As the Pirate Party UK celebrates its 6th Birthday this week, it's an opportunity to both look back at what we've achieved as a party, and what we can strive towards over the next 6 years.
In some ways, we've achieved a fair amount simply by still existing - the majority of brand new political parties fold again within the first 5 years. We can be proud too of the many things where we have been at the forefront of campaigning - the Digital Economy Act, DRIPA and the Snoopers Charter, Copyright Reform, Internet Filtering, Democratic Reform and many others.
Over the next 6 years we should be looking to build rapidly on this solid base. We should be focused on building the Pirate name and the Pirate brand across the country and across elections. Having looked at those parties in the UK which have been successful recently (UKIP and the Green Party) what can we hope for in terms of electoral representation over the next 6 years?
Well there are never clean and clear comparisons - when you look at the Green Party do you consider their predecessors (Ecology Party, and before that the short-lived PEOPLE Party)? Equally, when looking at UKIP do you include the performance of James Goldsmith's Referendum Party and the 500 odd seats that they stood in in 1997? Taking the various factors into consideration, I would suggest that we should be aiming for the following (or better!) in 6 years time:
- Having at least 1 European MEP (2019 Elections)
- Having at least 1 Member of the London Assembly (2020 Elections)
- Having at least 1 Member of the Welsh Assembly (2021 Elections)
- Having at least 1 Member of the Scottish Parliament (2021 Elections)
- Having multiple elected local councillors
- Having a large enough profile to be listed as a separate party in Opinion Polls, rather than just included in 'Other'.
By way of comparison, UKIP achieved their first European MEP 8 years after they were founded - in the Elections that could be considered 'tailor-made' for them. The Green Party only got regularly included in Opinion Polls within the last 5 years, having been founded in the 1970's. Overall, I would consider the above to be feasible, but challenging.
So how do we get from here to there? Well we need help - your help.
We need people to stand as candidates in all sorts of elections - so that people start to see and recognise us as a Party. We need funds - unlike the major parties we don't have corporate donors or trade union money behind us. And we need support - we need people to know us, like us, and vote for us!
So please - as a Birthday present - support our Crowdfunder or get in touch to volunteer!