My first childhood contact with the concept of Pirates, was through the story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Due to my name being Peter, I fantasized more about becoming the Pan himself than a Pirate...
Yet a few days ago there I was filling in my application to become a Pirate member and a few days later than that I am the Pirate Party's candidate for Corfu...
Why did I do this?
As some of you may know, I spent a large part of last year, taking part in endless and varied conversations, in the "plateia", on facebook, and with many friends, all to do with the situation in Greece and possible solutions and proposals to get out of the "fix"... Certain themes kept cropping up again and again in these conversations, themes like Real Democracy, Transparency, Justice and Equality...
Since I was a teenager I had no great trust in elections. I don't consider we have ever been given any realistic choice. To make matters worse, the exisitng system has managed throughout the years, aided greatly by our indifference, to stack the odds in its favor, by voting in various ridiculous election by-laws. (An example of this is the fact that in the last elections, and in the 2nd electoral district of Athens, Syriza had a higher percentage than New Democracy, yet they got significantly less seats than them!)
I believe deeply that what we need is a change, not simply of government, but of the way the whole system works, even of the way we think.
The Pirate Party represents exactly this for me. The possibility of setting up something different, something "cleaner" and more fair to everyone.
Initially when I begun to read about it, when the Party was not yet set up in Greece, I found it a little strange.
There was no mention of their "positions" as regards the "important national matters". And I got the feeling that the Pirates were more into "secondary"matters like digital rights, transparency, access to digital technology and copyrights.
I soon realised though that the "important national matters" are potentially not the ones that the usual media channels and newspapers make them out to be. In fact it is those "secondary" matters that are most important...
Being an active citizen, achieving full transparency in government, distinct separation of authorities (especially judicial), are the matters whose change will really change our lives.
Matters like "memorandum or not", "Euro or drachma" and "right or left", I am afraid are matters which are thrown at us in order to make us lose our time talking about them, while others make the decisions.
I don't in any way support that the memorandum and its apllication are not catastrophic for Greece, but neither can I say with any certainty whether we would be better of with the drachma than the euro.
What I would like is for us all to be able to decide together about these matters and not have others decide for us.
And that is exactly the reason why I have decided to support the Pirates in their campaign, to become a Pirate myself. Because this is a central part of the Pirate idea.
So I am a candidate to become an MP with the Pirate Party in Corfu.
I realise that most English speaking friends of mine probably don't vote in Greece, but I hope that those who know me and what I stand for, might put in a good word, only of course if you agree with the ideas...
For those willing to find out more about the Pirate Party here a couple of links.
Pirate Party UK
Pirate Party Greece (in Greek)