If we wish to move forward and begin creating a full policy and platform, we must come to an official agreement on this issue, something highly contested. Currently, our Issues to Cover page on the wiki states:
Si nous voulons aller de l'avant et commencer à créer une platforme politique et nous devons parvenir à un accord officiel sur cette question, quelque chose de très contesté. Actuellement, nos page <<Les questions à couvrir>> sur le wiki dispose:
"The PPoC has come to an informal agreement in which the party will stand strong united only on key Pirate Issues, all other issues will be up to the judgment of the candidate based on his or her riding's general consensus."
"Le PPdC a décidé de manière informelle que ses candidats seront unis dans leurs revendications en lien à des Questions pirates clés. Toutes autres revendications seront laissées à la discrétion du candidat, suivant le consensus général de sa circonscription."
Therefore, let us finalize our stance. On this wiki page, create a == header == with your username, followed by your opinion on the subject. Be as short or long as you wish, as long as you contribute towards the issue. Declarations of neutrality or indifference are also welcome. These opinions will be collected until around July 27th.
Par conséquent, permettez-nous de finaliser notre position. Sur cette page de wiki, de créer un == titre == avec votre nom d'utilisateur, suivi de votre opinion sur le sujet. Soyez le plus court ou à long que vous le souhaitez, aussi longtemps que vous contribuer à la question. Les déclarations de neutralité ou d'indifférence sont aussi les bienvenus. Ces avis seront recueillis jusqu'en 27 Juillet.
Although I feel expansion on the issues is important, and that candidates must run while covering as many issues as he or she can, I agree with the current resolution to have those outside issues be covered by the candidate in their own way, due to the varying beliefs of people across the nation.
I agree with Zblewski, we should only take a general Pirate Party stance on issues that directly relate to what the Pirate Party stands for.
I am in full agreement with the current resolution, as per Zblewski.
I'll give a +1 to JSagert's opinion.
This party is the one most focused on civil rights, even if it does concentrate on online and digital civil rights. I would suggest that the party's members remain united on pirate-specific issues, but that we /recommend/ (without requiring) that on non-pirate issues, the candidates should lean towards a certain stance: "promoting Canadian citizens' welfare by protecting our civil rights". If a candidate doesn't have any personal leanings on a given issue, this would give them something to fall back on, an easy-to-remember rule-of-thumb with which they could quickly come up with an answer should a reporter ask about some random issue. For example, if asked if they support universal health care, or legalizing marijuana, or whatever, it would only take a moment to consider whether or not having it benefits Canadians, and whether having it affects their civil rights, and then come up with a snappy comeback.
I agree with DataPacRat's notion of having recommended stances, without requiring the individual candidate to vote with the party. This is a Party meant to protect the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens, so in order to do that, we need to listen to any and all constituents we may gain.
As someone who has not found a party with which I entirely agree. I would even go a step further and say that the party is unified under it's three main issues 'sharing of culture', 'personal privacy' and 'government transparency' (your exact wording may vary) but we accept people with varied views on all other issues, candidate or not.
The party should not be hijacked for any other purposes. The party is about the message and the movement to provide control of how personal information is shared and what information is consumed to the individual. In my view it should not be about seeking power, although running candidates is a valid means to propel the movement and the message. ie being on the ballot is good publicity and getting votes leads to funding and better chance further publicize and legislate.
As someone who believes a political party is a political party, and a lobbying organization is a lobbying organization, I feel that we need to create a broader platform and actually attempt to win votes, and seats, especially in a First Past the Post system. If we accept from all angles, only remain united on one front, and do not actually attempt to broaden our scope, we are just a glorified, non-profit lobbying organization.
I Agree with DataPacRat. Tim and Matthew also make good points. I recognize that the Pirate Party was created primarily to combat arcane copyright laws as well as a technical illiteracy amongst the governing body. However, I believe that the members of said party would agree that civil liberty in general is worthy of our attention. One issue I believe is absolutely relevant and to the success not just of the PPoC but the democratic process in general is to support a Rep by Pop electoral system.
While the focus should be on the issues central to the pirate party, it is important to have a comprehensive, consistent set of opinions on the usual issues. An election is designed to select people to govern the country as a whole. If the plan is just to draw awareness to specific issues, there are far more effective (and less expensive) ways of getting the message across. A political party should have the goal of eventually gaining control of the government. Not necessarily after the first election, but even the first campaign should be aimed at that result. If we are sincere about out policy goals, then the message will get out. If we treat the campaign as just an excuse for some free press, people will write us off as a novelty and the press will ignore us.
