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Direct Democracy, 2.0: The Pirate Party


Hey all, I would like to give you a short summary of my presentation, because I have the feeling that Mr. Zimmerman stole me the show..:
The Pirate Party should be a good example for new age, digital, online, political grass route movement and why it sometimes fails. For a short introduction trailer view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KFErYwojT0

1. The Pirate Party
1.1. Latest Success: They received 7.1 percent of the votes for the EU- Parliament election of 2009 in Sweden = first major success of a Pirate Party in an election. Pirate Party managed to win 8.9 percent of the votes in the Berlin state election, 2011. The biggest election victory in parliamentary elections was in Iceland where they got 5.1% of the electorate on the 27th of April 2013.
1.2. Agenda: The pirate party supports civil rights, direct democracy and participation, wants to reform of copyright and patent law, and stands for free sharing of knowledge, information privacy, transparency, and freedom of information. They advocate network neutrality and universal, unrestricted access to the Internet.
1.3. Medium: Chosen mediums are computers and the Internet to liberate politics from the grasp of back rooms and insider cliques. On the Internet, everyone has a voice and the web can be seen as one enormous town hall meeting. And when people meet there, the opportunity arises for a collective intelligence to form through liquid democracy.

2. What Is Liquid Democracy?
2.1. Idea: Form of direct democratic whereby voting power is vested in delegates, rather than Representatives. Considering nobody has enough time and knowledge for every issue, votes can be delegated by topic. Furthermore delegations are transitive and can be revoked at any time. The software pirate party members of Germany, France, the Netherlands and some other countries use is Liquid Feedback.
2.3. Liquid Feedback: Its aims to create an accurate representation of the opinions held by the members of the group without them being distorted by social hierarchies and knowledge disparities. Each individual is encouraged to further his own initiatives within the limitations set by the operators.
For a demo version see: http://dev.liquidfeedback.org/lf2/index/index.html

3. Critic’s And Reasons For Current Sinking In Polls
3.1. Few Core Supporters: According to a study only 2% of people who have voted for the Pirates really care about the party’s core ideology of copyright protection. The Pirates’ surprise successes can be explained because voters were turned off by traditional parties or people who do not vote at all.
3.2. No Structure And No Clear Rules For Debate: Collective online intelligence turned out to be destructive, anarchistic and insulting. As a matter of fact the transparency of the Internet has proved less of an advantage. Structure, with more rules & regulations like in the traditional parties’ helps things run smoothly, and old-fashioned mores can keep things civilized.
3.3. Lack Of Leadership: The Pirate Party has no charismatic leadership and it prefers its public figures to be unknown (because everybody should have a chance..). A consequence is unprofessionalism and miscommunication between the leaders and between the electorate.
3.4. Formulating The Message And Explaining The Issues: No one knows where the party stands for sure on important issues like foreign affairs or security. The party hasn’t agreed on a binding online voting procedure. As a result the majority of the party’s members express support online for a particular idea, only to scrap it at the party’s next real-world meeting. This confusion means that the Pirates don’t have anything to say on a variety of important issues.

4. Do They Recover? Probably Not
For similar reasons see the latest article on the occupy movement

Additional Information For The Pirate Party


The Spiegel



Liquid Democracy

Liquid Feedback



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