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German Pirate Party Enters 2nd State Parliament 188

An anonymous reader writes "After its recent success in the Berlin elections, the German Pirate Party scores 7.4% of votes for the state parliament of Saarland, earning them 4 seats out of 51. While the campaign didn't center around copyright issues and/or ACTA (the party's stance is well-known), it centered around open government, access to education, and participative governing models, effectively ridding the party of its 'one issue' notion."
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German Pirate Party Enters 2nd State Parliament

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  • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:10PM (#39480829)

    To me, this sort of win, the power that it gives them to promote and further the gains that they stand for is likely to have a MUCH bigger impact on the actual lives of their constituents than all the Occupy movements put together. Recently in Australian politics, the Green Senators have shown themselves to be a wonderful constant badgering voice calling Bullshit when needed and keeping the government here in check. I can't help but hope that the Pirate Party in Australia has similar success.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:23PM (#39480893)

      This works in places with a system of government where getting 7% of the votes translates to a voice in government.

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:36PM (#39480971) Journal
        Exactly. Having participated in the French PP, I can say that our chances of ever having a representative are far slimer : here you need a majority vote in a district for that to happen. But it can happen through deals with other big parties. "We are worth 3%. We'll call to vote for you if you put net neutrality in your program and let a PP candidate run without your opposition in 3% of the winnable districts"
      • As opposed to here in the US where the supposedly more liberal of the two parties controls half the legislative branch and the executive branch, and yet we're talking about tax cuts, invading another oil-rich middle eastern country, and pretty much doing nothing about the deficit.

        I realize many slashdotters think this is a result of the two-party system, and I respect that opinion, but I still think the problem has far more to do with the voters. I think giving them more options will merely give them mo
        • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:19AM (#39481989)

          "The US has one party with two right wings."
          - Gore Vidal

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GumphMaster ( 772693 )

        Our voting system is more complicated than the various first-past-the-post systems. Generally, however, 7% of the popular vote scores little representation in the Australian House of Representatives either, e.g. Greens hold 1 seat [http://results.aec.gov.au/15508/Website/HousePartyRepresentation-15508.htm] out of 150 on 11.76% of first preferences [http://results.aec.gov.au/15508/Website/HousePartyRepresentation-15508.htm]. In our Senate the electoral system works differently and the result is more prop

      • by schwitzkroko ( 633855 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:59PM (#39481307) Homepage
        They are represented in the Saarland parliament now. That is the legislative, not the executive body. Theoretically they could be included into government by a coalition, but this is not going to happen for now.
        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @07:19AM (#39482897)

          This is still something that has some serious impact on the politics there.

          When you look at the changes [tagesschau.de] against the last elections, you will almost certainly notice two big losers: FDP and Left Party. Now, the FDP is a given, considering it's "the neo-con party" and neo-con positions have a rather tough times in times when it becomes noticeable that the idea of unbridled economy isn't quite working out so perfectly. The FDP has a general crisis and is getting kicked out of parliaments recently with losses unparalleled in history (aside of a time in history when parties were outlawed...).

          Now, what drove people away from the FDP? A survey [tagesschau.de] amongst former voters labels, in this order, "too much infighting", "has a leader I cannot agree with" and "is a party of social chill" as the three contributing factors why they didn't vote for them anymore. Oddly, it seems that made the PP an alternative, or so it seems. More likely, though, I think that former FDP voters didn't vote this time, and instead people who did not vote earlier went this time, now that they actually saw a party that they can identify with. Personally, I'd call that a very good development, to see people rekindle their interest in politics.

          As a German stand up recently said, people are not fed up with politics, people are fed up with politicians. If anything, a result of 7% from zero is a pretty good indicator that this is actually the case. Those 7% are now 7% that are missing from other parties and that make certain combinations of coalitions possible, or rather, impossible. And that's where those 7% actually start to mean something.

          Looking back at the seats [tagesschau.de] in the parliament now, those 4 seats the PP gained actually wield some power and meaning. Not going into detail how they would have been distributed under other circumstances (first of all that would depend how people who voted for PP would have voted otherwise, if at all, and how the elections arithmetics work), my estimate would be that those seats would have gone to Die Linke and the Greens instead. An SPD/Left Party coalition would have been possible. Not possible now. An SPD/Green coalition, too. Not possible either.

