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This piece about the rise and growing legitimacy of the Pirate Party in German strikes me as rather important. I was interested to read about their Liquid Feedback software for policy making.
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Jaysen Naidoo's profile photoNorman Van Eeden Petersman's profile photoJosé Javier Briseño Solis's profile photoMykola Aleshchanov's profile photo
103 comments
 
Liquid Feedback is available for general use by anybody. It's actually a pretty cool tool if you have a lot of people who need to reach complicated, asynchronous consensus.
 
The most important part is about them listening to the electorate instead of treating them like naughty kids that must be kept in line. Pirate Party for the win!
 
The only problem with the german pirates is: Up to today (after six years of existence) they still lack both depth and width in almost all political matters. Sad, but true, they do not offer many concepts apart from net politics and direct participation of people, but a long, unrealistic wishlist (free public transports for all, guaranteed monthly income for everyone, regardless of costs and other income).

Most of them are nice people, many nerds, but sometimes really difficult to have in-depth discussions.

The positive thing about their current success is: All major partys start to think about their "traditional" ways of politics, and start to introduce new, slightly more transparent means of decision making. The conservative party is slow with that, others manage that faster.

It could be that the pirates become obsolete before they even developed an idea of where they are heading for... :-)
 
Theft has its own party now. Awesome.
 
They don't need to take over. They just need to become enough of a threat to the other parties that their ideas are adopted to dilute their message. That's what I'm counting on.
 
A huge problem right now is how the Pirate Party interacts with the mainstream media and how this media fails to understand what it means to be a party that is made up of individuals. Every statement by a member is taken to be party line already and it is generally misunderstood that every member of the party is free to say what he thinks. The resulting confusion is horrible and educating people on the actual basics is incredibly hard.
 
+Max Lanz we've had this conversation before and you lost the debate because all you can do is shill for the legacy content industries and repeat yourself like a parrot. Go eat a cracker.
 
+Philipp Möller I agree. They're also failing to do enough to leverage the social media and interact as individuals with the public. When they sort that out, they'll achieve more.

They also need to engage with the public where they're at. If they can actually help people instead of pushing an agenda that the majority doesn't get, they'll only ever appeal to nerds. I've got a few pointers here:

http://www.wendycockcroftwebdesign.com/blog/blogs/blog1.php/pirate-party-uk-makes-small-gains-in-local-elections
 
You just missed the countrywide party convention. I'm sure you'd be happily welcomed as a member.
 
I vaguely remember everyone crying and trying to justify stealing by arguing what the semantics of the word stealing rather than the intent and impact of stealing.
 
+Philipp Möller : One of the problems of the pirate party is that they simply do not have a consensus. The liquid democracy software wasn't ready, and the idea of a party delegee "having a look into the current opinion of his party via liquid democrazy tools" just before a debate or a TV interview simply doesn't work (yet).
But that's only one of the structural things that don't work for them today... Their "politicians" either have to speak out with "in my opinion" only or they are shitstormed for "that's not what we think" from their party members. But if they dare to do so, current media bashes them for "no clear positions". The leading people of the pirates don't have much credit in german media.
 
That's why you lost the debate. You can't get off the copying-is-stealing train. Choo choo!

+Sebastian P. I'm a huge fan of anything that gets rid of #surveillance online and sorts out the #IP mess we're in now. The whole thing's a joke and is causing more problems than it solves.

http://www.copyrightreform.eu/
Marc P
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The most interesting fact that always emerges in discussions about the pirates is that somehow it is suggested the other parties have some sort of real position on matters and are in some way more professional. Merkel just sways with the wind of opinion, but that is supposed to be professional politics.another wrong assumption is that the pirates promote theft.they do not, they promote reform of the copyright system.anyone who doesn't see the need to do this is either dumb or payed by the content industry. And finally: so, the pirates don't have answers to everything, that only makes them different to other parties in one way: they don't pretend to do so.
 
And all they need to do is get their core agenda of reform into the mainstream. Anything else is gravy.
 
