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Pirate Party responds to failed ACT party registration

By Chris Mordd Richards - 17 July 2012 9

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News out this morning is that the ACT Electoral Commissioner has rejected the Pirate Party – ACT registration for the coming ACT election, as 16 of the 110 names submitted for registration are not on the electoral roll, thus the application for registration was not processed.

According to the PP’s National President David Campbell they will now be running candidates as Independents in the ACT election. When asked for a response to PP supporters given similar issues prevented PP national registration last federal election, David assured me that PP would be seeking to aggressively audit its National and State/Territory membership lists now to ensure future applications with the AEC are not affected by similar issues. When asked what disheartened ACT supporters should do now David urged all ACT supporters to get involved to back PP members now running as Independents.

Answers to questions I posted on PP’s facebook page in regards to this issue:

“After a month’s worth of hard campaigning, we were still at less than half the required members. It was only the urgency of the situation that made people sign up. All submitted members were registered to vote, but 16 were not enrolled in the ACT. The issue is not our lack of co-ordination, but the fact that unless the situation is urgent, people do not sign up.”

Q: Most parties would have submitted their application in time to deal with issues like this would they not?

“It looks like we will need to increase our buffer, certainly. However it doesn’t help that the AEC lost 50% of PPAU’s membership forms when the federal party applied. We did have over 500 members at that point.”

“Assuming they had the required numbers in advance, then yes. Unfortunately PPAU-ACT did not have the numbers until too close to the deadline, but not a bad effort considering how quickly they formed.”

Confirming David’s comment the facebook page then adds:

“And you will note that PPAU-ACT will be fielding candidates and be campaigning under the Pirate Party name.”

So ACT PP candidates will be running as independents now as allowed under the rules, they will simply not be grouped together under a party name on the ballot and will instead be listed the same as any other non-party affiliated candidate – which is better than nothing but far from ideal when PP will be struggling to get attention to its candidates as is.

“Agreed. And bear the hallmarks of a Party struggling against political apathy and a small number of people doing most of the work.”

Maybe if the Australian Government blocked The Pirate Bay website here like in the UK it might help, news from the UK this morning is that PP-UK is now among the top 500 sites visited in the UK since they blocked TPB about 2 months ago – with no net filtering scheme to campaign against anymore in AU and with even the Liberals now committed to maintaining the NBN – has PP-AU run out of specific issues to campaign around in AU which would help increase the parties profile?

“It would help us if there was a major issue like that, but unfortunately nothing huge that would make an enormous social impact. We haven’t run out of specific issues, but those issues are typically not in the public focus. The National Security, TPM, Copyright and Patent reviews/inquiries coming up are important, yet not known publicly. In the JSCOT report on ACTA, we were footnoted many times, however the average Australian seems unaware of this Agreement, even though there were massive protests in the EU.”

I would like to thank PP for the prompt answers to questions put to them via Phone and Facebook.

Authors Comment: I was formerly a PP member up until 2009 when I resigned in protest at the party having failed rego for the last Federal Election. Given this is not the first time PP has stuffed up an AEC application I would not consider membership again at this point until I see some evidence that PP has addressed these issues – while this latest result seems to suggest they have not unfortunately.

[ED – The Pirate website has their intention to run, and the news the Pirate National Congress is coming to Canberra in July 2013]

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9 Responses to
Pirate Party responds to failed ACT party registration
Mordd 9:11 pm 29 Aug 12

And it turns out that after all, PP has had me listed as a member since 2009, instead of cancelling my membership when requested back then they instead finally added me as a member instead, and I only found out by accident recently after my email was added to a mailing list they use a week or so ago, and finding out how I got on that list led to me finding out that they apparently had me listed as a member. Gee the Greens will love me when I tell them PP has consider me a member as well for the past 2.5yrs i’ve been a Greens member again, since no party allows this type of thing without a special exemption being granted, sigh you see why I find it so hard to support PP, you had me listed as a member for the past 3 years, never attempted to contact me on the details you had listed the entire time, and this is from after getting a request to REMOVE me as a member, for a party that campaigns around technical issues you guys have real problems with managing a freaking database properly or basic processes for managing memberships of the party. /sigh

pirate_taco 8:42 am 23 Jul 12

Mordd said :

BTW Glen we’re all still waiting to hear when PPAU-ACT are going to join in the Lego Challenge here?

