Loomio
Thu 19 Feb 2015

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.

BV

Ben Vidulich Thu 19 Feb 2015

Official resignation statement follows:

Dear members of PPI,

It is with a heavy heart I announce the resignation (termination of membership) of Pirate Party Australia from Pirate Parties International, effective immediately, as per a motion resolved unanimously by the National Council.[1]

The Party no longer believes that there is any potential for reform left in PPI, and we have spent all of the energy we are willing to in pursuit of that end. This was compounded by the callous abuse of power and outright hostile culture of the PPI board which has been very clearly demonstrated over the last week.

However, building a new model for collaboration starts today.

Pirate Party Australia will continue to collaborate on international projects, and we invite those interested parties to consider their options. Pirate Party Australia will be working with the Icelandic Pirate Party to conceive a Pirate journal project in association with the Pirate Times which should allow a more in-depth view of the Pirate way of thinking.

We are also preparing a shared resource portal for all Pirate Parties, but it is of course very early days as we did not expect to be forced into this position so suddenly.

http://pirateint.org

It is intended that the wiki provided should be used as a common resource portal for Pirate Parties. Please do list your international contacts, available translators and any other resources your Party would be willing to share in order to support collaboration between Pirate Parties.

We have migrated our proposal for a collaborative organisation to the new, general international wiki. As we now no longer have the time constraints of the broken PPI statutes to deal with, we can slowly explore our future organisational options without pressure.

A temporary mailing list has been set up for the purpose of exploring future collaboration options. Shoot me an email if you're interested and I will add you.

Within a few weeks, we hope to have a Discourse[2] instance up as well to provide a safe, relatively self-regulated meeting place to discuss Pirate issues, provide a meeting point for international collaboration and give us an opportunity to break with the past on a completely modern platform.

Never forget that PPI is not the movement. It was meant to be an organisation to help Pirate Parties work together. In the end, we only ever did this in spite of PPI, not due to it.

You are also welcome to discuss this with us on our IRC network, PirateIRC, which has been a cooperative effort between several Pirate Parties for several years with no formal affiliation to PPI.

We look forward to you joining us in this exciting new opportunity for the Pirate movement.

[1] http://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Minutes/National_Council/2015-02-11
[2] http://www.discourse.org/

CM

Craig Magee Fri 20 Feb 2015

I've never been satisfied with the drive some have for the PPNZ to be an extension of an international movement instead of a localised party in its own right. There is little to be gained from the PPI other than confinement.
I've been really impressed with the Australian party's bold direction and progression as they develop into what they should be; an Australian party concerned with Australian politics and thinking. I agree with the statement they exist in spite of the PPI and not due to it.

There's a lot the PPNZ could learn from the PPA. It needs to connect with those closer to home instead of the other side of the world.

AR

Andrew Reitemeyer Tue 24 Feb 2015

PPUK has also left still waiting for an explanation - they are in the midst of an election campaign though

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 24 Feb 2015

I’ve been really impressed with the Australian party’s bold direction and progression as they develop into what they should be; an Australian party concerned with Australian politics and thinking.

Their approach seems somewhat brash, but it seems to be working well for them.

There’s a lot the PPNZ could learn from the PPA. It needs to connect with those closer to home instead of the other side of the world.

Go on...

CM

Craig Magee Tue 24 Feb 2015

I'm not specifically talking of PPA leaving the PPI.
Take a look at their Facebook page and take not of the posts; they are to do with Australia. Take a look at the PPNZ Facebook page and not how many posts demonstrate a preoccupation with issues in other countries. At the moment it's main purpose is to promote the Pirate Times. Which highlights how over-reactionary it was for the board to censure and evict evict David from his democratically elected board position when Andrew is capable of abusing the PPNZ Facebook page to promote his channel and interests.

When I read articles such as this ( http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/the-pirate-bay-may-have-lost-but-the-battle-has-just-begun-20141220-12aurf.html ), I get a much stronger sense of confidence and realistic expectations.
The PPNZ doesn't need to attract funding from international members, sell Warner licensed V For Vendetta masks, or make TOR routers (which is the sort of thing the current board talks about). It needs to connect with a larger population of Kiwis than extremist who hate Hollywood, and represent them in parliament as a registered party.

