After a deep look into my own personal values, and the values of both my party and the international movement, I have decided that my place is in the Green Party. This is my story why. [Editor’s note: This article is by Travis McCrea, and concerns his personal opinions only.]
I want to preface this post to point out that it is largely talking about politics in Canada, and in the end I am a Pirate. My ideology has never changed, I will keep supporting my fellow pirates in other countries.
I have been the leader of two Pirate Parties and have spent countless hours at many different levels of involvement, and spent thousands of dollars on the cause. Even after I had left the leadership position in the Pirate Party of Canada, I stayed relatively involved, wanting to promote my party any way I can. I also introduced the Pirate Party of Canada’s new platform, one that was pretty much entirely copied from the PPUK. Their platform was amazing, and all it needed to be was localized in my opinion.
I joined the Pirate Party when I was still conservative (super conservative, like a right wing American, which is pretty much off the charts elsewhere), but it was the libertarian values of the party as well as it’s focus on copyright reform that brought me in. The Pirate movement, in my opinion, is progressive. It’s not tied to progressivism, it doesn’t make decisions just to appear progressive… we just make decisions based on facts and humanism and in the end we have progressive values. As I grew and developed, learning to ask questions, asking why the party believed the things it did I have come around and have abandoned my conservative thoughts.
As Pirates, who believed strongly in our cause, we were offended in Canada when Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party said “there doesn’t need to be a Pirate Party in Canada, there is already a Green Party”. As though she knew what we were fighting for, and as though we would ever be like her and her party.
The truth, however, is that the Pirate Party of Canada and the Green Party have always been very similar. Even as the leader of the Pirate Party when I was asked what makes us different I would point out that the Pirate Party is based on science while the Green Party supports homeopathy (something that most Green leadership that I have met, don’t actually support). But it was that one little thing, homeopathy, which set us apart. That and our egos.
As the Pirate Party starts attracting more and more libertarian minded people, and our values are changing, I find them in many respects to be away from what the Pirate Party should be about. Members who support the death penalty, people who believe that guns should be more accessible, and a leadership who is afraid of sounding too “socialist”, even when the facts support the platform.
I feel that making this switch is the most Pirate thing I can do, to look at the facts and realize that the evidence (at least in my case), show that I should change. This isn’t me turning away from my ideology, but reaching a new level of understanding that my party doesn’t define my ideology, and I can be a pirate no matter what party I am in.
The Green Party of Canada is not different than what the Pirate Party of Canada has been about. Two progressive parties with comprehensive platforms that basically say the same things. So now I will say what Elizabeth May said 5 years ago: Why do we have a Pirate Party when Canada already has a Green Party?
I encourage my fellow party members to seriously read through the platform of the Greens and see what they stand for. You might be surprised at just how little you disagree with.