Pirate Parties Continue To Grow In Europe As People Get Sick Of Politics As Usual

from the good-for-them dept

I've expressed my skepticism in the past about the ability of The Pirate Party to make a real dent long-term in politics, but I'm beginning to wonder if I've underestimated the effort. While we've seen some successes in Germany, it appears that the party has now become the third most popular party in the country, surpassing the Greens. That's fairly surprising. Equally interesting is that in nearby Austria, a Pirate Party member won a seat in a local city election... which actually made front page news:

These are still small steps, of course, and I still doubt that the party will become a "major" political party -- but its success in Europe is already driving other parties to pay much more attention to the issues that have attracted so much attention for The Pirate Party: internet freedom, free speech, civil liberties, copyright law, patent law, privacy and much more. If the Party's one major accomplishment is to bring those issues into the mainstream of politics, I'd consider it a pretty big success.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

    I agree that the Pirate Party is not likely to become a major political party, it can become a major political force of chance. It can drive issues in to the fore-front of political dialog. It can bring awareness to the general public of laws that affect them.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

      I would love to see it grow here.There are so many Young People in the USA who hate this Government and just grumble about it.Join together and try to make an effort.We do need more than two Big Parties and I for one would Love to not Vote for a Dem or a Rep.
      I would also Love to get a Maine Pirate Party going.
      A lot of Americans are hating both of the main Parties and unless we break their Monopolies we will never get the change we want to see.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

        Re: Re: Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

        The primary need of USA is an election-reform and I highly doubt that will happen! Without it you will never break a 2 or 3 party system.
        A pirate party could bring the issue to one of the big parties and get absorbed. That is the best you can hope for.

         

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        Chargone (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re: Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

        the lemming like behavior of the average voter, the USA's shear size, the entrenched and uncontrolled bureaucracy, and the 'two party system' trap mean it's unlikely to get you anywhere without a revolution.

        not impossible, just unlikely.

         

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        DannyB (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:49am

        Re: Re: Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

        Yes, it would be nice to have candidates with different mixes of views instead of the current two party system.

        How about a candidate with the fiscal discipline of the democrats and the social progressiveness of the republicans. :-)

         

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      Skeptical Cynic of future tellars, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

      Re: Yes, but they have done much by increasing the truth and dialog.

      Seems more like the CURRENT short term goals.

      All I can say is....
      Seeds grow and some grow to massive things.
      Today's major political parties started in the same way.( small with narrow short term goals )

      YOU DON'T KNOW the future , nor do I.
      BUT we are both witnessing something growing.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    Yeah, front page news on a populist tabloid. It's right next to the "in depth" coverage of the Oreo cookie eating baby ad from South Korea.

    Breakthrough indeed! Soon they will rule the world.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      I personally like the tiger reading the book... Just oozes of professional news reporting.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        OK, so it's a tabloid. It's still professional whether you like the content or not. (I can't tell 'cause I don't read or speak German.)

        By the way, it's lion cub reading the book, not a tiger :-)

         

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          Petr, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 4:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The cub is there because of some promo, stickers of animals inside. Not needed deep knowledge of German language, common sense is enough to understand :)
          Anyway, the message is clear and positive - people sick off novadays politics (hopefully "old time politics" soon) are looking for parties bringing the real solution for issues like excesive beraucracy, corruption, human and civil right abuses etc.
          And Pirate party is one of them, I think.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re:

        LMAO!

         

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      Another AC, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:40am

      Re:

      Right, because American newspapers aren't tabloids right?

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Stylin!

        Oooh, plus, the style/layout totally affects whether or not the information displayed is true!

         

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        weneedhelp (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re:

        I respectfully request you apologize to all of the tabloids out there, as you have disrespected their good names by associating them with the US Government propaganda machine AKA the Mainstream Media.

        At least tabloids are up front with what they are.

         

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      I agree. Let's ignore the fact that a pirate party member won a seat and latch on to how the election results were broadcast to the plebeians. You showed them friend. Whew. I was worried I was going to have to come on here and talk about the Mazburglar's chubby again. Thank you for saving me from that embarrassment.

      I like your brand of misdirection. How much to license it, good sir?

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re: half stock

        Mazburglar's chubby?

        Did I miss something? Are we back onto the subject of German Porn??

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re:

        No misdirection. Congrats for someone at the city level getting elected in a contest. WTG. But trying to portray it as getting "national media attention" and then pointing to the local version of the national enquirer is off.

        It's typical Mike action, trying to make something look bigger than it is. Why not just celebrate the success without the extra "look, the media got it" twist that doesn't really pan out?

         

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          Ron, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You need a real job. I would also like to go to your job and make fun of you ALL day. What a douche you are.

           

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          lucidrenegade (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It's typical Mike action, trying to make something look bigger than it is."

          Your wife called Mike and asked him to give you some pointers on making things look bigger than they are.

           

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            Niall (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The only thing he has bigger than Mike is his own chubby (and chutzpah).

