Rodrigo Jorquera: “Participation of everyone will lead to a better government”
Rodrigo Jorquera, Chairman for the Pirate Party Austria, talked with us about how the Pirates go ahead to refresh austrian politics, the difficulties in rapidly growing movements and austrian plans for PPEU.
You have been re-elected for an Austrian Pirates’ chairmanship. Congratulations! Which difficulties the Pirates in Austria embraced so far and which are coming?
In the past few months there have been several communication problems within the groups in the party caused by the huge growth. These have been solved gradually. After this General Convention, the pirates are pulling in the same direction to overcome challenges in future. The atmosphere in this convention has been constructive and harmonic, despite of different political approaches. We managed to return to an even keel. Now we only need to focus know-how, which our movement has doubtlessly, and channel it into a comprehensive programme.
You have determined yourself very early for absolute transparency, starting with your campaign. Do you want to give an example for the established parties?
We are an example for the established parties. The only effective means against the corrupt party system in Austria is that transparency the Pirate Party propagates. But I doubt it can be realized in the established parties. Humans with a political interest, who take transparency seriously, will come to appreciate the Pirates as an alternative and to contribute to the movement.
Which role does the austrian form of corruption, the so-called Postenschacher, play in austrian politics and what are the Pirates’ approaches against it?
If operatives are getting lifted into positions by their opinion and not by their qualifications, then it’s a problem for every single citizen. Our internal processes are demonstrating already today our claims on our state tomorrow. Participation of everyone, including absolute transparency are necessities which will lead to a better goverment.
The FPÖ and BZÖ are regularly trying for attention with hostiltities towards strangers with negative paroles. Will they save themselves into the next National Council with this agenda? Which points the Pirates will make in this matter?
I see the Pirate Party as an integrative power in Austria. We are against the will of making political profit out of resentments against minorities and social disadvantaged persons. Who doesn’t have solutions, reinforces fear and fear is never a good advisor.
Which further problems will set the agenda for Austria in the upcoming campaign from the Pirates’ view?
One of the most pressuring issues is the fight against corruption. A parliamentary committee for this matter has been ended undemocratically. We are convinced, that the initiation of such inquiries has to become a minorities’ right like in Germany. The paralysis of the state by the bickering between the Parties for electoral purposes has to end. Progress can only be made by essential reforms, particularly in the matters of transparency and participation. Decisions like in the issue of Europe’s Stability Mechanism (ESM), which are concerning everyone, have to be carried by a majority within the citizens from our point of view. Citizens must be able to participate in the democratic process.
The Federal Convention has been moderated from Pirates of Germany and Switzerland. Which thoughts and wishes conveyed your invitation to them and how close the Austrian Pirates feel connected with the other german-speaking Pirates?
Jan Leutert has been invited as an experienced conductor of conventions to realize a fluent and constructive convention. His routine and his permanently positive appearance brought many results and helped to comply with the tense time plan. Stefan Thöni and Stefan Körner are long term companions of the Pirates in Austria and stated ready to support Jan in moderating this event. We already adopted many programmatic ideas from Germany out of their Liquid Feedback initiatives, like the ticket-less transportation service, and we see many parallels in different thematic areas.
Pirates in different EU countries contribute to the foundation of a european Pirate Party. How an austrian contribution could look like?
Beside the conference of PPI in Prague in this years’ May, where I attended as international delegate, I had the opportunity to meet many representants of the different Pirates organizations worldwide. By this, it came to intense talks in this direction. Through the wider line-up of the new Austrian executive board, I see the possibility to work more intensively in this matter. It’s important that the movement of the Pirates is makes this next step into the direction of the European Parliament for fighting even there against corruption and for data protection. Concludently, directives like for data retention, are not contestable on the states’ level, but only by the European Parliament. If you want to protect citizens for further incisions in their privacy, you have to get to the root of the problem.
Thank you for the time and our best wishes for the upcoming challenges.
The Interview has been conducted by Dominic Guhl for Pirate Times.
Featured Image CC-BY Georg Sinn