Local Elections

Garry Kitchin : Why Pirate Party UK members should stand in the 2018 Local Elections

This year there will be local elections electing over 4,000 Councillors. This article will argue that the Pirate Pirate UK should fully contest them.

Why should I stand as a Pirate Candidate in my local area?

Elections can very hard for small political parties. They can cost a lot of money, and stretch a small membership to breaking point. History would point to very little success for all this effort. So why do it?

Smaller political parties suffer greatly from a lack of recognition among the general public. This is true of the Pirate Party UK too. Those who follow politics closely have probably heard of the party, but would struggle to know its key messages. Amongst the much larger group of voters, who only switch on politically for a few weeks before an election, I suspect the name of the Pirate Party doesn't even register. The only way to improve this is to get out ourselves and spread the message. No-one else will do this, so if we won't do it, no-one will.

This short period of voter's attention is key. Every candidate that stands for the Pirate Party is another name and logo on every single ballot paper in that area. When people see Pirate candidates alongside Labour, Conservative and the Lib Dems, it sends a message that we have arrived and that a genuine alternative, not just another colour to pick from, is ready.

During a local election campaign it is very common for local papers to approach candidates for perhaps a 100-200 words statement that is printed or published online before the election day. Some areas arrange a hustings, where candidates can attend and speak to people in the community. Each of these should be organised so that every candidate gets equal time and status.

Local Elections 2018

Monday, 1 January, 2018 - 15:15

Dear Pirate Party Member,

I am writing to all members as the Nominations Officer for Pirate Party UK.

As some of you may be aware, there are local elections due to be held on Thursday 3rd May 2018. These are taking place all over the country with around 4,000 council seats up for grabs. Here are the local authorities where elections will take place.

Pirate Party UK Hits New Record at the Ballot Boxes

Saturday, 6 May, 2017 - 13:15

The Pirate Party UK stood three candidates across five elections in this week's local elections and the results were announced yesterday. The party hit a new all-time high, averaging 3.77% for higher councils and 9.65% for lower councils.

Pirate Party UK Acting Leader and Lead Candidate, David Elston, said:

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks

David Elston's picture

It’s often tempting to find a flaw in the opposition’s campaign and exploit it. When it comes to party policy, it’s our duty and job to certainly point out the problems and more importantly, offer an alternative.

...but sometimes without a particularly good reason, campaigns can turn sour and personal. I’m really glad we haven’t seen this here, in St Athan. I’ve been careful to run a positive campaign and my only criticisms about other parties were factual or empirical. The candidates themselves are all local campaigners and while we may not agree – there is simply nothing to gain by making things personal, getting nasty and over all a little respect can go a long way.

There’s nothing particularly easy about running a local election campaign. You may struggle between your own ideals and the evidence, it takes a lot of energy to make sure your message is received in the way it is intended and least of all your feet definitely get sore from all that walking.

Tomorrow is not another day, tomorrow is the day.

David Elston's picture

We have made a strong case in the local elections this year. Candidates running up and down their communities dropping leaflets and speaking to neighbours all while making a few new friends.

Some we have met have been completely unsure on who to vote for, others know they want a definite change but don't know who to trust. One thing remains clear, that an independently minded Pirate providing a positive alternative is needed more than ever.

Tomorrow your votes will decide how strong a mandate we will have in the communities we feel most connected. Tomorrow your voice can be heard and all it takes is one stubby pencil.

Issues ranging from education budgets, to public access to knowledge in libraries, allowing social development in areas of play and keeping our communities safe from anti-social behaviour and dangerous roads have been brought up online, on the door step and in the street.

Pirates build their policies from the ground up. You decide what the priorities are and we represent that to the council, not a top-down, predetermined policy set that doesn't really sit right with you.

Local Press Release: Local Charity Trustee and Pirate running for St Athan County Council seat

David Elston's picture

David Elston, a trustee of SAINTS - St Athan Parks Charity and active campaigner for Road & Neighbourhood Safety has decided to throw his hat into the ring and stand for election to the St Athan ward on the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

David, who was co-opted onto St Athan's Community Council on St David's Day last year is also standing for election back on to the Community Council. "I really was honoured to be appointed to represent my Flemingston & Eglwys Brewis ward," said David, "...but I think it is crucially important to be endorsed by the electorate. I hope that people will recognise what I have been able to do for the local community in the 13 months I have been on the Community Council and will return me to continue the work we've all started.

"At the same time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to stand for the St Athan ward on the Vale of Glamorgan Council - in the place where I feel most welcomed into the community. I have the time and energy to commit to this role, and I think my record of serving the St Athan district shows that I care about results."

Local Elections Leaders Update

David Elston's picture

While we congratulate our Finnish friends of Piraattipuolue on successfully getting not one but two Pirates elected in the municipal elections, one in Helsinki and one in Jyväskylä we remain hopeful that our local communities here will vote for the new, open and trust-restoring politics that Pirates can offer.

In the last election cycle we were heavily focused on the disastrous IP Act and DE Bill that the Conservatives were pushing into law, helped by Labour. We saw Pirates campaign nationally to bring awareness to this injustice and publish information on how to protect ourselves from these invasive and disproportionate new powers.

Final Call for Local Election Candidates

Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 - 20:15

Hey all,

Across the UK local elections will soon be taking place. If you've ever considered a future in politics, this is the perfect place to start and flex your muscles.

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