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German Pirate Party Enters 2nd State Parliament 188

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the former-pirate-turned-navy-legislator dept.
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 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"
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:12PM (#39481123)

    "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.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday March 26, 2012 @11:23PM (#39481165) Homepage

    I think what you're referring to is the Free State Project [slashdot.org], which is a libertarian effort to implement their ideas in New Hampshire.

    It hasn't fallen apart, really - they moved to NH and elected a bunch of state reps (not that difficult, since each represents about 4500 people). They then discovered very quickly that many of their ideas had already been adopted, and received a pretty warm reception from the established political leadership. Anyone who joined up gearing for a political fight would have been a bit surprised to find that instead of a fight they basically got handshakes and smiles.

    This was partially possible because New Hampshire has an incredibly responsive and functional state government, and a strong tradition of believing in democracy more than in partisanship. That means, for instance, that the Secretary of State has stayed in his appointed office for a couple of decades, despite several changes in the party affiliation of the governor, because he's very good at his job and treats people fairly.

  • 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].

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @01:49AM (#39481725)

    My stepbrother was born in Kaiserslautern, so he technically has German citizenship.

    Only if he has a German parent, or in some specific cases is of German descent.
    Germany doesn't have "ius soli":
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nationality_law [wikipedia.org]

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @07:00AM (#39482779)

    That's a pretty good summary from an European point of view.

    It's funny that "left" and "right" are very relative terms. What we consider "right" in Europe would fit the center of the US, while our "left" simply doesn't exist on the US radar. From the vantage point across the pond, the US has a moderate right party and a conservative right party.

  • 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.

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