PPSE GA: New board, Changes and Plans for 2015
The General Assembly of the Pirate Party of Sweden recently ended with some changes. The meeting decided to make the future GA’s a bit more flexible, in lead up time, from the previous mandatory six weeks to the Presidium deciding the period. The Presidium will also be able to prepare the GAs further in advance with several of the nomination applications being mandated earlier than previously was the case.
Some changes in political stances:
- The gambling monopoly on the Internet should be removed, allowing a level playing field for competitors
- The usage of antibiotics in animals needs to be decreased and only applied when there is a real need for it
- An elderly person’s ombudsman should be implemented on a national level and that medication should be continuously reviewed to make sure the dosages/types are right
- All teachers should get leadership training
- The size of cages for minks should be increased and they ought to get the possibility to swim while in captivity
- The monarchy in Sweden should be abolished and a democratically elected head of state instituted instead. The royal family should not be immune to prosecution
- Several new stances on animal protection
- Environment: all information about the emission rights should be in public documents and published digitally. These emission rights should be determined by experts. It ought to be implemented on a multinational level and then delegated to national and local levels.
- Urban development policies: A more mixed environment of houses and with a larger focus on pedestrians, bikes and public transport. Buildings are to be more modern and environment friendly.
- The work environment protection for people within the party was strengthened. Nobody should feel bullied, treated differently because of sex, subjected to racism or feel unduly stressed whilst participating in party activities.
- The board got a suggestion from the GA to implement a “Personal Data Ombudsman” if the board felt that the party needed one
- The implementation of a statute revision group for next GA
The board of the Swedish Pirate Party is fairly large and consists of 15 persons, each year five new board-members are chosen for a three year period thus efficiently maintaining some old experience while bringing in some new people once a year. This year PPSE also replaced two other board positions that had dropped out for various reasons. Thus the new board, from the shift of the year, will have eight old board members and the seven that were elected during this General Assembly:
- Mikael Holm (mandate to 2017-12-31)
- Emma Marie Andersson (mandate to 2017-12-31)
- Josef Ohlsson Collentine (mandate to 2017-12-31)
- Carl Johan Rehbinder (mandate to 2017-12-31)
- Leif Svahn (mandate to 2017-12-31)
- Mattias Lundbäck (mandate to 2016-12-31)
- Jimmie Karlsson (mandate to 2015-12-31)
(As suggested by the current board to the GA, loosely translated from Swedish)
Pirate Party Board’s proposed operating plan for 2015
In 2015 we need to work intensively to increase the party’s income, while we adjust ambitions and expectations for the new situation. For example it is uncertain whether we in 2015 will be able to have a full-time party leader, or if we need to adapt to a part-time or completely non-paid management.
1. Internal work
1.1 Local business
The local work is the foundation of any successful political activity.
Local activist responsible persons should be in at least 75 of the country’s hundred largest municipalities.
The local associations are to be supported, and the formation of new ones encouraged. The goal is eight newly formed local associations during the year, and that the activity is stabilized in the local associations covering our ten largest cities and our seven largest student cities. The party invites local associations to seek a close and trusting cooperation with the local branches of the Young Pirates.
A smaller financial allocation shall be given to all local associations who perform the annual (or start-up) meeting. A pot of money should be set aside for local associations to seek support for concrete activism.
1.2 Membership Education
The two web-based courses for members shall be reviewed and made easier and more fun to use (for example via introduced aspects of gamification).
Resources will be set aside to be able to keep some core resources, where participants’ travel expenses, if necessary, can be recompensed.
At least 100 pirates must have undergone one of the party’s central courses or local workshops during the year. These may preferably be conducted in collaboration with the Young Pirates where possible.
Training for “activist responsible” persons should be developed to facilitate the continued local activity.
At least one central media training will be held during the year.
To encourage knowledge and experience exchanges the board and management will work out a “knowledge bank” during the coming year, where we bring together resources that can support the education of our members (such as speakers, videos, study, etc)
1.3 AFK Meetings
It is important for the quality of the talks in the party that you do not just hang out and discuss online. Gatherings will be carried out every year, where party activists from different parts of the country can meet and discuss.
The Party shall encourage and assist in arranging Parleys [offline conferences], that focus on both education and social activities. The Party should support these events, with a smaller funding from national level, and the goal is to have six Parleys taking place all over Sweden during 2015.
The meetings may involve topical and important political issues, arranged around a topical political point, another theme or serve as an offline complement adjacent to the party’s digital membership meetings.
1.4 Internal Communication
To improve the tone and mutual respect in the party’s internal discussions, the system chosen, should be designed and moderated in a way that rewards calm discussion and reasoning instead of fierce exchanges of invective. The party’s internal communications must be structured and layered better and more clearly separated from the external communication
An online forum must exist for internal discussion of the party’s members.
A separate part of the party’s Web site should contain stationary information that is interesting for party active people and officials.
In connection with the pending review of permissions and roles in Pirateweb, a review of the opportunities for direct geographic targeted mailings and functionally optimistic sendouts should be considered.
Clear structures should be created for members to communicate information and questions to the party leadership.
A clear communication strategy should be developed for the communication platforms that the party uses, both externally and internally.
With growing local work being done, there is a need for more communication between the party’s central leadership, the local branches and the local contact persons / activist managers. During the year this should be analyzed and adjusted as needed.
The party’s central leadership will regularly have conversations with the Youth Pirates central management, coordination comes naturally to both organizations.
