Spanish Pirate Confederation attends Democratic Organizations Congress in Salamanca
On 10 – 11 May 2013, the first Democratic Organizations Congress took place in Salamanca, hosted and coordinated by USAL students who are members of the oldest University in Spain. Thus, the city took up again its ancient tradition of research and cultural exchange. An exchange that coincided with a special moment in Spanish politics, including a huge rate of social dissatisfaction with the management of public affairs, and with the two main parties -PP and PSOE- plummeting in the polls.
The Spanish Pirate Confederation was invited to the event, as well as many other political parties and social organizations. Several talks, debates and workshops were scheduled with the aim of finding new solutions to a political system -Spain’s- in deep crisis. The common language in all activities was very positive and centered in dialogue, cooperation and the search of agreements.
Throughout the Congress, several scholars offered their opinion on current issues. And this opinion was often very close to the Pirate principles.
For example, USAL’s Prof. Sebastián Linares stated that “what democracy can be is not represented in Parliaments”. Prof. Víctor Cuesta, from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, said that “democracy is not a ‘statu quo’, but an ideal one must try to reach”; and he reminded that Spain has the most restrictive system of popular plebiscites in our comparative Law, which he considered to be a big flaw.
During the workshop-debate between representatives of political parties, up to 14 different speakers offered their thoughts. These groups -in addition to the Spanish Pirate Confederation- varied from forces with some representation in the institutions, to parties with low electoral results.
In these talks it became apparent that all the representatives agreed on three key aspects that Spain needed most: more transparency, more participation of the citizens in the decision making, and a reform of the electoral system to make it more democratic.
These common goals are, ironically, pillars of the Pirate ideology.
On the negative side, it was clear that the most traditional -read “old”- parties do not understand the strength and possibilities of the internet as a tool for democratic management, social change and citizens’ communication. At the most, they perceive it as a system for tweeting electoral slogans.
Following what the organizers named the “Spirit of Salamanca”, full of cooperation and mutual help, more informal talks were held, in order to further those points were all parties agreed… and to keep on doing so.
Will it be possible for different parties to collaborate for the common good? That would certainly be a proof of political maturity and an example to follow. Maybe this will be the first step towards what tomorrow may be called the “Movement of Salamanca”…
Featured images: PPES CC BY-SA