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.

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Comments on “Pirate Parties Continue To Grow In Europe As People Get Sick Of Politics As Usual”

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gorehound (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Skeptical Cynic of future tellars says:

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.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: 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?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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?

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: 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).

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: 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.

trish says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!!

illuminaut (profile) says:

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.

Chargone (profile) says:


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.)

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:


“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!

Seegras (profile) says:

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.

Petr says:


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.

agtrier (profile) says:

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.


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