We should create a manifesto - concrete policy changes we will implement if we win.
my personal opinion is that the concepts like "Direct Democracy" and "Transparent Governance" should be given more stress than "Digital Rights" in the Election Manifesto. it's true that we Pirates stand for Digital Rights unlike any other party in kerala. but for people issues about privacy, copyright, net neutrality, etc. only comes after (or chances are that they may not be considered at all, i mean in this election context) common man's issues like inflation, corruption, lack of development, etc... an Election Manifesto should make people feel that it addresses their issues properly.
we can argue that currently no parties are out there to support Digital Rights and hence we should make use of this opportunity to spread awareness about it as much as we can. it's true up to a certain extent. i'm not saying that we shouldn't promote Digital Rights. instead what i'm saying is that Direct Democracy should be the center of our discussion. that way we can address common man's issues better. it'll help not only in the election but also in the long run as well. because if we manage to implement Direct Democracy at some point in the future (at least in our party, i mean in a wider basis for eg. with 1000+ members), the underlying features of it can help us to spread awareness about the ideas we care more easily.
i'd like to know what other Pirates think about this.
next thing to consider is how can we sound genuine. words like "Democracy", "Justice", "Equality", etc... have been used in politics over and over such that they may have lost their true meaning and value. so simply saying that we support democracy, transparency, etc. isn't enough. because anyone can say that, especially the so-called leaders whose words have no connection with their actions.
so how can we stand out? i hope it's possible if we manage to explain in detail how we are going to implement what we promise. we should explain how will we implement Direct Democracy, Transparent Governance, etc... so let's discuss this HOWs and include it in our Manifesto.
since we don't have any party and only one Pirate is contesting we have limitations on the promises we can give. i don't know what all are the powers of an MLA, but i'll try to give some general suggestions about the promises that we can make if Pirate Praveen wins the election:
1) I'll give people the right to recall - If more than 50% of the people in Thiruvananthapuram assembly signs a petition (online or offline) against me then I'll resign my MLA post.
2) I'll give a chance to all people in Thiruvananthapuram assembly to have a voice/vote on all major decisions that will affect them directly. This will be done with the help of technology by making use of internet, mobile phones, etc.
3) I'll make all my decisions, as an MLA, transparent to the public through a website. Public can then post their comments/suggestions/feedback in the website.
4) I'll introduce a new system to keep track of promises given in the Election Manifestos of the MLAs and their political parties. This will help to measure the progress quantitatively.
5) I'll open a 24x7 working Public Grievance Cell where people of Thiruvananthapuram can submit their complaints. All complaints will be listed publicly and people will be given a chance to vote priority for the complaints registered. Complaints will be resolved on the basis of the priority set by the people.
6) If I fail to fulfill any of the above promises within one year (or two years if you think one year isn't enough) after I get elected as MLA then I'll resign my MLA post.
what do you say @praveenarimbrathod? is this acceptable for you? i'd also like to know other Pirates' suggestions.
@ambadyanands thanks for the suggestions. I agree in principle. I have doubt about the logistics part. 3 and 5 is okay. 4 needs a collective effort. I'm okay for 1 in theory. How will we implement 2? Direct democracy is first practiced in the party. There is much work to do before it can be applied for everyone. 6 should be fine.
in my opinion the main thing is not to fulfill all of the promises, but to spread a message. a message about Direct Democracy, Decentralization of Power and Transparency. our promises should let other leaders know that these all are what people expecting from their leaders. it should make them think that if they don't act responsibly a new generation of people is emerging out there ready to replace them to undertake the responsibility.
i'm not saying that we should cheat people by ignoring the promises like other leaders do. we should and must try our best to do what we say with the help of public support and volunteers from Pirates network. it'll be better to try our best and if we fail let's resign because if we can't bring any solid changes then what's the whole point?
these kinda promises are necessary if you want to stand out, in order for people to notice you. otherwise, for people, you are just like any other politician who simply says "vote for me if you want to see development".
@ambadyanands we are proposing direct democracy inside the group. Direct Democracy is the tool we use to achieve certain goals/objectives that all of us agree to. It is not mobocracy where the majority always get the way. The idea is build a large group on common themes even though we can't directly address controversial issues.
I don't think giving promises we can't fulfill helps.
We are small and growing, more than the promises, I think the ideas matters. Also the promise idea does not fit well with our structure. We are asking people to join and make the manifesto. So it should not be rushed just because there is an election. When people who are passionate about specific issues joins us, naturally our manifesto reflects that. We should not blindly follow what others are doing.
On the contrary, giving promises can make us look like any politician.