General Assembly of PPNO: A Professionalization of the Party
The 1-2 February 2014 was the General Assembly of Pirate Party Norway (PPNO). They made use of a few different digital tools to run their general assembly. The entire meeting was live-streamed on youtube (day 1 and day 2 enabling people to follow the meeting without being present in Kristiansand. The protocol for the meeting was kept in a pad which enabled people to follow along easily as well as correct the protocol instantly if needed. The votes were tallied by using ‘Poll Everywhere‘ (both for people present as well as the ones taking part over distance).
The meeting is the second ordinary GA that PPNO have arranged and there was about 30 Norwegian Pirates taking part at the meeting in Kristiansand, with about another 10 people following and voting from a distance. The meeting was also visited by one German pirate and four Swedish Pirates. The general assembly was live-streamed through youtube which caused some “political censorship” in Germany which Pirate Times reported about earlier.
The first day of the General Assembly started with some formalities followed by a few presentations. Børre Jakobsen talked about marketing and press-strategy. A representative from the Green party talked about local/regional poltics for small parties. Egil Møller (from PPSE) held a talk about local politics and recruitment. Lasse Gregersen (together with the rest of the board for Unge Pirater – the Youth Pirate Party of Norway) held a short presentation. Tale Haukbjørk discussed the EU elections and the way forward for PPNO in the international arena. The future of PPNO was presented from a few different perspectives by Øystein Jakobsen, Geir Aaslid, Sigmund Kopperud and Per Kjellsen. The rest of the first day was used to discuss the decisions that would be voted upon the second day and then the day ended with a social even at one of the local restaurants.
The second day was mainly dedicated to voting on the different suggestions that had been discussed the first day. PPNO elected a party secretary, Ole-Aleksander Mellingsæter, who will help structure up the organization and act as support for the Pirate Party leader. They also chose a replacement board member, Thomas Gramstad, who won the vote on a close margin. Josef Ohlsson Collentine gave a speech about the international Pirate Movement.
Main decisions taken at the General Assembly:
- A professionalization of PPNO. Paying the Party Leader to work full time for the Pirate Party of Norway and establishing a party secretary who has the main task of developing the organization and working closely together supporting the party leader.
- PPNO decided to start investigating basic income and possibly include it in their program in the future.
- PPNO decided to follow the Nordic ombudsman’s recommendation and implement statutory protection against genital mutilation of children. This was the first political party in Norway to take this stance and they hope others will follow their initiative.
- The board of PPNO will now have the authority to suspend members of the party immediately if at least 2/3 of the board stand behind it. This decision should be confirmed with at least 2/3 of the votes at the following GA.
- «Buskerud-saken» This issue has emerged from two main points:
1. The county board in Buskerud had a board member who wasn’t a member of PPNO, which goes against the “un-written” statutes of PPNO.
2. During the election campaign, the county board in Buskerud included elements in their election program that went against what was agreed upon at the Extra-ordinary General Assembly in Trondheim, 8-9 June 2013 (details in Norwegian pdf).The members voted upon exclusion of Tommy Knappskog, Chairman of the Buskerud county board, and if Ronald Patrick Steffensen should be deprived of all duties and denied membership, now and in the future, in PPNO. There was an overwhelming majority for the exclusion of these two persons at the voting.
- PPNO will start using Distributed Democracy as a foundation for a broadening of their political program.
- It was also decided to financially support the development of the tools needed for using Distributed Democracy. The exact budget for this would be decided at a later date when the financial assets of PPNO were more clear.
Pictures: CC-BY, Thor Harald Johansen PPNO