Helsinki Pirates' municipal agendas

Helsinki Pirates platform for municipal elections 2012

Approved in Pirate Party Helsinki district association meeting 20.6.2012

Pirate Party demands openness in decision making. Officials and politicians must start using online services created by E-participation platform-project for participatory decision making, crowdsourcing, and civil hearings as much as possible. Officials must be encouraged and assisted in commissioning of new online services. Ministries have bravely started to implement these services which are necessary in information society. The services must have users in all political and social groups. This is why we challenge other parties, officials, and in particular citizens to make Finnish democracy the best of the world.

Testing of equipment for participatory budgeting must start immediately in projects of suitable size. This way residents have an opportunity to influence the spending of tax money.

Officials of Helsinki must be active in city or state projects which promote chances to participate. Such projects exist in particular to participate online. The cooperation of Helsinki and other metropolitan area municipalities must be open and benefit all of the metropolitan area and not depend on borders of those municipalities. Works and databases created by city employees must be published under a license which allows distribution and reuse. Other public information which has been collected and paid for with public funds should be open as well as easily accessible.

Education and culture
Open source software should be favored in ICT education in schools and in purchasing of software. Students should be guided to use various different computer programs and operating systems at school. Schools cannot be a monopolised area for large corporations in information and communications technology.

Libraries of Helsinki must make sure that their networks do not have censorship and that they have enough terminals for citizens to use. The works will also be provided in digital form, in particular to serve the vision impaired. In library activities it must be ensured that the same idea of open knowledge which influenced the establishment of public libraries is implemented in the modern information society too. Digital copies can not be exhausted.

Libraries must obtain more freely licensed works in their collections. A natural role of libraries in the information society is to act as a distribution place of legal and free copies. Libraries must strive to make deals with publishers so that books can be put in libraries’ online services. This is particularly important to improve the availability of nonfictional books.

Helsinki’s cultural activities must support and promote openly licensed culture. City-supported orchestra, theater, and art exhibition activities must try and distribute performances and
exhibitions free over the internet. It is only fair that residents can freely enjoy works that have been funded or whose display has been supported by public funds. We do not support financing of Guggenheim museum or similar projects with public funds.

Public transport
Helsinki Pirates support Länsimetro and a long version of Pisararata which runs in a tunnel from Pasila to city center, taking into account green areas and cost effectiveness. The longer version also supports new residential areas in Alppila and Kalasatama.

Metro or tram travel must be free or much cheaper, because their cost to the city per passenger is considerably less than what bus traffic costs. Less polluting and cheaper alternatives would
increase at the expense of bus and car traffic. In addition, rail transport suits cityscape and long term urban planning objectives well. Helsinki would become more hospitable towards tourists, giving easier access to the city, as the tram and metro routes include almost all of the main tourist attractions in Helsinki.

Planning of residential areas, roads, and green areas
In planning of neighborhoods and roads, the emphasis should be in environmental values and access to public transportation, primarily on rails and secondarily bus lines. Central park of Helsinki is a natural area of great value, while protecting it we protect its potential for different summer and winter sport activities. It should not be handled as commercial forest and there must be no clear-cutting. Production of houses should meet the housing demand better. We support literally higher and more urban profile for Helsinki.

Organisation of metropolitan administration and referendum
Helsinki Pirates proposes a referendum on the development of metropolitan administration in Helsinki, Kirkkonummi, Kauniainen, Espoo, Vantaa, and Sipoo. Because of the current economic situation, political pressure is increasing to harmonise administration and taxes in the Metropolitan area. The options are to either preserve the current municipal division and have a common, administrative body based on them or dismantle the current municipal division to create a common metropolitan administration in which supreme power would be used by the council of metropolitan area elected in municipal elections.

If the current municipal division is preserved, a regional council should be established as a cooperative body whose members would be elected in municipal elections. Regional council would deal with any matters that concern the entire metropolitan area.

If the municipal division is dismantled, the municipal taxes would be harmonised throughout the region and the municipalities would prepare details of the metropolitan administration before its implementation. Due to the large population within the area the change would not be handled as a normal combining of municipalities. Instead, residents’ input on combining the municipalities should be treated important. To safeguard local services, we could establish boroughs, based on major commercial centers’ spheres of influence and accessibility, so that the metropolitan area would consist of 15-20 boroughs.

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