+Markus Feilner I find it very entertaining when media or opponents try to diminish LQFB, like "Well, today it's A, and tomorrow it's B or what?".
Whats different in conventional politics today? Nuclear phase-out Yes Change of govt Nuclear phase-out No Fukushima Nuclear phase-out NOW #lol
Marc P
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+Wendy Cockcroft I fully agree, but this does take time.people pushing this ridiculous "oh the poor content industry is dying" bs agenda do not understand the internet, nor the impact the measures the content industry are backing will have on civil liberties.
 
+Marc P : You are right. No matter what political position a person has, it's always bare propaganda to say that the pirates promote theft or want to abolish Urheberrecht (our german version of one aspect of US copyright)

That's simply wrong, but steadily repeated by the unknowing or by intention to discredit them Pure FUD, and the copyright lobby says "Thank you".

I am also creating texts, books and photos, so I know what I am talking about. :-)
 
+Marc P Record companies don't write reforms to civil liberties. Representatives in government do. How is this hard for people to grasp?
+Wendy Cockcroft Stealing is stealing. Sorry I'm on some sort of train of calling out theft where and when it happens. If that inconveniences you or your way of life my sincerest apologies.
 
The content people fully understand what they're doing and are trying to enslave us all to their agenda. What we need to do is point out the ridiculous nature of their arguments and help those of them who are willing to adapt to do so in a way that profits them.

As more people abandon the traditional models, the legacy gatekeepers will hopefully lose power and game over. A girl can dream!
Marc P
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Sadly they can still count on idiots not understanding:
a) the difference between copying and stealing
B) the impact piracy has on secondary markets (hardware sales e.g. hd,mp 3 players, concert tickets etc.)
 
And so it goes, +Max Lanz. You're repeating yourself. As I've said repeatedly before, the MAFIAA pretty much owns the government, which dances to its tune and does its bidding without question. That's the problem. Kick the lobbyists and their money out and we'll be able to have true democracy. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75329.html

Stealing is when you are deprived of your property. Copying does not deprive you of your property. It does deprive you of being the only one who can distribute copying. What part of that do you keep misunderstanding?

If it's about income, I've blogged about making money in the digital age: http://www.wendycockcroftwebdesign.com/blog/blogs/blog1.php/stuck-in-the-middle-ages-the-case-for-ip-law-reform

Read that first before coming back to this, okay? Your repetition is annoying and unlike you I actually engage with the issues. I understand the artist's need to make money. I just don't agree that they should make it via monopolies on distribution. They're too hard to enforce.
 
+Max Lanz It's just so sad that both record companies and publishers don't want to pay the artist a fair price.

Calling it stealing or not not is not significant at all, doing so just destroys any reasonable discussion.

What has to happen is that the artist has to be paid a fair price. And I do not see any initiative from the content industry towards that humble goal.
 
Don't get me started on the sheer hypocrisy of the content industries when it comes to "piracy." They do it themselves! AND they have to be sued for royalties by their artists. AND there's the work-for-hire agreements they make to avoid paying artists, so the artists aren't winning from the current model.
 
I think, the key of Succes of Germans Pirate Party is to start to develop a full modell of a modern society. We have a discussion beween peoples who says "please focus to internet questions" versus Peoples who says "let us create a Picture of a Modern democratic Society", German Pirate Party selects to establish a full Programm Partie. This process is under Process. Its quite more than Internet, but its hadt to find out what 30000 People want in commen.
 
+Marc P A) you're taking someone else's creative work. By copying it you are not paying someone their dues for creating it. I don't care about the record companies' losses but you're stealing from the artist who made it and that's theft.
B) that money is also not going to the artist who created whatever you're stealing from them. Except concert tickets, some of that gets back to them. But are you going to more concerts from artist who's music you stole to make up for the sales they lost through your theft?
 
+Max Lanz I'm not taking it. He still has it. I'm not ripping off his head with the work in it.
And if I really like it, I go and buy the CD. I'd buy the CD first, if it would be possible to return it if it sucks. But it isn't.
 
+Max Lanz you haven't read any of the linked material and that's why you're part of the problem. Locking down the internet to pay some creatives their dues isn't ever going to solve the problem.

You then have failed (yet again!) to address the issue of what constitues a creative. Is it only the author or the musician? What about the designer or the architect?

AND you've failed to acknowledge that the copyrights holders aren't always the artists, so they're missing out on their "dues" anyway.
 
