Constitution

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This constitution was drafted on 2016-05-20 and amended on 2016-07-21.

Article I. Name

In English, the full party name is "Pirate Party of Canada" and its abbrevations include the "Pirate Party" and the "PPCA"; in French, the full party name is "Parti Pirate du Canada" and its abbrevations include the "Parti Pirate" and the "PPC." The party may also be referred to as the "Canadian Pirates".

Article II. Principles

1. Critical thinking and well-informed policy

  • 1.1 Pirates emphasize critical thinking and well-informed decisions.
  • 1.2 This entails that Pirates shape their policy on the basis of data and knowledge which is gathered irrespective of whether or not the policy seems desirable or not at first. The position of Pirates on ideas is not based on who promotes them.
  • 1.3 Former decisions made by Pirates always need be open for revisions.
  • 1.4 The right of individuals to be informed shall never be impaired.

2. Civil rights

  • 2.1 Pirates exert themselves for the enhancement and protection of civil rights.
  • 2.2 The expansion of civil rights shall aim to enhance other rights.
  • 2.3 Current rights must be guarded so that they will not be impaired.
  • 2.4 Pirates believe that civil rights belong to individuals and that the rights of every person is equally strong.

3. Privacy Rights

  • 3.1 A right to privacy is about protecting the powerless from the abuse and mistreatment of the powerful.
  • 3.2 Pirates believe that all individuals should have a right to privacy in their own personal lives.
  • 3.3 Privacy includes the rights to discretion, the right to be anonymous and the right to self-determination.
  • 3.4 Secrecy should never go further than to protect the individual and never go so far as to affect other individuals.
  • 3.5 Anonymity does not relieve any person of responsibility for their actions.

4. Transparency and responsibility

  • 4.1 Transparency gives the powerless the power to monitor the powerful.
  • 4.2 Pirates believe that transparency is an important part of making the public informed and thereby capable of making democratic decisions.
  • 4.3 Information should be accessible to the public.
  • 4.4 Information should be accessible in open data formats, in a form that is most convenient for the usability of the information.
  • 4.5 In order for an individual to be able to take responsibility, she needs to have the ability to make decisions.
  • 4.6 Pirates believe that everyone has an unlimited right to be involved in decisions that relate to their own affairs, and a right to knowledge about how such decisions are made.

5. Freedom of information and expression

  • 5.1 Limits to people’s freedom to collect and share information are unacceptable, except for the purpose of protecting the rights of individuals.
  • 5.2 Any limits to people’s freedom to express themselves are unacceptable, except for the purpose of protecting the rights of individuals.

6. Direct democracy and the right to self-determination

  • 6.1 Pirates believe that everyone has an unlimited right to be involved in decisions that relate to their own affairs.
  • 6.2 That right is guaranteed with the empowerment of direct democracy and the promotion of transparent governance.
  • 6.3 Pirates believe that centralization needs to be reduced in all areas and democracy needs to be promoted in all the forms that are available.

Article III. Object

  1. To run candidates for election at the federal level;
  2. To change the political conversation in Canada;
  3. To support the translation of social movements into coherent demands;
  4. To support transpartisan and international solutions to the crises that face humankind;
  5. To support evidence based policy, the scientific method, and technology;
  6. To always experiment, encourage spontaneity, and never stop trying to fix our inherited problems;
  7. To facilitate the spread of fun, food, and friendship;
  8. To support the spread of the hacker ethic;
  9. To change the world.

Article IV. Membership

  1. Membership of the Party shall be limited to those natural persons who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and are at least fourteen years of age.
  2. Party members are invited to be members of more than one political party at a time because we are a transpartisan movement.
  3. Membership fees are at the discretion of Party Leadership, but should never contradict growing the party.
  4. Non-members are encouraged to help members build a better world.
  5. Any recorded meeting of at least three party members is considered an official meeting.

IV.2 Membership Hierarchy

Membership hierarchy should be understood as follows:

  1. Passive supporters, the largest group, are our path to electoral victory and are the base of our considerations.
  2. Party Members vote on leadership and attend meetings at their leisure.
  3. Party Activists are members that take initiatives alongside the party leadership.
  4. Party Leaders are the scaffolding of the party, that keep the party's logistics fluid.
  5. The Triumvirate (See IV.3) work together as the core leadership body of the party.
  6. Former Leaders are often required to help fill the gaps in logistics with the fund, paperwork, etc. They are respected for their continued contributions. Even when they step away, we know they'll be back.

