from the new-new-thing,-or-old-new-thing? dept
Techdirt has been following the rapid rise and current problems of the various Pirate Parties in Europe for some time. Both their success and difficulties flow in part from the fact that they do not fit neatly into the traditional political categories. This makes them attractive to those who are disenchanted with established parties, but also makes it hard for Pirate Parties to devise a coherent political program that they can seek to implement, for example through alliances with others.
An interesting question is whether the Pirate Party is a one-off, or part of a larger movement away from traditional party lines towards a different kind of politics -- specifically one that recognizes the central importance of the Internet in modern life. That's just been answered by the appearance of a new party in Brazil, as reported by Global Voices:
A former Brazilian presidential candidate and famous environmentalist is leading the charge for the creation of a new political party in the country, one that seeks to use the Internet as a tool for action on sustainability issues.
What's interesting here is that the new party seems to draw on both traditional Green policies, with their emphasis on sustainability, and key ideas of the Net-based Pirate Party. For example, the idea of a network is central to the new party, as its name -- "Sustainability Network" -- makes clear. The party's manifesto (original pdf in Portuguese) expands on this aspect:
Former Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva officially launched her Sustainability Network in the capital Brasilia on 16 February, 2013, to a crowd of around 1,700 people, including supporters, founders and ideologues. The network aims to collect the required 500,000 signatures by September 2013 to become legally recognised as a political party.
We believe that networks, as a means of aggregation and organization, are an invention of the present that bridges to a better future. The concept of a network is based on a democratic and egalitarian operation that seeks convergences in diversity. It is an instrument against the power of hierarchies that capture democratic institutions and, ironically, makes them their instrument of domination. For it is networked with society that we want to build a new political force, with alliances underpinned by an Ethics of Urgency, having as its aim the construction of a new model of development: sustainable, inclusive, egalitarian and diverse.
As the Global Voices article explains, like the Pirate Party in Europe, the new Sustainability Network is already coming under fire for its unusual platform. It will be interesting to see whether it can use the Internet to collect the signatures it needs in order to become a formal party -- and what happens afterwards.