Spanish Pirates to Elect their MEP Candidates by Open Primaries

Spanish Pirates to Elect their MEP Candidates by Open Primaries

Confederación Pirata, an  association of Spanish regional Pirate Parties, started an open and fully democratic process for the election of its list of candidates for the Euroelections 2014.

This process is open to both supporters and Pirate Confederation’s party members. Any interested person may submit an application and then either vote for their preferred candidate or stand as one themselves.

“If you want to build a new Europe, a Europe of people and Human Rights, transparency and direct democracy flag, this is your chance! We are  looking for people like you. Join the European nomination with the Pirate Confederation! Register as a supporter, voting begins on January 23. If  you want to be a candidate, check the box and follow the additional steps. You have until January 22! Take the wheel!”.

That’s what you can read in the call for candidates in the website! It is no coincidence that the hashtag for the campaign is #SeBuscanPiratas, which translates to #PiratesWanted!

“So, anyone could be a candidate for the Spanish Pirate Confederation and  they don’t have to be a member of any Pirate Party! Is that so?”, the  Pirate Times asked  Dario Castañe, a main organizer and programmer from PPCAT (Pirate Party of Catalonia), who has been carrying a lot of the weight, amongst the dozens of other Pirates working for this project.  

“Yes,  you don’t have to be a member of any PP. They are the most open primaries up to date in Spain” he replied. “But isn’t that risky?” we continued. “No, it isn’t. Candidates will be backed by one of the Pirate Parties after meeting/checking them. Who backs a candidate is up to each Pirate Party. They choose who and how they back them” Castañe added.

Anyone  registered in the site will be able to vote. The first step allows you  to register as supporter. Supporters and candidates are verified by national ID.

The Process of the Primaries

An article, of the Organic Law on the General Electoral system in Spain, defines that each block of 5 candidates must have at least 2 people of each gender and the Confederal Coordinator will be responsible for implementing that.

The process of the primaries consists of two phases; the first one concerning the selection of the three head MEP candidates, and the second, the rest of the list.

According to the timetable, nominations will be collected to fill the first three places in the list until the 22nd January 2014. From 27th January to 9th February, there will be a “campaign” running, including a minimum of two online discussions and a place to ask written questions to each of the candidates.

The voting period will be held from 10th to 16th of February – on 17th, the names of the first three candidates shall be announced by the Confederal Coordinator.

The same process will be followed from the 17th February to 22nd March to elect the rest of the list. At the first General Assembly of the Pirate Confederation, on 23rd March, the whole process will end with the presentation of the full list of candidates.

Spain has 50 MEPs and there is no lower boundary in order to elect one, but in the Euroelections 2009 2,49% of the votes (395k) were needed to get a MEP. 

However, before being able to run for the Euroelections, Spanish Pirates need to gather 20 000 signatures.

Confederación Pirata is a decentralized organization of about 1 400 Pirates working in a spirit of equality. It was founded in 2011 and consisted of the parties of Piratas de Andalucía, Piratas de Extremadura, Piratas de Galicia, Piratas de Madrid, Pirates de Catalunya and Piratas de La Rioja. Its aim is to promote joint projects and the Pirate movement.

Featured image: CC BY-SA PPES