Article V. Party Leadership

  1. Party leaders are responsible to facilitate the filing of Elections Canada paperwork.
  2. Party leaders are responsible to run candidates for office and grow the party.
  3. Party leaders are responsible to facilitate local meetings where they live.
  4. An elected party leader is by default given the title of "[their city/town/region] Co-leader"

V.2 General Leadership Elections

  1. Leadership elections should be an all-party vote with pseudonymous or anonymous ballots.
  2. Leadership elections should be as non-competitive as possible and does not seek to turn away volunteers.
  3. Leadership elections should be done on an approval voting system. New leadership candidates should be elected if they recieve more than 60% approval.
  4. Elected Party Leadership can remain on council indefinitely unless their approval dips below 33%.
  5. Party Leadership can call a vote to bring on additional party leadership at any time.
  6. Party Leadership re-elections must happen at least once a year.

V.3 Leadership Triumvirate

  1. The heads of Party Leadership are called: "Leader", "President", and "Swarm Co-ordinator".
  2. By default, the three leaders share responsibility for the vision and direction of the party.
  3. The "Leader" speaks and represents the party.
  4. The "President" manages internal party affairs.
  5. The "Swarm Co-ordinator" supports the countrywide regional leaderships.
  6. The Triumvirate may share duties as they see fit.
  7. The Triumvirate endorses a platform at the time of election.

V.4 Constitution Votes

  1. When the constitution is being amended or re-interpreted, it is voted on by all elected leaders.
  2. All-Leader votes are public ballots.

V.5 The Three Pirate Rule

  1. If three members of Party Leadership agree upon a policy or course of action, they are allowed to pursue it in the party's name. They are responsible for their own actions. They should offer others the opportunity to help, but not ask for permission. (IX.3)
  2. Initiatives are good. Initiatives that fail are learning experiences that should be recorded. Initiatives that succeed should be replicated when possible. We are experimenting and improvising as we go.

Article VI. Candidates for Election

  1. Candidates for election are selected by Party Leadership.
  2. Candidates must show a dedication to Pirate Party values and culture.
  3. Candidates should be committed, credible, and charismatic.
  4. Preference is given to candidates who build up popular support in their riding and who drive membership growth.
  5. In the event of multiple candidates competing for a riding, they should be selected based on their local popularity and the size of their support base.

VI.2 Candidate Autonomy

  1. Pirate Party Candidates are given full autonomy in Parliament and are responsible for their own actions.
  2. Any Member of Parliament is only as good as their team; no candidate runs alone.
  3. Pirate Party members and activists should consider themselves part of the team of any Pirate MP.

VI.3 Transpartisanism

  1. The Pirate Party is a coalition between many interest groups, including Liberals, Conservatives, Humanists, Libertarians, Socialists, Geoists, Feminists, and Anarchists.
  2. Healthy disagreements are encouraged within the Pirate Party and no artificial consensus will be enforced.
  3. Each candidate is free to accept the Triumvirate's platform (V.3.6), or modify it.
  4. Pirate Party candidates may be elected on different platforms in different regions.
  5. Pirate Party MPs will meet regularly to work on shared projects related to Pirate values.
  6. Pirates reject the principle of forcing someone to vote against their will; no votes will be whipped.

Article VII. Party Infrastructure

  1. There should at all times be a marketplace of participatory mechanisms for the Pirate Party.
  2. Pirates meet across a variety of experimental platforms; new experimental meeting styles and platforms are encouraged.
  3. Party infrastructure that is no longer serving its purpose should be retired or re-imagined.
  4. Meeting structures that no longer serve their purpose should be retired or re-imagined.

Article VIII. Fundraising

  1. The Pirate Party has a guarantee to its donors to never waste money.
  2. Projects that can be done on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis outside the Pirate Party should remain outside the Pirate Party to save funds.
  3. Projects and campaigns should strive to have zero-budget or near-zero-budget campaigns.

Article IX. Co-Leadership

  1. We are co-leaders.
  2. We are all both learners and teachers.
  3. We trust one another; no one is below us.
  4. We lead by doing; Pirates model actions they would like to see replicated.
  5. If you see something you don't like, contribute with something you do.
  6. If mistakes are made, do not blame others; we all learn from shared mistakes.
  7. Our job as co-leaders is to build one another up and reach our full potential.
  8. In the events of conflict, we de-escalate.

IX.2 Bureaucracy

  1. Internal party rules should be evaluated based their effectiveness in achieving their desired end goal.
  2. The Pirate Party is committed to being effective, accountable, and anti-violence.
  3. Good leaders prevent internal gridlock and promote initiatives.
  4. Transparency is key for success and growth; Pirates work in public.