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Piracy Politics

Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the patches-for-all dept.
bs0d3 writes "For the third consecutive regional election, The German Pirate Party has breached the five-percent mark needed to enter the state parliament, winning 8.2 percent of the vote in state of Schleswig-Holstein. From the article: 'The big winners on the night were the Pirates, an upstart party that has shaken up the staid world of German politics with a campaign based on more transparency in the political process and internet freedom.'"
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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany

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  • Arrg-tung! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2012 @10:58PM (#39912225)
    Too easy. Mod me down.
  • by gagol (583737) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:12PM (#39912311)
    Aside from the obvious position of the party concerning copyright and p2p technologies, what exactly are the Pirate Party political positions.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:15PM (#39912337)

      Ten minutes and Google would have given you all the info you needed [lmgtfy.com].

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:20PM (#39912377) Journal
      http://www.piratenpartei.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/parteiprogramm-englisch.pdf [piratenpartei.de]

      They don't seem to have an overt foreign policy platform; but I'm going to take the wild guess that they aren't particularly hawkish.
      • by gagol (583737) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:30PM (#39912423)
        It seems, fomr a very quick overview that Pirate Party is very interrested in giving people more power using new technologies and "direct democracy". That is very compelling to me, I will certainly join my local chapter. Thanks for the link.
        • by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:53PM (#39912541)

          From what I understood, the German PP tries to advocate the original direct democracy over the current representative democracy by utilizing social networking as a forum for collecting votes on each issue within the party. The problem with system itself originally was scaling, it simply didn't scale well beyond small city-state sized community and only now do we have realistic technological means to try to make it actually work on larger scale.

          There are some issues with this approach, but it's certainly far more democratic then various representative democratic systems we currently have in the West.

          • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:41AM (#39912697)

            Honestly, direct democracy doesn't scale very well above a village level population, let alone a small city. The problem is that the issues quickly become complex enough and numerous enough that keeping abreast of them is a full time job. Yes, it is useful to get everyone's input for some major piece of infrastructure. But for direct democracy to really work you have to find a way to get the population just as engaged with reviewing the sanitary regulations.

            What you quickly get is a small class of 'professional' politicians who guide and control the general votes. But since it theoretically remains a direct democracy you get none of the necessary controls and safeguards intentionally built into any sane representative democracy. And since the full time politicians don't enjoy the same official position that they would in a representative democracy they typically find less official ways to compensate themselves.

            I'll take a well designed representative democracy built around proportional representation or preferential voting (or some mix of the two) any day over the nasty mess of a large scale direct democracy.

            • Interesting analysis. Nice.
            • Hybridization? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Immerman (2627577) on Monday May 07, 2012 @01:38AM (#39912891)

              You raise a good point, but it seems equally apparent that representative democracies pretty much universally fall prey to corruption. I don't know the details of how Germany's government works, but in a US context where our congressional branch is split into a Senate that represents each state equally and a House of Representatives that represents each state based on population, I've often thought that the latter might be profitably replaced with a direct democracy. Or perhaps a third "House of Commons" branch could be added with any two branches being able to override the third. Or maybe just give the Commons the ability to veto and repeal laws unilaterally to keep the career folks in line.

              There's lots of different ways it could be implemented, and I think now that the technology has made it possible it would be good for governments to start exploring ways in which direct democracy could be integrated into the system. Probably not replacing the existing structure, as you point out you'll have trouble getting the populace interested in a lot of the menial details of governing, but it seems like some measure of direct voice would help to counteract the creeping spread of corruption and cronyism. Even if it's largely advisorial to start with - if politicians had a central source where they could get direct information as to the leanings of their constituents who care enough to take part, perhaps even draw upon them for suggestions - I imagine something like an "Ask Slashdot" about how a bill under consideration could be improved. And I do think veto power would be a good thing, even if the bar is set pretty high to start with - say you need 60-70% of participants to vote against it, with some minimum quorum of citizens participating. Basically a leash to keep the representatives in check on specific issues rather than being limited to replacing them entirely.

