Pirate Party wins right to contest federal election

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Pirate Party wins right to contest federal election
No longer beached... Pirate Party Australia will field candidates in the next federal election.

Paperwork approved, candidates being chosen.

Pirate Party Australia hopes to field candidates in every state and territory after the party won the right to contest its first ever Australian election.

The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed the official registration of the party today, a process the party said it had "quietly" undertaken beginning late last year.

Party president David Campbell told iTnews that work would now turn to "refining our policies" ahead of candidate pre-selection, which is set down for late March or early April.

"We're looking at hopefully two [candidates] for each of the Eastern states, and at least one in each of the territories," he said.

"We do have several candidates that we had pre-selected in case of an early election this year.

"However, those will be rotated through and obviously we'll pick the best candidates for this year."

The party had hoped to contest the 2010 federal election, but did not have their AEC registration approved before the election was announced. The application was ultimately rejected.

The 2010 federal election provided fertile grounds for alternative policies on internet censorship and privacy, issues which remains relevant for the 2013 election, albeit in a different context.

"The problem we have right now is the Labor Government continues to push policies of censorship and surveillance," Campbell said.

"We need to push back against that."

He agreed that discussions had become more discreet since the now-canned internet filter policy, which attracted online and real-world protests and unwanted international attention for Labor.

"I think we suffer from a lot of transparency theatre right now," Campbell said.

"Everyone wants to look like they're transparent, but once you start scraping the surface, it's really just a circular display. It's really quite disappointing."

The party thanked its supporters as well as those involved in the registration process.

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