          The fact that these four seats went to the PP now forces a large coalition between CDU and SPD onto the parliament. No other majorities are (sensibly) possible. As odd and unwanted as it may be, the success of the PP saved the conservative's asses on the government bench.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by countach ( 534280 )

      The Greens are a mixed bag. Half the time they do a great job of calling Bullshit. Half the time they are the purveyors of the bullshit.

      • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

        Half the time they are the purveyors of the bullshit.

        [Citation needed]. No, seriously, I'm genuinely interested.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:18AM (#39481373)

          > [Citation needed]. No, seriously, I'm genuinely interested.
          Flat-out refusal to support anything with the word "nuclear" is one thing the international Slashdot crowd will get:

          They wish to close Australia's only nuclear reactor, a research reactor whose main product is radioactive isotopes for medical imaging. The policy also blindly ignores things like thorium cycle fission reactors or even nuclear fusion reactors if they were viable.

          • Surely in Australia you could simply capture all the billions of huge venomous spiders and use them to power treadmills to generate electricity?
            • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

              Surely in Australia you could simply capture all the billions of huge venomous spiders and use them to power treadmills to generate electricity?

              Yea...naaah, mate! No need for it, drop bears and hoop snakes generate plenty.

          • by Sabriel ( 134364 )

            Yeah, the Greens can be a mixed bag, but aren't they all? I also notice in your link that while #17 is to close that reactor, #16 is to promote an alternative method of getting those medical isotopes. I daresay the former isn't going to happen until the latter does.

            Re nukes, while I disagree with any policy that wants to ban nuclear reactors outright (they are still important research and medical tools), as far as commercially-operated nuclear fission reactors go I no longer want them. It boils down to this

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I read that page and it all seems fairly sensible. Australia doesn't need nuclear power and has vast renewable resources, far more than it could ever need. You guys don't have a big nuclear industry but do have significant amounts of waste to deal with. Developing thorium cycle or fusion would be extremely expensive and for no apparent purpose or gain. Green issues aside it wouldn't even make economic sense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Fellow Earthians,

      Never before has the Universe unfolded such a flower as our collective human intelligence, so far as we know."

      There is more of this sort of inanity from Bob Brown [greensmps.org.au] in the speech.

      The Greens talk BS far more than they call it.

  • Frankly, I'd prefer to see some issue-specific "Green" party get in: Eg, the Subj ones.

    There are, after all, some more critical (eg, to life on Earth) issues to be solved here.

    • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:29PM (#39480935) Journal

      don't underestimate the destruction caused by patents, copyright, etc. The damage to our culture has barely begun to show - while it's not direct, our culture is being less and less documented as a result.

      Patents around green products can affect the life on earth issue, and patents on medicine cost actual lives (and money).

      • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )

        That's not even counting the fact that most "green" political parties (at least in France) are a bunch of opportunistic retards that are just there for politics, not at all about ecology.

      • Indeed, almost all of the proposed solutions to the big issues (in terms of the environment) are technological solutions. This almost demands a party who recognise that rampant abuse of IP law needs to be reined in so that it's no longer one of the major stumbling blocks to technical innovation.
    • by abridgedslashdotuser ( 1932110 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:57PM (#39481055)

      Frankly, I'd prefer to see some issue-specific "Green" party get in: Eg, the Subj ones.

      They have a green party in Germany and they are also just got voted in and will be sitting "right beside" the "pirates" in the state parliament after this election there in Saarland.

      There are, after all, some more critical (eg, to life on Earth) issues to be solved here.

      A party who opposes censorship, data retention and supports more government transparency is also needed and these issues do matter there, because the "pirates" got 7,4 % of the votes in Saarland so their program is more supported then that of the green party who barely got over the 5 percent threshold with their 5,0 %. I think you just said something without knowing the political situation there, or am i wrong?

      But besides all these things got me wondering... in Germany even new and small parties have a chance to get into parliaments and now there are six different bigger parties (cdu/csu, spd, the green party, the left party and now the pirate party) and many more small parties there to chose from, but in the us they just got stuck with two, why? I don't get it where is the democracy in that?

