Tue 12 May 2015 8:07AM

Launching Some Campaigns

DS Danyl Strype Public Seen by 168

Ok, I'm back, and I'd like to start a discussion around moving the NZ Pirates beyond our navel-gazing focus on our party structure, our software platforms, and recruitment.

Not that these things aren't important, they are. The work done on getting infostructure up and running, like this Loomio group and regular Mumble meetings, gives us platforms for coordination and cooperation which we need. But to really grow the party, and make it really worth people putting their energy into it, we need to become a bit more outward looking.

We have issues we all care about, from proposals on core Pirate issues like copyright and patent reform, to more radical proposals like UBI, and drug law reform. We need to think about how to help build movements around these proposals. As a small organisation, we need to build alliances with other groups to scale campaigns to the point where they can make countrywide impact. We need to think about who those allies might be, and how to build platforms of cooperation with them (both on the ideas level and the practical level).

Our outreach to the Cannabis Party and the New Economics Party is a good example of a step towards becoming part of a larger networked movement for social change. What else can we do? What campaigns could we launch, how should they be structured, how do we get more groups involved?

We all have limited amount of volunteer time to put into this. We need to think strategically about how to use it to best effect.


Miles Dugmore Tue 12 May 2015 8:57AM

I agree with you... having been involved with other Parties for a good many years I gave up with them... the details are not important, but none of the existing parties really reflect what a lot of people feel.

I think one way forward is to get various special interest groups on board and I could list a few that come to mind.

It would not be impossible to break the 5% at the next election given a decent number of special interest groups...

But as a political party, you have to make promises and give people reasons for supporting you and becoming active....


Motorcycle clubs (as opposed to gangs - but lets not just exclude anyone for the sake of it).

Car Clubs.... for car clubs and motorcycle clubs, just promise more freedom from petty regulations

Nurses.... give them a say in hospital management and do away with too much bureaucracy and paper pushing - let nurses nurse...

Teachers... similar for Nurses, but promise more teacher aids, and reduce emphasis on teaching just for academic success... the World is already full of knowledge with very little wisdom.

Support of decriminalise marijuana - not that I even smoke

Young people who want to go into further education without compromising their future

The unemployed.... slogan = there is no shortage of work, just a shortage of work that pays a living wage

Promise to reduce wealth inequality - I can give all the figures as to the strong correlation between income inequality and poor social statistic.

Give younger people a chance to own a home.... that horrible word, capital gains tax... the arguments for not having it are all totally flawed - it's nonsense.

GST taken off food - nonsense that it can't be done, the UK does it - so how can they do it and little old NZ can't

Control immigration - jobs for Kiwis first

Strict controls on foreign ownership of property and land in NZ - other countries do it ...

The measure of success will be the quality of GDP - lets remove the need to build 2 prisons and build 1 school instead even if that does mean less profit and less GDP...

Well there is a starter if anyone is interested ??? - but I am not holding my breath...


Andrew Reitemeyer Fri 15 May 2015 6:37AM

We are best supporting and cooperating with cross party campaigns where the objectives are in line with our principles and human rights. This can be with grass roots movements like the anti-TPPA groups or with parties like New Economics, Cannabis Party or Awareness.

We can formulate policy where that would be profitable and engage in mutual activities with others like demos, petitions etc. Also sharing of ideas and resources on a national and international level, with Pirates and others would be mutually advantageous.

All members are free to take part in any actions they see fit but we need to be in agreement with what we do under the name of the Party.


Ben Vidulich Mon 18 May 2015 9:01PM

In all the time I've been a member of PPNZ I have not seen a common goal or vision for the party. We vaguely adopt the international pirate principles and policies but we haven't turned that into something unique and useful for NZ. We all seem to have policies that we want to individually push (as you said @strypey) or we actively oppose other members' policies.

