Jimmy Wales Advises Pirates to Change their Name to “Internet Party”
Recently the Internet Party of New Zealand, founded by Kim Dotcom, has been attracting interest in the online world. Although it has not yet published its full manifesto, it is easy to see that the party has many goals and principles in common with Pirate Parties around the world. The Pirate Times will be bringing you updates on the Internet Party’s effect on the New Zealand political scene as elections approach; these will be held on 20 September 2o14.
The newly formed Party has already had a historic effect on New Zealand’s electoral system, becoming the first party to be allowed, by the Electoral Commission, to sign up members online rather than on a paper. It is now polling 1.5%, up from 0% and is negotiating to team up with another party, the Mana Party. This alliance could increase the appeal of the two parties amongst young non-voters. This is as the ruling National Party is being beset by alleged corruption scandals. Another effect is to bring Internet related issues back to the front of many Kiwi’s attentions, forcing other parties to react. The Green Party has initiated a crowd-sourced action to draw up an Internet bill of rights.
The Party is now having an effect on the world scene as Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales endorsed the Internet Party and urged Pirate Parties around the world to change their names in a tweet.
“Look at the Internet Party in NZ. Every ‘pirate party’ around the world should change their name to be taken seriously ’Internet Party’ can specify two important things: core values on Internet issues + modern approach to party agenda.”
What about PPNZ? I hear you ask.
The New Zealand Pirate Party is in no condition to make an impact on New Zealand voting. The party has been losing members and activists to the neo-liberal ACT party and to the Internet Party. The board does not seem to have been active since October 2013. Some local chapters are active and hope to be recruiting during the election period, if the board can get its act together.
PPNZ cannot act on Mr. Wales advice as there exists, already, an Internet Party in New Zealand. In any case, Pirates are proud of their name and the fact there is a worldwide Pirate movement. An international “Internet movement” would find itself lost in the myriad of Internet organisations that have built themselves around the ‘net.
In response to Mr. Wales’ tweet, Pirate MEP Amelia Andersdotter wrote.
Far be it from me to arrogantly dismiss the ideas and opinions of my internet policy elders, but in this case Mr Wales misses a big point and additionally generates harm to a healthy future debate about internet policy.
From the point of view of a Pirate Times editor I would like to add;
We are Pirates and are proud of the name and the movement we have built together. We did it with our own work, money and dreams. We have been attacked by the press, governments and the copyright mafia and have thrived. We are beholden to no ideologues, pundits or wealthy financiers. We will continue to fight for our Pirate Principles alone or with those who also support them. In New Zealand that is the Internet Party, The Greens, Mana and several “micro” parties.