Mon 18 Apr 2016 12:21PM

Doubt clarification regarding membership

PB Pirate Bady Public Seen by 326

1) What are the differences between different types of memberships?

The Constitution defines 3 types of memberships, but the differences between them aren't stated explicitly.

1a) I think the main difference between an Associate Member and an Initial Member is that Initial Member got voting rights while the other hasn't, is it true?

1b) Constitution says an Initial Member's membership is only valid for 6 months. So what happens after 6 months? Does the Initial Member gets downgraded to an Associate Member?

1c) Are there any special powers/advantages/privileges for Permanent Members over other members? If yes, what all are they? Or Permanent Membership only means that their membership never expires and have no extra powers at all?

1d) And finally kindly explain how flat power structure can co-exist in a community with its members having different types of membership.

2) How can one apply for membership?

2a) Clicking "Join" on the home page of redirects us to this loomio group of Indian Pirates. So if one person joins this group does that mean s/he has become a member of Indian Pirates?

2b) If yes how do we classify their membership?

2c) Do we keep a publicly accessible list of members along with their contact details, membership type, etc.?

2d) The thread here says that to become an Initial Member "You have to publicly state your acceptance of the constitution at". Does it still hold? I mean is it still necessary? If yes, why?


Pirate Praveen Mon 18 Apr 2016 12:53PM

  1. Initial members was an idea to bootstrap. They are given power to decide based on their previous history. But since its an arbitrary power, it was time limited. Voting to change policies/constitution is the main difference.

1a) yes
1b) Yes, the gets downgraded to associate member. Initial member = agreement with constitution + voting rights. Associate member = agreement with constitution. So when voting rights expires, it becomes just agreement with constitution and hence associate member. We could make it explicit.
1c) Permanent members means voting rights without expiry.
1d) Difference is only when joining. Once you become permanent member, you gets the same power as other permanent members. There is no limit to how many permanent members are there. All associate members can become permanant members.

  1. We have to clarify it. There is a membership requests thread where you can request. We wanted to make the process better but never got to doing it. We know how to make it better. a) make a new app b) improve loomio 2a) That link should point to membership requests thread. And make another link "Decisions" to the main group. 2b) they are just enthusiasts of pirate ideas, they are undecided to apply for membership or have some disagreements preventing them from applying, but still want to see what we discuss and comment. 2c) we should. There was a proposal in web team, but lack of volunteers kept it as just an idea. 2d) Yes, we need to make sure they read and agree to constitution. Or people can cla later they never saw it.

Vidyut Mon 18 Apr 2016 2:35PM

In my view, a flat power structure cannot coexist with our membership pattern. For that, in my opinion, you would need everyone other than role holders to have equal power. This was one of the major points of dissent that killed the original community and the reason why I will not apply for a permanent membership in spite of being an early member of the community and will probably get easily voted in if I applied.

What we have currently is members of the forum can be anyone. Just engaging with Indian Pirates - fair enough.

After that is the problem. An associate member as per current operations has agreed to the constitution, but got a jumla in return - he is not really a member. More like on probation to be considered as a real member, but because of agreement with constitution, you have some more consideration than random strangers. The people with full voting rights that get applied in community are only the Permanent members. Essentially, "real" members of this community are less than a dozen at current count (I don't have a list either, just going by the approvals thread).

In my view, if a person agrees to the constitution, that should be it. Any further authority should be through elected roles - and you can have criteria for who can be elected into a role - for example after 2 years in party. But a tier structure is not flat. That is my opinion. The official view is that this is flat.


Pirate Praveen Mon 18 Apr 2016 2:57PM

@vidyut last two attempts failed because we could not get even a single permanent member. Now we have 7 permanant members making it very likely sustain unlike the previous attempts. We can change the description to two-tier instead of flat, if that helps. Why I consider it flat?

  • All permanent members are on the same level.
  • Anyone could be a permanent member.
  • Everyone could be permanent members.

As for making the list public there is already a request waiting for a volunteer


@ambadyanands can you do this?


Pirate Bady Mon 18 Apr 2016 3:24PM

@praveenarimbrathod i'd like to do it, but need some time and support.


[deactivated account] Mon 18 Apr 2016 8:25PM

@praveenarimbrathod but what happens when one applies for a permanent membership and none of the existing permanent members accept him? .. How is it flat then? .. Cuz as far as I'm aware of you need atleast two existing permanent members vote of confidence for a new entry right?


[deactivated account] Mon 18 Apr 2016 8:35PM

@vidyut @praveenarimbrathod I had some other doubts as well.. I'm gonna cuz I.Don't wanna create another thread just to.clarify this.. And I'm tagging @vidyut cuz only you and praveen are from the initial pirate party of India..
What I wanted to know was- so what if things dint work out well with your initial attempt? Why can't we simply say we are the pirate party of India now that we have enough members? Is it because pirate party is supposed to be a political party if anything and that Indian pirates is not exactly a political party?


Pirate Praveen Tue 19 Apr 2016 6:12AM

@arjun endorsement by 2 permanent members is criteria for permanent membership. It flat because

  • all permanent members are on the same level
  • anyone can become a permanent member once the criteria is met
  • everyone can become a permanent member

We have the requirement for support of two permanent members so just any random person cannot be a permanent member. Since its any two permanent members, its decentralized.

As for resurrecting Pirate Party,

  • I don't think we are ready for that
  • a registered party has a hierarchical structure

Pirate Bady Tue 19 Apr 2016 6:56AM

i think we should specify those distinctions clearly in the Constitution. since Indian Pirates got three types of membership, people may ask: "isn't it a three-tier system?", "how can it be considered as flat?", etc. i hope the following helps:

"Usually a hierarchical organization will have only one member per position at the top levels and there can be a lot of levels from top to bottom. So, for example, if there are 10 positions (like president, secretary, etc.) and 100 members it's obvious that no one can ensure that all 100 members can achieve any one position in a finite amount of time even if all are sincere and hard-working. But in the case of Indian Pirates there are only 3 levels of membership and we can guarantee that all sincere members can become Permanent Members in a finite amount of time. This way Indian Pirates stand out from other organizations with a traditional hierarchical power structure (of one member per position)."


Pirate Bady Tue 19 Apr 2016 6:59AM

The Constitution should also specify the necessity of having 3 types of membership.


Pirate Praveen Tue 19 Apr 2016 7:14AM

@ambadyanands those who just joined in loomio cannot be considered members. They are just enthusiasts. Its two-tier membership. How about we change "associate member" to just "associate" then a member means a permanent member only.

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