Either work towards a solution that includes us all instead of favouring a small minority to the detriment of everything else or shut up!

We offer solutions in which everyone can win and make money. What are you doing to make it better, +Max Lanz?
 
+Max Lanz The best solution is to reforge the link between content and mechanical playback so that any copy made is, by definition, inferior. So as soon as we dump the CD and return to gramophone records, the better. The emergence of the CD and the possibility of perfect reproduction is where this started. I don't recall the record companies being opposed to that: far from it, I seem to recall them salivating at the prospect of fans buying copies of content they already owned in a new expensive format that would only become cheaper to make and was easier to ship and store. And the prices of the finished goods have not come down over time: do they not think we know what a box of CD media costs?

Over the long haul, the idea of making big dollars from recordings was a bubble, as explained by no less an expert than Mick Jagger. Musicians have historically made money from performances. Consider that a performance is a unique, irreproducible experience, unlike a studio recording.

And anyway, this is an old argument. The content licensing cartel could have led on this issue, but they refused. They forced Apple into an arms race with Apple's own customers over DRM before finally yielding to the argument that they would sell more without those restrictions. Even now, the movie studios and networks try to gouge fans by limiting release of content in different regions in a bid for manufactured scarcity: why should someone in Australia wait to see a film that is on screens in Kansas or London? They could obtain a copy via other means and then pay to watch it when it is (legally) shown in their country. But why would any profit-seeking enterprise that wants a long-term relationship with it audience do that?

By the way, the argument that unauthorized duplication somehow hurts the artists assumed they are paid what they are owed and you don't have to look too deeply into this to learn that isn't the case. The true pirates in this scenario might be the organizations you see as victims, as they are gouging both the artists and their fans.
 
+paul beard amen! I don't know what +Max Lanz's interest in this is, but can we all agree that, if he's a musician trying to make money, we'll help him find solutions? It's fear that stops people from changing their stances, after all.

I'm only scolding him for whining; it's nothing personal. If he wants and asks for help, let's prove to him that digital solutions are valid and superior to the legacy business model that's in place now.
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...plus: Let's get rid of all the plastic rubbish CDs produce;)
 
+Wendy Cockcroft It sounds like he is making a moral argument which, based on the bad faith shown by the cartels, isn't possible. Kevin Kelly's "True Fans" idea, that 1000 fans who will buy your annual output (1000 fans X $100 is a good living) is a reasonable model, as it's based on a relationship.
 
That's what the problem is, +paul beard. He wants an easy source of income subsidized by the state via criminalizing unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing and it's simply not sustainable. Can we agree that if he asks for help we will help him to leverage the digital media to his advantage, assuming he's a struggling musician and not a corporate shill?
 
+Markus Feilner Not having a consensus can be confusing, but could also be used as a strength. If people from both left/right/green could find their candidates in the pirate party (different candidate lists?) they wouldn't have to choose between putting their vote on their ideological camp or on the pirate party.
 
+Sebastian P. You are not paying someone for their creative work. And everyone always claims that they would buy whatever CD they're DLing but the figures just don't support such a claim. All it takes is one person to download something and not pay for it for it to be stealing.

+Wendy Cockcroft An obvious solution is for artists to willingly reject the record company model. Not sign a contract with them and sell their music through another outlet (You mentioned selling it online through an independent source) Unfortunately illegal downloading makes that model even less viable.

+Michael Bernstein Cute video. That's true if we were talking about, say, chairs or something. Making a chair yourself is not stealing someone else's chair. With intellectual property, though, when you enjoy someone else's work without paying them for their artistic property you're stealing from them. When you buy a CD you're not just buying the physical CD you're buying the information contained on it and the right to enjoy that information. When you download it for free of the internet you haven't bought the right to enjoy said information which is a form of stealing. There is no moral ambiguity, a five year old could tell you that's stealing whether outright or through copying.
 
Check 'em out, +Jose Francisco Medeiros, they're very interesting. Don't let the name put you off.

+Isak Swahn, the Greens side with the Pirates on digital rights so they're your best bet when there aren't any Pirate candidates.

What we want, though, is to get the message across to the electorate and get good policies signed into law. If that happens, it doesn't matter who did it, the job's been done.
 