I agree with Zblewski, but disagree with FranksTV. I don't see why we necessarily need to run the country even if we win a majority of votes (by this I mean MPs should vote for the most qualified individual to lead, not necessarily their parties leader). Ours is a First-Past-The-Post system, where citizens vote for an MP in their riding to represent them. The whole issue of parties having a defined stance on everything and enforcing the party whip is contrary to MPs representing their riding. Defined stances can only apply with a system using proportional representation where citizens vote for the party itself. Election reform should be one of our main issues. I think its obvious that no-one elects individual MPs anymore, and so our current system is outdated. That being said, I think we should at least try to live up to the ideals behind our current system, focusing on individual MPs, at the very least to set us apart and highlight why First-Past-The-Post was initially set in place.
I'd like to put another agree vote in for DataPacRat's comments, though like Tim I think we should have issues we generally agree on. We don't need to nail down every single issue, but personally I think this country needs a party that's for civil rights in general. I've met Canadians who seem to think because same-sex marriage went better here than in the US that somehow we're a civil rights Utopia and that we don't need to fear the loss of rights. That just isn't the case. Our default positions should lean in the direction of protecting the people's rights, and at least a rudimentary platform should be built around those concepts. I appreciate the idea of giving MPs the leeway to truly serve their constituents, and a party where you don't get beaten down for not kowtowing to the leader would be a breath of fresh air, but we need to balance that against having a united front; something solid facing our opponents so they can't set us against each other and use the words of our fellows as weapons. I guess I'm advocating something like "We strongly believe in the rights of the individual, and will fight the tyranny of the few over the many. To this end, we are allied in protecting personal freedoms and rights. But when a topic does not concern individual rights, we will further support the will of the people by encouraging our members to listen to their voters, even and especially when it means voting against the rest of the party. In this way, we always support the people, both as a party and as individual members." Of course, the whys and wherefores of what constitutes an issue of individual rights will need to be clarified far more than I'm doing here.
Besides, digital rights are going to be a hard sell by themselves, particularly amongst the masses who don't even realize that a wiki page like this is editable, never mind how to do it. (Remember, there's more of them than there are of us.) We're in a world where the CRIA and the RIAA and the MPAA have pushed the idea that digital rights are tantamount to armed robbery of hard-working sound engineers with a dozen starving kids. We need to fight that erroneous concept, but just as they're pushing into things like time-shifting of cable signals and even longer copyrights and trying to expand their power over ALL the people, we need beach-heads outside the digital realm to get more popular support so we can better combat their growing tendrils. We have a good in with the under-thirty technosavvy crowd, but that's not the majority. I'm not even convinced that's the majority of the under-thirty crowd. A party that's generally for the rights of the people could garner more support amongst the masses without losing much - if any - of the core digital rights supporters.
This discussion reminds me of the discussion by the Green Party in Germany in the late 80s. For explanation, the Green Party started in Germany as a out-of-parliament opposition. They were very active in demonstrating and lobbying for ecological issues. In particular the airport extension in Frankfurt and permanent storage of nuclear waste created places of protest. After constituting as a party, their only agenda was to be an opposition in parliament based on ecological topics. Now, more than 25 years later, they have been in government on federal as well as provincial level in Germany. However, they still have not found their identity outside ecological topics. A lot of their membership comes from a more socialist background, however, the majority of their voters are more bourgeois. Interestingly, this could give them in the long run a very centrist location in politics in which they could be in coalition with any of the big popular parties. I could imagine a similar strategy for the pirate party. The appeal of the current platform can be made to almost anybody (well, absent the music industry executives ;)). The argument can be made that absolutely everybody is affected by bad copyright and patent law (i.e. high monopolistic prices, additional taxes, higher medical costs resulting in higher taxes, less innovation resulting in lower employment etc.). Therefore, I think the current small topics can be presented in a way that it disputes that the pirate party is a one topic party. A lot of decisions in politic can be made according to the principles of the existing platform.
Furthermore, even without winning seats, it should be the aim that enough votes a taken from the other party, that they see an opportunity to win a riding if they could make these voters interested in the topics extended by the pirate party. This could result in a shift of all the current parties accepting our aims into their platform. In this way, we can win without ever winning a seat. Therefore, I think it is not very important to divulge into too many topics that would no doubt create division inside this movement. This is not the strength of this movement. The strength is to keep with the programme.
I agree with txwikinger, Canada is large and we know that from west to east, people think differently on a couple of point. Even in province, take QC with its Party Québécois which contains people from left to right! But they have one idea in common! So it seems to work and I guess we can do the same thing. Some questions like aborption or same sex marriage will be up to the judgment of the candidate.