The New Rebels: Germany’s Pirate Party Celebrates Historic Victory

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Staff, Sept. 19, 2011.
(First my comment: best is their goal to make transparent all Govs and other power-groups, and I hope, with the time, also the economic power groups. We have to go much further than only wikileaks, WE HAVE TO MAKE TRANSPARENT THE WHOLE MESS. Only then we have a chance to change all that).

Once the Greens were Germany’s political rebels. But on Sunday they lost their title to the Pirate Party, which won seats in a regional government for the first time. The success of their data-driven message took even the party itself by surprise … // 

… Indeed, the support for the party — founded in 2006 on a civil liberties platform that focused on Internet freedoms — was sensational. Not only will the Pirate Party enter a regional government for the first time, but its results far surpassed the five percent hurdle needed for parliamentary representation. The success was so unexpected that the party had only put 15 candidates on its list of nominations. Had their support been just a little higher, some of their seats would have remained empty because post-election nominations of candidates isn’t allowed.

Beginners’ Mistakes:

It’s an amateur mistake, but the young party is honest about their growing pains. “Of course we are amateurs,” said lead candidate Andreas Baum. “It would be senseless to deny it.” It doesn’t seem to matter that his press representative doesn’t know her mobile phone number and has no business cards yet. “We are visionary, but practical,” he adds.

But it was precisely this approach that proved successful for the Pirate Party. Their humorous campaign posters, with slogans like “Privatize religion,” were the work of party members, not an advertising company. All of the city-state’s some 1,000 members were encouraged to take part.

The Pirate Party sees itself as the antipode to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats. “We want more freedom,” says Pavel Mayer, an IT businessman and the party’s third parliamentary candidate. The Pirate Party believes that “people are intelligent and full of goodwill,” he adds.

Their election success is due in part to the weaknesses of the other parties, he says. During the campaign, more established parties, including the once rebellious Greens, mocked the Pirate Party. Green candidate Renate Künast said the Greens would “resocialize” the Pirate Party to keep them from running in the next election. Center-left Social Democrat Klaus Wowereit, who won his third term as mayor in the election, warned Berliners against “voting out of pure protest” for the new party and criticized their “totally unclear profile” in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.

The New Greens? … (full text).


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