+Max Lanz links, please. You've addressed the issues, but you haven't proved your point, just posted an opinion.
 
They certainly are different from the rest of the pack. I think that they will shake things up just as the Green party has in Europe.
 
+Wendy Cockcroft But that's the problem - the 90% who don't vote green will have to make the choice between a blue (or red) and the pirate vote. In the European Parliament the Swedish pirates did well, but when it came down to the important choice between a red/blue Swedish government, 99% went for a traditional blue/red (the greens cooperated with the red).

If there were blue and red pirates they might very well get 50%+ of the votes.
 
In America, the Whig Party was a success in its time, regardless of the name that was of a strongly pejorative origin. The Know Nothing Party (though not the official name) was not quite as successful electorally, but they did leave their mark in political history and the name was hardly a problem (fierce anti-catholicism was instead).
My point: whining about the name is really meaningless when we look at history. As soon as a certain threshold is crossed, any name will become more like a brand and largely stand for issues instead of prejudices — as now has happened in Germany.
And of course, successes this far show that "pirate" has been a very effective and "media sexy" title for this new political movement. Here in Finland we would never have been noticed without the provocation and now we're the biggest party of all the parties that are outside of the parliament. This could never have happened with a dull standard name like "freedom party" or "internet party" or "information society party" or any of the other less bold names that I've heard suggested. There are so many small parties that fail to provoke and consequently only live through one or two elections. When you're politically insignificant, there is nothing to be gained by appealing to everyone and avoiding any offense — being bland is a strategy for major parties. I doubt there is a pirate party among all those around the world that aspires to become a major party (although of course that theoretical possibility must be taken into account).
 
I'm blue by nature, if that's any help, +Isak Swahn; I just can't be dealing with the crony capitalism, the encroachments on my freedom, and the paternalism that goes with being Conservative. That's why I used to vote Liberal when there weren't any Greens but I'm so disillusioned with them I don't know where to start. Labour is usually wasteful and tends to nanny, which really annoys me. They should be empowering people to take control of their own lives instead. I could go on, but I'll spare you.

The point is, I'm in favour of the Pirates because I don't believe they'll ever be a ruling party. They don't need to be to achieve what I want, they just need to shake things up enough that I can return to my complacency without fear of being steamrolled in the name of legacy industries.

+Harri Kivistö congratulations on your advances in Finland. I wish you many more, and will help in any way I can. Circle me and I'll +1 and share your most relevant posts when I come across them. Same with all freedom-lovers.
 
+Wendy Cockcroft There is a difference how the Swedish and English parliamentary elections work: if you live in a Swedish predominantly red constituency and you are blue, your vote will still help getting a blue MP in from another district. If you want to vote blue in a red constituency in England, you can just as well make a statement by voting Pirate, although there is no real chance your vote will make a difference in this election.
 
That is only possible due to Germany's electoral system. Unless there's an electoral reform, one should hold his breath about the possibility of that happening in the US, UK or any other countries with similar electoral systems.
 
+Max Lanz so you found some articles that agree with your stance without justifying it any further than shilling for the legacy industries. My links provided the history and the rationale, so you've failed to either convert me to accepting #surveillance and increased penalties for file sharing nor have you offered a viable solution. Have a read of this, and tell me where Neelie Kroes is getting it wrong: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/12/326&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

This is bearing in mind that you don't appear to have any problems with the law being changed to reflect the new digital climate whether it's in our favour or not, based on an earlier comment.
 
+Tiago Peixoto One way forward for the US, UK, etc., would be if a local branch of an established party launched a pirate-friendly candidate as their best chance to win the constituency.
 
Or we could convert a leading politician from one of the big parties. UKIP has got a few Conservative MPs on side now because they're attracted by the xenophobia.
 
+Wendy Cockcroft But then, correct me if I'm wrong, the UKIP has 0 out of 650 seats in the House of Commons. ;-) For the MEPs though, people probably care less who is elected there, so people will protest vote more when voting for those.
 
