The Pirate Party is pleased to announce that it has successfully passed a review of its eligibility to remain a registered political party in Australia. A delegate of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) contacted the Pirate Party to confirm that it meets the requirements for eligibility and has been approved for continued registration. This news comes following the AEC’s review of parties without a sitting parliamentarian, which has so far resulted in the deregistration of a number of political parties including the Australian Sex Party, Australian Democrats and the Democratic Labour Party[1].

Pirate Party Secretary Daniel Judge commented: “While we were confident that we would pass the review, this is an enormous relief and ensures that the Pirate Party will contest the next federal election. This is the first time we’ve been reviewed by the AEC since we applied for registration in January 2013, and it appears we passed with flying colours.

“Although meeting the 500 member threshold is not particularly difficult for most parties, ensuring that the details of each of those 500 are up to date and that they are enrolled to vote can be an administrative hurdle. Thankfully we cleared it without trouble, and I’d like to thank all our members who assisted our internal audit by confirming their details.”

The Pirate Party looks forward to continuing the task of broadening its policy platform[2] to address the challenges facing a 21st century Australia, and campaigning against draconian copyright restrictions, the ever-increasing surveillance state, and the destructive anti-science policy directions of the current government. As part of this, the Pirate Party recently released a basic guide for Australians wanting to protect their privacy in response to the mandatory data retention regime recently enacted by the Federal Parliament. This guide is available at https://pirateparty.org.au/dataretention/

[1] http://www.aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/Party_Registration/Deregistered_parties/index.htm
[2] http://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform

Brendan Molloy, President of Pirate Party Australia

The Annual National Congress is due to be run in July. After careful consideration, I have decided not to recontest any position on the National Council this year and take a break from politics.

It takes a lot of work to develop a self-sustaining political party, and eventually we all need to take a step back to reflect on many years of hard work, while taking a break to recover from the very physical and emotional toll that day-to-day political work has on a person.

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The results of Pirate Party Australia’s July 2014 National Congress are in!

The Pirate Party held its National Congress in Brisbane on July 19–20 for the purposes of amending the Party Constitution, amending and adopting policies and deciding leadership positions, and as an opportunity for members of the Party to socialise in person. The results of the now-concluded week-long voting period can be announced. The Party had a turnout of approximately 25% from a pool of 1100 participants.

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(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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