[pp.int.general] Our ideology

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Thu Jul 30 08:55:52 CEST 2009

> I would like to propose a small widening of the scope of the Pirate
> Parties right here and right now. I propose that, in time, we take
> openness and transparency of government and governance as part of our
> explicit core ideology. I believe that it already is part of our common
> thinking.

Of course, PP should favour a proper functioning democratic system, and one 
of its reasons for existence is that thus far democratic bodies 
(parliaments) have paid little attention to "information law" issues: 
intellectual property, privacy. So this field was dominated by (corporate) 
lobbyists. The presence of PP by itself in parliaments can change that.

But I don't think that PP should become another party advocating state 
reform. For several reasons:
1. In NL we have a party (D66, left-wing liberals = right-wing greens) who 
focussed on state reform (referenda, elected mayors etc.) At some point in 
time they were very successful, but more recetly they shifted to other thems 
(such as privacy!) because the voters were hardly interested at all in state 
reform themes. Experiments with mayor elections were consistently 
disappointing, with a turn-out usually below 30%. (Part of the explanation 
is the role of the mayor in the Dutch system - which is very different from 
other countries).
2. The situation is very different in different countries. My country 
appears to be the exception that one can get a seat in in the 150 seat 
parliament with 1/150 of the votes or the voters. No thresshold. The result 
is a mess that explains why the Germans after the disaster of the Weimar 
Republik introduced a 5% threshhold. Our polictics are presently dominated 
by very volatile voters, and consistently about 20% is inclined to vote for 
(varying groups of) far right-wing populists. While there is basically a 
freedom of political views, Wilders' movenment in The Netherlands apparently 
strives at destabilising the system. Which reminds of Germany in the 1930s. 
"Power to the people" also supports such political hooligans. Wilders is not 
stupid, he is a smart potential dictator.
In many countries the Constitution is a living thing (e.g. DE). In NL it 
stems from 1848, and its prime purpose was to regulate the positing of the 
king (NL always was a republic and became a Kingdom in 1815 after the Vienna 
Congress). Which led to the crazy situation that the Queen and her family 
don't enjoy freedom of speech: the prime minister is politically responsible 
for what they say. When Princiess Máxima said that there is no single 
"Ducth" culture, the prime minister was blamed by right-wing politicians who 
advocate that the Dutch culture must be preserved against "islamisation".
3. There are no straightforward solutions. Referenda are not the solution to 
all problems. Every political scientist knows that there are reasons for 
maintaining the present system of indirect democracy, even if (internet) 
technology would enable a daily vote of all citizens. Leaders are 


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