            (With apologies to everyone else who isn't a stick insect.)

             

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          For the benefit of us all, please highlight the words in the article where Mike "portray[ed] it as getting 'national media attention'". I'll even help you out by quoting the entirety of his comments concerning the local election so that you don't have to scroll back up:
          Equally interesting is that in nearby Austria, a Pirate Party member won a seat in a local city election... which actually made front page news:
          Now all you need to do is point out this "national media attention" portrayal. Please be so kind, good sir.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 11:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "which actually made front page news: "

            The tabloid is distributed throughout the country.

            "Now all you need to do is point out this "national media attention" portrayal. Please be so kind, good sir."

            It's a typical Masnick deal - the inference is all there, he just avoids specific wording to avoid being caught out. Why even mention the newspaper?

            Yeah, once again, Mike uses weasel wording to avoid saying what he is saying. Classic!

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I say it is not only national attention but international unless you live right there and are posting here in this international forum.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not to belabor a point, but considering that the National Enquirer probably gets more eyes than, say, the New York Post just by virtue of placement kind of shows the twist in your logic. Not EVERYTHING in the Enquirer is fake, just the bulk of it.

           

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      illuminaut (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

      Re:

      The fact that this made front page news in a tabloid paper speaks volumes actually. That just goes to show how popular the phenomenon is if tabloid papers think it's a story that will be that interesting to its readers, most of whom probably care little about politics or the talking points of the party.

       

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      Zem (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

      Re:

      People were as sceptical about the early green parties in europe when they first appeared.

      They went on to form coalition governments.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:14am

      Re:

      Oooh is this where you attack exaggerated claims that were never made, using irrelevant information, in an attempt to misdirect from what people are actually saying? I love that tactic, so much more polite than direct attacks.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      You're right, now that you've pointed out the graphic is the cover of a tabloid I'm sure the Pirate Party will be forced to abdicate the seat they won in the local election...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Adapt or die, if the Pirate Party is able to encompass not only freedom problems but other issues they could get very popular.

    The tools are there, ask people what they want to debate and let them debate it and pick the most pressing issues those people want addressed and take a position over it using freedom as a compass for the decisions I am sure this will make it a lot more acceptable to others.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    If their popularity continues to grow it is likely that one of the established parties will adopt a substantial part of the Pirate Party's platform as its own. That kills off a lot of new parties, but it is still a win if the established party embraces its message.

     

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      Designerfx (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:40am

      Re:

      that's a US style concept.

      It doesn't work in other countries, where actually the concerns of privacy aren't being widely acknowledged.

      It's quite easy for someone to parrot the view and claim the follow it, it's another to be able to demonstrate they understand it (which no party which "adopts the platform" will be able to demonstrate).

       

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        Squig (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, it certainly helped those elements within the other parties that partly stand close to our issues to have their voices heard more, so our issues get pushed into the other parties as well. Does not seem to hurt us, however. (I am a German pirate party member)

         

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        Squig (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, it certainly helped those elements within the other parties that partly stand close to our issues to have their voices heard more, so our issues get pushed into the other parties as well. Does not seem to hurt us, however. (I am a German pirate party member)

         

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        illuminaut (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

        Re: Re:

        It is my understanding that this is actually what's happening in Sweden and some other European countries, so that's hardly a US style concept.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    and hopefully, they are far from finished yet! i reckon there are a lot that are underestimating them and they are going to get a few shocks in the not-too-distant future

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 11:45am

      Re:

      When the Green's got going they were considered marginal and a lot of the same things were said about them. While I don't expect the Pirate Party to ever serve in a coalition with cabinet ministers and everything, I didn't expect that to happen with the Greens either. Even in opposition the Green's have affected policy and public attitudes in Europe and around the world.

      Much the same could happen here, in the long run.

       

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    Clampit, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    What's their stance on central banking and the inflation tax? Consolidation is desperately needed among the alternative parties...

     

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      Squig (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:49am

      Re:

      No position of any Pirate Party yet. In general we try to keep politics transparent (makes lobbying much easier to detect) and try to listen to experts on issues we have to form our opinion on still.

       

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        Chargone (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:36am

        Re: Re:

        need to be a bit careful there. 'experts' often have more interest in maintaing that status than they do in ensuring that what they're experts IN is correct. economics has, in the last few decades, been one of the worst offenders for that. (they keep insisting that a system which functions like weather or earthquakes, and which includes non-rational actors which change their behaviour based on any analysis of it, can be explained as if it were so simple, mathematically, as gravity, for one thing. )

        i strongly recomend reading 'the economy of cities' and 'cities and the wealth of nations' by Jane Jacobs when it comes to planing economic stuff. (hint: you can have free trade OR a national currency without eventually gutting most of your economy. not both. and things like the Euro are pretty much economic suicide for all but the city-region with the highest contribution to exports to areas which use other currencies.)

