[pp.int.general] A PPI Announcement

Andrew Norton andrew.norton at pirate-party.us
Fri Jul 10 00:24:14 CEST 2009

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Ok, time for more of a personal announcement. I'm stepping down from
PPI, and indeed all pirate party positions, as of the end of the month.

Part of the reason is that after 3 years of work, I feel a bit 'burnt
out'. It's been 3 years of work, learning laws, and languages, and
getting to know many of you. The problem is though, that despite my best
efforts, one of the main goals of PPI - to improve communication between
parties - has not been met. Over the past year especially, I've lost
count of the number of times I've had a request for comment, or a
journalist phone me, and ask my positions on something, and not know
what they're talking about, even after checking my email. When I have to
go hunting through news sites to find out information, thats not good
communication. As a movement that has garnered global interest, we must
be able to effectively use the media to our advantage.

To many of you, this won't be a big shock, as I have talked to most of
you that needed to know (mainly party heads/boards, and if you're one of
those and didn't know, re-read the previous paragraph again and wonder why))

The big problem though is the lack of tools. Part of what I see as the
function of PPI is to help get new parties started, such as in Canada
and the UK. however, I'm limited by the amount of help I can provide.
There is only one of me, and I'm limited to what I can do, to the tools
I can create myself. That's not so bad when it's a culture or country I
can understand, but when I'm having to learn a language as well (as with
Brazil) I have a lot less time tos pend actually helping. Heck, it took
more than 2 months to get my access level on the PPI site so I could
create any content, and I usually just don't have any time to do that.

In the end, a lot comes down to this list, and even then it's misused. I
just checked, and there's over 200 subscribers to this list. Who are all
these people, and why do so very few participate? Worse, some that do
participate are often more concerned with correcting terms to be
'ideologically pure' rather than addressing the content of them and
involving in a productive discourse - acting as a zampolit in essence -
we all know just how well those people actually inspired and assisted
the people they claimed to be helping.

So, one of the things I'm doing now, is asking if there are any
volunteers for the job. More importantly, I'm asking all current parties
to pledge to support whoever succeeds me and give PPI the support it
needs, so it can give the support the parties need right back. No more
leaving a consultation response until the day of the deadline for 3-4
people to write; no more press statements on behalf of us all, that most
didn't even know about; and most importantly, no more assuming that
because you've got a piece of paper saying you've got a degree, or some
relevant job experience, that you know everything about that subject
than anyone else - the people in power now have more experience
singularly than all of us combined, and by that logic we shouldn't even

By the same token, at the end of the month, this email address will no
longer be valid. That's why I gave my personal one - ktetch at gmail.com in
my democracy research email the other day. I know one person asked me
why, and the answer was simple - this is a job. If it's a job I no
longer have, I don't get to keep it. You don't get to keep your email,
or cellphone(mobile/handy) number that were provided by a job, this is
no different. Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments that I've had
over the past year, is seeing how many party officers around the world
have not considered it a job, albeit an unpaid one. That is what it is
though, and it's one I no longer have the personal strength to continue
with at present.

I will still be around though. I'll be continuing on my work as a P2P
researcher, and working with some of the news sites. I'll still be
writing my studies (indeed my inspiration for the democracy one came
after I'd decided this) so I will doubtless still communicate with many
of you.

However, when I listen back to the recordings made 2 years ago, in
Vienna, I realise just how little of what was decided was done. The
quick, easy short-term stuff was done, certainly. The more complex, more
involved, or just plain old more effective things though, did not. A
month ago, we had a victory in the European elections, but just think
how much greater it might have been, had we communicated better, and
worked more effectively.

Regardless, I hope this email gives you food for thought.


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