Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Why of Pirate Party Australia

Recently, a discussion within Pirate Party Australia started up around "why" we're here, rather than the usual viewpoint of what we're trying to achieve. Simon Frew, the party president, wrote a piece about it on his blog.

These are my thoughts on the question of "why".

I understand that, from an "Apple marketing is different" stance, why before what leads to a more engaged audience, so we need to be clear in our why, which is difficult because the Pirate Party's why is inextricably linked to its what.

Our what is civil liberties and social inclusion. Our corresponding why is because we're passionate about allowing people to have dignity, and to come together as a society where everyone is able to freely contribute to what they think will make society a better place than when they arrived

People should be allowed dignity... but they can choose to give it up.

Everyone I know in the party got involved because they saw some governmental action that they thought was opposed to these goals, whether it was the more obvious, digital era reasons like draconian copyright laws and plans to censor the Internet, other civil-liberties-related reasons like sending asylum seekers to concentration camps or negotiating treaties secretly that clearly have no benefit for the people, or more broad issues like investing stupidly in coal at the expense of new technology that would help our environment and our economy, or ripping money out of welfare and education at the expense of future generations' ability to continue improving society.

The reason that why often gets lost is because these aren't political goals, or at least not as we think of politics today. Every party should have goals like this. If a political party in a democracy isn't in it to help individuals be free and contribute to making a better society, then they should really GTFO. So with that idealistic mindset in place, we focus on how to achieve those goals.

If everyone in politics were merely squabbling about how best to above those same, or similar, goals, we wouldn't see Australia running concentration camps, creating an underclass, ruining the environment or violating key civil liberties.

So Frew is right to draw our attention back to the question of why, not because our why is (or should be) anything special, but because unlike the two major political parties in Australia, we actually have one, and the Australian public hasn't seen that for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. Recently, I've started to feel more motivated (not radicalised) to pay attention to the political landscape. Like many, I'm angry about Australia's slide away from the democratic process, toward an opaque decision making process. I desperately want a political party to crystallise my frustration into policy and action. The PP comes closest. I love that there's a general belief in the sanctity of democracy and civil liberties, rather than holding tightly to specific policy which may be proven wrong over time. I'd like your "Why" to reflect that.

    If I had to design a party "Why" statement for my ideal political party, it might look like this:
    "Fear, religion, special interests, and a disaffected media have dissolved reason, science, civil liberties and transparent democratic process from our government. We passionately want to reverse the trend."

    Just one man's opinion
    Keep fighting the good fight.