      • by bfandreas ( 603438 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:11AM (#39481969)
        ...also all of these parties have a lot of overlap.
        Any combination of parties starting a coalition with another has already been tried. Amazingly most seemed to be functional.

        This is why a new party like the PP doesn't NEED a party stance on everything. Besides, parliamentarians can and should have their own conscience and vote along those lines. The PP doesn't need a consensus on EU milk quotas, the recession(there is none in Germany at the moment) and other issues. The Green Party started like that and became a party with a complete programme within two decades.

        There are safeguards against fragmentation. You need at least some percentage to actually get a seat in parliament. Most commonly that's 5%. That keeps the kooks out.

        Also if a big enough portion of your population votes for a party that doesn't make it into government then government still has to take their needs into account. Otherwise you don't have a democracy but a dictatorship of the majority. Which never is a good thing.
      • The Green party is well established in Germany anyway. They actually took a beating in Saarland this time, but they are running the state of Baden-Württemberg with the SPD as their junior partners and they are participating in several other state governments.

        I think the PP is an important addition - I agree that green issues are vital, but we also need to protect the foundation of our democratic system, otherwise we have no chance of addressing these issues. The main problem with stuff like ACT

        • Funny thing is that due to the yoghurt eating, long-haired fleabags Germany was/is quite ahead on evironmental technologies/alternative energy/andsoforth.

          I could very well be that the Green party has lined the German coffers with gold and Muesli.

          Also that party grew up quite a bit over the last 20 years and I suspect that it isn't even in the slightest comparable to the counterpart in the US. Although the fundamentalist wing of Die Gruenen has a problem with being in power and the realist wing has a pro
      • 5 minutes until someone comes and declares how the US are a Republic and not a Democracy. As if that made any difference in that matter...

    • Green and Pirate issues do have some overlap. Currently pure rent-seeking counts as economic activity, and so long as someone in your country is getting revenue from somewhere else, can perversely appear as growth. This is not a trivial problem; the UK has been a heavily IP-based economy for a long time (look at ARM: a UK company making one of the most ubiquitous architectures in the world that doesn't itself ever make a single chip. Pharmaceuticals are another good example.)

      This can mask underlying problem

    • by neyla ( 2455118 )

      Who owns and controls which information under which rules, *is* a major issue in the information-age.

      It's not only, or even primarily, about copying of entertainment. Who owns and controls, and under which rules:

      Computers. Personal information. Inventions. Knowledge. Art.

      This ties in with education, with corruption, with medicine, with an awful lot of very important issues pretty much all over the map.

      It doesn't cover the -entire- map, but as "single" issues go, this one is a biggie, I'm not at all convince

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:26PM (#39480915)
    If we just did something outrageous and said,"All copyrights expire after 7 years", we'd have a great wealth of free media for the uneducated. We could put K-12-College books on 100$ laptops. Then schools, instead of paying 10,000$ for books for k-12, kids could get a laptop and schools could save 10 grand on each student. Schools keep complaining they're strapped for cash. Well, here is a solution. Not to mention how great it'd be for third world kids with OLPC.
    • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:29PM (#39480933)

      There are lots and lots of free textbooks. That has never been a problem.

      The problem is to start actually using them.

      • by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:33PM (#39480953) Homepage

        There is a massive stigma that if it is free then it can't be any good. Its the 'open' movement's worst problem, whether it is books or software.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, because the publishers make sure the free ones are never picked by major education.

      • Who needs textbooks when you've got Wikipedia and Google?

        That's the way my kids' schools are going anyway.
    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:21PM (#39481153)

      an informed population will not be one that submits to state (and now, corporate) control.

      they don't want an educated population. they REALLY do not.

      that's all I have to say on this subject.

      • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:27PM (#39481171) Homepage

        I think it's safe to say that the Germans know all about the risks of totalitarianism. Especially those over the age of 25 living in former East Germany. I'd be very very surprised if they'd forgotten that lesson.

      • an informed population will not be one that submits to state (and now, corporate) control.

        they don't want an educated population. they REALLY do not.

        that's all I have to say on this subject.

