Ahoy

Pirate Party Australia has held our first strategy meeting last Wednesday the 13th of January. It was a successful meeting and we aim to hold another strategy meeting on Wednesday February 10 to discuss fund raising and anything else that people think we need to discuss.

We had a good discussion about our relations with other minor Parties and have a better idea what we should do going forward. We also discussed how to set up State branches, with the long term aim of participating in State elections. I will go into further detail below.
Here are the minutes from the strategy meeting: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Minutes/Strategy_Meeting/2016-01-13

State Election Committees

To get the organisational experience to form State branches we have decided to form State based election committees. The aim is to get potential candidates and anyone else keen to help out working towards the Federal Election this year. It will involve fund raising, campaigning to spread the word about our general awesomeness and getting materials ready for the Federal Election. After the election we plan to use the State Election Committees as the basis of emergent State Councils.
The draft terms of reference for State Election Committees is here: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/State_and_Territory_Election_Committee

If you would like to participate in these Committees and maybe enter the election as a Pirate Party candidate please email the National Council as soon as possible at: [email protected]

Membership Database System

Late last year we put out a tender for a new membership database system. The winning submission was from ThoughtWorks, who are providing a massive discount due to their belief in what we are trying to build. The initial cost will be $10,500 (including Pozible fees) with a stretch goal of $21,000 for a membership database system with all of the trimmings. The completed system will be open source and useful to political Parties and non-government organisations well beyond our own Party.

We have approached the Alliance for Progress and plan to speak with NGOs and other minor parties to help raise the funds. We are also launching a Pozible campaign to assist in raising the money and we will need your help to contribute directly and to help spread the word on social media. We will link to the campaign in the next member mailout.

CS:GO

We held the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Tournament against r/CircleJerkAus last Sunday night. Sadly we were defeated, but we helped raise $609 for the Fred Hollows Foundation and had a good time. We’d like to thank everyone who donated and participated. Despite not winning the funds, it also resulted in some good publicity for the party. You can find links to more information about the tournament and the video replay in our discussion forums.

Treasurers Report

We’ve wrapped up an interesting year on the financial front – with highlights including an epic battle with paypal and a post-election submission to the AEC.
Read all about it here: https://pirateparty.org.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Financial_report_Congress_2015_Final.pdf.
This report is later than usual – we have changed to a Xero accounting system and things should faster and easier in the long run. (This report is an updated version of the interim report submitted at congress)

Now we’re gearing up for another intense year, with an election to contest and lot of funds to raise. Big thanks to every past and future donor!

This announcement has also been posted in our discuss forum here:
https://discuss.pirateparty.org.au/t/party-update-jan-2016-pirate-party-australia/650
If you wish to discuss this announcement, please feel free to do so there.

In less than a year, Pirate Party Australia will be contesting its second Federal election. With data retention having passed, a fifth wave of security laws in the works, further censorship proposals for the internet, and more copyright restriction in the wake of the TPP, there’s a lot to push back against. Our political system is rotten, monopolistic, and in desperate need of renewal.

But elections are expensive — it costs $24 000 in nomination fees just to contest each state. Our estimate assumes that the major parties will not jack up the price as they did right before the last election!

Our current bank balance is approximately $8,000 which is only enough to cover candidate fees in two states.

Basic election materials such as how to vote flyers and corflute signs cost thousands of dollars more. At the last election we contested in four states (not counting the WA re-run).

Below is the list of our main expenses from the last Federal Election campaign:

Candidate nomination fees: $16,000
Corflute sign printing: $2,546.50
Advertising in MX Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne: $6,593.40
How to Vote flyer printing: $2020 (4 designs. 20,000 for each of 3 states and 6,000 for 1 state)

With so much at stake, we have to prepare in advance so that we can run the best campaign possible. Given the risk of an early election, we need to start building a warchest now with a target of $40,000 to ensure we can cover nomination fees and produce essential campaign materials.

