Position Statements

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Official Party Document
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Position Statements are policies that either cut across and combine many aspects of the main platform, or apply Pirate principles to a specific issue.

Position Statement 2013-01 – Improving Electoral Participation

Statement

Pirate Party Australia encourages the maximisation of political participation. As part of the global movement that is well known for its interest in the concept of liquid democracy, Pirate Party Australia has strived to investigate new means of political participation. We are one of the few political parties in Australia that provides for the remote participation of members and online voting. We intend to seize the opportunities that modern communication technologies provide to change the nature of politics.

However, while the Internet particularly is opening up new methods of participation, Pirate Party Australia and other minor parties like ours exist because their members do not feel existing parties adequately represent our interests and views in Parliament. To rectify this, we and other parties contest elections. This aim is stated in our constitution[1].

In 2013, both houses of the Federal Parliament passed a bill amending the Electoral Act 1918 (Cth). Among other innocuous changes, the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012 included an amendment to the Electoral Act that doubled the nomination deposit for contesting elections[2]. As a result, the fee per Senate candidate is $2000, while the House of Representatives is $1000, coming to a combined cost of more than $300,000 to contest every electorate and run full Senate tickets nationwide.

Pirate Party Australia views this as a serious affront to democracy. This is a deliberate stacking of future elections in favour of incumbent parties, and deprives Australians — both electors and candidates — of true democratic participation and fulfilment. This places an unfair burden on parties and candidates that do not have the same membership numbers and corporate sponsorship that well established parties enjoy. This is not conducive to a multi-party democracy, and directly effects our ability to reverse the poor decisions of previous Parliaments.

It was unthinkable that Parliament would pass such exclusionary measures, but now that Pirate Party Australia has been confronted with this change, there is concern that future Parliaments may continue the trend of discouraging alternative representatives.

In response to this, Pirate Party Australia pledges to do all it can to restore candidate fees to a reasonable level, and to oppose legislation that would introduce unfair restrictions on candidates. The Party also supports a referendum to include protection against onerous or excessive requirements on candidates standing for election to the Federal Parliament in the Australian Constitution, similar to that which appears in the Canadian Constitution. In Figueroa v Canada (Attorney General), it was ruled that several sections of the Canada Elections Act were unconstitutional as they violated section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to play a meaningful role in the electoral process[3].

Pirate Party Australia recognises the need for similar protections in Australia.

References

  1. Pirate Party Australia, Constitution, part 1. https://pirateparty.org.au/constitution/
  2. Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012 (Cth). http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4863 (accessed 25 April, 2013).
  3. Figueroa v Canada (Attorney General) [2003] 1 SCR 912.

History

Position Statement 2016-01 – Transgender and Intersex issues

Statement

The issues affecting transgender and intersex persons, cut a narrow swath across a large number of Pirate Party Australia policy areas. These issues are frequent sources of public enquiry. This policy statement outlines the concerns, followed by a cross reference to related inclusions in other policy statements.

The diversity of and within gender is still little understood and accepted in wider society, which can cause all sorts of problems. Social, bureaucratic and possible medical challenges of transitioning from the gender one is assigned to at birth to the gender one identifies with are exacerbated by prejudice and discrimination in most levels of society, even family and close friends. As a consequence, the issues transgender people face are much like those that gay population were and are still facing: being beaten, thrown out of home, losing work and many other issues. The prevalence of male to female transsexualism is estimated to be in the range of 1:250 to 1:200, in the general population [1]

Being transgender isn't just a case of feeling attracted to what society deems the wrong gender, it is people assuming from your birth that you are something other than you, some people feel for a long time "Something isn't right, but I don't know what" and some people go along the lines of "I wish I was a girl/boy/different gender" then finding out either sooner or later it is possible. Trying to differ from what society has deemed your gender at birth to be, causes momentous challenges for people in such situations.

One of the first question asked when a baby is born is whether it's a boy or girl. One of two answers is usually given, based on physical appearance; male or female. The newborn is assigned a sex, which is consequently formalised in the official identity documents of the newborn. This predominant culture of categorising newborns into one of two sexes, with their associated genders, can cause several issues in a person's life.

Gender Divergence

Some people realise sooner or later that they don't identify with the gender associated with the sex assigned to them at birth, i.e. if their gender 'diverges' from their assigned sex. These transgender (or transsexual, non-binary, agender,...) people suffer from being put into a metaphorical box they don't belong in by society, which can cause psychological issues from an early age. When they decide to transition to another gender to show their true or newly found identity, they often face discrimination and violence even by those closest to them.

While it would by far not solve all issues for intersexed and transgender people, removing the requirement for an assigned sex would benefit many people in society. The shift needs to be more than just a formality though. There needs to be a shift in how gender is understood: differentiated in people's understanding from a person's sex. At the same time, understanding of both sex and gender needs to be expanded from a strict binary, both medically and in wider society. People need to be able to have their legally-recognised gender changed without sexual-reassignment-surgery as a mandatory prerequisite once it is decided that you are suffering gender dysphoria, surgeries are no longer elective (ie, will be covered by Medicare).

Intersex Conditions

Some people are born intersexed. This often means that they have primary sex characteristics from both the male and female sexes or other sex traits which may appear to stem from either end of the sex spectrum. Some intersex conditions are discovered soon after birth, while others might take years to discover. In either case, 'corrective' surgery may be proposed and secrecy of the condition is frequently recommended. It is our view that medical interventions of conditions which do not harm a person's health should be outlawed until the person with the condition is of an age where they can consent to the procedure. People born intersexed should not be made to feel ashamed of their condition.

References to Policy Text covering Transgender and Intersex issues

References


History

Repealed

No Position Statements have yet been repealed.