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Pirate Party Wins At Least One European Parliament Seat 674

Posted by timothy
from the replace-amateur-clowns-with-professional-clowns dept.
reeeh2000 writes "According to TorrentFreak, with half of polling stations now closed in Sweden, the Pirate Party has at least one guaranteed seat in the EU Parliament. Currently, the party is sitting with 7% of the vote. Depending on how the remaining districts voted, the Pirate Party could win another seat, for a total of two." Reader lordholm adds a link to an article about exit polls in Sweden (link in Swedish) indicating that the Pirate Party will score two seats, writing "According to the polls, the pirate party is the largest party in the 18-30 year age category of voters. The final counting of votes (including around a million postal votes) will not be done until later next week."
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Pirate Party Wins At Least One European Parliament Seat

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  • Bravo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siloko (1133863) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:44PM (#28244347)
    A fantastic result. It seems that democratic representation means something even to filesharers! Who would have thought that they're not all teenage hoodies checking out of society!
    • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Markspark (969445) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:55PM (#28244473)
      actually a lot of people voted on the pirate party to protect civil liberties and personal rights. (I did for an example)
    • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:56PM (#28244497) Journal
      18-30 year-olds? So in the next EP election, the PP will be the favoured party of 18-35 year-olds. That should give more than just one or two seats.
      • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alexhard (778254) <alexhard@@@gmail...com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:08PM (#28244587) Homepage

        I think that in the next 5 years the PP will focus more on presenting these issues to older people, as well. Singing to the choir will only get you so far..

        I think this has a lot to do with the way the party is represented by the media: when older people hear that the PP is "for the legalization of file sharing", they obviously don't think this is an important issue. If they knew the extent of the damage being done to personal liberties and privacy, they would be more willing to vote for the pirates.

      • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:09PM (#28244593)
        Sure, but the point of the party isn't really to become a "real" party but to force other parties into taking strong stances in making copyright weaker, protecting the fair use and the right to personal filesharing along with actually giving a crap about privacy. Perhaps it will take more than one or two elections, but 30-40 years down the road, the Pirate Party will most likely become obsolete as the other more "mainstream" parties will have taken up the pirate cause and then people will vote based on the economy, etc. because everyone will care about allowing filesharing and increasing privacy.
      • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fishbowl (7759) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:21PM (#28244681)

        >18-30 year-olds? So in the next EP election, the PP will be the favoured party of 18-35 year-olds.

        No, once they are over 30 something clicks and they become more interested in preserving their own wealth than in idealism, so they become conservatives.

        You would think that the counterculture generation of the 1960s would behave differently now that they are the dominant force in government and business, but look at the reality.

  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Funny)

    by tindur (658483) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:49PM (#28244401)
    I hope they will bring up for discussion a lot of the concerns of fellow slashdotters.
  • by BlackCreek (1004083) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:50PM (#28244407)

    http://www.thelocal.se/19928/20090607/ [thelocal.se]

    Among voters aged under 30, some 19 percent are believed to have cast a vote for the Pirate Party.

    "They are the biggest party among young people, bigger than both the Social Democrats and the Moderates," said politics professor SÃren Holmberg.

    As I was just telling my girlfriend, one way or another, it should be the first time the EP gets people who actually understand present day computer technology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hingo (687307)

      Actually, the Europarl is big and there have been people who understand SW patents and copyrights very well, for instance in the Greens and even in the conservative bloc. It's just that for every such MEP there were also those with their hands deep in the RIAA/BSA lobbyists pockets. To have a new party running primarily on this theme will indeed make a difference.

      You could see it on Swedish pre-election TV debates already. The PP wasn't even there (as a non-established party, this is normal) but the establi

  • One seat "only" (Score:4, Informative)

    by eddy (18759) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:50PM (#28244409) Homepage Journal
    It's one seat only for sure, however, it's my understanding that if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified (shudder), this opens up extra seats one of which would go to PP.
  • One great big.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by castrox (630511) <stefan@@@verzel...se> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:50PM (#28244415)

    This is one great big middle finger to the big parties who have ignored the privacy issues. Just this past month it's been very clear that the large parties are trembling because of the massive streams of voters who abandon them for the Pirate Party just because of these important issues. I really hope they will get with the program and realize that they can't dismiss the privacy debate and say that it's just a loud bunch who don't get it (the so called "pirates").

  • German results (Score:5, Informative)

    by mseeger (40923) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:51PM (#28244437)

    Hi,

    the pirate party reached in germany 0,9%. Concerning lack of attention from the media, nearly non-existent funds and that stupid name, this is a very strong result for them.

    CU, Martin

    • Re:German results (Score:4, Interesting)

      by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:12PM (#28244615) Journal

      the pirate party reached in germany 0,9%. Concerning lack of attention from the media, nearly non-existent funds and that stupid name, this is a very strong result for them.