If we knew what wanted - a common objective - then I think we could do a much better job at working towards that objective. We would have something we could share or advertise to people. It may give us a better idea of the kinds of people we would advertise or share to. It would give us something to produce content for - content that interested people could stumble upon when browsing the web. Something we could put in flyers and hand out to people at live events and on the street.


Miles Dugmore Mon 18 May 2015 11:01PM

So what is to be done ?

I am not even aware of the decison making process... it has already made me think I am wasting my time...

I had written off any idea of further involvement in NZ politics, preferring to look for a future overseas as far away from Western society as I can get ... but then I saw reference to the Pirate Party and thought, why not ?

People are generally driven by the culture of their times, and we all create our own reality... which is often comprised of very narrow life experiences, and experiences are not just seeing or observing something, it is living it.

For a political party to suceed, it needs a very broad common appeal..

I started in computer systems in the 70's and I can't really be bothered to play around engraciating myself in technology for the sake of technology.

what would be needed is a simple website, VERY easy to use, perhaps some nice graphics that anyone can use without any difficulty.

"people" often are quite happy to gripe and moan about this or that, but when it comes to actually doing something, and especially if that something is not EXACTLY what THEY want, then they just give it a miss, and continue to complain....

that's IS the way it is, and then people complain about the sort of society we have...duh.....

anyone got ANY constructive ideas as to how to move FORWARDS ???


Ben Vidulich Tue 19 May 2015 6:46AM

I am not even aware of the decison making process… it has already made me think I am wasting my time…

Decisions made by the board are usually conducted during the fortnightly board meetings on Mumble. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting however we do not actively advertise these meetings.

In any other case decision are usually made here in Loomio using the "proposal" feature. Loomio is designed to be a decision-making tool, it's just that we use it primarily for general discussion rather than for decision making.

anyone got ANY constructive ideas as to how to move FORWARDS ???

  • Update the website - cleaner and easier to use design, fresher/up-to-date content, get rid of content that is irrelevant and make the important content easier to access. I've been working on a fresher design for a while - it's very close to completion - but the content still needs updating.
  • Properly publish a list of our policies - this relates to the above point but it's worth noting that at the moment our policies are buried away in a wiki that is not immediately accessible from the main site. Also some of our newer policies only live here in Loomio. We should review all of our policies and agree to keep them as is, update them, or throw them out if they're no longer relevant/applicable. Then we should put them on the website in a place that is easy to access so that people can find them easily if they browse our site and also so that search engines will find them so that relevant searches from random internet users will direct people to our site.
  • Develop other policies - there's already some good ideas in this discussion that we could use to create new policies
  • Start campaigning - once we have a clear idea of what our policies are then we can start making campaigns to promote those policies
  • We should be more social - make better use of our social media accounts - advertise ourselves (not just promote other pirate things and ideas), promote our own campaigns, start and engage in relevant discussions, and so on.
  • Outreach to other NZ political parties - in terms of human resources, policies, campaigns, events, platforms, finances, membership, and whatever else could be gained from forming alliances

We need to get people talking about us and about ideas we care about - even if we disagree with a view or whatever - at least there is discussion happening.

From there we can look at:

  • Further enhancing our policies or developing new ones
  • Figuring out our direction - we could continue to act as an NZ political party or we could focus on building a platform for political discussion (as some of our members have recently been suggesting)
  • Figuring out if we need membership and if so how the membership structure would look - if we want to become an incorporated society or register officially as an NZ political party then we will need at least some structure

At some point we should go on a membership drive for our existing members too. Once we have something to show for then people should have a good idea as to whether they want to stick with us / re-join / etc. That "something" doesn't need to be a finished piece of work - it just needs to be small improvement on whatever we have now, an idea, or the minimum amount of work to demonstrate our goal(s) or bigger picture.

The people that have joined us recently are not engaged with what we are doing and I feel that we are at immediate threat of losing them completely. If these new members are feeling unengaged then I can imagine it is a lot worse for the older members that we have forgotten about or are unaware of.