1. 6 Political Development
The political development that the party has achieved needs to be consolidated.
The ideological debate needs to continue, including the discussion around identity politics and its relationship to information policy. If such a discussion leads to a desire to rework our principle program then such efforts should have a thorough discussion, and commence in 2016.
We need to monitor developments around our core issues, so that we can be at the forefront in terms of information policy, intellectual property and digital infrastructure. Efforts must continue to go through the different policy areas, and see that our ideology and our core issues have a bearing on these. New and revised positions may make it necessary to revise existing or add new political programs at the end of the year.
Political spokespersons and other political program committees should have an important role in future policy formulation. National and regional conferences on ideology and political program should stimulate and structure the discussion.
The work of political development should be characterized by openness and inclusion, so that all members feel they had good opportunities to influence the outcome in terms of principles, ideology and political program.
The party should seek cooperation, collaboration and exchange of ideas with other organizations whose agenda overlaps ours in e.g. copyright, freedom of information and identity politics.
A net based “ideas magazine” or “think tank” for the party could be of great importance for future policy design. The party must therefore seek partnerships and resources to start something.
1. 7 Economy
To increase our income from donations and other sources has become an even more urgent situation after the 2014 elections. The party will continuously work to get regular donations to rise, and explore alternative sources for funding.
Gold donations [a regular donation scheme] have so far been spent on operating expenses for the party, not wages. Discussion should take place on whether the party should be led in a volunteer manner, part-time pay or full-time pay. If it is to be done part-time or full-time then part of the gold donations should be separated and targeted at funding the party leader.
Opportunities to strengthen the party, and the party’s financial situation, through associated activities such as a think tank, a folk high school or a scholarship fund will be investigated.
1.8 Folk High School
Pirate Party should work systematically and purposefully to establish a college. Knowledge is one of the party’s pillars and the establishment of a school has great symbolic importance and contributes to increase our credibility in the political arena.
In 2015, it is time to move from words to action. Before the end of the year the party should conduct a proper feasibility study of financial, legal and other conditions to enable a decision on whether the party should start a college.
2.1 Campaigns and Activism
It is important to maintain the momentum in the local campaign work that we achieved during the election campaigns. This will enable that the party continues to be seen and noticed, and that our issues will be on the agenda continuously over the next four years.
Local associations and active people should therefore be able to order free package of campaign materials (i.e. flyers, leaflets and posters). A lot of basic (and timeless) material from the parliamentary election campaign remains from 2014, but there may be additional material developed on new issues that arise.
We should develop new methods to get Pirates to compete (in a friendly manner) with the kind of campaigning that suits them.
2.2 Media Work
Efforts to place news on debate sites will continue. Political program committees will monitor issues that are about to emerge, provide input and write articles.
Writing letters to the editor will continue.
During 2015, we will work to develop skills, ideas and methods to reach out to the press and broadcast media in editorial copy – for example by organizing rallies, production of video, podcasts and the like.
2.3 External homepage
The party’s external website shall be regularly updated and maintained, both around political issues that end up in the center of the debate, and the party’s activities and acting.
2.4 Social Media
The Pirate Party will be a pioneering party when it comes to social media, and show that there are non-proprietary platforms that protects users’ privacy. At the same time, we must be ever present in the places where many people are, and talk to people there.
We will use social media to talk to people, not at them, and use each social platform in the way that suits the platform best.
We will encourage and stimulate members to share materials that can become viral.
We need to work with separating the use of social media for external communication and internal discussions. The party’s official external channels of social media will have hosts that ensures that the channels remain nice places where everyone can feel welcome to socialize and discuss.
The Pirate Party needs to be seen and heard in places where many people gather and / or the context in which the media monitors. This work is important and should be done through partnerships with the Youth Pirates and/or local associations. The choice of events needs to be so that we can both meet traditional and new audiences, and have a presence spread across the country.
The Pirate Party shall cooperate with the Youth Pirates in participation at DreamHack.
The Pirate Party will take part in the Pride Festival.
We should either attend the book and library, or another large trade show, targeting schools and teachers.
The party must send at least one representative to Almedalen.
Additional participation at the event takes place in the extent of activists who are willing to work with the event, as well as financial resources for participation.
2.6 Membership Incentive
The party will focus on recruiting new members and activists during 2015. This will happen through a membership recruitment contest with a prize to encourage participation.
3. International work
Questions about surveillance and intellectual property is, to a large extent, carried out through international collaborations and contracts, thus the pirate movement’s political work in these areas should be international from natural necessity. The goal is an international political movement with force to stem the surveillance society and liberate all the world’s knowledge and information.
The party has to participate in the annual meeting of the PPI.
We will participate in the work of the European Pirate Party.
The Swedish Pirate Party should strengthen its cooperation with other Nordic pirate parties, eg by supporting the Pirate Party in Norway when they work with their municipal elections campaign.
We will develop mechanisms to make it easy for Swedish pirates to make contact with other pirate parties, who need assistance in their election campaigns.
4. Long-term plan
The party will in 2015 develop a long term plan for how the party should develop over the next five years, in order to win future elections.
Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Fredrik Wass
About Josef Ohlsson Collentine
I'm a dual citizen (American/Swede) and try to integrate my reflections from a more global perspective if possible. I'm the organizational leader for Pirate Times and work actively to strengthen the pirate movement through this work as well as being the international contact for Piratpartiet (PPSE). Elected board member of PPSE for 2015-2018. If you would like to ask me something I speak English, Swedish and Spanish. Find me on the links below