While every donation makes a difference, we urge those who can afford it to set up regular transfers. A regular stream of funds could facilitate us also reaching our goal of hiring a paid staff member to lighten the bureaucratic burden on the (entirely volunteer) National Council members, freeing us up to campaign harder on issues which define our Party. This is a goal which we will pursue with vigour once we have enough money in the bank to contest the next election.

For more information on how to help, go to our “Election Warchest Campaign” page at: https://pirateparty.org.au/warchest/

Thank you again for all your support.

Kind Regards,

Simon Frew
President
Pirate Party Australia

The Pirate Party continues its tradition of democratically-determined preferences, as chosen by its members.

The Canning By-Election is the first time that the Pirate Party has run its internal preference ballot for a lower house election. The Pirate Party’s first lower house election, the Griffith by-election, was held so soon after the 2013 Federal Election that a second preference ballot was deemed unnecessary.

However, the political situation has changed significantly in the two years since we last undertook this process for the WA Special Senate election[1] and the Pirate Party’s National Council thought it appropriate that a new ballot be conducted to determine the recommended order of candidates on its how-to-vote cards.

Continue reading

Today the Pirate Party is launching a crowdfunding campaign[1] to raise at least $3,000 for its candidate Michelle Allen, running in the Canning by-election[2].

“Crowdfunding the resources we need for elections has proven to work well for us in the past,” said Tom Randle, Pirate Party Councillor. “Given our embrace of distributed participation, we’re able to run our election campaigns at a very low-cost while connecting our members from all over Australia to help Michelle’s campaign to be as successful as it can be.”

Continue reading

Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce that its Western Australian members have voted to preselect former WA Senate candidate Michelle Allen as its candidate for the Canning by-election.

Michelle Allen has lived around the Canning electorate for most of her life. Michelle is currently working as a Software Development Manager for a Perth based company where she has over a decade of experience in all areas of Information Technology. She has a long history of advocating for equality, human rights and copyright reform in Australia. Michelle believes all Australians should be treated equally, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, social status or belief, and has campaigned to ensure that everyone in Australia is given a fair go.

“This is a chance for us to show both the current government, and the so-called opposition, how unhappy we are with their constant efforts to quash our digital liberties and basic human rights,” said Canning candidate Michelle Allen, “We will show them we won’t stand by while they simply kowtow to the interests of their corporate donors while pushing policies that benefit their mates or appeal to fear rather than the well considered evidence based policies that the country needs to progress.”

This is the Pirate Party’s second run in a House of Representatives seat. Melanie Thomas came 4th in a field of 11 candidates in the 2014 Griffith by-election. Pirate Party Australia also ran candidates for the Senate in a number of states in the 2013 Federal election, as well as in the 2014 WA special Senate election. Co-incidentally, the date of the Canning by-election is the same day as “Talk Like a Pirate Day” which Pirate Party Australia hopes will be another reason for voters to “Vote like a Pirate”.

“While we know that this is quite a different situation to Griffith, we hope that when voters see our evidence based, common sense policies they will consider supporting the Pirate Party. In my experience, once people see what we stand for, and see that we are serious about becoming a viable political alternative to the major parties, neither of which represent the interests of the average Australian, voting Pirate just makes sense,” continued Michelle.

While the Pirate Party was founded with a focus on digital rights, civil liberties, privacy and copyright reform, the party has since expanded its policy set to a wide array of science based, evidence driven policies in areas that concern many Australians. These policies include, but are not limited to, support for marriage equality, better education outcomes and support for science, a sensible and humane approach to asylum seekers, drug law reforms, comprehensive support for renewable energy, and a comprehensive tax reform & welfare policy that both massively simplifies the tax system but maintains fairness and progressiveness. The full Pirate Party policy platform can be found at https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform.

Pirate Party Australia is a federally registered political party founded in late 2008, and contested its first Federal Election in 2013. Pirate Party Australia is part of a worldwide movement that began in Sweden in 2006, and has since spread to more than 40 different countries. Pirate Parties have been elected to all levels government — local, state, national and supranational — with 44 state seats in Germany, three seats in the Icelandic Parliament, and a member of the European Parliament.

Candidate Page: http://pirateparty.org.au/candidates/