Thu 19 Feb 2015 7:43AM

Pirate Party Australia resigns from PPI

BV Ben Vidulich Public Seen by 176

The Pirate Party of Australia has resigned from Pirate Parties International and has formed their own international pirate body.

Should we support this new initiative? Should we continue to support PPI? Both? Neither?

Official resignation statement from PPAU in comments below.


Ben Vidulich Tue 3 Mar 2015 9:05AM

What do we expect from a pirate party international organisation?

Does PPI meet these criteria? No? Then we leave. Yes? Then we stay.


Ben Vidulich Tue 3 Mar 2015 10:28AM

Pirate Party Belgium have now also suspended their PPI membership.


Hubat McJuhes Fri 6 Mar 2015 10:39AM

@craigmagee Wow, you are bringing on lots of things. There seems to be a lot that has accumulated over time. Thank you for bringing it up so that we can sort these matters out. Sorry, that I have not recognised your contribution earlier. I better respond late than never, I guess.

I’ve been actively involved with the board meetings and previously voiced my protests over the move to holding them in Mumble, as IRC is more accessible and self-documenting.

The board meetings are meetings of the board. The board is free to decide how they want to meet. The board has agreed to use mumble only when all attending board members without exception want to do, otherwise use IRC. When we use mumble, we also follow the IRC channel, just in case someone is raising her voice there or falls back to that channel due to technical problems.
Turns out that at all but one times in the last half year, all attending members preferred mumble over IRC. (The one event where we went back to IRC was the one and only board meeting where David decided to actually show up, even though he was one hour late.) As a result of using mumble, sessions take usually less than an hour to successfully and productively work through the agenda, rather than 2 or 3 hours to rave through things without clear outcomes, as can be seen in the well documented IRC sessions of the former board.
What do you mean with 'I’ve been actively involved with the board meetings'? You have regularly been attending meetings passively, but never ever injected a single comment as far as I can tell.
What do you mean with 'voiced my protests' (plural!) I am aware of you having attended most if not all board meetings in mumble without commenting, but I am not aware of those protests that you mention. Can you help me out?

The pads also serve as minutes, which are no longer being published in condensed/sanitized form on the Wiki

The pads are a collaboration tool for preparing the board meetings and record the results of the discussions. They serve as documentation of the meeting in that a static version is to be published in the wiki. If this has not happened in all cases, that would have been because of time constraints or other mishaps. But the minutes are to be published and where this has not happened we have to apologise and provide the missing data. That's for sure. Nevertheless: there has not been a single request or complaint from anyone or you so far. That would have helpful to recognise the deficit if there is one.

Regarding David, at least there was enough conversation in Mumble to know David’s seat was vacated from the board because he didn’t give full administration access to all the board members on Facebook

The board as a whole has been agreeing in that full administrative access must be given to the President and Secretary, not to all board members. It is obvious that the President must be able to present the party on all channels. It is more than obvious that the Secretary is the role that is defined by having full control over all secrets (i.e. access to assets) of the party (without exercising the privileged access). That's exactly what constitutive to the role.
David has not bothered to even give a single comment to explain his position if he has one, regardless how often he was asked or begged for. A board member who refuses to communicate whit his fellow board members ain't no good.
Four board members have spend time and efforts trying to convince him to cooperate, they had to swallow the frustration of him not even responding over months. Or as Ben puts it quite rightly: 'His desire to block decisions without justification or reason slowed the progress of any process that he was involved in.'

On that topic, there was also discussion in Mumble about an election for the seat during the censure period. That was directed towards excluding him from future elections somehow (it would be an embarrassment if he was re-elected), that eventuated to a decision the remaining board members should simply appointing someone of their choosing - ignoring the previous draft constitution that stated such appointments had to be followed by an election as soon as reasonably possible.

The board should be measured by it's decisions. Not so much for each and every comment that might be expressed in the heat of a particular moment. We don't need to self-censure us to an inhumane degree, as long as discussions, discourse and due process let us find a well balanced outcome.
The decision to appoint a suitable candidate is based on the most recently discussed draft for a future constitution that states that vacated seats of the type President, Secretary and Treasurer are to be filled by 'upgrading' one of the ordinary board members and vacated seats of ordinary board members can be left vacated until the next regular election or appointed by the remaining board members. This rule has been formulated in the second half of last year in response to the disastrous fate of the former board. No room for a conspiracy theory here.



Craig Magee Fri 6 Mar 2015 11:00AM

You can call me a liar and claim I never made complaints, that doesn't make it true.
I have actively attended board meetings. The only way to do so is to be in Mumble at the time of the meetings. There's no other form of communication from the board to find out what's happening. The IRC heading in #ppnzboard for the second meeting of this board made it abundantly clear spectators, not participators, were welcome. So my participation has been at a bare minimum, limited to mentioning in IRC that my concerns regarding the need for access to Mumble and the lack of transparency with agendas, motions, voting, and notes taking place in private Pirate Pads.

