Platform

Putting People Before Corporations

The Supreme Court and Congress have expanded the power of corporations for over a hundred years and made them more powerful than people. Whether it is the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allows corporations to buy elections, or Congress’ cuts in corporate tax rates while raising payroll taxes, real people end up with the short end of the stick.  The Pirate Party will make sure our laws put people before corporations.

Opening up Government

In order for citizens to control their democratic destiny, we need to know what our government is doing and which special interests are influencing our public elected officials.  Increasingly government officials ignore open meeting laws, make deals favorable to corporations behind closed doors and sell off your 
public information to private interests.  Some state laws prevent people from recording public officials in their duties, such as a police officer making an arrest, but the police cameras can record your actions without your permission.  The Pirate Party will make sure that our government is transparent and accountable to the people.

Defending Your Privacy

Whether it was the PATRIOT ACT, illegal NSA wiretapping or local surveillance cameras, our government has used 9/11 to increase its surveillance and control over us.  Corporations have increased their spying on employees in order to get more work out of them.  The arguments for each step on the road to a surveillance 
state may sound convincing, but that road leads to less control by people and more by government and corporate elites. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it. The Pirate Party will prevent that from happening.

Promoting Culture & Knowledge Through Copyright Reform

The Founding Fathers created our copyright laws to promote knowledge & culture by giving the creator a limited monopoly over their creations.  Congress, under the influence of corporations, has extended the duration of that government granted monopoly to seventy years after the death of the creator.  Increasingly corporations have sought broader laws to ensure that they control and profit from more of our culture.  Through Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies they have locked down our culture, hindered sharing and criminalized their customers.

The Pirate Party will:

  • limit the copyright to five years for electronic media and fourteen years for tangible objects,
  • make sure that all non-commercial copying, sharing and remixing are legal and
  • ban DRM software.

There is no reason for copyright to continue until 70 years after death.

Everyone must have equal access to the internet, and the Pirate Party will foster network neutrality so that internet service providers cannot give preferential treatment to preferred web sites and we oppose three strikes laws that ban anyone from using the internet because of copyright violations.  The internet has the potential to be a new Library of Alexandria, if we don’t let corporations and government lock it down.

Fostering Innovation by Abolishing Patents

We seek the abolition of patents. The patent system stifles innovation by making it difficult to incorporate an existing invention into a new one. It discourages researchers from sharing their new ideas until after a patent application. It prevents hundreds of thousands of people in poor countries from receiving the drugs they need. Currently pharmaceutical companies spend only 15% of their revenue on new drug research. The remaining 85% is spent on activities such as marketing and profit taking. A reformed system would dramatically increase the money available for innovation, while removing the obstacles to innovation posed by the current patent system.

Police Reform

We believe that major police reform is not only a legitimate idea, but a necessity. Due to the divisive and hot button nature of this topic, the USPP is dedicated to finding quality solutions that can be agreed upon by the vast majority. Here are a few steps we can take towards reform:
  • Demilitarize the police through actions such as ending the 1033 Program and discouraging technique sharing between the neighborhood police and the military or federal intelligence agencies;
  • End qualified immunity and hold officers accountable when they break the law;
  • End civil asset forfeiture and its enabling of “slush funds” to be used for any purpose;
  • Invest money into community care instead of more policing, especially in areas currently impacted by over-policing;
  • Require warrants for all forms of surveillance and end no-knock warrants;
  • Force departments to collect statistics in order to outline biases in enforcement and which enforcement methods are better for the community;
  • Ensure nobody is put in jail for actions of basic survival;
  • Properly train our police forces with regular training in all aspects of the job. This will include but not limited to mental health assessments, first responder medical certification, community policing, & public engagement.

There are many things that must be done in order to fix the issues with policing in our country. There are also many different end goals that many different people have in mind. What we need right now is an honest, no-nonsense start to the process, and that is what the USPP hopes to achieve.

Bigotry

We proudly condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. We believe this behavior to be fundamentally incompatible with our core values. Pirates stand for everyone, even when others do not.

Pan-Americanism:
Continents have been united in various ways, such as Europe in the form of the EU, Africa with the AU, or Southeast Asia with ASEAN. While the existence of the OAS (Organization of American States) signifies a previous willingness to come together in the name of Pan-Americanism, a restructuring from a paradigm of United States dominance to genuine collaboration and friendship is essential. A more united American Continent will help each country become stronger and create a stronger bond between every American, from Greenland to Patagonia.
  • We advocate for increased diplomacy in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, especially where we do not have a good record of friendly and diplomatic relations. We need to earn the trust of our fellow American countries in the New World by being a helpful ally rather than an overarching imperial authority.
  • We advocate for increasing trade and signing friendship treaties with these countries in order to assist them economically, helping to bolster the continent’s economy in general, and strengthening our cultural ties as Americans.
  • We call for free movement for Americans from every American country.
  • We advocate for ending the Cuban embargo and lifting sanctions on Nicaragua and Venezuela.
    
It’s no secret that the treatment of Latin Americans and other ethnic/cultural minorities within these United States have been less than stellar. There will be high expectations if we claim that we have changed for the better, and rightfully so. It will take years of work to repair the damaged relationships and restore continental trust back in the USA and its citizens, but that is something we here at the US Pirate Party, joined in partnership with Pirate Parties on the American continent, are committed to doing.
    
Foreign Policy:
    
  • We call for the free movement of all peoples.
  • We advocate for the right to free association and self-determination. People living in a political entity should have the right to maintain, alter or conclude their relationship to larger entities, or join in union, if it is the will of the people.
  • We advocate for lifting sanctions on countries who only have said sanctions because we disapprove of their government.
  • We advocate for legislation which ensures our government and intelligence agencies do not interfere in any elections in Europe, Africa, Asia or any part of the American Continent and that the will of the people is respected.

This would likely require quite a significant foreign policy change on the USA’s part, however. The US has made a lot of missteps along the way, so we should make the first steps to fix them.

Positions on Other Issues

The scope of the Pirate Party was originally limited to a few core issues. However now the United States Pirate Party, in common with many other Pirate Parties, is drafting policies on a variety of different issues.  We need your help in deciding positions on every policy that matters to US voters. Please attend a PNC meeting to see how you can join our Platform Committee.

Be sure to check out our Approved Platform Positions to see what else Pirate Parties around the country might believe!