Fri 7 Aug 2020 9:35AM

proposal: petition for new election

LM Lander Meeusen Public Seen by 42

I propose to start a petition for new elections. Here are a few arguments and benefits for the Pirates.
-The federal elections took place more than a year ago, long before the Covid-19 crisis. The votes reflect in no way citizen's opinions in this historically new context. (The new governement will have to try to find an answer to this unseen crisis. Citizens should have a say in this. Not only by voting on a single party, but also by proposing ideas more directly.)
-N-VA and PS who swore not to form a government with each other are now carrying out an attempt to form a government. The candidate PM for N-VA (Jan Jambon) never intended to become PM. This constitutes a major fraud.

Benefits of creating a petition:
-publicity for the Pirates (petition get press attention);

-possibility to collect e-mailaddresses for future signatures in election (which could be soon).

What do you think?


David Van der Velde Fri 7 Aug 2020 9:43AM



HgO Fri 7 Aug 2020 10:51AM

If you want to collect mail addresses for other uses than the petition, you'll have to mention it in the form


Lander Meeusen Fri 7 Aug 2020 7:45PM

Of course. It has to be GDPR proof. I don't think that should be a problem. You could ask "Do you want to receive news from the Pirate Party? --> If yes, give your e-mailaddress."

I think it could be really practical in case of a blitz new election where we don't have time to collect signatures, but also in general for any election, petition, newsletter, ...


Josse Fri 7 Aug 2020 11:37AM

1 The way it happens now is undemocratic

2 Something finally moves which could get us in an already better situation depending on which reforms would be proposed.

I don't think it helps to say 2 is undemocratic in itself.


Lander Meeusen Fri 7 Aug 2020 7:49PM

I didn't say it's undemocratic, although I'm not sure you're right. It definitely is voter fraud (kiezersbedrog). If Ecolo is taking part in the conversation, the same goes for them.

It goes to show (again) that this party political system is merely a show around strategy. The ideas are not central anymore, not even the party dogma's, but the parties as organisations. We can leave it out if you think it would harm the petition.


Lander Meeusen Fri 7 Aug 2020 7:49PM

Can we use the pirateparty.be website for this?


Renaud Van Eeckhout Sat 8 Aug 2020 11:16AM

Thanks for the proposition @Lander Meeusen :)

  • I don't really have a position yet on asking or not new elections, but some comments at the moment :

  • we're only talking federal level here, right? Because we can't have elections at the regional levels anyway (they're coupled with European elections). So this might limit the scope of our demands.

  • I wouldn't use the 2nd argument ("PS said this..." "NVA promised that..."), the negociations between parties are always about trading one promise against another. It's impossible for any party to have a program and to demand their whole program to be accepted so any negociation could be considered a "betrayal of the electorate". I understand what you mean though, but I think it would just open a never-ending debate.

  • 1st argument ("the situation has changed since before COVID") is probably the best. It's an unexpected (mostly) situation, that we have never experienced in our lifetime, for most of us at least. We're outside of the "politics as usual" business.

  • For important questions like "which direction should our society take?", there is often a mention of referendum. Constitution doesn't allow referendum in Belgium, because... there is a kind of referendum already included in the constitution. The procedure for changing the constitution (french / dutch) was intended to actually create a sort of referendum, but instead of having simple YES/NO questions, it invited the political groups to campaign during the pre-electoral period about the changes they wanted to bring. This might be an argument in favour of calling new elections : the campaign should be about important issues, not the 20th episode of BHV.

  • About the GDPR, it's not a detail, we have to be extra careful with it. So simple solution : a petition with no data collected (just the necessary data to publish it) + an invitation (non-mandatory otherwise it's illegal in my opinion) to subscribe to our newsletter.

  • "Can we use the pirateparty.be website for this?", yes, I don't see why not :) (but then it's best to have pirates actively participating in this campaign, otherwise you won't get this petition published anywhere, cfr our facebook page that doesn't publish any content we create anymore)

  • As we didn't use money for the elections, we might use some here. For example to print flyers to distribute where the crews want to distribute. (this might also solve the facebook problem)

  • Problem I see about this proposition of asking new elections : if new elections really happen (because of our petition, or more likely because the negociation have failed), then we're not ready to run for elections. Unless you're saying that there is an active dynamic pirate group somewhere hidden :p


Lander Meeusen Sun 9 Aug 2020 9:29AM

-It's only for Federal elections, yes. In the province of Antwerp, we had a list for the last Federal (and Flemish) elections. In Western-Flanders there was a list for Flemish parliament. An invitation to subscribe to newsletter is perfect. (Is there actually a newsletter? I never get anything.) So in some places, I think we are ready. Regardless, a petition like this might attract press attention, which is good for the pirate ideas in general.

-We could team up wither other movements to broaden our scope and make the signal louder.

-The 2nd argument is indeed not a good argument for new elections. It shows how unethical the party system is, but in our current democracy parties are forced to lie in order to execute part of their programme. Voters can only guess which promesses they will keep and which not. It's unethical, but not illegal.

-Who do we speak to about using the website? Does anybody have the knowhow? If not, I would use an independent website? Any (data-friendly) suggestions?


