Gavman wrote:As these questions were asked of another candidate I would be curious to see the response from all other candidates to the following questions:
1. What level of autonomy should regions of the Pirate Party have? (I'm thinking particularly here of Scotland, but the same issues apply to other parts of the UK with devolved administrations -- Wales, London, and Northern Ireland.)
I believe that the Party, if/when we have enough members to make it feasible, should be divided in such a way that each devolved administration (and England) should be able to form its own regional/local policies based on regional/local issues. I don't believe this should be kept outside the oversight of the party as a whole, but it makes somewhat more sense to have any regional policies we end up having created by those living in the regions it will effect
2. Regarding Scotland, if there is a devolved party, should there be a Scottish leader?
I wouldn't be hostile towards having a Scottish leader, but I don't see it as entirely necessary
3. What about policies/manifestos for Scottish elections; should they be decided by the Scottish Party or the whole of PPUK?
Regional policies would be decided by the Scottish Party, with the approval of the PPUK as a whole. Core and national policy would remain part of PPUK.
4. Regarding our manifesto, the constitution says (2.1): "The principal aim of the Party is that the United Kingdom reforms its copyright and patent and privacy laws in a manner consistent with the opinions of the Party’s members." In your opinion, does this preclude us having policies outside these areas?
No, although I must admit it is clumsily worded. I'd think of something better, but my brain hasn't fully woken up yet.
5. Does this part of the constitution need changing? If so, what to?
Yes, as above. Currently not sure what to though. I'll keep this one in mind.
6. Should PPUK have policies outside our core policies?
Absolutely. I believe regional policies in particular (providing they are within the spirit of the PPUK and the wishes of the members) have a better chance of gaining us some electoral success than national or core policy.
At the moment, arguing on core policy alone makes us look like a single-issue fringe party. From my own discussions with other members that's certainly not the case. Whilst there are many things we may disagree on, there are also many things outside of the core policy that we can agree on and if it's relevant to the electorate there's a powerful case for making it part of the Party's policy.
But, as a caveat, I would say that this point, as well as the past couple of points are based on a very limited knowledge of the party's current internal workings, so I'm not really fixed on any of these views yet.
7. What other constitutional changes, if any, would you like to see?
At the moment most of my suggestions would be largely cosmetic. If I ever get in a proper discussion with someone about the constitution I'm sure a few ideas will come out though.
One glaring omission I seem to have spotted however is a total lack of any mention of policy in the constitution. I'm not sure whether this is intentional or not, but I would have thought a key part of the constitution is to lay out who actually has responsibility of saying "we support x,y,z and we're against a,b,c". Another board candidate raised issue with 2.1, which I believe would be remedied by filling this area out more clearly. There's also no explanation of the boundaries of either the NEC's or the Board's remit (although in the Board's case this is seemingly currently intentional) which I'd also see as being somewhat problematic for the Party constitution.
EDIT: I forgot to add this, but I also have issues with 7.1. It seems a bit off that the NEC can simply dump all of our assets on a random charity. I think the charity we offload on to must fit with our core policies for starters. There's also the issue of handling assets that were bought from the Pirate Party's coffers but would be of no or little value to any charity. Basically, that section could do with being a bit more specific as to which charities the NEC can give to, and how to deal with non-monetary assets.
8. According to the constitution (8.3 [ed. now 8.7]): "The Board may have other governance responsibilities which are as yet undefined in this constitution." what other responsibilities do you think the board should have?
Given that there are few governance responsibilities outlined in the constitution in the first place I'm not really sure what to suggest. Compounded by the fact I'm still not entirely sure what the party currently expects the Board to do. The Board CoP (as provided by scuzzmonkey earlier) suggests that the Board is involved in constitution amendments and discipline and arbitration. I'd like to see more of a defined policy role for the Board and a better definition of what exactly the Board is to the party.