              • by Znork (31774)

                First-past-post systems like the US or UK tend to be worse than proportional representation so they don't give a completely fair view of representative democracies. When you basically just have to buy two candidates to win each election corruption becomes very cheap. Proportional systems are slightly less susceptible as the population has a chance to get someone who represents them into power and the corruption tends to take a while.

                The Swiss system where a number of citizens can call a vote on an issue see

                • by Immerman (2627577)

                  I'll give you the first-past-the-post criticism, I'd *love* to have a proportional system in the US, but as you said it only slows down the spread of corruption, we still need to find weapons to actually fight back with, and I think direct democracy (preferably the kind that doesn't involve violent revolution) is probably the only one with a real chance of success. Politicians will likely always be for sale*, whether they're bought with campaign contributions before they're elected, cushy jobs after their

                  • Have you ever heard a politician speak? I'm quite sure they can make you think they said something without saying nothing even remotely connected. So lie detectors would only work if you could also force them to answer direct questions.

            • by Geof (153857) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:11AM (#39913007) Homepage

              Your critique of naive direct democracy - that leaders arise, but are informal and therefore not subject to safeguards - is an excellent one. But it's not enough.

              Consider that the United States today suffers under exactly this scenario. Informal unelected elites have captured the levers of power to the point where the U.S. is not looking much like a democracy any more. This was accomplished despite the excellence of the design of the American system the strength of democratic principles among the American people - a citizenry still fairly engaged, and which was formerly also relatively well educated and informed.

              Democracy is often present as the mechanism through which individuals, born citizens with their own preferences and interests, express and negotiate those preferences and interests, ideally with an eye to the common good. According to many advocates of direct democracy, this is wrong. We are not born citizens. It is not citizens who create democracy: rather it is the practice of democracy that creates citizens. We do not come to politics as individuals with already developed preferences and interests. It is by engaging with others in public discourse and debate that we learn to be citizens, to reason, to participate in public discourse, and through this process we discover and develop our preferences and interests. Democracy is thus a process of education. One of the great failings of representative democracy is that instead of treating us as active and evolving partners, it relegates us to the role of disengaged consumers who occasionally choose one option over another.

              Yet realistically, even if we were to provide the perfect mechanism for people to participate, most of us, lacking interest and starved of time, wouldn't: with results like those you describe. One intriguing alternative draws on the jury system and the elections of ancient Athens. Decisions would be made not by professional politicians, but by randomly-selected groups of citizens with their range of private expertise. Such groups would be charged with investigating a particular issue for a period of time, after which they would disband.

              I realize juries (chosen by counsel more for ignorance than independent thought) are typically reported as dysfunctional, and I don't doubt that this is so. Yet it only confirms that we do not know how to be citizens: and when it is demanded of us, we fail. Through failure, though, we can learn, and teach others. Forming a jury today, when virtually no one has substantial experience, amounts to throwing together a bunch of greenhorns and expecting them to spontaneously become experts.

              For an idealized view of how a jury can teach its participants to be jurors, I suggest the film 12 Angry Men. I admit am not convinced of the wisdom of such a system. But if I was forced to choose, I would place my fate in the hands of a court rather than a politician. I would trust a random selection of my fellow citizens over a self-selected professional of politics. For with the crises we face today, our common fate is indeed the question.

              • Your critique of naive direct democracy - that leaders arise, but are informal and therefore not subject to safeguards - is an excellent one.

                I disagree. It's a trivial one, and it doesn't address the basic improvement to "direct democracy" that has been with it from the start: lotteries. (Al least you do).

                This was accomplished despite the excellence of the design of the American system

                Excellence? By their fruits ye shall know them. The framers of the US constitution had many objectives, but all of them want

            • But for direct democracy to really work you have to find a way to get the population just as engaged with reviewing the sanitary regulations.

              That was invented 2500 years ago, it's a shame that you haven't heard about it: Sortition, or selection by lot.

