(This announcement was also sent by email to the Party Announcements mailing list.)

Greetings!

Pirate Party Australia will be holding its annual National Congress on Saturday 19 July to Sunday 20 July at the Irish Club in Brisbane. Members will be able to attend in person or online, and the conference will be followed by a seven day online voting period.

RSVP today! http://piratecon2014.eventbrite.com.au

The National Congress is an opportunity for members to propose and debate new policies and constitutional amendments, hear nominations for Party Officials, and meet Pirates from around Australia. We are also hoping to have guest speakers, who will be announced closer to the date.

Ticket prices are $25 for members, and $15 for students who are members. Non-members can enter for $35. Online participation is free, but we request a donation to cover the costs of streaming the broadcast. RSVPing is also mandatory for online participants so we can determine the amount of people likely to attend and therefore our bandwidth requirements.

Please be advised that members have until 28 days before the Congress to submit constitutional amendment proposals, which in accordance with our by-laws is Friday 20 June 2014 at 11:59 pm (AEST). Proposals submitted after that date will be held over until the following National Congress. Please email your proposals to [email protected]

It would be appreciated if policy proposals could be submitted as early as possible so that they can be allowed for in the agenda. If you intend to propose a policy for adoption at Congress it is recommended that you consult with the Policy Development Committee by emailing [email protected] so that suggestions for improvements can be made. Well written policies are more likely to succeed. Please email your completed proposals to [email protected]

Nominations for positions within the Party will be opened shortly, and nominations will be accepted up until the relevant agenda item at Congress. Positions up for election are all nine Councillors, all State and Territory Coordinators, the Policy Development Officer, and two positions on the Dispute Resolution Committee.

Due to issues with venue dates, an emergency constitutional amendment (using the powers of Article 8.4 and By-law 2014-01) was implemented by the National Council to Article 6.1(2), changing the requirements from hosting a National Congress from every 12 months to every 13 months. In practice, this has allowed us to host the National Congress 12 months and a week after the last Congress due to venue constraints. This motion will be voted on at the National Congress as per the requirements of the Constitution, and if voted down, will not be reinstituted by the National Council.

The exact wording of the motion is as follows: “To enact a temporary operational amendment to the Party Constitution to extend the time between National Congresses to 13 months, and to host the National Congress at the Irish Club in Brisbane on July 19/20, 2014 with a budget of $750.”

Details of this motion will be published in the next National Council minutes, which will be available at http://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Minutes

Up to date information about this Congress will be found at: http://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Pirate_Congress_2014

This date is locked in, so feel free to book flights and hotels. We look forward to seeing you in Brisbane!

Preferencing Process

Pirate Party Australia has completed its preferencing for the 2014 WA Senate election. All group voting tickets (GVT) have been published on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website.

In keeping with the Pirate Party’s commitment to transparency and participatory democracy, last election the Party pioneered a form of preferencing unprecedented in Australian politics. We continued to use that process for this election.

After publishing the statements publicly, the members of Pirate Party Australia ranked all 56 registered parties according to how they should be preferenced.

A rundown of the process is as follows:

  • Party members were given a ballot listing the parties to be preferenced in an order predetermined by the Party’s Election Committee to be a good general order of preferences based on the Committee’s research. They were given three days to respond to the ballot.
  • The Committee used the preferencing order prior to the closing of the ballot in order to determine how to best go about negotiating preferences with other parties in order to get them to reciprocate the preference order determined by our members.
  • As soon as the GVT ballot closed, the deals ballot was put to our members.
  • 24 hours later, the deal results were determined and the other parties were informed.
  • The Election Committee met as soon as possible after receiving the Group Voting Tickets for each state and democratically determined any changes necessary to the GVT that were not possible to determine in advance.
    • The minutes of that meeting can be found here.
  • These results are now being published in this statement.

An example of the digital ballot that the members of the Party used to determine their preference order can be found here!

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Yesterday Pirate Party Australia met its campaign funding target of $10,000 entirely through crowdfunding, in preparation for the WA Senate election on 5 April.

Following the announcement that fresh elections would be taking place, the Pirate Party launched the fundraiser using Pozible, a crowdfunding website similar to Kickstarter, and has reached the $10,000 goal in just under two weeks. Supporters of the Pirate Party are still able to contribute to the fundraiser via Pozible, and all money will go directly towards purchasing campaign materials for the election.

“This is a fantastic show of support for Pirate Party Australia,” said Fletcher Boyd, lead candidate for the Senate in WA. “We are very thankful to our supporters for providing us with the funds to seriously give this election a go. Despite lacking wealthy sponsors, celebrity candidates, or a massive membership base, we have an enormous amount of grassroots enthusiasm as demonstrated by how quickly we were able to reach our goal.”

The Pirate Party would like to thank all those who contributed, especially those who contributed more than $250 to the campaign — Mitchell Carr, Adam Thomas, Matthew Schmidt, Dennis Au, Georg Sinn and Mark Walkom.

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Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce that it will contest the Western Australian Senate Election on 5 April, 2014, and has completed preselection of its candidates. Western Australian members of the Pirate Party voted to field Fletcher Boyd and Michelle Allen, in that order.

“2014 is the year Western Australia can take a stand,” said Fletcher Boyd, lead candidate for Pirate Party Australia. “This election offers our state the opportunity to say ‘no’ to the human rights violations being committed in our name. To say ‘no’ to reactionary legislation designed to placate, and not to solve. To vote instead for policies based on scientific evidence, dedication to transparency, and protection of human rights.”

“Pirate Party Australia offers Western Australians a chance to take this stand. As a candidate I will uphold the Pirate Party’s beliefs in equality and freedom, beliefs the majority of our politicians do not seem to share.”

The Pirate Party’s policies cover a broad range of issues. Apart from the Party’s core policies of intellectual property reform, protection of personal privacy, increased governmental transparency, and opposition to censorship, the Party has developed policies on asylum seekers and refugees, energy, the environment, welfare, taxation and foreign affairs[1]. Pirate Party Australia supports a fibre-to-the-premises broadband network[2] and the introduction of an Australian Bill of Rights[3].

The Party is yet to decide its preference allocations, but will be using the same democratic process it pioneered at the Federal Election in September 2013[4]. In accordance with this process, all members from Western Australia will vote to determine the order in which the Pirate Party’s preference are to be distributed. This will include any preference swapping arrangements proposed by other parties.

In order to raise funds to contest this election, including the $2,000 nomination deposits required for each candidate, the Pirate Party has turned to crowdfunding for its election campaign. More than $7,000 of the $10,000 target has been met in just over a week[5].

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Just when we thought for sure he’d been lost at sea or killed by natives, Sam Kearns returns from the wild blue yonder with a new webcast episode packed full of shiny goodness.

In this episode Sam speaks to Melanie Thomas about running as a Pirate candidate for the seat of Griffith and follows the antics of Attorney General George Brandis as he says all the things we don’t want to hear in parliament and at the AUDA forum. Subscribe to the feed, or view past episodes.

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