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.