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]