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Piracy Politics

The Swiss Pirate Party Has Its First Mayor 110

Posted by timothy
from the mayor-mc-swiss-cheese dept.
bs0d3 writes "Alex Arnold from the Pirate Party Switzerland has been elected mayor of Eichberg. This is the first mayoral win for the pirates in Switzerland, and hopefully just the begining of things to come. Thomas Bruderer, president of the Pirate Party Switzerland, is delighted: 'This result is for our young party is an important milestone. To win a majority vote shows that our members are not just a marginal phenomenon; but are in the midst of society.'"
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The Swiss Pirate Party Has Its First Mayor

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "This is the first mayoral win for the pirates in Switzerland, and hopefully just the begining of things to come."

    Could Slashdot at least *pretend* to be non-bias when reporting this kind of stuff?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I fail to see how someone promoting a new player in politics is a bad thing...
      • Re:Things to come... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail. c o m> on Sunday September 23, 2012 @02:03PM (#41429559) Homepage

        It's not. Well it is to people who hate ordered society, or dislike people being involved. A lot of people simply hate politics because they don't understand how it works, personally I blame that on the fact that they don't actually teach people about it. Rather, they simply "tell people" what they think they should know.

        • The root problem with politics is that government, at its very core, is based on actions, based on aggression that when committed by anyone else other than "the government" would be rightfully condemned by everyone. If someone outside of government would implement taxation people would rightfully view it as theft. If someone outside of government introduced conscription people would rightfully view it as slavery. Those who have understood this naturally view politics as repulsive, just as we view working fo
          • by ppanon (16583)

            If someone outside of government would implement taxation people would rightfully view it as theft.

            Churches and tithing?

            • On the one hand, churches do not force their members to tithe at gunpoint (at least, none in America of which I know). On the other hand, many seem to be doing just fine with their funding being completely from voluntary sources, even when some people make use of their resources without paying tithes. Makes you wonder whether the IRS is needed at all.
              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                On the one hand, churches do not force their members to tithe at gunpoint

                Indeed they don't, tithing is entirely voluntary. As to the IRS, most people love their God but don't feel too kindly toward the government. It would take a massive ad campaign to get people to voluntarily fund government. And church only asks for ten percent, the feds get way more than that and my state, Illinois, gets at least that much (6% income tax, 7% sales tax plus road taxes on gasoline, beer taxes, cigarettes taxes, etc).

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                On the one hand, churches do not force their members to tithe at gunpoint (at least, none in America of which I know). On the other hand, many seem to be doing just fine with their funding being completely from voluntary sources, even when some people make use of their resources without paying tithes. Makes you wonder whether the IRS is needed at all.

                If you only had church tithes instead of government taxes (assuming such a hellish conception could even remotely be workable in a population that was not composed entirely of braindead slaves), then do you really think they would be voluntary? At the very least there would have to be very strong social pressure to contribute, and presumably if you didn't you would be ostracized.

                • I was not suggesting paying the church for everything. I was rather suggesting having contributions to the government be voluntary also. Of course, as has been pointed out, people tend to like their church but not their government, but one might also hope it would lead to the government having to be nice/unobtrusive/manifestly helpful enough to convince people to pay them. It says something that governments feel the need to threaten force to get enough funding.
              • by ppanon (16583)
                That may be true now, but wasn't always the case when the church and state were more closely allied. See the wikipedia entries for tithing in Judaism, Islam, and 17th century France. [slashdot.org]
          • Feel free to start your own country where there is no taxation. And good luck with that.

            Here in the real world, we recognize that there are essential services that must be paid for, that people are not always rational and ethical and that we must agree on a system to deal with these sad facts.

            The pirate party getting a mayor elected might be interesting, but it's not like they can simply impose their entire agenda.