There is no conspiracy taking place. Just belligerence and incompetence. When it comes to action, all this board has achieved is killing off the CiviCRM without making a backup of the database. And ejecting a member they didn't like to gain control of a Facebook page they have posting rights to...alienating that member without gaining anything.


Ben Vidulich Sun 8 Mar 2015 10:10AM

When it comes to action, all this board has achieved is killing off the CiviCRM without making a backup of the database.

As no one on the board was responsible for maintaining any of the websites (including the CRM) it is unreasonable to berate the board for an action they did not commit.

There’s no other form of communication from the board to find out what’s happening.

Arguably, that's because very little has been happening. Most things that have been happening have been here, in Loomio, so you're not exactly missing out. Have you tried emailing us to find out if you've missed something? I think not.

Also, what's to stop you from initiating any kind of action within the party? For the first year and a half that I was a member it didn't seem like the board did anything - they didn't regularly communicate with their members and they didn't take any bold moves forward. So I gently started prodding them to get stuff done - and help too where I could. Then the board started to engage a bit more - I convinced them to set up this party-wide Loomio group, and their board meetings became more regular (I attended these and spoke up when appropriate to). Sadly, the board member who was most supportive of my endeavours decided to disappear for a while so he could write a book about life without the internet. Then it slowly started falling apart again. Tommy taught me as much as he could about the secretary/membership stuff and then left (while still effectively holding the secretarial position). By the board had become completely screwed up. A few positions were filled, but the occupants left again - explicitly explaining they found it too difficult to get anything done with David there. So then the members of the current board got together and tried to push things along. I self-appointed myself in charge of organising an election (amongst the most stressful year of my life), and filling the board with the only people who were active at the time (very few). By this point it was late last year and I had absolutely no time for anything except completing my dissertation, and the board decided to become dormant until I had finished with my study and the NZ general election was over. This was around December. It didn't seem worthwhile making any great plans at this point because we all became busy with Christmas and spending time with our families - and presumably anyone who might want to join our party would unlikely to join/help us for the same reasons. And so here we are, now slowly planning to build up the party from its ruins of 2014 to its former glory (and hopefully more glorious).

So after that long story, I ask: what do you have to show for your recent contributions to the party and who are you to attack the people that have brought the party out of the ashes but are still trying to get the party back of its feet?

So my participation has been at a bare minimum

Except for when you get the opportunity to make ad hominem attacks on the board.


Craig Magee Sun 8 Mar 2015 7:21PM

I've done everything asked of me for the party, which at the moment is a whole lot of nothing. If pointing out the nontransparent, undemocratic, unconstitutional, and insular nature of the current board is getting in the way I'll just leave you all to it.
With no one else but yourselves around there will be no one else but yourselves to blame for the party not going anywhere.


Ben Vidulich Sun 8 Mar 2015 7:58PM

I’ve done everything asked of me for the party, which at the moment is a whole lot of nothing.

Ah, I believe that's where the misunderstanding lies.


The board (or at least some of its members) believes that we should be empowering the membership to lead the party - i.e. we manage the party while the members lead it. This means you won't be asked by the board to do anything - you will have to use initiative and take actions of your own. If you're struggling with ideas on how to help then start by telling us what you're interested in / what skills you can offer and I'm sure that together we can figure something out.

If pointing out the nontransparent, undemocratic, unconstitutional, and insular nature of the current board is getting in the way I’ll just leave you all to it.

I'm fine with you pointing these things out, but helping/suggesting ways to fix these problems is going to help us go a lot further than leaving us to figure it out for ourselves (so it would seem).


Andrew McPherson Mon 9 Mar 2015 12:23AM

I believe it is reasonable to say that the entire board is in favour of empowering the membership as we can not do everything for the party, if we wanted to be in that kind of party, we'd all be elsewhere.
Admittedly, this may be herding cats, but I believe @zl4bv is organising a way where we can raise tickets for issues as and where they arise, to be dealt with by any member of the party who can do it.
As things stand, only Ben has any amount of training from previous board members, and the one link with any experience on the board previously was only happy to block all actions without explanation or helpful suggestions.


Ben Vidulich Mon 9 Mar 2015 4:14AM

Admittedly, this may be herding cats, but I believe @zl4bv is organising a way where we can raise tickets for issues as and where they arise, to be dealt with by any member of the party who can do it.

Yup - this will be achieved using Redmine for managing tasks within working groups, and RT to handle incoming emails for enquiries@, media@, and membership@. I've seen both tools in use in pirate parties overseas and can see how they will benefit our party.

I kinda forgot about the Redmine instance I started but in theory it is ready for use. Maybe I'll start a discussion about it in the Engine Room Loomio group.


Ben Vidulich Thu 12 Mar 2015 9:59AM

I have now uploaded the minutes of the past four board meetings. If there were meetings in December 2014 then I don't have minutes for them (will have to confirm whether meetings actually occurred).


While there has been no effort to make upcoming events more visible in the short term, the new CMS I am building has a calendar with a list of all documented events within the party + other events of interest. The first release of this new CMS should occur in the next few weeks (fingers crossed).