        I imagine that the average person in the West nowdays is a lot better informed and educated than the people involved in the French or Russian revolutions. They're also a lot freer and a lothappier, so the prospect of revolution is not high.

  • by Lotana ( 842533 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:28PM (#39480931)

    We bound to have some German slashdoters here, so it would be good to have a first hand opinions on them:

    - What is your opinion on the party?

    - On what issues do you agree with them and which do you disagree?

    - Do you think that they will be able to affect the policies or are they an ineffective tongue-in-cheek gesture?

    - What do you see will be the biggest challenge for them in the future?

    • by Internetuser1248 ( 1787630 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:46PM (#39481247)
      I am not German but I have been a resident in Berlin for several years and follow politics closer than many.

      -They are a breath of fresh air in a stale bureaucratic system

      -All of the ones I have heard their position on (yes I read their party manifesto)

      -This one is hard to answer, time will tell. I do think that merely by being there they influence the frame of public debate slightly.

      -Not going stale and becoming just another brick in the wall. German bureaucracy is pretty soul crushing sometimes
      • Also I like how they only have a core programme and leave everything else up to their respective members. I THINK they make a very good junior partner in a coalition government event tho they still need to grow up a little bit.

        They have a very good chance to become THE liberal party in Germany as opposed to the current one that is now imploding over errors made in the 80ies.

        Due to the unique way we vote(one vote for a party, one vote for a parliamentarian) you can have your Pirates flavoured Red, Black,
    • by abridgedslashdotuser ( 1932110 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:59AM (#39481553)

      A small warning for American readers, some views of mine will contradict what you believe is right and wrong, we have public health care here (i think this is how it should be) and other things you don't like so don't get too upset and also what i consider liberal could be something other then what you do. And my also my view of things can differ from the views other Germans have.

      - What is your opinion on the party?

      Germany needs a liberal party and not a neoliberal party in my opinion, so i think the pirates can be a win for the political landscape. There is/was a other liberal party the FDP who just got voted out of the parliament there in Saarland and they are also Germany wide in big trouble not only because the pirates but also because their economic liberalism isn't liked by the people in here anymore. People rights and opposing the rise of government surveillance where just a small fig-leaf in the end they didn't really deliver and right after the last federal election they made a big mistake on focusing on some tax cuts for the hotel lobby. That upset many people because if the rich pay lesser taxes then the rest has to pay more or the government has to cut spending and in the end this will result in a big decrease of the living standard here because a working government is better than a not working one and money is needed for that. The FDP then did cut some spending in our health system and the people got even angrier with them but they didn't listen and now they are at there dawn and i think the pirates are on the rise if they stick to their main program of more transparency, less government surveillance and if they don't try to cut the social safety net.

      - On what issues do you agree with them and which do you disagree?

      The pirates and there are a lot of issues the don't cover so it's hard to point out thing i truly disagree but if i think if they just focus on freedom and don't on social justice then in the long-view the freedom part can not be full-filled in my opinion. A party who cuts taxes for the rich and then also cuts government spending on social security is, in my opinion not liberal, because then Germany would be in a state as bad as England or the USA are now and no German citizen in their right mind would really want that. So if the would try to copy the business policies of the FDP than they won't ever get my vote. But the points that led to the founding of the German pirate party, which i had already had some listed above, these are the things (more government transparency, less government surveillance, no internet censorship, and a fairer copyright and patent law) i can agree with.

      - Do you think that they will be able to affect the policies or are they an ineffective tongue-in-cheek gesture?

      The funny thing is that even just by "jumping" over the 5% threshold and now having seats in two state parliaments (Berlin and Saarland) has the other parties in uproar and could lead to some opinion changes. How they behave in a coalition with other parties has yet to be seen. The theory how this could play out is one thing but how it will play out is the other. They got many votes from people who don't want to vote for the other five big pirates anymore, so if they now or some time in the future screw this up, this could be a blow to democracy here. Because if people get the feeling of powerlessness it could lead to more radicalism (left and or right).

      - What do you see will be the biggest challenge for them in the future?

