Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A breakthrough for the Pirate Party?

Berliners went to the polls on Sunday in state elections, and delivered the usual result for a state election in Germany at the moment: the Free Democrats were annhiliated (they got fewer votes than the Nazis, which shows how popular they are), the Greens went up, and the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats hung on. But they also delivered an unexpected result: the German Pirate Party won 8.9% of the vote, and 15 seats in the state legislature.

This is a big deal for the Pirate Party, not just in Germany, but for the whole movement. So far pirate parties have won a few city council seats, and 2 Euro MPs in Sweden. Now, they're sitting in a state Parliament. While they're unlikely to be participating in coalition negotiations (the SPD has an easy majority with the Greens), they have a bully pulpit to make their arguments on copyright, privacy, and human rights, and to try and convince Berliners (and Germans) of the need for change.

Meanwhile, our local instance can't even get the 500 members it requires for registration. Despite widespread anger over the skynet law, and another abuse of process to allow more surveillance, they're just not able to position themselves as offering solutions even to a niche of voters.