            • by Kjella (173770)

              There's a middle ground here, realistically there's 7 parties in our parliament so my vote amounts to <3 bits of information every four years, maybe 5 bits on the outside if you include every party. Make that ~1 bit in the US. You're right I don't want to read the thousands of pages from every committee and proposal at work in the political system and manage every line item in the budget, but I don't have to be involved at every step of the way. If I got to vote on say 20-50 major changes each years for

            • by lakeland (218447)

              I agree with your critique but there's plenty of ways of addressing it. To pick one, everybody gets to vote on any issue or grant their vote to a proxy. That would lead to popular proxies getting many votes and so effectively create a different sort of politician.

              I'm not saying my suggestion is perfect - for instance knowing your support can vanish in a flash is likely to lead to extremely cautious decision making (fear of rocking the boat). I just wanted to point out that the direct democracy strawman h

            • Do the current politicians inform themselves about the issues, or do they mostly just care about what their party is saying vs. what their opposition is saying? How many of them even read the laws they are voting on?

              Professional politicians would make sense if they studied the issues. But most of them are too busy playing games with their opponents to do much more then rubber stamp anything their lobbyists put before them.

            • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Monday May 07, 2012 @06:41AM (#39913883)

              I call BS! I am a Swiss and we have direct democracy and it works well, THANK-YOU!

              The idea that issues become too complex is another pile of BS! Issues are not complex, issues are simple. What is complex is when you tie somebody's "emotion". A representative democracy IMO is the BS because what it does is give certain people power above everybody else. Do things move faster in a direct democracy? No, it takes time, but that is good because I hate the knee jerk gotta do this now or the world will end type reactions given by politicians.

              The way Swiss direct democracy works is that the government are careholders and they carry out the day to day functions. It is the people who make the choices of what goes forward. This means that even though we have to ability to decide the sanitary regulations we usually don't. Our democracy does not run amoke because unlike a representative democracy, each person in parliament will not play party politics. For they know if they act like partisan eff heads then the vote will go to the people. And once it goes to the people it is out of their control!

              Case in point the 2 billion CHF fighter jets. The SVP wants it badly, and they want the extra monies. The other parties have said, "try it, and we will put it to the vote of the people." Then the SVP said, ok no extra money, but the departments will have to cut their expenses. Again the other parties said, "try it, we will put it to the vote of the people." The SVP completely backed down, and now is cutting their own expenses and saving the monies so that in 20 years they can buy the jets. In other countries like the US, what is Romney saying? Oh yeah cut everything, but don't touch the military! ssheeshhh...

              What I really dislike about representative democracies is that they are run by minorities. They are run by people who demonstrate enough, who protest enough, or who scream enough. Notice how in Switzerland there are so few protests? Answer, because the people know that if they don't like something and want it changed they just need to put it to the vote of the people. As a result many of the things that people in representative democracies scream about are not voted on because they would never reach majority...

              BUT the biggest and best thing I like about our democracy is that we like to keep our money. If something costs more money we don't vote it in because we know we have to pay for it with more taxes. We don't vote rich people tax breaks, but we also don't rip them apart either.

              So if you counter argument is California on how not to do direct democracies, I say, wait be careful. While California has its issues, it is also a place where people want to be. So in that vein California is not that bad. The difference between California and Switzerland is that California people like to spend, we don't...

              • by bfandreas (603438)
                Well, as far as I know the Swiss Konkordanz is unique worldwide.

                Just to make our anglo-saxon friends heads asplode:
                The government is formed by 5 parties. That's right. FIVE. There is the occasional drama(just remember when Blocher wasn't elected in 2007...it was beautiful to behold...) but nothing lasting. Or sinister.

                Also the amazing thing is their take on direct democracy. A couple of weeks ago the population voted AGAINST 2 additional weeks of vacation. While some say that the mainly the pensioneers
            • by muuh-gnu (894733) on Monday May 07, 2012 @07:24AM (#39913961)

              For direct democracy to work you dont have to give up representative democracy, you can make direct democracy optional, like in switzerland, so that if enough people _want_ to vote on a topic they perceive important, they can.

