Jumping Ship: Pirates Cooperating with other Parties

Jumping Ship: Pirates Cooperating with other Parties

In the recent EU elections we saw many Pirate Parties forming alliances with other parties in order to share resources and reach a larger demographic. The parties that were allied with were from varying political directions including libertarian, green and communist. However there has been another sort of alliance that has been happening somewhat under the radar. Individual Pirates who have been working with and for other Parties and NGOs with and without sanction from their own Pirate Parties.

How should we react to these activities? Are they traitors or ambassadors?

Let us look at an example.

In Spain a new party is creating a furore. Podemos (We Can!) is only 6 months old. Its charismatic leader Pablo Iglesias cites the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) as an inpiration for the party. Iglesias is a political science teacher and has a popular following on television. It is this popularity and deft use of social media that has led to the party’s rapid growth. It claims to be a combination of direct democracy and socialist ideals.

Participatory democracy is one of the Pirate Movement’s most widely shared policies. Like the Spanish Pirate Confederation  they held open primaries for their EU candidates and used the same platform agoravoting. Agoravoting’s main programmer is a Pirate. There was also Pirate participation in the primaries on a candidate level. The participation was a record 35,000 people which was greater than the Greens.

 Pros and Cons

On the minus side:

  • The Pirate Party loses the effort and experience of a Pirate for the duration of the work being done.
  • The Pirate might even be lost to the other party on a permanent basis.
  • The Pirate might pick up ideologies and tactics that are injurious to the Pirate Party.

On the plus side:

  • The Pirate might learn new ideas and policies that are useful to the Pirate Party.
  • The Pirate might gain experience that is useful to the Pirate Party.
  • The Pirate might win new members for the Pirate Party
  • The Pirate might make contacts that will be of use to the Pirate Party in the future.


Of course the deicison to aid another party will depend on local circumstances but when possible, cooperation is to be prefered so long as there in no obvious harm to the Pirate Party. Remember sharing is caring.  If you get the opportunity and have the time and inclination then the choice is up to you. However, don’t forget to tell your Pirate colleagues what you are doing. They might get a little paranoid otherwise.

Also, don’t forget to come back.


Featured image: CC BY-SA 3.0 US Navy

This article has been edited: PPES changed to Spanish Pirate Confederation in regard to the use of  Agoravoting. 26 June 2014