         

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    trish, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    looking forward

    Maybe this is the party that will start a global movement to end 'democracy' as we know it and install governments that actually work for the people that elected them instead of rampant corruption and catering to corporate interests for personal gain. As they say, power corrupts, and representative government has this innate flaw of putting people in power for a long time. Here's hoping this party has values.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    If the Party's one major accomplishment is to bring those issues into the mainstream of politics, I'd consider it a pretty big success.

    You only want people to hear about it if it's spun with your silly pro-piracy point-of-view. You want people to hear your version of the truth, which is, of course, extremely biased and prejudiced (and frankly deceitful at times). I'm sure you're pumped about this, Pirate Mike. Your pirate buddies are on the cover of some rag magazine. That's about as exciting as the interviews you do on that commie network. Go Pirates! Yeah!!

     

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    PRMan, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    They need to change the name

    I would not register for the Pirate Party, even though I share many of their ideals. With a new name, they could become very popular.

     

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      illuminaut (profile), Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

      Re: They need to change the name

      I disagree that the name will prevent them from being accepted by the mainstream. The meaning and associations of words change over time and what sticks is what they stand for, not what you currently associate with the word pirate. Society used to think of pirates just as the swashbuckling kind before it associated the term also with file-sharers. There's nothing that says we won't associate the term with people fighting for our civil liberties one day.

      Another example of how that already happened before with a political party is the Green party in Germany. When they started out, being "green" was considered totally out of the mainstream. The name conjured up images of idealistic yet utterly unrealistic one-issue hippies and it was very much a protest party at the time. People said the same thing you're saying now, that their name would lock them in and prevent them from ever becoming mainstream. Now that they've been in the mainstream for 30 years people no longer associate "green" with purely environmental issues and the name is no hindrance.

       

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      Squig (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:58am

      Re: They need to change the name

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reappropriation#Linguistic_reappropriation

      Thing is, even if we changed the name we would not be known by the new name, but everybody would still call us Pirate Party. We would essentially be giving the interpretation about what 'Pirate' means in a political context up to our enemies, however.

       

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    gab4moi (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:50am

    Hell, the Nat Enquirer has more integrity in its sci fi writing staff than the entire Fox 'News' parade of bullybois and botoxbabes...

    and the lion cub is cute, the sports score is 0 - 0 which does not compute in the US, and the ??scha babe is ... a babe!

     

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    Niall (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:29am

    Can't see the image

    Mike, for those of us who get popular image sites blocked at work, are there any alternatives that you could use?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Bad name? Rebranding works! Proof:

    Just ask the name-of-the-week party that Adolph Harper and the rest of his the cabal of fat, blowhard, red-neck, war-loving, gwbush-fellating, nutcase, billions-of-dollars-wasting, pollution-loving, military-industrial-driven, billionaire-enriching, privacy-despising, spying, pig-ignorant, low-brow, extreme-right fascist pukes that overthrew the government of the former Canada, which is now known as The Kingdom Harperstan

    Of course, compared to the average Canadian, the average cow is Einstein.

    Heil Harper!

     

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    Seegras (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:51am

    Pirate Parties Goals

    First off, I'm a member of the swiss pirate party, and I was candidate in the elections for the national council (however, none of us got elected this time..).

    My idea is not so much to "win" as a party, but to have our ideas win. The same which happend to the Greens (which are probably the 4th most powerful party in switzerland): Their ideas got taken up by the other parties. The CVP (christian peoples party), probably our most conservative party (not comparable to the US "conservatives", which would actually compare to the right wing SVP) is actually pushing so many "green" ideas, they would have been labeled a "green" party 30 years ago. Most of our parties have become "green" to some extent. The values of the Greens got internalized, and spread over the whole political spectrum.

    And that's what we want to achieve: Our values (liberty, abolition of monopolies, privacy) spread over the whole spectrum, so that in 30 years time, nobody can even mention any ideas as those expressed in SOPA or CISPA (or the patent law) without being booed out of office by the whole population as a "dangerous radical" (which he is ;)). And of course, in the meantime have the patent system abolished, copyright shortend to 14 years, DRM outlawed, and any surveillance-acts repelled.

     

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    tnf, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 4:33am

     

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    agtrier, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 4:59am

    German Situation

    I don't know how much impact the Pirate Parties will have on other (European or other) countries' politics, but in Germany it is hard to find any political discussion that is not driven by them.

    In fact, even in situations where they pulled a bad fail (one pirate comparing the rise of the Pirate Party with that of the Nazis before WWII), it is impressive to see how all political magazines suddenly feature long discussions on use and abuse of bashing people on Nazi comparisons.

    More importantly, however, by their sheer presence the other parties are now forced to acknowledge that there are fields of politics which they have neglected in the past, and adjust their policies accordingly.

    Because of this, many political issues that seemed so clear and easy to our politicians are now suddenly hotly disputed. Namely, ACTA is now dead, and Data Retention looks like it will be delayed forever...

    And this alone was worth it, methinks.

    ag.

     

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