              At the current representative level, we're basically not allowed to vote on copyright, becaue our "representatives" dont like the probable outcome of the vote. So they simply enforce their policy against the "will of the people", leaving us with a de facto dictatorship with respect to copyright. We cant vote on it, and those we voted in wont do as we want, leading to a situation where the law whether something is legal or illegal absolutely does not represent the public opinion whether something actually is right or wrong.

              In switzerland, representative democracy works as usual, but if enough people collect signatures, they have a way to vote to override politician's decisions. They can stop unpopular laws. In Germany, we cant. If our goverment decides to crack down on filesharing, we cant stop them. If our goverment decides to go to war against iran because of some "NATO obligations", we cant stop them. All we can do is wait for 4 years and then vote in somebody else and pray that he wont do the same, because we cant stop him either. The whole problem originates in the fact that our politicians, once they're in after making false promises, they _know_ that they're literally unstoppable and behave accordingly.

              What Pirates want for Germany and what the Swiss already have in Switzerland, is to make politicians stoppable and their decisions reversible, immediately by popular vote, not by waiting 4 years and then hoping their successors are going to reverse it like they "promised".

          • by artor3 (1344997)

            More democratic, yes, but democratic isn't a synonym for good.

            Representative governments (huge caveat: when working properly) are superior to direct democracy because the average voter doesn't have enough time to become informed on every issue. Instead, they find someone they trust, and give that person a full time job investigating issues and voting appropriately. It's a great system, except that in practice whoever we hire ends up getting bought off. The way to fix it is through draconian regulations o

            • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Monday May 07, 2012 @06:48AM (#39913897)

              I call BS, BS, BS... As I commented in a previous post about direct democracy...

              You say representative democracy is better because the average voter does not have the time. Oh really? You mean the country they live in does not deserve a few moments of their day? After all it is not that important right? This is the attitude that I DETEST! Your country is your country because you can vote and live in it, and like a garden it requires care. Sure you can hire a gardener, but unless you are willing to look at the work done by the gardener your garden will look like crap!

              This is what has gone wrong. Citizens in a representative democracy have hired gardeners, pay them, but complain if a bleeding branch is in front of their window. The garden can go to heck in a hand basket, but heaven forbid a branch clutters their window. The only way to fix government is to have people vote on the issue when necessary...

              THis is an open source forum, and last I heard open source is good because there are more eyeballs looking at the issue and hence less bugs. Can this not be said about direct democracy as well? Sure not everybody votes on all issues, but you will have enough people looking and asking questions that if anything were bad it would be raised very quickly.

          • There are some issues with this approach, but it's certainly far more democratic then various representative democratic systems we currently have in the West.

            The question, of course, is whether we really want a true democracy.

            "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." -- Winston Churchill

            If you could have an idealised system where (a) anyone who cared enough to get properly informed on an issue and develop a considered opinion had earned the right to vote on that issue, (b) any time an issue required significant debate there was magically a freely available forum to host that debate, and (c) enough money grew on t

            • by Fjandr (66656)

              The question, of course, is whether we really want a true democracy.

              Absolutely, unequivocally, no.

              Direct democracies can be beneficial to a point, but it's harder to create a tyranny of the majority if there is a systematic framework in place which makes changing certain aspects of governmental operation incredibly difficult. All one need do is look at any number of societies in existence now and in the past, where support for incredibly horrible practices was near-universal, to understand why completely un

              • by muuh-gnu (894733)

                > Absolutely, unequivocally, no.

                Well, maybe you dont, but I do.

                > create a tyranny of the majority

                Can you give me an example of a direct democracy gone wrong? You probably cant, because the only direct democracy existing is Switzerland, and it works perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, can give you a long list of the supposedly better representative democracies gone wrong. Nazi Germany grew out of a representative democracy, for example. Hitler was an cleanly elected "representative". And because thei

              • You think so?

