Pirate Party of New Zealand Piratecamp
The small seaside town of Otaki saw the first Pirate Camp held by the Pirate Party of New Zealand over the weekend of 21-23 February 2014. There were only a handful of Pirates in attendance but in spite of that or because of that quite a bit was achieved.
The attendees decided to concentrate on planning for the upcoming elections and how to use that to attract more members. They also decided to plan a revision of the Party’s constitution which gives ultimate decision making power to the board and not the general assembly. This and other questionable provisions were implemented to get the Party off the ground. Also to revisit the ‘core principles’ which are very narrowly defined and rather hesitant in formulation.
These and other matters, including policy creation are now being handled in Loomio which has led to a revival of interest in earnest debate about Pirate related topics which had floundered somewhat in more traditional forums. It is hoped that in the near future Loomio will be PPNZ’s main decision making process in the short term with an intention to investigate other collaborative decision making software that are not strictly binary in nature, for example Discourse and Liquid Democracy.
The camp was visited by two members of the New Economics Party which advocates economic reform based on land, the commons and a form of UBI (universal basic income). Together with the Pirates they discussed the possibility of forming an alliance of New Zealand micro parties, who have some goals in common. The idea is that the parties in the alliance would share resources in order to be a greater political force in the country than many small parties with only a few active members. Most importantly is the sharing of members. To participate fully in elections New Zealand requires that a party must have a minimum of 500 members who are on the electoral role and have joined the party with a paper form that the electoral commission can validate. As New Zealanders can be members of more than one party then sharing members can greatly ease reaching the magic 500. Also members could cooperate in campaigning and other activities that might not be possible due to the lack of members in sparsely populated areas.
Featured image: CC BY-SA PPNZ