7 May 2012

Pirate Party Wins Again, Enters Another Parliament


I just came back from the victory party in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s northernmost state. The German Piratenpartei has done it again, and entered its third state parliamentWith 8.2% of the votes, the pirates take six out of the 69 seats. This causes problems for the existing coalition in Schleswig-Holstein, as a new constellation is needed. (Germany consists of 16 states, each roughly equivalent in size to a smaller country in Europe.) But more interesting is the German Pirate Party’s now-demonstrated ability to deliver again and again and again. People are starting to expect that the pirate platform is a permanent part of policymaking in Germany. That is certainly a huge change from just six months ago, from before the entry into the Berlin state parliament.

It is only one week to go before elections in Germany’s largest state, Northrhine-Westphalia. A lot of media spotlights and politicial analysts are tuning their antennae to the outcome of that election, on May 13. Recent polls place the pirates at 8-10 percent there, well above the five-per-cent hurdle needed to enter that parliament too.
Next year, there are going to be elections to the Bundestag – Germany’s country-wide parliament. That’s when real change starts to happen.
In the meantime, the community of worldwide pirate parties (over 50 of them) learn from these successes and do what we do best: we observe, we copy, we remix, we reuse.
Congratulations, Piratenpartei. See you at the Düsseldorf victory party in a week.

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