            Additionally, if you admit that intellectual property issues are real owing to the fact that

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              Additionally, if you admit that intellectual property issues are real owing to the fact that real people must do real work producing them, the entire "pirate" thing falls apart. Sure, it's good to have an opposing viewpoint to the draconian IP laws being pushed by big media, but don't expect IP ownership issues to go away.

              "My" intellectual property does NOT belong to me; I merely have a "limited" time monopoly on its use. I no more own The Paxil Diaries than I own the house I'm renting.

              Studies show that pir

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Beh. Government is the objective standard of society working as the whole. When one person can't do it, it's the group doing it for everyone else with the express consent of what they're agreeing to(by election/vote/consent/etc). A person can give up on government if they want, there's nothing stopping any person in a western country from going off the grid and going to live off in a hermitage, or the wilds or anything else. This is the whole basis of the social contract [wikipedia.org], and there's a far better works

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            The root problem with politics is that government, at its very core, is based on actions, based on aggression that when committed by anyone else other than "the government" would be rightfully condemned by everyone. If someone outside of government would implement taxation people would rightfully view it as theft. If someone outside of government introduced conscription people would rightfully view it as slavery. Those who have understood this naturally view politics as repulsive, just as we view working for the mafia as repulsive.

            I think this is the point at which someone says "fuck off and live in Somalia then" isn't it?

      • by brit74 (831798)
        Just because you're a new player doesn't mean I'm going to give you any credit for anything. It all depends on what you're promoting. Remember: All bad political movements started out as "new players" at one time or another.
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I fail to see how someone promoting a new player in politics is a bad thing...

        How about if they were promoting a new neo-Nazi party?

        You believe that the Pirate party are a good thing and so are using false logic.

        • You are criticizing GP based on an unsupported assumption that he would find that bad. Personally, I don't: more parties are good, even if they are neo-Nazi, since they force the discussion around "unpleasant" topics like racism. That said, I wouldn't see neo-Nazis getting elected as a good thing, but any stretch of the imagination.

      • How about them being yet another one issue party? Other than free schooling and healthcare (at least the Swedish one) their only issue is: free media, no copyright, no patents. How about national defense, financial regulations, taxation, public services etc? Just like the cannabis party or the green party who essentially believe all problems can be solved by a bong or an organic compost heap respectively.;

        • Crap I must code too much I terminated my statement with a semi-colon :)

        • Pretty sure they also fight for more government transparency and more citizen privacy.

          That said, the value of a one issue party is that they influence other parties for capturing their vote.

          • True but it can be unbalanced. Having a party that really pushes IP reform for example to the extreme that the pirate party does ignores the fact that patents and copyrights exist for a reason: it is expensive and likely some of the most important things that a person or a company will do during its existence. Without protections for the exceptional everyone ends up being just another grunt in the cogs of an assembly line, or no better off than them even though they can't do your job but you can do theirs,

            • It doesn't really ignore that, since the Pirate Parties don't propose the elimination of copyright (source [piratpartiet.se]).

              That said, and as someone who is employed to write Free Software, I'm skeptical of the existence of a real need for copyright; the system was created a long time ago when the conditions were massively different, and it exists because it already existed, regardless of the existence or not of a valid reason for it nowadays.

              I'm sure copyright has many benefits for most copyright holders, but that's not r

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      I don't think Slashdot has ever really intended to be non biased.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No. The claim to journalistic objectivity was never something I bought. More and more people are dispensing with it, and IMHO that's a good thing. If you go back in time, there were newspapers like, "The Press Democrat". No bones about it. If you want honesty in reporting, it's probably not a bad idea to start off being honest about your bias. I don't believe there's any such thing as a non-biased journalist. If you claim objectivity, you start off on the wrong foot--that of deceiving yourself and o

  • Arrr! (Score:5, Funny)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @12:53PM (#41429063)
    For some reason, the mayor insists on the town hall employees calling him "cap'n".
    • How pirates ended up in a country with no sea? How did they commute?
      • Re:Arrr! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Kjella (173770) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @03:55PM (#41430421) Homepage

        How pirates ended up in a country with no sea? How did they commute?