                "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

                Goering said that during the trials. I feel kinda odd quoting him, but sadly, he is right. You can get everyone to vote for something or follow your actions if you grab him at his honor or instill fear in him, depending on the predisposition of the people. That works in democracies as well as it did in dictatorships. Actually, a lot of dictatorships had their roots in democracies where people were brainwashed into believing they are being under attack or some other doom will come down on them i

          • From what I understood, the German PP tries to advocate the original direct democracy over the current representative democracy by utilizing social networking as a forum for collecting votes on each issue within the party. The problem with system itself originally was scaling, it simply didn't scale well beyond small city-state sized community and only now do we have realistic technological means to try to make it actually work on larger scale.

            It's a bit sad how this myth continues to spread, with no one lo

          • by muuh-gnu (894733)

            > The problem with system itself originally was scaling, it simply didn't scale well beyond small city-state sized community

            So if real democracy is impossible above a certain size, does that mean that getting (or staying) above a certain size is a method to circumvent real democracy?

            If Germany is too big for direct democracy, then split it up in chunks small enough for direct democracy to work.

            I think that they're attempting a similar coup with the EU: First get big enough for representative democracy to

      • Correct, they're more parrotish.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Follow the cash as with any of the smaller 'new' parties around the world. Someone is funding "youth" groups as larger and traditional parties fail to win clean, clear political victories.
      The type of person? Mostly the 20-30 something, never really worked and did 6 years of French or 4 of Maths.
      They dream of publishing a book or making a movie or some open source project. Drive a very expensive Euro car, enjoy blogging about distilled beverages, wealthy parents look after them.
      i.e. lost in post-colleg
      • Give me some more descriptions of what you imagine your political opponents to be like!

      • The type of person? Mostly the 20-30 something, never really worked and did 6 years of French or 4 of Maths.
        They dream of publishing a book or making a movie or some open source project. Drive a very expensive Euro car, enjoy blogging about distilled beverages, wealthy parents look after them.
        i.e. lost in post-college existence and clinging to some ideology that others in their clique seem to have found.

        So basically, Apple users?

    • by echnaton192 (1118591) on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:49AM (#39912721)

      http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/wiki/images/0/03/Parteiprogramm-englisch.pdf [piratenpartei.de]

      This is the manifesto in english. The changes to this manifesto need 2/3 of votes on a party conference.

      The statues are not available in english, so I'll post the translated German version:
        http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&twu=1&q=piratenpartei+grundsatzprogramm?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A//wiki.piratenpartei.de/Bundessatzung%0A [google.com]

      As for the rest (positions, election program) please try to find it yourself or ask.

    • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:50AM (#39912729)

      It's quite interesting here in Germany - they've definitely got my vote, mainly because they've more or less stated, "We don't know everything about every issue, and are unwilling to voice statements or views on these issues until we've had time to look at them."

      Compared to other politicians and parties, who will just start blowing hot air in order to save face, that's very refreshing. They don't seem to be quite sure where they're going, but at least they have the balls to admit it. Basic direction is on their website though (just run it through Google Translate).

      Oh, and they seem to be kicking out anyone who's ever had anything at all to do with the modern Nazi parties, which is always a good thing.

      • by bfandreas (603438) on Monday May 07, 2012 @01:34AM (#39912873)
        It's a new party and like the Green party before it the PP will be housebroken in a few decades.
        In the meantime they refreshingly don't have a stance on everything since they don't need a party line for each issue. That's what their members got their own minds for.
        They do fill the hole the FDP(liberal party) left when they jettisoned their social-liberal wing and became a pure party for tax exemptions for their voters.
        I've said it before and I'll say it again: if Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger gets kicked out of government for resisting implementation of EU snooping laws then I do hope she finds a home with PP. A politician with a nearly flawless track record is a very rare thing.

        Being a liberal party they have their own problems how to deal with members who have a crap, neo-Nazi past. Which got blown way out of proportion by their political rivals, I may add. The past 5 years most parties had their own problems with extremist idiots.
      • Let me see if I have this right - they have your vote because they admit they can't be bothered to keep up to date on the issues?

        Compared to other politicians and parties, who will just start blowing hot air in order to save face

        Oh, the Pirate Party is blowing hot air too - you just refuse to realize it.

        • by bfandreas (603438) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:49AM (#39913167)
          You are quite off with your hot air remark. They do avoid this like the plague. In fact they remain silent if they don't have anything to say.