+Wendy Cockcroft , very interesting article. Did not know bloody Mary came up with copyright. It did bring up a few questions though. If copying is not stealing, why abide by the creative commons license? Do they have a right to tell us what we can and cannot use for free? Also, the article states artists can make money off of concerts and merchandise. Why can't I just make copies of the merchandise?
Don't get me wrong. I believe change is definitely in order. The fact that Hulu may start making you prove you have cable before using it is proof of this. Seriously, I use Hulu so I don't need cable! When will they realize this? Put in commercials, but don't expect me to have cable as well! If I had cable I'd just record the show instead of paying a monthly fee to Hulu! Sorry, went off track there! Anyway, where is the line drawn? And should creative people be allowed to tell us what we can and cannot do with it? Personally, I feel the artist is due a payment for their work. Hopefully more of them will start putting out work independently. So they get to make more money and charge less at the same time. A win for them and their fans.
 
+Faraday Defcon A little misunderstanding here. The Liberals are not "left" in Europe. They stand for free business, people decide for themselves instead of a nanny state, etc. "Conservative" in Europe stands for nobility, fox hunting, Hail to the Queen/King etc.

Well, this is a bit exaggerated of course. :-)

Also, "red" is left in Europe.
 
Arizona. Heartland Institute. Rick Perry. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney. In any case, I wasn't name-calling anyone, I was saying why I have a problem with David Cameron and co.

Did you miss the part about my being conservative by nature? Of course you did; blue is the colour of the Democrats, and for the record, I'm no fan of theirs either.

May I suggest you stop guessing and jumping to conclusions before you have a hissy fit when I post comments you find disagreeable? Doing so won't ever convert people. You've missed the boat with me and I don't appreciate the name-calling.

As for the charges laid at Cameron's door, they also apply in the US whether you or anybody else likes it or not. Stop being all butthurt about it, man up and think of a constructive way of addressing the issue. Deep down, I think it's fair to say that we're probably on the same page where solutions are concerned.
 
+Max Lanz " Making a chair yourself is not stealing someone else's chair." Your argument goes right out the window as soon as it is possible to print a chair from a downloaded design, or better yet scan an existing chair and have a copy pop out. And that day is already here.

Treating copyable bits as exclusive property is simply no longer sustainable: http://paulgraham.com/property.html

If we warp our society to the extent necessary to keep copyable bits as a form of property, the result won't be pretty: http://craphound.com/?p=573

You might want to consider the implications of this quote:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me." -- Thomas Jefferson

Software, music, movies, books, and now physical goods of many sorts, are all moving into the realm of ideas that can be copied freely.
 
+Faraday Defcon In many ways the diversity of the US congress is refreshing for me, in that within each party there are so diverse opinions, and that the representatives are very free-thinking individuals and not just "voting creatures" for the government who has the majority. So in a way, you probably have some elements of sharing powers across the parties.
 
Then there is software. I suppose it is ok to copy MS Office, except that it has a key and MS will know if you try to activate it.

Maybe music and movies should have a particular key associated with each each copy.
 
+Stephen Hauskins it's called DRM. Use Open Office. It's better than MS Office and it's OS so it's free. It's also compatible with MS if you use .doc and .rtf extensions. Check it out, it does everything MS Office does.
 
+Stephen Hauskins congratulations, you've just reinvented DRM. The promise of uncopyable bits has kept a whole industry of snake-oil salesman in business selling their solutions to the copyright cartels.
 
That's why OS is better by miles. Why innovate if you can stop others from doing so?
 
I know all about open source/free software, but even OO isn't fully compatible with MS Office. Even Google docs is not fully compatible.
 
Agreed, +Stephen Hauskins; but it's compatible enough that it can compete and not so much that it destroys Microsoft. You can't have it all, but you can have enough, is the way it works. And you know what? That's fine with me. It forces the OS people to innovate AND make their stuff compatible with MS. The knife cuts both ways.
 
As a user, I can confirm that OO has its own file types, many of which are not compatible with MS. Indeed, only .doc and a few others are, but I digress. MS has been kicking and screaming about this because it means "lost sales" and believe it or not, they've been whinging like little brats about OS being theft of intellectual property.

You know a company is going down the tubes when it spends more time on patent lawsuits than bringing out new and exciting products.

And saying that you can't compete with free means you flat out can't compete by offering something better that people are willing to pay for!
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We need to be doing this here.
 
