German Pirate Party Wins Seats In Fourth Straight State Election

from the it's-becoming-a-movement dept

It now seems pretty clear that the German Pirate Party is a legitimate player in that country. A week after its third straight win in local state elections, the German Pirate Party appears to have won a similar percentage of votes in the country's largest region, North Rhine-Westphalia. The estimates are that it will end up with 18 seats on a little under 8% of the vote (Update: more final results are now showing 20 seats, so it's an even larger victory). In Berlin, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein, the party was able to get similar votes as well, suggesting that this isn't a regional thing and has become a recognizable force -- especially among young people in Germany. The real question now is if it can use this to create some momentum going into the national elections next year.

Separately, it's worth pointing out that this result came about after it was noted a few days ago that the German Pirate Party's website was being censored in state schools, by a filter that claimed that the site was about "illegal drugs". It seems like pretty blatant censorship to block a political party's website -- even if it was "accidental" -- for daring to question the prevailing law enforcement regime around certain banned substances.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    Its a good thing they're in Germany. In the US, a single claim of involvement with "illegal drugs" would automatically come with legions of sodden-pantsed uniformed tools overrunning and seizing every bit of property those people ever looked at.

     

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  2.  
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    Drizzt, May 14th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Official numbers say 20 seats, not 18

    Minimal research would have yielded the official (preliminary) results: and they show 20 seats for the PIRATEN

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    But, but, but.....piracy, terrorism, pedophilia....won't someone think of the children.

     

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  4.  
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    Drizzt, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    It was an automated filter system and its web crawler took offence at the drug policy parts of the election manifesto. Other parties – like the winning SPD - were also affected. This only shows how ridiculous a "Think about the children!" (Cleanternet version) approach is. And that censorship is always overreaching.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Official numbers say 20 seats, not 18

    Minimal research would have yielded the official (preliminary) results: and they show 20 seats for the PIRATEN

    That's great. I'll update the post.

    As for the "minimal" research, I wrote the post last night when it was at 18. Please do not assume laziness where a perfectly reasonable explanation might suffice.

     

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  6.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Who do you think will be the first President to go to Berlin and say "Ich bin ein Pirat"?

     

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  7.  
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    Drizzt, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    Was all tried (and still is), but that tactic failed so far. ;-)

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    Of course we're thinking of the children!

    That's why we're trying to make a future where they aren't controlled by corporations. :)

     

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  9.  
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    Drizzt, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Official numbers say 20 seats, not 18

    Those numbers were only for quite some time... 18 was circulated somewhere during the first projections. Even most newspapers I've seen had the 20 seats already. Anyway, I was more irritated by the missing primary source than the difference. But I could have toned my post done a bit.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re:

    Not that internet should be filtered for the nation but schools require certain content to be blocked in the US. Working with that system is complicated and ever changing. We try to keep most content open but block what is required by state such as porn, weapons, drugs, etc. Sometimes we will come across a site that should be open and sometimes it should be blocked. The only thing to do is to change the filter's policy on those sites. It isn't a keyword filter and most of the time it does a good job but no system is perfect.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    not surprising really. the Dutch Pirate Party is being subjected to censorship over TPB. i bet there are some seriously worried politicians around atm! i wouldn't be surprised by further blocks for the party in other countries as well, especially if the entertainment industries can see their grip on the corrupt slipping away!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    I am surprised of where the voters seem to have come from. The Conservatives is not the first place I would look. The left wing party seems to have lost a lot too. Guess a good deal of protest-votes went their way in the previous election.
    The Greens are a pretty new party politically. I would have thought that they would bled more to the pirates than they did.
    It was expected that CDU lost a lot of voters since they went for the "austerity is king"-tactic. Could be Die Grüne gaining a lot from CDU and loosing about the same to Piraten.

    Would love to hear a German giving reasonings for how the things went as they did.

     

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  13.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    i would so totally do that..


    that is, if i were electable to begin with... which im not.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    You know that your political opponents are too powerful when they decide to go the censorship route to prevent you from educating others about your political agenda.

    Just look at Texas, and how their state education board butchered US history, doing things like making Joseph McCarthy into a hero, and claiming based on widely debunked evidence that most of the lives his communist witch hunt ruined were actual communists, which makes what he did perfectly ok.

     

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  15.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    you should really read rick falkvinge's write up on that specific subject if you have not done so already. the other parties have nothing to worry about at the moment as they are not openly rejecting the current status quo from the media outlet overloards.

     

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  16.  
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    mudlock (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    Proportional Representation

    Mike, you seem surprised that they got so many seats with just 8% of the vote. Well, of course they got that many seats; 20 is 8% of the legislature, and Germany uses proportional representation. Every party that gets at least 5%, gets a proportional percentage of the seats. And that's the #1 reason that the Pirate Party has been able to have these successes.

     

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  17.  
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    Drizzt, May 14th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    A lot of votes came from people who didn't vote in other elections (called "Nichtwähler"), which aren't be confused with first-time voters. Other parties lost almost equally.

    See e.g. this analysis for the election in NRW.

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It really does not matter if it does its job well or not. There shouldn't exist any censorship.

    If a site teaches how to use bombs find who built it and arrest that person. If a site shows and/or advocates pedophilia do the same. Hiding the site won't make the real criminals magically disappear. Actually it'll make them harder to catch.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Privately, on ones own internet connection I agree, but with a school district and limited funds it is better to deny access to certain sites to avoid being litigated by an angry parents. Even if the school district wins the lawsuit, it still loses with the time and money lost defending. Besides the school internet is used for educational reasons. Extra curricular activities can be done at home.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I didn't know knowledge was illegal...

    Yes, by every means, lock up the guy who coordinates and encourages violent acts... it just absurd to think we could actually stop the dissemenation of knowledge, or recipes.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Who do you think will be the first President to go to Berlin and say "Ich bin ein Pirat"?


    None, as in this case, "Ich bin ein Pirat" may actually be grammatically correct.

     

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  22.  
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    William Chambers, May 14th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, because kids should be looking at porn in school. No, enough. Schools are one very reasonable place to have a level of filtering.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    If the school permits general internet access to political sites, it's discrimination and possibly illegal to deny access on a selective basis.

     

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  24.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 14th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Proportional Representation

    Mike, you seem surprised that they got so many seats with just 8% of the vote

    No. What gave you that idea?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Great, sounds like Germany is headed to become one of those fractious, feckless European governments that can't do anything. Look at Greece, hows that working?

     

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  26.  
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    dukeofgaming, May 14th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

     

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  27.  
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    The Moondoggie, May 14th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Germany is doing it right...

    Nice to know Germany is setting a very good example and is owning.

    Compared to OTHER WESTERN countries, full of whining citizens afraid to do the same thing.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    this is a great precedent for the young people to set for the rest of the world and this example of leadership should be noted by young people everywhere.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I see a trend "Pirates steal from everyone". :P
    Thanks

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I see a trend "Pirates steal from everyone". :P
    Thanks

     

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