Swedish Pirates Head Toward Election Without a Leader

Swedish Pirates Head Toward Election Without a Leader

The Swedish Pirate Party is going through exciting times. They just finished electing new board members when the leadership announced that they were not willing to continue in their roles at the end of the year. To top it all off the government announced snap elections for March 22 2015 – the first such election in Sweden since 1958.

The Pirate Party is still recovering from the expense and effort of the elections that were held only last September (local and national) as well as the EU elections in May, and the board has now had to make several important strategic decisions. They needed to elect a new leadership team, work on the problems that lead to the leadership stepping down, and fight an election that was deemed to be too much for the party to achieve in its current situation. So the board decided to postpone the leadership election until later in 2015. This leaves the party with the following tasks:

  • Transitioning from a paid leadership to one that that is voluntary
  • Reforming the party culture to be more inclusive than it currently is (as pointed out by Anna Troberg as the reason she stepped down)
  • Creating a member elected list of candidates to contest the elections
  • Campaigning as effectively as possible for those elections
  • Running the party until a new leader is in place

In order to see the election carried out, the board created two temporary positions:

  1. Party Organizer – to oversee the administrative and organizational work previously done by the party leadership; Anton Nordenfur has been appointed to this job.
  2. Election Organizer – to oversee the administrative framework and organization for the snap election; Mikael Holm will be taking on this responsibility.

A temporary freeze on policy discussion and formulation of policies, programs and ideology was requested by the board to allow the membership to concentrate on the elections. As the Board convener Malin Ahnberg said:

Whether the Pirate Party would run in the elections wasn’t even a question. Political parties are created to run for elections, it’s as simple as that.

The list of candidates and order will be chosen by the members, and one or several of the top of the list will be the voice of the party. With the party funds at a low level a crowd funding effort will start, but the campaign will be relying on a low-cost, swarm ops campaign with things like home made flyers and posters, crazy antics like flash mobbing and anything that is fun and can get attention. The Pirates were ignored by the mainstream media in the recent election, so the Pirates have the role of outsiders and game changers.

Two weeks after the election is over, the party will hold its spring member meeting, and the work of restructuring for the badly needed culture change to ensure the party is open to all, truly democratic and accommodating to all sections of society. The autumn meeting will see the election of the new leadership and the beginning of a constitutional reform process which should be adopted in the spring meeting of 2016.

A ship can sail without a captain as long as the crew is united and the helmsman and navigator know their tasks so, as long as the Swedish Pirates pull together, they will come out of this crisis a stronger and better party.


Featured image CC BY-SA – PPSE