      This year there will be many elections in other and bigger Federal states and the challenge for them is the same as in Berlin and Saarland, they have to get in the Parliament by "jumping" over the 5% threshold which is also their goal for the upcoming federal elections in 2013. And another challenge will be their increasing attention to the media here and also how the other parties will now react, now that they have seen that the pirates could possibly more than a one hit wonder.

    • I'm a german /.er

      In my opinion, a party without a fixed policy is the best thing that can happen to parliamentarism over here, because this means debates would get their whole reason d'être back: convincing the members of parliament to vote for or agains something, based on arguments.

      Currently, we're paying 625 people to raise there hands based on party policy instead of personal beliefs and opinions. Predictable as it is, it's a waste of time and money.

      The biggest challange for the PP is their lack of

    • Not German either, but close enough to follow German politics quite closely.

      1. The PP is currently the only party in Germany that actually embraces a system of personal liberty and freedom. The FDP, the self proclaimed "liberals", have shown their face as taking a mostly neo-con position with "liberal" only meaning unfettered and unbridled economy with little to no concern about personal freedoms. Hence also their recent crash to rock bottom in elections. The PP is also the only party that openly and sternl

    • We bound to have some German slashdoters here

      Lucky no-one's mentioned the War then!

  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Formalin ( 1945560 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @10:37PM (#39480979)

    I'm so jealous of proportional representation. Here 7% of the vote would get you 0% of the seats, barring some sort of miracle - like all of your votes being concentrated, instead of low level throughout the popular vote.

    This makes it pretty difficult for new ideas to get out there... If large party A, B (or sometimes even C!) won't buy your idea, it's not getting represented.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm so jealous of proportional representation. Here 7% of the vote would get you 0% of the seats, barring some sort of miracle - like all of your votes being concentrated, instead of low level throughout the popular vote.

      This makes it pretty difficult for new ideas to get out there... If large party A, B (or sometimes even C!) won't buy your idea, it's not getting represented.

      This is why America desperately needs a 3rd party. This two party system we currently have does not come close to representing the voice of many Americans.

      • Sure. Like in England, where you're conservative and vote Conservative Party and instead support some "Conservative-Liberal Democrat" coalition that makes no idealogical sense and is basically a purely political creation to check Labour.

      • Every time a third party arose, all it meant was that one of the two established parties vanished. Look back in the history of the US and tell me a single time when there were actually three important parties for a sensible amount of time. Let's start at, say, 1800.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:03PM (#39481075)

      One problem with any kind of proportional system (hybrid or otherwise) is that you always end up with members whom the public has not elected directly. They can be whatever lunatic attack dog the party wants to appoint (or vote internally). Unlike a plurality system, you can't really vote those idiots out.

      The biggest problem with democracy is that it promises far more than any practical solution will ever deliver. There is no perfect system.

      • by agm ( 467017 )

        The biggest problem with democracy is that it promises far more than any practical solution will ever deliver. There is no perfect system.

        The biggest problem with democracy is that it is used as an excuse for the state to actively harm people. There are many ways democracy enables the state remove or dilute our primary liberties. No system (democratic or otherwise) should allow this to happen.

      • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Informative)

        by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:29PM (#39481179) Homepage

        There is no perfect system.

        Obligatory reference to the Arrow Impossibility Theorem [wikipedia.org].

      • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by robmcdiarmid ( 2604049 ) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:39PM (#39481223)
        There's no reason why you couldn't design a proportional system that forced each party to pre-post an ordered list of candidates. That way, you'd know exactly whom you would get for each percentage chunk that resulted in another representative from that party. And, if a specific individual within a given party is causing more people to not vote for the party than to vote for it, it's in the party's best interest to dump them, or at least put them lower on the candidate list.
        • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by maweki ( 999634 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:21AM (#39481393) Homepage
          Funnily enough, this is almost exactly how it works in Germany. There is a pre-ordered and published list but we have a mixed system where you can vote for your district's candidate directly and the guy or girl who wins a district overrides his position (if placed) in the list. But the list/party-vote guarantees that the party is at least that represented.
          And if there are more candidates that won directly than the percentage would allow for (in terms of representation), we add seats to the parliament in order for every directly elected representative to have his place.
        • by orzetto ( 545509 )

          Uh uh no no, it does not turn out that way in practice. We have the system you describe in Italy and it's really rotten.

