#VotePirate

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.

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.