Miles Dugmore Tue 19 May 2015 7:06AM

Excellent... just give me a bit more time to read and think about your positive statements... there will always be differing views, that creates an environment for health debate...

Time ticks buy very quickly... I feel there is a general disquiet about many many issues, and no one in the current main parties are prepared to be more visionary and seem to spend all their time looking in the rear view mirror.

National would have largely got in because of the economy for whatever reason it's managed to keep going ... I will not keep going, history alone should teach us that. So when it does turn, the general population will be looking for new leadership...

I would rather see all main interaction, debate and informing done on the main website... and I would suggest if there is the capacity within the organisation, that effort is directed into this area..

It would be very easy to come up with some generalised principles in terms of policy...


Danyl Strype Tue 19 May 2015 8:26PM

Thanks @milesdugmore, @andrewreitemeyer and @zl4bv for sharing your thoughts here. Let me be more specific about what I'm suggesting in this thread.

When I got involved a couple of years ago, there was a very inward-looking focus on party structure and communication channels, actively involving only the Board and a couple of support people. During my time as Communications Officer we progressed to at least thinking about the wider world, through the Policy Group here on Loomio, involving a broader but still small group of members. What I am suggesting in this thread is that it's time we take some action, which can involve a much larger cross-section of our current and potential membership, general supporters, and allied individuals and organisations.

For example, if we want to draw attention to our copyright reform policy, we could call for a day of action where people commit mass civil disobedience by engaging in non-commercial sharing of copyrighted material in a public place. As well as being edgy and fun, this would serve as a demonstration, a media opportunity, and a chance to sign up new members.

And yes, @andrewreitemeyer I'm suggesting we organise these kinds of political actions as a party, not just as individuals supporting other organisations. I suggest we adopt the "3 pirate rule" mentioned in Swarmwise (http://bit.ly/1JxfDGz). If 3 members agree to do something, they can do it in the name of the party.


Danyl Strype Thu 21 May 2015 12:53AM

BTW My previous comment wasn't about criticizing the inward-looking work on party structure and comms channels, this work was necessary to move forward to the point where policy and strategy debates on Loomio could involve a wider membership than just the Board. What I'm saying is that these are necessary but not sufficient to political success. Another couple of examples.

TPP: many of us are involved in anti-TPP activity as individuals, but it would be stronger if the Pirates joined anti-TPP coalitions as a party, and had a more visible presence at anti-TPP actions (banner, signs, leaflets etc). Again, as well as nailing our colours to the mast, we get opportunities for (news and social) media mentions, and recruiting more activists to the party.

UBI: if we adopt support for a UBI as an NZ Pirate policy, we could form alliances with other parties and groups who support this policy, and help organise public actions to promote it and explain it. Same benefits as above.


Miles Dugmore Thu 21 May 2015 1:01AM

I have started to try and put together some ideas, but I would like to reply to your point about criticizing the work of others..

It takes contributions from all sorts of people in all sorts of different ways.

If statements are make in "good faith" then we should be tolerant of whatever is expressed.

No one should be fearful of saying what they feel needs to be said and it is my observation that in many "traditional" political parties, this fear exists.

NZ and the World is badly in need to some new ways of thinking, some new energy and vitality from the younger generations as they will be the ones who ultimately will inherit the mess that has been made for them...


Andrew Reitemeyer Thu 21 May 2015 6:24AM

Generally Pirate Parties do not engage in nor condone any action that breaks the law. This is not binding in anyway but just makes sense when we want to keep open the goal of getting people elected to office.


Danyl Strype Fri 22 May 2015 11:47AM

@andrewreitemeyer obviously legal protest actions will be more appropriate and comfortable for some members, and we need to plan and carry out plenty of those too. However, there's an old saying that "when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty". I think if there are members who are disobeying unjust laws in private, it only weakens our case to tip our hat to those laws in public, even as we advocate for their abolition.

