Pirate Party

www.nesta.org.uk/feature/six-pioneers-digital-democracy/pirate-party/
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The Icelandic Pirates now stand as Iceland’s joint-second most popular party, after winning 10 out of 63 parliamentary seats in 2016.

In response to the financial crisis and political corruption in Iceland, the Pirates stood on a platform promoting authenticity, transparency, open debate and participation in the creation of party policy by anyone.

The blending of offline and online methods of engagement plays an important part in the party’s efforts to achieve these goals.

Regular video-recorded meetings are held around the country encouraging discussion of policy issues between members.

The party’s digital platform x.piratar.is is also clearly established within the party’s formal policy processes: every new policy must go through the platform. A week-long debate and then binding vote are open to any of the party’s 2,500 members.


Pirate Party: A debate on the x.piratar.is platform on fisheries policy (Google translate)

In addition to x.piratar.is, the party hosts more general discussions using forum tool, Discourse, and on the party’s Facebook group.

The party’s efforts to promote an open and horizontal structure of policy formation, debate and decision-making has brought some criticism, particularly where conversations on Facebook appear chaotic or difficult to follow among the hundreds of commenters.

So far, however, the party has seen relative success integrating digital into its formal policymaking process. Over 100 national Pirate Party policies have been debated and ratified using these digital tools since 2013, many of which formed the basis of the party's 2016 manifesto.