The results of Pirate Party Australia’s July 2018 National Congress are in!

The Pirate Party held its National Congress in Brisbane on July 78. Congresses are the time when members of the party can propose amendments to the Party Constitution, amend and adopt policies, decide leadership positions, and meet andsocialise in person. Congresses conclude with an online voting period to give all members a sayThe results of the now-concluded week-long voting period can now be announced. 

The Party had a turnout of approximately 21% from a pool of 732 participants.

Thank you to everyone who ran for positions and congratulations to those who were elected.

A reminder that election to the National Council is but one of many ways to contribute to the party. We are always looking for people to help on the press team, design team, in policy development, social media, writing submissions, research and so on, or just be an ongoing voice in the party. With an election in prospect, we have a particular opportunity to make a difference and shake things up this year. To get involved, email [email protected]

Constitutional amendments

No Constitutional amendments were presented this year.

Policy motions

The results of the motions relating to policy are as follows:

  • PM-1: Electoral System reform  – carried 94.78% in favour
  • PM-2: Job Guarantee policy – carried 91.60% in favour
  • PM-3: Patent System reform – carried 96.27% in favour
  • PM-4: Marriage Policy update – carried 91.47% in favour

Other motions

  • Financial Report: Accept the annual financial report as presented at congress – carried 99.14% in favour.

National Council elections

The National Council election results are as follows:

  • President: Miles Whiticker
  • Deputy President: John August
  • Secretary: Alex Jago
  • Deputy Secretary: unfilled
  • Treasurer: Mark Gibbons
  • Deputy Treasurer: unfilled
  • Councillor (1): Andrew Downing
  • Councillor (2): Daniel Oakley
  • Councillor (3): unfilled

All positions were uncontested. Members wishing to take part in the leadership of the Party are invited to step up!

Officer elections

Elections for Officer positions are as follows:

  • Dispute Resolution Committee (1)Liam Pomfret
  • Dispute Resolution Committee (2): Bryn Busai
  • Policy Development Officer: unfilled

* Note: the Dispute Resolution Committee consists of three members, elected for two-year terms. These terms are staggered. There were two vacancies this year. Fletcher Boyd was elected last congress and retains his position. 

The DRC positions were effectively uncontested, as two candidates ran for two positions.

Next Congress location

The next National Congress will be held in Adelaide in July 2019.

Raw results

The full breakdown of results can be found on the Party’s voting server, including raw JSON data. These results are also archived on the Party Wiki and on the Internet Archive.

The software used is Oyster, a free and open source voting system.

While we appreciate the initiative that the Australian Greens have made in putting a version of Universal Basic Income (UBI) forward, Pirate Party Australia long ago developed the idea into a practical and costed policy that is good for Australia.

While some criticisms of the Greens’ approach are valid, our own UBI policy has many fundamental differences. However, many criticisms of the Greens’ UBI policy are unfair and only show the ignorance of the critic, often being based on “intellectual guilt by association”, without any real engagement with the detail.

The Pirate Party UBI policy is not a universal payment to all, but rather part of an integrated taxation and welfare system, where an citizen earning $40,000 a year pays no tax nor receives any benefit. Above this income, they pay tax. Below this income, their income is topped up to a maximum of $15,000 a year, representing an effective UBI.

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The seat of Bennelong is up for by-election on Saturday 16 December 2017.

We are considering contesting this by-election, but only if we get enough volunteers to do it properly. If there are not enough volunteers by Monday, our campaign will not go ahead. We know that this isn’t much time, but there is a lot of paperwork to nominate a candidate and very little time to do it in as nominations close soon.

We are looking for volunteers locally who are in commuting distance to Bennelong NSW, and Australia-wide who can offer assistance online. We particularly need a coordinator who is on the ground in Sydney.

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Whatever your stance on refugee policy, this crisis has gone way too far.

The Australian Government’s policy is to make a point that anyone who attempts to enter Australia without authorisation, no matter the reason, will be met with a life of suffering even worse than what they are fleeing from. To achieve these means, the Australian Government has appointed Peter Dutton to effectively run a series of Concentration Camps right here in Australia, and some (like Manus Island) are outsourced to impoverished countries acting in proxy to Australia.

Thankfully these are not extermination camps, but the living conditions and mental stresses these people are subjected to go far beyond what most Australians would ever experience and deserve the label concentration camps.

Well Mr Dutton and Mr Turnbull, point made – especially on Manus Island – but now it has gone too far and it’s time for the suffering to stop.

The situation is so bad, and the Australian Government is so hell bent on making these people suffer, that New Zealand are basically pleading with us to let them take some in just to help end the suffering. Even wealthy individuals like Russell Crowe are offering to privately fund resettlement into a life of freedom. There are plenty of Australians right there behind him who would do the same. It’s not a case of putting foreigners before Australians, this is strictly on a humanitarian level of decent Australians wanting to help people suffering extreme conditions because of political circumstances.

It’s not reasonable to expect these people to “relocate themselves” from one concentration camp to another. Between the choice of staying trapped in squalor and in fear of the local population, and being trapped in another camp with no chance of freedom, it’s not really much of a choice. If you had to pick between accepting your fate of being a lifelong prisoner for having committed no crime and having a chance to act out against your captor, you would probably make the same choices.

The Australian Government has deprived these people of their freedom and therefore have a duty of care.

End the suffering.

Give these people freedom and a place to go, they have been through enough.

If there is a genuine reason why these people should not be accepted for refugees, the government needs to make the case. If not, they must let them in or hand them over to New Zealand, US or any other country willing to accept them humanely.

The Australian Government have already demonstrated their skills in influencing Papua New Guinea and Nauru to accept refugees (and we got close to a deal with Malaysia and Indonesia in the past), they should use this influence in the region to make these countries (as well as others) adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and provide the proper refuge in their countries, as well as taking in our fair share. New Zealand have repeatedly offered to help with resettlement.

This is the position of The Pirate Party. We also recommend that have a shared processing queue where which allocates a country to resettle in no matter where the refugee physically lands. Then there is no incentive to make risky trips to Australia and people in genuine need of refuge have a place to go without overloading any particular country’s resources.

We also believe that in the case of refugees who do make it to Australia, we should be providing them with resources to find work and become productive members of society and that these resources should also be available to all Australians too.

Our full policy on Asylum seekers and refugees is located at: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#Asylum_seekers_and_refugees

We also note the irony of Malcolm Turnbull defending Josh Frydenberg’s citizenship status on humanitarian grounds of his parents. They escaped persecution during the Holocaust and came to Australia as refugees (as have many other Australians who have contributed greatly), but the major parties don’t believe that the current batch of refugees don’t deserve the same accommodations or basic human dignity.