I think the precedent of the Wild Greens is relevant here. We engaged in many civil disobedience actions as the direct action arm of the Greens. Also, many of the original Greens MPs, and many of the Mana candidates in the recent election had a history of illegal civil disobedience actions. I see no incompatibility between principled civil disobedience and running for office.


Danyl Strype Fri 5 Jun 2015 8:06AM

Considering the small group of people active in the NZ Pirates at this stage, I think we would be best to pick 3-4 awareness raising campaign to focus on for now. Between them, they need to indicate the range of issues that concern the NZ Pirates, but they need to be things current activists care about and are willing to put time into.

Here are my suggestions.
1) Limit copyright to commercial use: since opposing oppressive copyright is the founding concern of our party, at least one of our campaigns needs to be about reforming copyright. I suggest a demand that copyright be enforceable only on commercial use, with the onus on the state/ the complainant to prove a use is commercial. This would exempt all "social dealing" in cultural works from copyright enforcement, and protect individual consumers from being targeted by powerful corporations using copyright.

2) Bring in a Universal Basic Income: this underlines that our concerns about copyright are about social justice, and its political-economic effects, particularly the shifting of wealth from the majority to a corporate elite. It can be presented as both a defence of the notion of universal social welfare (using arguments convincing to "the left" or "socialists"), and as a way to support people in becoming self-employed, or bootstrapping new businesses (using arguments convincing to "the right" or "libertarians").



Miles Dugmore Fri 5 Jun 2015 8:16AM

If a new Party is
going to gain traction it has to have a strong theme and broad
appeal... otherwise it will go nowhere... the objective has to be to
get 5% of the vote...

Some of the founding
principles could be

  1. Personal freedom

  2. Personal

  3. Less government

  4. Equality of

  5. Sound money

  6. Quality of GDP to
    be a central theme in economic planning

  7. No economic
    policy to favour any minority

  8. New Zealand to
    remain in the hands of New Zealanders

  9. Government
    spending to be maintained at no more than 50% of GDP

These are a few
suggestions – specific policy can be framed around these
fundamental principles.


Danyl Strype Fri 5 Jun 2015 8:50AM

With all due respect @milesdugmore, these principles are a good discussion starter, but they simply belong in a different discussion thread.

Again, what I'm looking for here is specific policy proposals which seem to already have strong support among our small active membership, around which we can take collective action to both promote and built the Pirates as a credible political movement.

Are there specific policies which you would go out and promote to your community as a member of the Pirates? If so, what are they?


Miles Dugmore Fri 5 Jun 2015 8:52AM

Without agreed principles, how can you tailor policy around them...

So what discussion thread do they belong in ????


Hubat McJuhes Mon 8 Jun 2015 11:08AM

@milesdugmore I have found this and that interesting discussion that is still valid and could be followed up, e.g.:
https://www.loomio.org/d/diWvRTxb/should-we-have-any-policy-or-positions-outside-our-core-policy and herein my position that still stands: https://www.loomio.org/d/diWvRTxb/should-we-have-any-policy-or-positions-outside-our-core-policy#comment-77144

And this one: https://www.loomio.org/d/o5F10YTE/pirate-party-reloaded

I also had set up a number of articles under the '‽irate ‽arty - The XYZ Party' scheme to provoke discussions about what the members think the party could be about. Despite of comments on my views I was also particularly hoping to inspire other members to unfold the fields of highest interest for them as well.

Please feel free to comment of any of those or any other threads and also feel invited to start as many new discussions about abstract principles or concrete policies as you see fit.


Danyl Strype Tue 9 Jun 2015 12:11PM

Thanks for that @hubatmcjuhes . Does that answer your question @milesdugmore ? Great to have your contributions. At the moment we're just throwing ideas out, but I suggest that over the next few weeks, we make some specific decisions about what to focus on for the next year or so.