Long live the pirate party, im an official member of the florida pirate party recognized by the state of florida.
 
Thanks wendy, we have been trying to get signatures to make the ballot. Im going to talk to our chairman and get the signature ballots on our site. Once done I'll let you guys know. We might not make this election by the deadline but we will be on the next ballot. We're very determined. We've also achieved official observer status on the PPI (Pirate Party International). Our chairman Brad Hall is the one who published the No Safe Harbor Ebook.
 
Please provide me with a list of any ebooks or whatever you need to have promoted. This includes stuff you do for a living. I'll help any way I can.
 
Funny, I don't even see any more comments of Max Lanz.. Probably better for my nerves like that.
 
He usually scuttles off to mope after I've slapped him down for what is essentially trolling. As I said before, it's the whining sense of entitlement he displays that annoys me. On the day he asks for help with earning a living from music, assuming that's what he wants, I'll call on all of you to help him out because that, more than anything else, will convince him we're right.

The position he has adopted is predicated on a relatively new idea: that the artist has created a work and must be compensated via the copies of his work, as though musicians, authors and artists are the only ones who create anything.

If he ever took the time to read without prejudice the history of copyright and intellectual property laws he would understand that a) they're a conceit fabricated by the publishers and the government as a system of control and never were about the creatives in the first place, b) that monopolies actually stifle innovation, and c) there are other ways of making a living from your creativity, even via distribution, if you work with the pirates rather than against them. It's about the distribution and who does it, after all.
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He does not even understand the mechanics of the distribution and rights holder industry TODAY, how should he be able to abstract the possibilities of TOMORROW!?
 
Mayhap if he were to partake of dephlogestenated air... but as it is, why innovate when you've got a well-enforced monopoly to guarantee your income?
 
+Jose Francisco Medeiros I see your point but as a member of the German Piratenpartei I find the names of the CDU, CSU, SPD and FDP even more irritating.

The Christlich Demokratische Union isn't "christlich" or democratic anymore, the Christlich Soziale Union isn't social anymore, same goes for the Sozialdemokratische Partei, while the Freiheitlich Demokratische Partei has lost it's freedom and liberal goals.

One of our election campaign's phrases is "Better to have a strange name than to do ridiculous politics".
 
+Faraday Defcon The German Pirate Party is neither left nor right. We do politics for the people and work with any other party but the extremists to achieve our goals. We don't reject good ideas because they come from the "wrong" side, we just copy them ;-)
 
So far, the Pirates haven't contributed much except giving the established parties the shivers. They have high goals and try to make them work, but they havn't faced reality yet. Proposing ideas is one side of the medal. Making them work and taking responsibility (in particular when they don't work out as expected) is a different thing. That might be quite a crash with a brick wall.
They will have quite a lot of things to work out... for example, they'll likely see many (failed) politicians from other parties trying to have success in their party. They've coined their own terms already: "problem pirates" and "5-minute pirates" (that just became pirates 5 minutes ago to run in an election). The whole grassroots democracy doesn't seem to scale up well to a national scale, too: Everbody voting on everything can be very tiring and take a long time. Up to the point of demotivating people! They are largely an all-male media-affine group, which is far from representative of "the people".
Germany has seen many small parties come and go. Often they do well for some seasons, just because people are so unhappy with the established parties. Once they see that the new party can't really do better either, they give up on it again. This will likely happen to the pirates also. Much of their recent success is actually a result of the other parties performing so badly.
 
+Erich Schubert that's all they really need to do. Actually serving as MPs will teach them what they need to know and if they're serious, they'll stick around and mature, bringing mature, well-thought-out policies into the mix.

The Green Party never got much traction in the UK because the other parties adopted their policies. I'm fine with that — the message got through to the mainstream and that's what matters. I'm hoping for something similar with the Pirates; not that they get sidelined, but that the other parties adopt their message.
 
