August 25th, 2021 IRC Meeting

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Review

Decisions/Endorsements

Platform

Planks: https://github.com/masspirates/planks

Working on Elections and Voting plank: https://etherpad.pp-international.net/p/ElectionsAndVoting

Projects

Legislation

Outreach

Leader: Malt

  • Setup local video meetups by region with people who said they were interested in organizing a local chapter
  • Organize candidate trainings

Video Newsletter/Podcast

Leader: Joseph

  • Pirate news recording scheduled for Sundays, 7pm with go-live at 7:30pm. Unless changed

Trans Advocacy Telethon

Other To Do

  • Application to PPI

Upcoming On-line Events

Participants

  • jokeefe (James O’Keefe, Somerville)
  • srevilak (Steve Revilak, Arlington)
  • Joe

Observers

  • davidd
  • hvxgr
  • slerman

Summary

Platform

 
1) Push power and decisions to the people
Massachusetts concentrates legislative power in the House and Senate. Cities and towns are ceded minimal power by the state, with county governments exercising even less. The Pirate Party will devolve power down to counties and municipalities. With new power and responsibilities, county and local governments must be democratized. Local control must not mean that residents can push on to other communities policies they perceive as a negative cost. Nor should they be able to establish local laws that maximize private property values at the expense of other residents.  Cities and towns are part of a regional fabric, and must be encouraged to function as such.

2) Reenvisioning democracy
We will explore unconventional decision making methods, including citizens assemblies, larger legislative bodies, shorter terms of office, term limits and election by lot. These changes will help end the stranglehold Boston has on leadership of the state house.

2) We Get Who We Deserve 
Democracy can only function as long as people participate and have faith in the government they elected. The nomination, vetting, and election of candidates must be an open process free of establishment manipulation. This can only be achieved by the universal adoption of Ranked-Choice Voting and proportional representation. Two-party control must be abolished!

3) Ending the money primary
Who we can elect is limited by the money primary, and party bosses have traditionally worked to limit the set of candidates in order to prevent any challenges to their power, and the supremacy of hegemonic capitalism. Public financing of elections is the only solution.  It will greatly weaken two-party control, as access to donors and fundraisers is the primary method by which the party shepherds its flock. We have seen how far establishment candidates have gone in order to thwart progressive challengers, and in order to win progress we must wrestle control of elections from the 1%. 

Furthermore, anything that reduces the amount of election-year advertising is inarguably good for our national mental health. 

4) Gatekeeping Is Inherently Racist
In a country where poverty has been made synonymous with non-whiteness, any barriers to full participation in the election system will disproportionately disenfranchise Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The US was founded on a cry of "No Taxation Without Representation," but we deny non-citizens the opportunity to vote, and disenfranchise citizens of limited means and citizens of color via long lines to vote or voter id laws that are thinly veiled poll taxes. All residents pay taxes, whether directly or indirectly and they deserve to participate in decisions that affect their lives.

Voter fraud is a rare event that is more often due to voter confusion than any malicious intent by a voter. Bogus claims that voter fraud occurs frequently are used to justify draconian voter ID laws that only make it more difficult for people of limited means to vote. Universal vote by mail and same-day registration must be the default approach to voting. Furthermore, national, state and local elections, including town meetings, should be official holidays, in order to allow workers time to vote and participate in government.

5) Abolish the Senate & Establish Ranked Choice Voting
The Senate is an anti-democratic holdover from slave owning states meant to level the power of southern plantation owners against the populated cities of the north. Electoral power should not be ceded to wealthy landowners. Until the Pirate Party is able to abolish the Senate, we will ensure that all Senators are elected by ranked choice voting (RCV). We will also use RCV for all elections that must elect one office holder.  We must stop letting capital gerrymander a supermajorities that serve its purpose.

The Pirate Party will eliminate single member districts for the election of other offices, whether US House, the Massachusetts General Court, new county legislators or even offices in cities and towns. We will instead elect such offices via proportional representation in at-large or multi-member districts. 

Ranked Choice Voting allows America to express a more nuanced political will, compared to the red/blue dichotomy that exists now. RCV must become the default method elections are judged by. The two-party system cannot be allowed to continue their poisonous rule.

