Australians with a vested interest in stronger governmental transparency
and free speech could have another voting option in the upcoming federal
Australians with a vested interest in stronger governmental transparency and free speech could have another voting option in the upcoming federal election.
The Pirate Party of Australia announced its successful registration as a federal political party by the Australian Electoral Commission Monday.
While still refining its policies, the party is expected to follow a platform that supports free speech, privacy and copyright reform.
“More than ever before there is a necessity in Australia for a Party that holds empowerment, participation, free culture and openness as its central tenets," founder Rodney Serkowski said in a press release posted to the party's website.
The party is expected to focus its efforts on the Senate ahead of a federal election later this year.
With origins in Europe, the Pirate Party's local arm has been around as an activist group since 2009, amassing more than 4000 followers on social media.
Political commentator Andrew Hughes from Australian National University says the Pirate Party's growth reflects a trend towards 'clicktivism', where special interest groups are able to grow very quickly with the help of social media.
"We're not necessarily seeing [more] minor parties, we're seeing movements and they act like minor parties because they have the same influence," he says.
History has shown minor parties and even individuals can effect change if they narrow their focus to specific interests, he says.
"A good example is Nick Xenophon being very active on poker machines; he got an entire Senate quota in itself."
One downside with particular interest groups is that they can "disappear very quickly" if interest sags and membership drops, he adds.