          Let me give you an example how this not having a stance on everything manifests itsself.

          In Germany a very popular question to ask a politician is his opinion on Israel. That's a political minefield. Anything you say will be used against you.
          Some media bozo asked the new head honcho of the PP. His reply was that they didn't need to have an opinion on Israel and that the voters wouldn't punish that. Shimon Stein(former ambassador for Israel in Berlin) went on record that this is potentially the right way to start a constructive public discussion in Germany and Schlömer does deserve credits for his authentic and and honest answer instead of giving the usual knee-jerk formulaic answer any hardened politician would give. Which would have been that safety of Isreal is important as is the end to the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

          Stein's original opinion piece(German): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,830968,00.html [spiegel.de] Honesty is a forgotten virtue in politics. It's nice if established politicians notice that. I wouldn't mind if this were common place.

          This weekend was a major election weekend throughout Europe. Of course there were lots and lots of political talkshows featuring the usual talking heads. One of those had Jo Ponader from the PP in it. He spent most of his time twittering and listening. The most noteworthy thing he said was that he only had to sit there and smile since the representatives of the other parties did all his campaigning and called them a garrulous lot.
          At the moment the PP gathers the votes of the disappointed and propably is a protest party. But over the past few months they have gained much substance and have the potential to become more than an experiment. At the moment they have a couple of teething problems. But the next few years will show what becomes of them.

          I'm willing to vote for the experiment. Any party you vote for potentially fails you, so I willingly went with the experiment. It does help that they lean into the social-liberal direction I prefer and interestingly there is no party in Germany that fits into that political spectrum. This has a lot of potential.
          • by Kjella (173770)

            But over the past few months they have gained much substance and have the potential to become more than an experiment. At the moment they have a couple of teething problems. But the next few years will show what becomes of them.

            In 2009 when they got 2% in the national election they were an experiment, getting 8% of the votes is something that's already resonated with a large part of the population. Most parties go make-or-break on the minimum limit that is 5% in Germany I believe, either you get above it and become established or you fall below it and fizzle. Berlin, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and in a week Nordrhein-Westfalen they're now passing and not with 5.1% but way past. Unless they screw this up themselves, I think the P

            • by bfandreas (603438)
              Well, I remember the populistic Schill Partei/PRO. They got quite a lot of(local) votes and sort of fizzled a couple of years later.

              But yes, the PP is leaving the experimental phase. Which is why I think their current teething problems are so severe and loud at the moment.

              But please remember that they had to scramble in Saarland so they could participate in the election. IIRC the had to build a campaign, a party manifesto and a list of candidates within only 5 weeks. What's so astonishing is that they m
            • Whether the PP stays or folds depends IMO on two issues now, just like it did when the Greens started to emerge in the 80s.

              What allowed to Greens to stay was on one hand their uniting nucleus that held them together when a few fringe groups and radicals tried to tear the party towards different directions, and on the other hand the utter ignorance of the other parties who ignored the environment issue long enough to allow the Greens to take roots in the parliament.

              The same applies now. If they manage to sta

              • by bfandreas (603438)
                People say that the Greens had a very long tradition coming from the '68 generation and the peace movement and the Pirate Party is lacking that. And that has been given as a reason why it will sail nowhere.

                I think they are wrong. Until half a year ago I didn't take them seriously. They seemed to be a rag-tag lot with not much in common. No clear manifesto, nothing to identify with. Clearly a joke.
                Then I read whatever manifestos they improvised or copy&pasted from other parties. Then it stroke me. The
          • by headLITE (171240)

            It's not only the votes of the disappointed. Less Germans are voting overall, and this has been a trend for years, but while the established parties are all losing votes and pretty much only gain percentage points when they just don't lose as much as the others, the Pirate Party has been gaining votes, including from people who had previously decided not to vote in past elections. Their success is not only an expression of disappointment, it's also an expression of renewed hope and belief in the democratic

        • No, they have my vote because they are honest. Instead of blabbering meaningless gibberish trying to mask that they don't know what the fuck is going on (as the average politician does), they simply go and admit that they don't have a position on that matter yet, or that he, this very politician, isn't informed in this matter and that the matter might be better answered by another party member that has the information or that has dug into the matter.

