Greek Pirates Set Sail for the Future of Politics
Innovative decision-making processes have been introduced by Greek Pirates in their country. Last weekend in Athens’ Cultural Centre of Grava, well known for the student occupations of the 1990’s, they experienced a taste of direct democracy in the first congress of the Greek Pirate Party.
The atmosphere of the congress was enthusiastic and heartwarming. This was the first time that Pirates from all over Greece gathered, most of them digital friends who had never had the chance to meet physically. Pirates from Thessaloniki, Evia, Patras, Crete, Syros, Santorini, Corfu, Athens, Preveza, Ioannina, Piraeus, Rhodes and elsewhere, voted on 80 proposals for modification. Some of the proposals easily passed, others were rejected or caused controversy but created constructive feedback.
Using the card voting system, members of the party voted for statutes which supplied them with free space of expression and innovation. For example, each member has the right to set up a working group, using the name of the Pirates, with only the obligation to notify the party about publications he or she will make.
The party congress ended with the election of a board and an arbitration committee. Christina Sereti ranked first in voting and was the only female candidate in the election. Christina is one of the founding members of the party and a person who has contributed greatly to the presence of pirate spirit in her homeland.
The basic principles for the Greek Pirate Party are participation of citizens in decision-making processes, direct democracy, transparency, data protection, digital freedom and the collective management of natural and economic resources. The day after the congress, the party’s separate paper ballot “Pirates in Education”, received 2.05% in the school teachers’ elections. This ballot paper, drafter just a month before the elections, is the next step in the Greek Pirates’s continuing penetration of all areas of interest.
“For the first time in my life I joined a party”, a 69-year-old man said to the Congress Secretariat while waiting to register to vote. What is so inspiring about Pirate Parties? Perhaps the word “Pirate” and the feeling that exudes direct democracy that attracts people’s attention, no matter what their age.
Featured image: Stathis Leivaditis, CC-BY
About Stathis Leivaditis
The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.