What was unthinkable a few years ago can now very well become the reality. Pirate parties are finally making a mark many years after they were first established with personal liberty as their signature motto. A good example of this upswing can be found in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a hotbed of the anti-piracy movement.
A Roaring Success
As every day passes the Pirate Party seems to garner more support across Germany. The party has scaled never before seen heights and a good indication of the same was found in some of the recent polls. The party secured 13% of the total votes, which ranks it the third biggest party in the country now. This was the first time something like this had happened in the annals of history.
The success seems to have spread to neighbouring Austria, which too has seen the emergence of its own Pirate Party. That party secured 7% of the total votes in a recent poll and this result has thrown open the possibility of an entry into the national parliament.
The Rise of the German Pirate Party
The party was founded in the September of 2006 and since then has managed to script quite a few success stories. In many of the elected offices throughout Germany, Pirate Party members have a significant presence. This figure is higher than the compared figures for all other countries. The highlight though is undoubtedly the remarkable win in the Berlin state parliament elections, where the Pirate Party managed a vote share of 9%.
Building upon this success, the party decided to spread its wings in the rest of the country. And in what is a historic achievement, the German Pirate Party is now almost the country’s third biggest party in terms of vote share (13%). Even the Green Party was left behind with only 11% of the votes.
Popular Policies at the Core of the Win
The German Pirate Party’s policy is resonant with that of other pirate parties around the world. The policy places great importance on free knowledge, fundamental privacy and shared culture. These are the kinds of policies that strike a chord with the average citizen and judging from the just concluded polls, it is clear that people find favour with these points.
While the performance in the polls was nothing short of impressive, bigger challenges lie ahead. Overcoming the corporate and anti-piracy lobby is going to be huge task for the Pirate Party. But the true challenge lies in the next elections of the German federation, which are scheduled at the end of 2013. Sustaining their popularity and converting them to votes is going to be one tough ask.
Spread of Popularity
Inspired by their German counterparts, the Austrian Pirate Party managed to gain 7% of the votes in recent polls. In a further confirmation of their presence as a major party, 22% of the voters said they could consider voting for it in future.
Will the minty-fresh German and Austrian Pirate Parties make significant inroads or will they go the way of the Swedish Pirate Party, which saw its fortunes decline rapidly post the European elections. The next few months will present a more complete picture.