      Wow - considering Germany gets 99 seats, just a bit over 1% would have gotten a German PP rep, too!!

      When are the new Bundestag elections due, Martin?

      • Re:German results (Score:5, Informative)

        by adpe (805723) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:17PM (#28244657)
        Sadly, we germans somehow think it's a good idea to only allow parties who get >=5% of the votes into our (or the european) parliaments. Might be because of our history, but we (the german pirate party, I'm a member), need to gain significant support to actually be allowed to say anything.
  • Final results. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Greger47 (516305) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:52PM (#28244439)
    The Pirate Party got 7.1% wth 99.9% votes counted. This will give them 1 seat in the current parlament, 2 if the parlament gets extended according to the Lisbon treaty. /greger
  • by e9th (652576) <<e9th> <at> <tupodex.com>> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:53PM (#28244457)
    Does the Pirate Party platform include issues besides copyright/privacy?
    • by alexhard (778254) <alexhard@@@gmail...com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:04PM (#28244557) Homepage

      They also want to reform patent and trademark law, but that's it. However, the issues that they are dealing with, most importantly the right to privacy, are in my mind (and obviously many others) much more important than the issue of whether taxes should be at 31% or 32%.

  • by shaka (13165) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:54PM (#28244463)

    As a Swede, I am very proud that Sweden once again leads the way and is the first country to take an important issue seriously - wait until the next election and see Pirate Parties from countries all over Europe!

  • Arrr! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcvos (645701) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:59PM (#28244521)

    Great news! Unfortunately I couldn't vote for them, but just before the elections, I noticed that the number 4 candidate on the list of the Dutch party GroenLinks has practically the same ideas (and priorities) as the Pirate Party. I voted for him, but unfortunately GroenLinks only got 3 seats (which is still a pretty good result).

    Of course these parties are still a tiny minority in the Europarliament, but if they can explain to their colleagues what's so wrong about current IP laws, they might end up having some very real impact.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)

      I noticed that the number 4 candidate on the list of the Dutch party GroenLinks has practically the same ideas (and priorities) as the Pirate Party. I voted for him, but unfortunately GroenLinks only got 3 seats (which is still a pretty good result).

      Isn't GroenLinks part of a European coalition, though? That's the real question for the Pirate party as well: will they join a coalition? Because as a small party, their influence will be extremely limited, as they will have little time on the Floor of parli

  • by prefec2 (875483) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:00PM (#28244525)

    You need to get at least 0.5% to get money from the state. approx 7 cent per vote. The total results can be found here: http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/en/europawahlen/EU_BUND_09/ergebnisse/bundesergebnisse/b_tabelle_99.html [bundeswahlleiter.de]

    • by jps25 (1286898) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:35PM (#28244783)
      It's actually 0.85EUR per vote up to 4 million votes, and 0.70EUR per vote for any additional votes. Check paragraph 18 PartG
  • by Bjarne Bula (11937) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:00PM (#28244531)

    It should be noted that although they call themselves the Pirate party, the focus of the party is on questions of privacy and integrity. Issues where voters have been repeatedly ignored and even betrayed by the established parties.

    While one of the laws recently shoved down voter's throats, despite promises to the contrary, have been aimed towards curbing piracy, the real outrage has been against the privacy and integrity issues with this and other recently passed laws regarding interception of domestic communications etc. (Well, that, and giving corporations the ability to petition courts to perform searches that, under similar conditions, would not be granted even to the police.)

  • They got one seat (Score:5, Informative)

    by dastrike (458983) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:02PM (#28244547) Homepage

    The 7.1% the Pirate Party got gives them one seat. See http://www.val.se/val/ep2009/valnatt/rike/index.html [www.val.se]. It is incredibly unlikely that they'd get another one. Nearly all of the advance votes have already been counted.

    The advance votes get sent to the polling station where one would have normally voted on and are counted as part of the normal counting process. See http://www.val.se/in_english/2009_ep_election/index.html [www.val.se]. Those advance votes that aren't counted yet are those advance votes that were placed on Sunday, which are relatively few given Sunday was the ordinary election day.

    Anyhow the final count will be available on Wednesday.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:07PM (#28244581) Journal

    At the very beginning I was till hoping the good boys of PP will get the second seat, but by now it's very unlikely.

    Still, good initial showing. Congrats! Now time to open a Finnish chapter, as well (we Finns and Swedes always like to argue, but in truth we are very similar).

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:12PM (#28244611) Homepage Journal

    The Pirate Party have policies against software patents, so this is good news also in that respect.

    Their voting weight will be small, but they can help make the group dynamics of the European Parliament more favourable to campaigners against software patents (much as the Greens did in 2002-2005, and still do).

  • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:14PM (#28244639)

    The Pirate Party has an English page here [piratpartiet.se] that describes the basics. It has gained a lot of support after they, together with bloggers etc, managed to drum up public opposition to a wiretapping law, a law forcing ISPs to store traffic data, new copyright enforcement laws and the Pirate Bay trial. It has been growing since 2006 and spreads internationally, but this is the first parliamentary seat.

  • Mutiny in the EU. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ae1294 (1547521) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:16PM (#28244651) Journal

    Woah... they went from 0 to 100kph in like 1 second. If I was the other parties i'd be taking notice. One seat probably isn't going to change much but it has been amazing to watch this whole thing unfold and the threat it all posses to the other parties if they don't stop taking money and order's from big business/brother...

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:15PM (#28245537)

      It's not so much this one seat, it's the 7% that should shake up other parties. 7% is a lot, especially in Sweden. Hell, it would be a lot in most countries that don't consist of just a two-party system!

      7% is something YOU want for YOUR party. And it's not like you have to turn your party upside down to incorporate the issues of what is basically a two-issue party: Privacy and copyright/patent laws.

      Those 7% are yours for the taking. Take our privacy and our concern about the harebrained copyright and patent laws serious, and they could be yours!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)

        * only applicable to parties that have credibility left in these matters.

  • by CHJacobsen (1183809) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:21PM (#28244685) Homepage

    It might be interesting for slashdotters to know that the top-candidate of the Pirate Party is a free-software contributor, and has been working a lot previously to establish open standards and to fight software patents.

    Their success might turn out to be an asset for free software as well as integrity.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:49PM (#28244903) Homepage

    Seems to me like people in Europe enjoy more freedoms than we do here in the US - the self proclaimed "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave".

    That's what you get with a single party system, my friends. And no, this is not a typo - Dems and Repubs are pretty much the same party with minor variations. There's nowhere near the diversity of political opinion in the US as what you'd see in Europe. We need a raving, rabid, card carrying socialists to balance the equation somewhat on this side of the pond. All branches of the government have been licking the Big Business' behind for far too long.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by guyminuslife (1349809)

      Shocking! I've never heard such stunning allegations about the United States before! My good sir, who do you think you are? ;-)

  • I'm proud today (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hazelfield (1557317) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @07:09PM (#28245077)
    Sweden has for a long time been known as an advanced IT nation with widespread computer use, broadband connections, IT companies and so on. In the last few years that has come to change with new repressive laws like FRA [wikipedia.org] and IPRED [wikipedia.org], but today we took back some of our lost pride. It's good to see that we give Europe a voice for a reformed copyright and patent law, free culture, and privacy and democracy on the Internet. Even if it's difficult for this person - most likely Christian Engström [wikipedia.org] - to affect decisions directly among 735 other MPs, his presence will have two important consequences:

    1) It gives Brussels some sorely needed competence on these issues to act as a counterweight against lobbyists trying to influence decisions.

    2) It sends a message to the other parties that they cannot continue ignoring the rights of their citizens forever.

    I voted for the Pirate Party and I hope this result will be the first step towards a European Union that cares more about our rights online.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @07:41PM (#28245329)

    While this is obviously a welcome result for those who support The Pirate Party, I think a lot of people posting here over-estimate the influence one MEP is going to have. At least I hope they do, because here in the UK, the British National Party just won a seat as well.

    • by skrolle2 (844387) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:22PM (#28245577)

      In terms of voting power a single MEP sure doesn't contribute much, but the main benefits of having the Pirate Party represented is that there is now one person on the inside that can report on everything that threatens privacy and integrity or furthers the copyright maximalist agenda. He can expose and bring all those issues to the public eye, where other MEPs may or may not be interested in doing so. The other benefit is that he can talk, build alliances, educate and speak to the other MEPs as an equal, not as an outsider with an agenda, because he now has actual voter mandate to do so. There are also a lot of other MEPs from other parties that care about these issues, and there is now one person whose only job is to bring them all together and drive these issues in the direction we want.

      The nationalists may have gotten a few seats, but in this issue most other MEPs are engaged against them, educated about it, and know exactly that they do not want to work with them, so it's much more of an uphill battle for them.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @08:23PM (#28245587)

    I'm also from Europe. Sadly, not from Sweden.

    When you look at the rest of Europe, right-leaning to right-wing parties won the elections. Meaning, in general, that you may assume privacy will be taking a back seat behind big corporation interests and "protection".

    Why not in Sweden? Why are Swedes appearantly inoculated against the fearmongering and scare tactics? And how do we export this to the rest of Europe?

  • Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @09:30PM (#28246023) Journal

    I do not agree with many of the Pirate Party proposals, but it's still good to see true, working democracy in action. It's how you change things if you want them changed.

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