Just bringing the discussion back to "Launching some campaigns", a third item I would suggest campaigning on is Binding Referenda (BR). Maybe we could even be part of a coalition to launch a non-binding referendum asking whether Citizen's Iinitiated Referenda should become binding, or be discontinued? It's a total waste of people's energy and public money to hold referenda if the government can just ignore them.

BR may seem like a token change compared to the liquid democracy people's parliament we might prefer, but though it's a small step, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Again, there is strong support for it across a number of political groupings, particularly the youth wing of NZ First, but the Greens won't touch it, something to do with the way conservatives have manipulated non-binding referenda. Maybe having all their work on the asset sales referenda come to nothing might have given them cause to rethink their position though.


Danyl Strype Sun 14 Jun 2015 12:06PM

Net neutrality seems like another hot button issue we could help to build a broad campaign around. As @hubatmcjuhes said in the thread on IRD computers, the TISA trade agreement threatens net neutrality, and there is all sorts of boundary-pushing going on against the open internet, including cell phone companies offering free data while using FB and Twitter, which is anti-competitive, and definitely not net neutrality.

So I'm suggesting these 4 campaign focuses, in no particular order:
* limit copyright to commercial use
* bring in a universal basic income
* make Citizens Initiated Referenda binding (or abolish them)
* defend net neutrality

Any other suggestions?


Hubat McJuhes Sun 14 Jun 2015 9:30PM

I agree with everything you say, @strypey , I would only like to ask to add
* reject TPPA and TiSA, engage with existing campaining groups

This point is different of the others you are proposing as it is a short-term immediate thread. It will be over by 2017, this way or the other. We have to act on this one now, or it will just be happening without us.
Your proposed campaign goals are really pirate core concerns, which cannot be lost or won - but need fighting for now and in all future. Hence they could be regarded as higher priority; but the TPPA one comes with that immediate urgency that - in my humble opinion - justifies 'upvoting' it.
It is also a particularly good opportunity to get into contact with actively campaigning groups with a chance to make ourselves known a little bit better.


Andrew Reitemeyer Mon 15 Jun 2015 9:16PM

I would like to expand the copyright reform proposal to include all IP - patents, trademarking and the use of the concept of IP to obfuscate government activity.


Danyl Strype Thu 18 Jun 2015 5:20AM

Absolutely agree with @hubatmcjuhes , joining the campaigns against about TPPA and TISA would help to build some good links and awareness on at least 3 out of the 4 issues I identified.
* TISA impacts net neutrality.
* We all expect the TPPA would entrench US-style copyright tyranny
* TPPA, TISA, and other such globalization treaties probably conflict with Binding Referenda (or at least restrict what they could decide).
* not sure about UBI, but would be worth researching


Danyl Strype Thu 18 Jun 2015 5:30AM

I agree with @andrewreitemeyer about opposing govt use of "IP" as an excuse to avoid transparency. In fact, that suggests another campaign we could consider. I believe that any non-government entity (whether not-for-profit or for-profit) receiving public funds from government for services should be subject to the same transparency requirements as government entities (OIA, Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act etc). This is especially important when govt is "outsourcing" not only support services like ICT (see the discussion on IRD computer systems), but core services like provision of health (Social Bonds) and education (Charter Schools).

I would support campaigns on patents and trademarks as well as copyright, but I think they would need to be separate campaigns. As well as being confusing, a single campaign about "IP" would implicitly support the propaganda notion that these three very different pieces of law are related, and that they create "property" rather than different kinds of limited or temporary monopoly.


Danyl Strype Thu 18 Jun 2015 6:17AM

In the Health discussion on fluoridation @milesdugmore said that this party appears to be "going nowhere". Yes, we are at all low ebb at the moment, due to the dispiriting outcomes of the last election, and a number of formerly active members having jumped ship to the Internet Party, ACT, and others. Anyone who wants to see this party go somewhere needs to lead from the front. That's why I'm proposing we choose some campaign focus points, within which any member can propose a course of action, and start working on it locally.