Renaud Van Eeckhout Sun 9 Aug 2020 10:33AM

Is there actually a newsletter? I never get anything.

Yes, there is a newsletter. It hasn't been sent since ages but it exists, with hundreds of subscribers (one mailing-list in french, one in dutch, one undefined/mixed languages). I brought it up at one of the last labs but we worked on other things. There is a topic : https://www.loomio.org/d/PF9IUdlM/newsletter

We could team up wither other movements to broaden our scope and make the signal louder.

The signal about the message would be louder, probably, but it would also reduce the attention on PPBe which is the reason of the petition?

> Who do we speak to about using the website? Does anybody have the knowhow? If not, I would use an independent website? Any (data-friendly) suggestions?

You can contact the IT squad (email address on their wiki page https://wiki.pirateparty.be/ITSquad and/or you can join the chatroom https://app.element.io/#/room/#ppbe-internetz:matrix.org


Lander Meeusen Mon 10 Aug 2020 9:20AM

Thanks for the info, Renaud!. I saw the last newsletter from february 2019 (which I didn't receive), and it looks great. It's a pity we don't have more people to keep these kind (e.g. the facebook page) of things going in a more structural way.

For me personally the idea of a more direct democracy (or in this case showing the flaws of our current system) is more important than the size and reach of PPBe. We teamed up with groups like Burgerlijst, Pro, Collectif Citoyen, Agora, ... before to write opinion pieces or the petition about the citizen senate by lotery, and I believe that this still generates attention for PPBe.

If nobody minds, I'll contact some people from these groups. I'll get in touch with the IT squad to see what's possible on the website as well.


Ilja Mon 10 Aug 2020 4:06PM

I think it's a good message to sent (at least the first point) and a petition may be a good way to bring attention to it. So for me it's a yes 👍

I also would love it if other (democracy demanding) organisations could back it. More exposure for all of us and, most importantly, for the message.


Lander Meeusen Tue 11 Aug 2020 9:38AM

I contacted people from Burgerlijst and PRO. They're for. I'll contact more people (including in Brussels and Wallonia). Feel free to ask around also.

Here's a provisional text to accompany the petition: https://pad.parley.be/p/petition_new_elections


Christophe Cop Wed 12 Aug 2020 7:38AM

A good initiative, and a decent amount of pirates supporting it. Go!


David Van der Velde Wed 19 Aug 2020 9:09AM


Op wo 19 aug. 2020 11:08 schreef david van der velde :


Ilja Thu 20 Aug 2020 3:20PM

Now that I'm reading the text. It starts with the problems that stem from a particracy and then we ask for new elections within that same system. Could/should we ask for more "radical" solutions (like direct citizen participation), or is that a bit too much atm ^^'?


Lander Meeusen Fri 21 Aug 2020 8:25PM

I agree with you, that elections and the current electoral system are an outdated and inadequate form of democracy. In my opinion we have to somehow use the system against itself (by taking part in elections) in order to change it (in an ideal outcome, direct democracy, abolishing party-institute, ...).The text mentions that new elections are a necessary start (and only a start) for more participation.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Fri 21 Aug 2020 2:07PM

According to what I read in my mailbox (the [email protected] address), the petition is already done, published and has been shared with other organizations, so it's not necessary anymore to discuss the content.

It's available there : https://www.change.org/p/de-kamer-van-volksvertegenwoordigers-nieuwe-federale-verkiezingen-nouvelles-%C3%A9lections-f%C3%A9d%C3%A9rales-neue-parlamentswahl


Lander Meeusen Sat 22 Aug 2020 2:14PM

Here's an easier link: https://www.change.org/NewElectionsBelgium We published on the FB-page of the Antwerp pirates. Can we share it on other pages or in a newsletter?


Ilja Mon 21 Sep 2020 7:20PM

Euh, no one answered this. It's probably already too late, but for what it's worth, my two cents:

Sadly there hasn't been a newsletter in a while due to lack of people writing articles :( However, if you (or any one else for that matter) want to start an article to publish, I see that there is https://wiki.pirateparty.be/Redaction I assume it should be possible to send newsletters without articles too, but I'm not sure who to ask best :/ That seems like something that we should do better...

As for other pages, I don't control any of those, but if it's just to get an "ok" or smthng, then as far as I'm conserned that shouldn't be a problem since it's a project that has support and actually got done. For me communicating about it could also be considered part of the project


Lander Meeusen Mon 21 Sep 2020 7:49PM

Thanks for the reaction, Ilja! I struggle about with the different channels. Loomio, wiki, fb-chats (for Antwerp). I guess it's hard to have a streamlined and clear organisation with only a handful of volunteers. I don't have a clear answer at the moment. We all do our best, but in the end there's so much to be done and only so much time in the day(s). :)


Christophe Cop Tue 8 Dec 2020 12:58PM

From a practical point of view : preparing for an election in COVID days will kill us: Most of our signatures were obtained in bars and on the streets.... very hard to achieve nowadays.


Lander Meeusen Wed 9 Dec 2020 11:49AM

I hadn't thought about that, but there's always the option of finding 3 representatives to sign for you. Anyway, it wasn't a great success...