6) Rejecting the Big Lie
In every country where socialist upstarts win political power, Capital undermines their administration by baselessly claiming voter fraud. Consensus is then consolidated around fraudulent evidence and the results are overturned thanks to interference from American non-governmental organizations. This same tactic has now been deployed against even moderate Democrats in America itself. The Pirate Party soundly rejects all attempts to silence the voice of the people.

  

Minutes

 
21:08 <@jokeefe> Agenda:
       https://masspirates.org/wiki/August_25th,_2021_IRC_Meeting
21:08 <@jokeefe> ids
21:08 <@jokeefe> Anything to add?
21:08 <@jokeefe> James O’Keefe, Somerville
21:08 < srevilak> Steve Revilak, Arlington
21:09 <@jokeefe> Platform
21:09 <@jokeefe>
       https://etherpad.pp-international.net/p/ElectionsAndVoting
21:10 <@jokeefe> I added we will consider term limits
21:11 <@jokeefe> but hasn’t changed from last meeting
21:12 <@jokeefe> Malt is on the way
21:15 <@jokeefe> any edits?
21:15 < srevilak> Only a few minor ones so far
21:17 < srevilak> Hi Joe
21:17 < Joe> Ahoy
21:17 < srevilak>
       https://etherpad.pp-international.net/p/ElectionsAndVoting
21:17 < Joe> Sorry for late
21:17 <@jokeefe> ahoy
21:18 <@jokeefe> doing the final edits on the Elections and Voting plank
21:18 <@jokeefe> hope to sign off on it tonight
21:18 <@jokeefe> Malt is on his way
21:18 < srevilak> What is the Stranglehold that Boston has on the state?
21:19 < srevilak> (This is in reference to the end of line 5)
21:20 <@jokeefe> Lots of House leaders are from Boston
21:23 <@jokeefe> Expect Malt wrote that. Could reword.
21:25 <@jokeefe> other thoughts?
21:28 < Joe> Sorry, I don't have much to add atm.
21:29 <@jokeefe> Any more edits or is it good enough?
21:30 < srevilak> That's all I have for now.
21:31 < srevilak> Would be good to do one more pass when Malt is around,
       since he contributed quite a bit to the previous draft
21:33 <@jokeefe> Are we comfortable approving it as is and if Malt has
       any more edits we can review next meeting? We can hold off on announcing
       it till then as well.
21:33 < Joe> I am
21:34 < srevilak> If we're going to hold off on announcement, I'd be
       inclined to hold off on approval
21:35 <@jokeefe> Most of the edits are Malt’s ;-)
21:35 <@jokeefe> Many at least
21:36 < Joe> I will be able to review this better tomorrow.
21:38 <@jokeefe> Can we settle this over email then? We have been editing
       this plank for awhile and it would be good to finish it.
21:38 < srevilak> Having read it through one more time, I think it's okay
21:39 <@jokeefe> Joe?
21:40 < Joe> I am still out in the field atm. If we are done then I am
       prepared to move on.
21:41 <@jokeefe> Sign off or finish over email?
21:41 < srevilak> I'm okay with signing off
21:42 <@jokeefe> Talked with Malt. He is ok with the plank as written.
21:42 <@jokeefe> Joe?
21:44 <@jokeefe> I am fine with it as it is.
21:44 <@jokeefe> Going with Joe’s earlier comment to:
21:45 <@jokeefe> jokeefe: Are we comfortable approving it as is and if
       Malt has any more edits we can review next meeting? We can hold off on
       announcing it till then as well.
21:45 <@jokeefe> [9:33pm] Joe: I am
21:45 <@jokeefe> Plank passes. Should there need to be edits, we can
       review next time.
21:45 < srevilak> Works for me
21:45 <@jokeefe> Pirate News Sunday?
21:46 < srevilak> Yes, will be there
21:47 <@jokeefe> Ok. Will schedule.
21:49 <@jokeefe> Restart pirate moots in September?
21:50 < srevilak> I'll abstain, since I haven't had time to participate
       in them
21:50 <@jokeefe> We should finish mapping the Seaport
21:52 <@jokeefe> Can schedule on the democracy list
21:53 <@jokeefe> That’s all I have
21:54 < srevilak> Seaport would be fun
21:54 < srevilak> motion to adjourn?
21:54 <@jokeefe> 2nd
21:54 <@jokeefe> all in favor?
21:54 < srevilak> will post transcript
21:54 <@jokeefe> thanks