          Why can't politicians say "I don't know"? Why do we keep p

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Well, they sort of came from copyright positions. Which were: copyright is to be respected. But the current implementation keeps stuff out of the public domain and hinders cultural development. Not the freetards you think they are.

      Apart from that they are very libertarian. They want to keep religion out of policy making. They reject GM crops on basis of the patent burden since they don't think organisms should be patenable. While they think that kindergarden is a very important thing it's up to the parent
  • Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:17PM (#39912347) Journal
    While the assorted techie shenanigans of the previous thread are all good fun, this sort of (much more difficult, and much less entertaining) work is arguably a much better strategy to keep your intertubes open.

    Dodging the man is fun and all, and certainly can beat the alternatives; but playing cat-and-mouse with state power can be a poor long term strategy. You have to get away with it every time. They only have to catch you once...
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @11:18PM (#39912357) Homepage
    Global warming will be reduced a bit.
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:49AM (#39912723) Homepage
    The Pirate Parties are the only parties that support unlimited non-commercial file sharing, which is the only sane position on the matter.

    Personally, I think it's the most important IP issue we have, since, if we're shutting down websites for copyright infringement, we are shutting down websites.  And thence, we cannot discuss anything freely.
    • by Immerman (2627577) on Monday May 07, 2012 @02:22AM (#39913055)

      Honestly I think that may be going too far - there are good reasons for copyright even if it's gotten out of control in the last half-century. However there's a difference between supporting copyright and supporting draconian enforcement policies. And yeah, I think we need to simply accept that realistically there's no way to enforce it without trampling all over privacy and free speech.

      Still, if we gave copyright a realistic duration (Maybe 5-10 years? I'm betting the majority of profit has been made by that point) and made violation a strictly civil offense so copyright holders could hunt down and sue individual infringers if they were so inclined, but law enforcement wouldn't get involved, I think that would be enough to keep honest people honest. If you illegally host a lot of copyrighted data on your web server expect to be shut down and fined - AFTER a trial. But in an environment where it's understood that there's lots of alternate sources for that data I don't think they can make any sort of argument that you should be shut down prior to the trial to prevent ongoing damages.

      There are some issues there with unenforced laws degrading the respect for all laws, but that's an endemic problem hardly restricted to copyright. You don't see SWAT teams hunting down jay-walkers and litterbugs, but likewise you (hopefully) don't see a lot of folks flaunting those laws directly in front of an officer. In such a way does society declare a code of acceptable behavior and punish the worst offenders so that the code is obeyed by most of the people, most of the time, which is all any law will ever accomplish.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        True, the pirates have always represented a radical position in the matter, but with the demands of the copyright industry radicalizing even more, many people view them as a lesser evil. And if I have to choose, I would sacrifice rather the music industry than the internet and free speech.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Honestly I think that may be going too far - there are good reasons for copyright even if it's gotten out of control in the last half-century.

        I'd say it's gotten out of control in the last few centuries. Copyright used to say "if you bring a book through our port we will copy it." Now it creates an unnatural monopoly.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I can't speak for the other Pirate Parties but the German one isn't a one-trick pony.
      The former head of the Green party Angelika Beer joined Die Piratenpartei. The German Greens are not a crackpot party and Angelika was a member of the German parliament for over 10 years. After that she was a member of the European parliament for 5 years. So she also is an established parliamentarian. And she left the Greens after she became disenfranchised with how housebroken they were.

      The German Pirate Party has quite
  • What's there that's not in other parts of the country?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      yesterday? elections

      The 16 federal states of germany have their elections on different dates in a 5 year cycle. The next one is next sunday in Nordrhein-Westfalen. The PP won seats in all of the last 3 elections and is prognosed to do the same next sunday. The next federal election is fall next year but that is to far ahaed to give any credible prognosis for this small, new, sometimes chaotic party.

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