Summary of Pirate Party Sweden’s Political Program
Pirate Party Sweden took a decision at their general assembly to remove their 561 political standpoints and only keep the core political program (link in Swedish). The remaining politics consists of three sections:
1) Modern information technology allows for amazing opportunities
2) Strong forces want to impede progress
3) The Pirate Party’s mission and principles
Each of these sections has 3-5 subsections with several paragraphs of descriptive text. Thus despite being much smaller, many standpoints can still be derived from the political program. The following summary of each section is the interpretation of PPSE’s party secretary (link in Swedish), Anton Nordenfur, on the political stances of PPSE:
1. Modern information technology allows for amazing opportunities
- We value and wish to strengthen the Internet’s role in society, whilst at the same time protecting it from the many attacks it must endure (eg surveillance).
- Strengthened net neutrality.
- Personal Data Protection.
- A general technology optimism (exemplified by increased focus on education, research, innovative grant schemes and more open conditions for researchers and innovators)
1.1 People’s ability to communicate freely with each other strengthens freedom, participation and democracy.
- Strengthened citizen participation and opportunities for everyone to participate in political discourse.
- Focus on freedom of expression, press freedom and ‘Mére Conduit‘ .
- Whistleblower protection.
- Transparency, especially within politics.
- International work, for example in the EU, with a focus on democracy, against oppression and how it should be done
- A fair support for all actors in media (e.g. not just “old media” but also blogs).
1.2 Free access to knowledge improves people’s ability to build a good life.
- The value of sharing information and knowledge.
- Changing patent laws and make them less repressive.
- Open access.
- Free trade agreements that value freedom of information and knowledge.
- Enable more types of creation and funding than in the past (for example by simplifying bureaucracy for individuals and small businesses who work part-time separate from full-time occupation or studies.
1.3 Freedom of communication strengthens culture and spreads it (both in practice and experience), to an increasing number of people.
- Reformed copyright laws that allows for the dissemination of culture, especially with non-commercial purposes.
- Culture of remixing and laws that allow this
- Reduce top-down management of cultural policies and release control to creators (with laws and regulations that try to steer as little as possible).
2. Strong forces want to impede progress
2.1 Surveillance violates integrity and threatens both democracy and the free circulation of information
- Press freedom and freedom of expression.
- Against mass surveillance and other integrity harming procedures, against state influence on individuals’ opinions.
- Special focus on the role that the EU has in integrity policies.
- Whistleblower protection and protecting journalist sources as well as the right to encryption.
- Pragmatic, workable solutions instead of laws that allow and rely on surveillance or other integrity intrusive solutions (for example, to remove the mass surveillance solution to terrorism and to remove the drug laws that are both intrusive and proven not to work).
- Thoughtfulness rather than suspicion.
- The right to pay with cash.
2.2 Patents and other monopolies on ideas hamper innovation and development
- Reformed patent laws that are open to more innovation and dissemination of knowledge.
- Against patent trolls.
- Against patents for medicine.
- Supporting free trade agreements that allow for increased dissemination of normally patent protected technology.
2.3 Obsolete copying monopolies prevents free dissemination, sharing and remixing of culture
- Data protection laws that prevent companies from arbitrarily distributing personal information.
- Make it impossible to shut down sites without proper trial.
- Make blackmailing fines, for copyright infringement, illegal.
- Open up for digital libraries (and other knowledge carriers), both civil society and at need for the government.
- Reforming copyright and a culture of remixing.
3. The Pirate Party’s mission and principles
3.1 All people have the same rights
- Freedom of religion.
- “Rainbow politics” such as everyone’s right to marry, have children, identify themselves as their own sex, have the relationship forms they want. Rights without reprisals from the state, individuals and businesses.
- Positivity towards diversity and a focus on an integrated society.
- Opportunities for everyone to get involved in politics and civil society.
3.2 Democracy presupposes free, unsupervised communication
- Focus on the rights removed in recent years.
- The right to remain innocent until the contrary is proved beyond doubt.
- Secret ballot, for example criticism of the e-voting system that is less secure than today’s electoral system.
- Subsidiarity principle, put local issues on municipalities and counties, national issues in the state, and EU Affairs in the EU.
- Reduce bureaucracy in politics and place the power with politicians rather than bureaucrats.
- Freedom of speech.
- Refugee policy – people with no papers should have the same rights as formal citizens.
3.3 All people have a right to privacy and a private life
- Against surveillance and for the right to privacy.
- Rule of law
- Integrity in education, health care and other areas.
3.4 Knowledge belongs to all of us
- Intellectual property rights are excluded by default, rather than applied as today.
- Art, knowledge and information that has been financed by taxes should not be intellectual property, it should be owned by the public.
- Knowledge not protected by intellectual property should be used in education.
- Education should focus more on the individual’s appetite for discovery rather than learning “dry facts”.
3.5 Culture enriches our lives and should be as accessible as possible.
- Cultural policy that focuses on diversity for all kinds of culture, not just those traditionally accepted.
- Decriminalization of non-commercial file sharing and a reformed copyright.
Featured image: Cropped from CC-BY-SA, Piratpartiet
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