We are selecting candidates this weekend, so we can’t have a candidate donate Lego until after then, unless JB is happy for the party to make a donation on behalf of our future candidates?

Mordd 3:16 am 23 Jul 12

BTW Glen we’re all still waiting to hear when PPAU-ACT are going to join in the Lego Challenge here?

Mordd 6:58 am 22 Jul 12

P.S. I an no longer in Queanbeyan having migrated over to the “correct” side of the border a bit over a year ago 😛

Mordd 6:57 am 22 Jul 12

Hi Glenn

To respond to your questions:

I was an original member when PP first started in Austrlia, or at least I tried to be, as I will explain.

I have long followed PP progress overseas and despite being a hardcore Greens supporter when PP arrived in Aus I decided I wanted to be part of this new movement.

I initially signed up to the party, or so I thought, as a number of months later when trying to confirm my membership I was told I was not a member and thus signed up again. Back in the early days PP wasn’t doing a whole lot other than trying to get off the ground and get initial members, and being in Queanbeyan at the time I was far away from where most things were being organised so I didn’t have much to do with PP actively at the time, however I followed the progress as best I could and tried to promote PP to friends whenever I could.

As things were coming up to the Federal Election and PP was getting organised for that, a membership review was conducted and surprise surprise it turned out that PP still didn’t consider me a member, and I once again signed up to make sure I was included in the numbers that were going to go to the AEC later. A few weeks after this I once again tried to confirm my membership and was told I still wasn’t recoreded as a member, so I once again filled ou the forms and submitted my membership and checked to make sure my forms had been correctly received etc…

Fast forward to the result of PP not getting registered in time for the Federal Election and by this time I had had enough with the innefective record keeping and processes I saw going on, and told PP if they had somehow managed to finally record me as a member at that point to forget it and I signed back up as Greens member – which membership I had dropped from when I first applied to PP. Since then I have followed PP in the media and what I have seen has done little to suggest to me that much has changed since my involvement with PP. I certainly hope that lessons have been learnt from this but after reading in the Canberra Times the latest news about the registration with the AEC for the ACT elections I couldn’t help but thinking “I wonder how much has actually changed since I tried to be a member”. I know at least 2 other friends that had similar issues over the last X years trying to become PP members so it wasn’t just me I know that.

I became rather cynical about the political process a long time ago so I may not be the ideal member anyway, but that’s why I “quit” and why I haven’t applied since. Unfortunately I missed your meet (i only just saw your reply now) but I might try tracking down an email contact for you and sending you a message, happy to discuss further outside this forum if you want to.

Mordd

NoImRight 12:46 pm 18 Jul 12

Its this sort of strong managerial experience that gives me confidence to vote for them to run something that will actually affect me rather than just taking up valuable internet with their amusing antics

pirate_taco 12:03 pm 18 Jul 12

Hi Mordd,

Glen Takkenberg here, registered officer of the ACT Branch of Pirate Party Australia.
I’d like to know why you thought that resigning was a good idea, instead of volunteering to make sure the process was undertaken better in the future.

Locally we had a lot of problems getting members to sign up until the very last minute when they realised that if they didn’t, nobody else would, and unfortunately that meant that we were unable to verify membership details against the AEC’s roll before the deadline.
People resigning in protest does not help the situation.

We will be meeting this Saturday at the Wig and Pen at 2pm, feel free to come along and have a chat to us about concerns you may have, and if there is anything we can do to regain your trust and support.

With issues like the National Security Review having bipartisan support, pirates are needed more than ever to protect freedom for all Australians.

Mordd 2:56 pm 17 Jul 12

P.S. Thanks for adding the link to the “intention to run” I failed to find that during my search for other announcements by the party about this – will make sure I check harder next time! 🙂

Mordd 2:55 pm 17 Jul 12

🙂 Thanks for publishing guys – for those interested the FB questions posed and replied can be seen on the PPAU facebook wall as well a link back to this article now that it’s published.

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