[pp.int.general] Amendment proposals

Boris Turovskiy tourovski at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 05:41:03 CET 2011

Hi Andrew,
I do not have formal problems with your proposed amendments, but I do
have issues with the ideas.

> (4) Member Organizations are represented at any meeting of the
> General Assembly by a delegate or delegates not exceeding two from
> any one Member Organization.
> *This is changed from six to two. Six gives extraordinary weight to
> parties local to the event's location (especially those representing the
> host country), who can steer the actions to methods more preferential to
> them, rather than to the organisation and movement as a whole. An
> international body should represent the whole membership, not be biased
> by the local groups.
The rule in place is one country - one vote, just for the reasons you
name. Thus, the number of delegates is by itself not really relevant to
any decision-making.

> (8) The location of the General shall be held in preference in a country
> that has not hosted before. In addition, no more that two consecutive
> General Assembly's may be held on the same continent.
> * This codifies what has been the general rule for these events back to
> 2007, when the first one was held. The second part also ensures that it
> does NOT remain held in Europe, or indeed any other continent should
> another regional group control the board. In other words, it reaffirms
> the internationalism of a group that deems itself 'international'.
Now if we're talking about fairness here, please keep in mind that we
have some 30 Pirate Parties in Europe as opposed to 10 in America (N&S)
and a handful on the other continents.
Also, we shouldn't bar for ourselves the possibilities to seize
opportunities which provide funding (like the EU refund offered by
Brussels last year).
Thus, I wouldn't codify rulings on the GA location in the statutes; we
should, however, be working on providing better opportunities for remote

> (1) To that end, any and all positions in member organizations (except
> for that of 'ordinary member') must be terminated before taking office
> * This is just plain self-evident. An officer of PPI can not represent
> PPI _and_ a member party. The potential for conflicts of interest are
> too high. (for a real life example, look at Ban Ki-Moon, who resigned
> his post in the South Korean Govt. after being elected UN Sectary General.
We've had this discussion already. I oppose the amendment for two reasons:
- Technically, there are just not that many Pirates who have the wish
and the time for active participation (which, in turn, is a prerequisite
for some position in a national party or the PPI). The amendment would
simply mean that we further limit the possible candidatures for PPI
positions, and it's not like we have an onslaught of candidates as it is.
- Ideologically, your argumentation about "conflict of interest" is
honed at the PPI being a political entity by itself, which it explicitly
is not, but rather a service-providing coordination platform. It does
not have any binding powers over the national parties, and it doesn't
(or, at least, shouldn't have) any "positions" of its own which are not
defined by the member parties. Thus, the "conflict of interest" idea
does not apply at all. However, should we introduce the proposed
arbitration court whose function is to impose sanctions, I would
advocate that such a provision is indeed included.
Finally, if the participants of the General Assembly feel that somebody
is not fit for office they can just elect someone else, no need for a
statute change:)

> (7) The meetings are public unless one third of the members of the
> Board vote in favor of a non-public meeting. The decision to hold a
> secret meeting must be motivated. Minutes of public meetings have
> to be published, in written form, not less than two weeks after the
> meeting. The Board has to inform the General Assembly on its next
> meeting on the fact of non-public meetings.
> * While voice chats seem to be the rage, the problem is they're not very
> good as records. We have one audio file for the meeting, consisting of
> voices which may be muffled, and comprise people that are often speaking
> English as a second language. It's INCREDIBLY difficult to understand
> for some people. It's also not searchable/indexable. Finally, it's quite
> discriminative against the deaf. Thus a written log. It's much easier to
> see what happens, to follow the conversation, to accurately quote the
> actions of the board. It's also just good practice for access for the
> handicapped. Really, this is a no-brainer.
Do you mean "no more than two weeks after the meeting"?:)
Basically, I follow your argumentation, but the question arises what
minutes are, as it is already the case that abstracts with a list of all
major decisions are published. If you mean verbatim transcriptions, it's
quite difficult to find people who are able to actually write such
minutes (in a quality that allows for "following the conversation").
Besides, the voice recording would still be required for checking
whether some statement is correct. Finally, that is a point defined by
the Board's rules of procedure, not by the statutes - the statutes
should only require for the accountability to be possible in theory (as
they do now).

> (9) Board members may be removed by a special vote of no confidence by
> the General Assembly members. Said vote requires 72 hours notice. The
> vote will be open to all member organizations, one vote per
> organization, and the results will be published on the . Should the vote
> pass by 50%+1, the Board member will be removed from the position
> immediately, and be prohibited from running for election to the board
> for a period of 12 months.
> * For a political movement where so many members have 'accountability'
> as a key principle, or underlying message, there is a clear and obvious
> lack of any sort of accountability for the board. At present, the _only_
> way to remove a board member is to hold a general assembly meeting
> (either the regular one, or an emergency one) which requires a 5 week
> lead-time. That's a long time to leave someone who is thought to be
> acting 'badly' in place, PLUS it requires the entire board to be
> re-elected. The barrier is also higher than the extrodinary meeting
> route, as reflects the abbreviated timescale.
- Do you really mean "all member organizations" as opposed to "ordinary
- What is the time-scale and the quorum of the vote? If the entire vote
is to be held inside 72 hours, and the majority required be relative
(50%+1 of the organization participating), that would make it easy to
launch a campaign and be over with it with the majority of the members
not even realizing what's going on. Moreover, as members are
democratically organized they cannot just vote as soon as they get the
notice but need to consult.
I do, however, support the notion itself, as long as it includes (1)
notification requirements - every member entitled to vote is to be
notified of a pending vote, (2) an absolute majority of the members to
pass, (3) a time scale reasonably allowing each member to make an
informed democratic decision, (4) an arbitration procedure allowing to
check the validity of the vote for both parties and (5) a replacement
ruling  - should the election runner-up take the place of the departed
Board member or should it remain vacant?
If we find a solution to (1)-(4), we can also take up a provision on
statutes amendments and other decision-making between GA meetings, as it
is the framework for remote voting:)

> (2) The Treasurer supervises the Pirate Parties International budget and
> reports to the Board, and the representatives of the General Assembly
> every three months.
> * This just adds in the mater of informing the GA of the budget, as it
> is, after all, them that are contributing.
Agreed on that one.

> Most of my suggestions are fairly clear, and are nothing more than
> applying Pirate Party principles, to the structure of PPI. In effect,
> showing that we will work by the rules and ideals we champion.
As I said before, you're too much taken in with the idea that the PPI is
some sort of "Global Pirate Party" and should therefore adhere to the
same principles the parties themselves do. That is not the case.

Best regards,

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