Mon 23 Mar 2015

Proposal for PPI to Levy Affiliation Fees at Online GA on 29th March

Andrew Reitemeyer Public Seen by 182

Following the decision of the PPI Court of Arbitration (see below) PPI will make an anewed attempt to levy fees.
Registered Parties will be required to pay according to a formula. Unregistered parties, such as PPNZ, can determine the level of fees they wish to pay.

On December 19th the Court of Arbitration received an official complaint
from PPAU "[challenging] against motions relating to affiliation fees at
the 2014 General Assembly". The full complaint can be found here:

The request from PPAU is as follows:
"The Court of Arbitration is requested to do the following:

  1. Immediately introduces an injunction against the PPI board regarding
    requesting or accepting membership fees until this case is concluded, as
    per the powers of XIVa(1) and (3)(a);

  2. Makes a determination that "fixed in relation to the finances and
    membership of parties" should be interpreted to mean a consistently applied
    formula for determining fees based on that criteria, without exception;

  3. Makes a determination that the General Assembly did not approve any
    affiliation fee that would meet the requirements of XVI(1), either due to
    lack of a motion meeting those requirements, or a motion failing to carry
    due to the requirements of XI(2);

  4. Makes a determination that motions relating to affiliation fees must
    meet all of the requirements ofXI(2), XVI(1) and XVI(2);

  5. Makes a determination as to whether or not XVI applies to observer
    members, as XV(a) seems to imply;

  6. Makes a determination as to whether or not the current PPI board is
    meeting the requirements ofXVII(3), which is necessary for the purpose of
    knowing whether it is safe to send affiliation fees to the PPI board.
    Should the board be found to not be meeting these requirements, they should
    be required to apply to the CoA for a determination on whether they meet
    XVII(3) prior to requesting any affiliation fees in the future, and;

  7. Makes a determination that any attempt by the PPI board to accrue
    affiliation fees to be without authority or basis until a future General
    Assembly resolves otherwise."

After carefully reading the argumentation from PPAU and looking into this,
the Court of Arbitration concluded that:

As mentioned by PPAU in request 3: the PPI statutes XI(2) state that any
motions on affiliation fees need to be carried by a 2 third majority. The
minutes of the 2014 GA state the following result for the vote on the
affiliation fees: 12 yes, 9.5 no, 2 Abstensions.
This is not a 2 third majority and therefor the motion is not approved.
This means that the current affiliation fees are still 0 euro as they were
before this vote on the 2014 GA.

The Court of Arbitration comes to conclude (relating request 1 and 7) that
the PPI board right now does not have the authority to ask any affiliation
fees from any PPI member. However a PPI member is always free to give a
voluntary donation to PPI as it sees fit.

As for the requests in point 2, 4, 5 and 6, the Court of Arbitration feels
these requests are no longer urgent right now as affiliation fees are at
the moment 0 euro. It is better to have an agreement between members about
this instead of a ruling by the Court of Arbitration.
Therefor the Court proposes to have a discussion at length on the
affiliation fees with all the members on the next GA to clear things out.
This discussion should also include the points raised by PPAU, but not
handled by the Court of Arbitration right now.

Kind regards,
The Court of Arbitration
Bradley Hall, Gijs Peskens, Vasilis Perantzakis, Henrique Peer, Kjell Segers


Andrew Reitemeyer started a proposal Mon 23 Mar 2015

Should we support the PPI motion to be able to levy affiliation fees? Closed Fri 27 Mar 2015

Agree - 2
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 2
Block - 2
5 people have voted (11%)

[deactivated account]
Mon 23 Mar 2015


Peter Cummuskey
Mon 23 Mar 2015


Ben Vidulich
Tue 24 Mar 2015

Yes, however I would like to revisit and discuss the proposed fee structure before making an official statement.


Ben Vidulich Tue 24 Mar 2015

Urgh, PPI wiki is currently down so I can't see their most recent proposal for affiliation fees.


Andrew Reitemeyer
Wed 25 Mar 2015

I am not happy with PPI taking stands on policy even if we agree.


Hubat McJuhes Thu 26 Mar 2015

@andrewreitemeyer I see your point in regards to the other proposals, but this one is genuine PPI matter. I believe you have applied your comment to this one by accident, am I right?


