Online voting? German Pirates want it, but...

After a fast and hard fall from the heights the German Pirates are up and running again and their preferences grow up. They focus their forces now on hard-working preparations for the elections instead of internal disputes and feel motivated #ichbinmotiviert. And it pays off - the last Bundesparteitag was a success, commented as outstandingly productive as most local media stated.

There were though some reasons of the previous fall and one of them was actually the inflexibility of the modern party. Because the German Pirates, as all Pirates around the globe put much emphasis on direct democracy and at the same time their general assemblies take place only twice a year, it was virtually impossible for their leaders to take any position in reaction on current events, if nothing connected was approved by all the members. piratesee-636x310

You can imagine that it hurts your PR, when you keep saying into cameras "Sorry, we don't have an official position on this." Any opinion is better then just plain "I don't know."

So this very weekend the pirates gathered not only to agree upon more than 800 pages of proposals, but also to vote, which kind of online voting they would like to have. To put you into the image - the party has currently around 34 000 members! Seriously, guys, you'd need a stadium for such a GA! The event was actually attended just by "mere" 2000 people. Even so, it stays the largest general assembly organized by any party in Germany. And that's because direct democracy. But how can be it so much direct, when only a small portion of members can take part?

And that's it - we got now to the two main reasons to establish online votings: flexibility and allowing participation to all the party members - comfortably and cheap. Keeping up with 21st century, some might add. But on the other hand there stand many concerns - obviously - electronic voting can be tempered with and how can you find out then, what were the real votes? On the topic, I recommend you to watch this document shot for HBO, which features activists in the US fighting against insecure election system - which was closed-source and even the autorithies were not allowed to look into the source code, because of the "trade secret"!

But let's get back to Germany... there were actually many propositions at this huge gathering of Pirates, some of which offered voting, which was transparent, but on the other hand the voter lost their right of secret vote. Some proposed continuous voting system, where the party could react pretty fast, but if you think about it for a moment - that would keep all the party members in a constant stress. Because then you never know, whether something important comes up and so that you must pretty often check the voting system or keep some kind of voting calendar.

To be continued... tomorrow I will unfold, how online voting actually works in some Pirate parties around Europe and tell you how this ended up for now for the German Pirates. Stay tuned!

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The Pirates' aim is to change this. They desire to establish new directions and a new way of engaging in government. But now they are running into problems. The system is fighting back, and it's thankful that the Pirates are having a difficulty with a couple of constituents with radical right-wing outlooks.

There is a solution to the "constant stress" of liquid democracy: The opportunity to delegate your vote to someone you trust will represent you well in that topic. Have a look at Aktiv Demokrati and their open source software here: http://val.aktivdemokrati.se/about/ (video in Swedish).

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