          The result is that several parties put unpopular, but powerful candidates high in the lists so they are guaranteed a place in parliament. These are often crooked politicians, plain simpletons, or even mafiosi like Nick Cosentino [wikipedia.org]. The parties run the campaign promoting their logo, ideology or possibly the presentable candidates in their list (who are sitting so low that they do not stand a

          • I think the difference here is that you'll loose lots of the vote percantage if you don't put the popular candidates on the top of teh list.

        • Actually such a system exists in some countries, IIRC it's also the case in Germany. You get the list of candidates presented, and if you don't like it, you can rearrange them.

          Of course that leads to ballot papers that are a few square meters large and about as easy to understand as the average laws created by the very people on that list, but hey, you get the free choice... if you ever figure out how to make it.

      • by maweki ( 999634 )
        This is why, in Germany, we don't actually vote for a party but for a list supplied by the party. This list has to be openly available and 5 or 6 candidates are named on the ballot as an example.
        Don't like the guy? Don't vote for the list he is on. If you still like the politics of his list/party, then why do you care if he is an a-hole?
      • How so?

        When I vote in elections using a proportional system I rank individual candidates. If I don't like Bob Smith from party X I can put him last even if I put John Jones from party X first.

    • Exactly, it's very frustrating.
      It's like getting 30 points in every tennis games but still losing 6-0 6-0 6-0.
      While I don't care that much about tennis, it sure is a shame that we cannot get proper political representation.
      The biggest problem is that in order to change this, A & B should vote for it. They don't have any incentive to.

  • Hyperlinking (Score:4, Informative)

    by mikethicke ( 191964 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:12AM (#39481357)
    It seems to be a fairly common problem on Slashdot that posts are poorly hyperlinked. There are two key pieces of information here: (1) The party received 4 seats and (2) the party can no longer be considered a "single issue" party. The second two hyperlinks (7.4% and 4 out of 51 seats) are related to (1), but there is no hyperlink for (2). If a reader wants to know where (2) comes from, they have to randomly click the links to find that it comes from the pcworld.com link (7.4%). This is just annoying.
    • It's maybe not a "one trick pony" anymore, but on the other hand, there's also precious little information about their positions on issues outside the areas of copyright and personal liberty.

      I guess those 7% are more a statement about how fed up the people are with politics altogether rather than how successful the PP is.

  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @01:52AM (#39481733) Homepage

    A survey found 40% of Pirate voters naming "Social Justice" as the most significant issue, even though the Pirates didn't exactly campaign on this in the state (though their platform on the federal level includes it).

    • This adds to my impression that many, many voters just voted for them because they are fed up with the old parties and system. It may very well be that these voters will leave for greener pastures in the future, causing the PP to fall below 5% again (meaning they won't get seats in state elections). Also, a good percentage of the voters are previous FDP (liberals) voters. The FDP had two positions in the past, neo-liberalism with open markets and freedom for the financial sector, and civil rights. They near

      • The social justice issue may also manifest in the average age of you garden variety pirate. They have most of their lives ahead of them and are not way past their prime. So voting for young people in the hope they will look out for young people is not that far fetched, actually.

        If the FDP kicked out all Foreign Secretaries who don't speak Ze Englisch, get rid of people of so interchangeable qualification that they can take care of our health system AND our economy and all the other people who weren't cons
    • It makes sense if you see the big picture.

      The biggest loser of this election was the FDP (as usual), that even dropped out of parliament altogether. In case someone doesn't know: The German government is a coalition between CDU and FDP. One of the currently ruling parties dropped out of a state parliament due to a lack of votes. Just to give you an idea what that REALLY means. And it was almost the same back a few months in Berlin.

      The FDP is now the (self-proclaimed) "liberal" party of Germany. They are eve

  • The interesting thing is they didn't prepare for this election as much as the other parties did. They didn't have the money for polls or a coherent programme weeks before the ballots were cast.

    This whole thing was pretty improvised. They followed their gut and didn't stress the digital issues they have(since they are well known to those who actually care) and explored what else they can stand for.

    There were a lot of pirates going ARRR, and ding-a-ling while they drove around on their bikes hanging up p

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