Actually the Green party in Germany already covered pretty much the core theses the Pirates advocate. They mostly differ in that the Greens by now pay attentition to total budget, while the Pirates are fine with spending money on everything (since they don't have to put it into policy anyway).
So far, I have not seen the Pirates actually post many new ideas and concepts (despite their claims). They have a stronger emphasis on information access, while the Greens of course have a stronger focus on environmental issues. But when you look at the fight against software patents, the Greens were really strong there (and the pirates didn't exist yet). Much of the Pirates program looks like taking the Greens, increasing spending and moving it more towards the Greens internal left-wing fraction. (The German green party does a pretty good job at balancing the left-wing with their "realo" wing to get workable politics. The pirates still need to find this balance, when they want to become part of some government.)
But at least they get some fresh people interested in politics, even when they end up re-selling existing ideas and their demands often being unrealistic (mostly because of cost and neglecting international entanglements).
 
Well maybe you can help them out with this, +Erich Schubert. You seem to be a reasonable chap and you know what their weaknesses are.
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To be honest, the shift to "pragmatic" policies is exactly what is leading to the decline of the green party and the Spd. Their openness to willingly go into coalitions with the conservatives is what is driving the voters to the pirates. Following the path of the greens is exactly what the pirates should not do. A clear no towards the conservatives is what the overall left in Germany needs, as all left parties obviously do not grasp the fact that the majority votes left, just different parties.once the left parties overcome their bickering, the conservatives will become powerless.
 
Pragmatism doesn't necessarily mean joining in with failed policies. The Pirates need new, workable policies. I've been advising +Carlo De Leonibus about how to make the Florida Pirate Party more noticeable and what I've been saying is to engage with the community.

Failure to actually represent the people is alienating them. Listen to their concerns and come up with solutions that work, and they'll vote for you and tell others to vote for you, too.

Ignore them and treat them like idiots, as the established parties do, and people feel like giving up and resign themselves to a life that can only get worse in the long term.
Marc P
 
If you look at pragmatic policies in action, ignoring the public and treating them like idiots is exactly what that means.
 
Hmmm... can you give me some examples of what you mean by that?

I'll use Pirate policies of making non-commercial peer-to-peer filesharing legal. It's happening anyway, so you might as well. Meanwhile, it's worth trying to persuade the content industries and file-sharing companies to compromise in order to share revenues.

I'd call that pragmatic.
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In a multi party system it is not about delivering on your promises, but about the maintaining of coalitions. This is what the "traditional" parties, including the Greens, refer to in Germany as the "power persepective". As traditionally 30% in Germany vote conservative, there are only 2 options: A 3 or more coalition on the left, or a 2 party coalition with the conservatives. As the left does not want to get into any coalitions, the conservatives offer the easiest "power perspective". Noone at the base of the larger left parties, e.g. the SPD and the Greens actually wants anything to do with the conservatives, but it is sold as pragmatism, as the only "practical" way to act or change something, so people get lulled in by this false sense of pragmatism and start believing it is the only viable option. That way the conservatives, only representing basically a fraction of the German public get their way and most of the voting public is betrayed in the sense that they get a policy which does not represent them. That's why I despise this talk of "pragmatism" as it is a rethorical tool mainly used by conservatives to legitimate their own claim to power.
 
This actually illustrates why the UK system might be better. Having a coalition government is fairly new to us.


I'm not sure what can be done about the power perspective apart from hopefully gaining enough seats to effectively challenge the conservatives.
Marc P
 
Although the majority vote system inherently is even more unfair.
 
I dunno. It means the majority rules and we've had a referendum about it because Cameron promised Clegg he could have it. Proportional representation is a big Liberal Party thing. Anyway, it failed and we stuck with the old tried-and-tested.

What would you propose?
Marc P
 
Definitely not majority, you actually believe that a 51% majority should be legitimate to rule the 49%? without the 49% being represented in any way?
 
That's what the opposition is for. Do you remember the fall of Margaret Thatcher?

Besides, having the majority in parliament doesn't always reflect what's going on in the local council. Right now, Labour rules the roost in much of the country because the Coalition govt. has annoyed so many people.
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What I believe bottom line is a proportional system with more direct involvement and accountability.I never see any politician being measured by his promises. it should be part of the news saying he promised this but delivered that.but I fear the media and politics like to share a warm bed, as the resurrection of the FDP in Germany is a good example of at the moment.
 
