Pirates are coordinating a project called ‘Parents2Parents’, in short P2P which original stands for peer-to-peer (P2P: computer network is one in which each computer in the network can act as a client or server for the other computers in the network, allowing shared access to various resources such as files – wikipedia.org), together with the Pirates of Catalunya and the Pirates of Madrid, who had received approval from the Spanish ministry last month . The three Pirate Parties opened a portal with torrent links where they offer each student the opportunity to access the materials he needs for class. The proposed links are referencing education material for primary, secondary and tertiary schools and the Pirates are adding new content daily.
No pirate is more important than the other
The Galician Pirates do not like the system of hierarchical candidate lists since they think no Pirate is more important than another. So they blame the law for making them choose the names in an order of priority. They decided that order in one of their assemblies held last month. The first criteria was being a bilingual speaker, since the local press prefer to talk in Galician rather than the Spanish language, after that they chose Spanish speaking affiliates and finally other supporters to cover all the positions.
We defend the rights of citizens
Rafael Couto, the head of the candidate list from Pontevedra was reacting on the question of a local Galician newspaper about the name of his party: “We use the name “Pirates” to get attention because we are almost the opposite of what a pirate is: we defend the rights of citizens.”.
Featured image: CC-BY Piratas de Galicia
About Patrick Schiffer
I am living in Duesseldorf, Germany and I am a Member of the Pirate Party since March 2012. I’ve studied Arts & Visual Communication at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. I speak german, english, french and dutch fluently. I am interested in developing & spreading the ideas coming out of and getting into the Pirate movement worldwide. For that, I think this international newsletter is a great thing. And I’d love to work & communicate with pirates from different countries all over the world so that I would like to help and contribute by spreading news, commenting, making graphics, writing & lectorating for Pirate Times. I am active in several working groups in Germany and in co-coordinating the founding of the PP EU.