Europe is all abuzz with the latest successes of the Pirate Party in Germany, who are currently running with double-digit approval rating in polls, thereby making it the #3 party in Germany (1). The successes of Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the astounding success in Germany have moved the party forward throughout the eyes of Europeans. This past weekend’s Pirate Parties International Conference saw Pirate Parties from across the world come together to discuss topics relevent across all, or most of the parties. One of the topics brought forth was the founding of a European Pirate Party to stand in the 2014 European Parliamentary Election. (2) The establishment of a European Pirate Party comes amidst a tide of revolt against the non-transparent practices and civil-liberty reducing agreements forged amongst members of the International body, including the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). (3)
As big as this news may be for Europe, the Pirate Parties International (PPI) elected its new board during the annual conference. The PPI is now co-chaired by Germany’s Gregory Engels and Russia’s Lola Voronia, candidates elected with a statistical tie. Other board members include Jelena Jovanovic, Travis McCrea, Ed Geraghty, Denis Simonet, and Nuno Cardoso. This election marks the first time a candidate from North America has been elected to the board of Pirate Parties International, with the Pirate Party of Canada‘s (PPCA) Deputy Leader Travis McCrea coasting in on the first ballot. It is hoped, that as a non-european member of the board, McCrea will be able to provide more accountability and enable better communication and participation between the European parties and those beyond the continent.
McCrea’s time in the Pirate Party of Canada has not always been easy. His election as Deputy Leader this past February marked a sharp turn-around from the party’s Federal Council by-election in 2011 where he ranked dead-last of those contending the position. With much of the party’s most experienced political members experiencing pressure to remove themselves, or succumbing to unexpected complications, their recent Political Board and Executive Board elections provided a great opportunity for both new and experienced members to step forward to drive growth and recognition. Between his run for council in 2011, and his successful election as Deputy Leader in 2012, McCrea made huge strides in understanding the different levels of Canadian Government and its distribution of powers.
McCrea has made huge strides in becoming a recognized name both within the party and on the international stage. He came from being a member of the United States Pirate Party, joined the PPCA, and ran for parliament in the 41st General Election. He stepped forward to try to become a member of the Federal Council when he was still very new to both the party, and Canada’s electoral system. Since that initial failure, he’s turned himself around, become involved with Falkvinge.net, started piratewho.org, rescued TUEBL (an online textbook filesharing site) from destruction, and become a very vocal member of the party. He’s also made some huge visible moves in Vancouver, standing forward and drawing attention to many issues that affect Canadians. His election to the Political Council, although almost assured because of his recognition level, was also well-deserved because of the action that he has taken to bring the party forward.
McCrea’s latest success in stepping forward and becoming a member of the PPI Board shows an evolution in his development, and offer an excellent Canadian-based window into this growing International organization. “Through the Eyes of a Pirate” would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Travis, and wish him the best of luck during his tenure on the board. For those looking to learn more about him, Travis maintains a personal site, http://travismccrea.com, as well as http://piratewho.org .
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