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 24 Feb 2015

I’m not specifically talking of PPA leaving the PPI.
Take a look at their Facebook page and take not of the posts; they are to do with Australia. Take a look at the PPNZ Facebook page and not how many posts demonstrate a preoccupation with issues in other countries. At the moment it’s main purpose is to promote the Pirate Times.

It would be great to do self-promotion on our Facebook page, like any sensible Facebook page but of course we (as a party) don't currently have anything to show for. We need to take ownership for the pieces of what remains of our party, and turn them into something useful - something we can show, promote, and use to attract potential members.

Which highlights how over-reactionary it was for the board to censure and evict evict David from his democratically elected board position when Andrew is capable of abusing the PPNZ Facebook page to promote his channel and interests.

Unless you argue that it was Andrew's ambition to get the rest of us under his spell to promote his own objectives and David was not playing along (which I do not think is the case), then I have to disagree. David, at least from my point of view, was evicted from the board because of his destructive tendencies within the party. His desire to block decisions without justification or reason slowed the progress of any process that he was involved in. Had he truly cared for the objectives of the party then he would be actively here today standing up for what he believes in, suggesting solutions for the alleged lack of democracy within the party for example.

If you have a problem with the way the board conducts matters then tell us - better yet help us to solve the problem. Ranting about the board doing or not doing this or that won't to get the party or the board where it needs to be. This is a critical time for the party (new board, post-election, low active membership, etc) which means that support is going to help us go a lot farther than cynicism.

CM

Craig Magee Tue 24 Feb 2015

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.
Add to that, the meeting agendas are 'published' to private Pirate Pads that only the board members can access, also used by the board members to table motions and vote. The pads also serve as minutes, which are no longer being published in condensed/sanitized form on the Wiki. Potential for engagement and transparency is at a low.

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. Editorial permissions, that the board members have, gives full access to Facebook's content and operational use. Andrew persistently posting Pirate Times promotion is ample evidence of that. Full administrative access to multiple people is dangerous in that any one of them could seize control.
But apparently that's not the real reason David's seat was vacated, just an excuse. As a single vote out of five he can't have been that destructive when the other four can just kick him out.
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.
Alleged lack of democracy is self-evident.

The one thing I can be supportive of is some of the board members are finally engaging in Loomio again. It's been underutilised since they used it as a platform to launch the election for their current appointments.
After the board meeting where the need to liven it up and stimulate it was mentioned, I did just that and got personally attacked for using the term 'piracy'.

CM

Craig Magee Wed 25 Feb 2015

Regarding the main topic, are there any reasons for the party to be a member of the PPI?

BV

Ben Vidulich Thu 26 Feb 2015

We don't seem to interact with PPI, so no I suppose not.

AR

Andrew Reitemeyer Sun 1 Mar 2015

Here is PPUK's explanation for leaving PPI
Iceland should be voting next week and Slovenia's secretary has expressed a desire for a new organisation

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 3 Mar 2015

What do we expect from a pirate party international organisation?

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

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 3 Mar 2015

Pirate Party Belgium have now also suspended their PPI membership.
http://wiki.pirateparty.be/index.php/Coreteam/Agenda_coreteam_15

HM

Hubat McJuhes Fri 6 Mar 2015

@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.
BTW:
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.

Cheers.

CM

Craig Magee Fri 6 Mar 2015

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.

BV

Ben Vidulich Sun 8 Mar 2015

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.

CM

Craig Magee Sun 8 Mar 2015

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.

BV

Ben Vidulich Sun 8 Mar 2015

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.

https://www.loomio.org/d/TAbgvyxZ/irate-arty-the-participation-party
https://www.loomio.org/d/F0OYEKJ3/wanted-15-active-members#comment-530588

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).

DU

[deactivated account] Mon 9 Mar 2015

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.

BV

Ben Vidulich Mon 9 Mar 2015

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.

BV

Ben Vidulich Thu 12 Mar 2015

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).

http://pirateparty.org.nz/wiki/Meetings_Main_Page#Other_meetings

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).