Hubat McJuhes Thu 26 Mar 2015

I believe that nobody else but the members of an umbrella organisations are responsible for providing sufficient funds for their umbrella. So who else should the umbrella organisation ask?
That's why I am in favour for the proposal in general. I see two difficulties to agree, though:

1) the proposal would allow us, the PPNZ, as an unregistered party to benefit from PPI without a mandatory fee. This means: if we agree, we agree to not need to pay while making others payments mandatory. This is a scenario where democracy more looks like dictatorship of the masses. Let's imagine there may be 30 pirate parties members of PPI of which 20 may be unregistered: these 20 members could make the other 10 pay whatever they like. That's not right. At the same point in time it is obvious that the idea is right to not enforce fees on members that are not even strong enough to get themselves registered. I think that the judgement call is exactly right. I only think that morally the highest degree of agreement would be to technically abstain, leaving the substantial decision to those members who have to bear the burden.

2) The ideal process would be that the member organisations define the mandate for the umbrella organisation. The umbrella then defines and explains a budget needed to tackle the mandate. The members then accept the budget and then specify how to raise the funds amongst them.
The current process seems to be more like: To first have the umbrella organisation define a reasonable key how to obtain some money from membership and then leave it to the umbrella to find good ways to spend that money. While this could work in principle (where the members are well established, fed up and static organisations while the umbrella may be fresh, agile and innovative), in the current situation where the umbrella organisation doesn't appear to work as a highly innovative driving force, this doesn't feel quite right.


Hubat McJuhes
Thu 26 Mar 2015

I believe that the PPI should be provided with the funds necessary to do the expected work.
I also agree that non-registered parties cannot be asked for more than donations.
Hence, non-registered parties should abstain from this decision.


Ben Vidulich Fri 27 Mar 2015

I think a variation of Enspiral's collaborative funding model could be quite effective for PPI.

  • Members contribute a percentage of their income towards a shared pool at a regular interval.
  • The interval is regular and repeating (e.g. once a month).
  • Members make their own decision about what percentage of their income to contribute (Enspiral suggest this is typically around 5%) based on what makes sense to the party.
  • Any member or PPI itself that requires money for any purpose creates a proposal (or bucket as Enspiral calls them) that states how much money is required, over what term is the money paid out (upfront, increments over several intervals, later when money has been saved up), what the money will be used for, and why it benefits all the members who have contributed to the shared pool
  • Each member is assigned an allocation of the money in the shared pool - this is relative to the amount of money the member contributed relative to everyone else
  • Each member assigns money from their allocation to the proposals. The member can split the money across the proposals however the member wishes.
  • The member does not need to spend all of their allocation. Unallocated funds are reserved and can be reallocated to the next allocation.
  • PPI's core functions, including computer infrastructure, would become a proposal like any other. This would ensure that PPI functions are beneficial to members otherwise members will not allocate funding to them.
  • A member that does not contribute funds is not given the right to allocate funds to proposals. However, they can contribute proposals that paying members (not themselves) can allocate funds towards.

This method is not fool-proof and would need some additional safe-guards put in place but it would at least provide transparency and more democracy than there currently is. If no one contributed funds then no one would have the power over any other funds available and no one would get funds for their proposals. If only one member contributed funds or one member contributed significantly more than the others then since they basically get their funds given back to them to allocate to projects then they're just getting their money back so this does not give them an advantage or disadvantage the non-contributing members.

With this model the power (in terms of funding) would be distributed amongst the [contributing] membership - rather than PPI having all of the power. If PPI wanted a share of the power then they would have to contribute too, but since they're only a small number of individuals they would be unlikely to ever receive as much power as a contributing member. PPI could make proposals for things like sever hosting for the PPI wiki and assuming that members agree that it would benefit to all members then the members could allocate the funds they have contributed towards the server hosting - so PPI could still function regardless of whether they contribute funds.

I think this model better fits the vision of giving the power to the membership (effectively participatory democracy) with the higher-level body only present to provide support to the membership. PPI could request funding but not require it. The membership could see exactly how funding is spent. The membership can choose its individual level of contribution. Funding results in more utility when it allocated to projects that benefit more of the membership. Non-contributing members could not take advantage of the system without the contributing members noticing and actively supporting them.