ONLINE Political Parties—What is your future?
By Kevin Stoda, American online Candidate (making a living in Germany)
Ever since the Online Pirate Party won over 7 percent of the vote in Sweden last month in the election for the new European Parliament, my students have been asking me about my own online campaigns. That vote in Sweden had guaranteed a seat in the European Parliament for the online Pirate Party. It also quickly spawned the creation of Pirate and other online parties in Germany and other European countries.
In Sweden “the result puts the Pirate Party in fifth place, behind the Social Democrats, Greens, Liberals and the Moderate Party.” The party leader, Mr Falkvinge, told BBC, “People were not taken in by the establishment and we got political trust from the citizens.”
The BBC reporter added, “The profile of the Pirate Party and issues surrounding copyright law have dominated headlines in Sweden over the past few months.” According to the same BBC writers, “In April, a court in Sweden sentenced the four men behind The Pirate Bay, the world’s most high-profile file-sharing website, to a year in jail and ordered them to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages. Mr Falkvinge said it had played a significant role in getting them the vote.”
The Pirate party leadership is made up almost entirely of males in most countries. I am sure that this has to do with the fact that those who founded the Pirate Bay website and who tried to take the government to court were mostly males. On the other hand, by hyper-focusing only on digital freedom issues, the party has abandoned any hope of building more permanent alliances with certain party constellations in Europe.
For example, immediately after the elections, the Pirate Party began negotiating with 4 different political grouping in the EU parliament. In short, the male dominated party is neither particularly progressive, conservative, nor extreme. In short, other than the online rights campaign, it has little to offer.
I would suggest that Americans attempt to create a national or international online party, especially to get names on the ballots across the land for the 2010 elections. My first online campaign for the President of the USA went almost unnoticed last year—despite my campaign focusing on helping those who were losing their homes more than any of the major party candidates. (See NOTES below for a bit more about my first online race.)
Another obvious difference between my campaign and the Pirates is that my interests are more holistic than any platforms embraced by the libertarian-like Pirate party from Sweden.
This policy of mine not to be hyper-focused on digital rights will cost me the wired.com vote. On the other hand, I can also really talk about global and national issues of security and justice in a more integrated manner than the Pirate Party in Europe can.
Since spring this year, I have been running again for U.S. Senator from Kansas, and I encourage all progressives to get behind me. This campaign has already gotten me more on-line press than my presidential (foot in the water) campaign ever did.
For example, on Kansas senators websites recently some voters raised the same issues I did—in that I had called in May for the closing of the program in Ft. Bragg, Georgia (known as THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS). The two U.S. Senators from Kansas were then asked by their constituents how they stoodd on this issue—as well as on the matter of closing down Guantanamo Prison (which I had also advocated).
My campaign for U.S. Senate would stop the caging of Kansas voters and demand a new constitutional convention to allow for more representation by progressives in Kansas legislatures and U.S. government offices.
As an evangelical progressive, I am likely to fair better than some others in the Sunflower state would.
If I were U.S. Senator, I would put pressure on the White House to get our troops out of Afghanistan into a more peace making rather than war-making role worldwide.
Moreover, I would demand that American ideas on transparency in government were realized—demanding that the records and documents of the past 4 U.S. presidents and vice presidents be reviewed and be considered or vetted by a representative body of historians, lawyers, and national security personnel.
Billions of documents, starting with at least the Herber Walker Bush administration (and his son) may need to be made public over the next one to two years just to help the Attorney General clarify (1) how we got into the financial mess we are in today and in (2) so many wars in such a short number of years.
As well, this search through documents would include (3) a demand that all documents related to oil policy in 2001 be revealed and (4) who approved what form of torture starting in the same year as USA national policy.
Let me make this clear.
Never in our history has America intervened in more foreign wars—Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Kurdistan, Iraq again, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc.– than in any other twenty year period in USA history.
This is wholly unacceptable and due to bad thinking and leadership in governance. The Senate as the senior body in the U.S. government needs to get the most imperial of presidents under control NOW. I will demand it use its Constitutional powers to do so.
“Day 2 of the Iowa Campaign”, http://alone.gnn.tv/articles/3434/DAY_2_OF_THE_CAMPAIGN_IN_IOWA
“Foreign Policy Questions for the next President”
“I Decided to Run for President Tonight in the Iowa Caucus”, http://www.opednews.com/articles/KEVIN-STODA-On-Line-Indep-by-ALONE-090522-893.html
“Now that EDWARDS; KUCINICH, RICHARDSON and Other Progressives have Left the Race”