+Marc P In an exactly proportional representation system, such as Sweden, a 51% majority could also rule the 49% minority, exactly as in the UK, even though 51% of the votes may give moe than 51% in the [English] parliament. What really matters to the 49% is then how much liberty they have to live the life they want. It could be a lot, or very little, depending on how the 51% decide to rule.
Marc P
 
Normally you don't have two parties though..
 
@Marc P: "decline of the green party"? Wait, did I miss something? Last I saw, they have been constantly increasing in popularity over the last decades.
If you want to talk about failed politics, look at DIE LINKE and FDP. DIE LINKE for never having accomplished anything, by not able to form a coalition with anyone (the common left-wing type of unable to contribute) and FDP for making big promises that they were not able to fulfill.
Not sure yet which way the pirates try to fail...
You sound a bit shizophrenic to me. On one hand you blame the parties for forming a coalition, on the other hand you do seem to understand that a radical party won't get anything implemented because you need a coalition for this.
Oh, and as you said that >30% are conservatives in Germany, why should the other 70% be allowed to rule over the 30% conservatives, even if they would agree enough to be called a "majority"?
Fact is, there is no longer such a thing such as a majority. We have multiple interest groups, that even overlap to some extend. There is no such thing as a 51% majority. At most you will see a (30+20+1) coalition ruling over a (10+10+10+10+9) opposition. We have to live with that, and accept that any policy needs a coalition to get it implemented. And unless the pirates accept this and aim for coalitions, they'll end up in the role of DIE LINKE, sitting somewhere inbetween of "annoying" (because they still say no to anything) and "meaningless" (because they don't make a difference in the end).
By paying the price of making compromises and forming coalitions, the Greens at least have made a difference (whether you like what they did or not, they did manage to get some of their agenda implemented).
Radical parties only work well when they actually get majority at some point.
Marc P
 
It wasan example aimed at the British system not the German.and if you mean by making a change is completely corrupt yourself and your own values, the green party has been very successful in effectively becoming a second fdp for the conservatives. The change Fischer has gone through once he smelled big money is definitely unique.that is not the kind of pragmatism and professionalism that people want to see.the rise of the pirates is also the Denise of the green party.
 
When you write "Greens and SPD", everybody is bound to think of Germany...
Apart from that, your bitching against Fischer is a good example of how the left in Germany fails. They are so much about infighting, they always look for things to dislike about each other, instead of honoring the achievments of the other left politicians. They'd love to be each their own party, so they can bitch against the others.
Left-wing in Germany pretty much defines itself by being against things. It is okay when it's being against Nazis, but other than that they need to be much more constructive and much less fighting. But if any left wing politian stops fighting, he's considered a traitor. Very grown up, these infighting kids.
The Green party apparently (including during Fishers last active years) still has plenty of support. Maybe not by hard-core leftist "fighters" that define themselves by being opposition, but maybe more with families that actually want the policies adopted and environmentalists that value every small contribution to preserving nature.
Again, very typical of how hard core left politics fail completely these days. Fortunately, we still have some moderate left like SPD and Greens that actually achieve some small progress every year instead of dreaming of the big change that never happens.
And I do hope the Pirates will turn out to be more on this side, instead of DIE LINKE.
 
Well, this turns out to be more a discussion about the messianic vs. devilish arguments about the Pirate Party, but a discussion about Liquid Feedback as a tool.

Anyhow, i'll try to draw the circle back towards this.
LF is quite a cunning tool, and up to now the user interface has improved somewhat. (although i think it still could be enhanced)
The best and easiest way should be just to install it on a local Server and start playing around with it. I think you shouldn't have a problem with getting a bunch of players in your circles, and i am positively sure that the LF Community would appreciate your thoughts and hints about the Tool.
There are already feature Requests about enhancing the delegation system etc. You'll find them in the test sytem. (http://dev.liquidfeedback.org/test/)

After all we have had quite a success working with the tool in terms of preparing the topics for our nationwide assemblies. If you would like to see, how it can be used in that way, stay tuned with the preparation of the BPT12.2 in Bochum. The Proposals will be derived from LF initiatives, and drawn together in a special part of the wiki.(http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Bundesparteitag_2012.2/Antragsfabrik)
Most of the proposals there should be linked to LF initiatives.
Thats how we already make a good use of LF in grassroots democracy.

cheers, or as we like to say: aarrr, Arend
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