Understanding The Pirate Party
from the good-or-bad? dept
In writing about The Pirate Party’s success in winning a seat in the EU Parliament, I noted that I wasn’t necessarily a fan of The Pirate Party’s name or some of its positions, but I do think the Party is bringing some attention to important issues. Ivor Tossell, at The Globe and Mail, has an interview with Christian Engstrom from The Pirate Party, who will be taking the seat, where they discuss a variety of issues — including the name. When Tossell questions why it wasn’t called something like the Copyright Reform Party, Engstrom pointed out (most likely correctly): “Because if that had been the name, you wouldn’t be talking to me.”
The other issue, that was raised in the comments to that post, was the assertion that members of The Pirate Party aren’t actually interested in the civil rights and freedom issues the party stands for, but that they just want “free stuff.” However, in the audio interview, Engstrom does a good job highlighting why the issues they fight for are very much civil rights issues. He talks about the value of privacy and human rights — as well as access to information.
Much of the discussion does focus on the name. Engstrom insists that the name is essential — and notes that he joined the party because the word “pirate” acts as an effective shorthand for everything that the party stands for. Tossell, though, does raise some important questions about how far the Party can go with the name, however. I tend to agree. While I agree that calling it The Pirate Party helps in getting initial attention (and press attention), it also brings out those sorts of false accusations that it’s just about “getting free stuff” rather than serious issues that impact civil rights and innovation.