        They airlift them in with a swarm of talking parrots, you can often see the foreman sitting on the captain's shoulder negotiating for more crackers or threatening to blabber about the treasure. The colors are actually for navigation, red parrots on the left, green parrots on the right and white parrots on the tail. One crazy captain called the Flying Dutchman even airlifted his whole ship this way, but he got lost in the Swiss alps somewhere and the parrots froze to death in the winter. Who knows, maybe the descendants of the crew still live up there continuing their pirating ways...

      • Yarrr! Obviously a town named Eichberg is in the mountains, but they've got a creek, and they're about 5km from the Rhein River, where there's all sorts of opportunity for river piracy, Lorelei sirens, and the border with Austria. And about 30km away is Lake Constance (or Bodensee, in German), which is certainly big enough for piracy.

  • FPV FTW :) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tibit (1762298) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @12:56PM (#41429089)

    Switzerland: the country where doing this [youtube.com] is legal, now gets a pirate party major. When kids go to college, I'm moving there ;)

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Switzerland: the country where doing this [youtube.com] is legal, now gets a pirate party major. When kids go to college, I'm moving there ;)

      Why are you so impressed with a radio controlled plane taking video footage? Wouldn't that be legal in most places in the world, except near military installations? What am I missing?

      • by tibit (1762298)

        You're missing that it's not legal in most places in the world, unfortunately.

  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @01:11PM (#41429171) Homepage
    Poor Swiss, now they have pirates but no navy...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eichberg! Dead ahead!

  • A bit premature. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retawriaf.> on Sunday September 23, 2012 @01:45PM (#41429409) Homepage

    "To win a majority vote shows that our members are not just a marginal phenomenon; but are in the midst of society.'"

    Without knowing the politics of the town, that's a bit of a premature boast. Dark horse and odd ball candidates routinely win against major candidates in local elections when the major candidates have pissed off the electorate or run a seriously lackluster campaigns. The real test of entering the mainstream is either the candidate or party getting re-elected or gaining additional offices or municipalities.

    After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Another key question, what is the demographics of the town? If they skew young and lower income (not poor, but cube monkeys) or have a major geek influence (like say, Silicon Valley), that's another potential indicator that the boast is hollow and premature.

    • After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      They are Swiss, I am sure their watches are both ever running and ever correct :p

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Back in 2002 the mayoral election for Hartlepool ( population 92000) was won by the local football club's mascot, H'angus the monkey. H'angus, who was previously best known for bein ejected from rival team Scunthorpe United's ground for simulating sex with a female steward, stood on a platform of ' a banana for every child' and narrowly beat the Labour Party candidate into second place.

      There were some who believed that electing an man in a monkey suit to a £50000 a year public office position was as

  • by fm6 (162816)

    What's the big significance here? If you get all your friends to vote in a local election that most people ignore, then yeah, you can get elected. Doesn't establish your political clout.

    The citizens of Eichberg now have a mayor whose agenda has nothing to do roads, sewers, public safety, or any of the other unsexy issues that municipal officials deal with. He does care about copyright reform — an issue in which a mayor has no say at all.

    Now the local Pirate Party people will pat each other on the back

    • by cpghost (719344)
      Well, I could imagine that he'll support efforts to establish unrestricted municipal WLAN access points. But seriously, how about typical "piratic" topics like pushing for transparency in governance at the municipal level?
      • by fm6 (162816)

        Transparency is good. But that's a standard plank on everybody's platform these days.

    • Well, let's wait and watch? Considering how most other politicians seem to be primarily concerned with lining their own pockets at the expense of the country, a politician that gets actually nothing accomplished would be an improvement...

      • by fm6 (162816)

        So, if the city stops repairing potholes, that's actually an improvement?

        The lame thing about libertarians and other government haters is that they take for granted all the things government actually does that needs doing. The city infrastructure seems to be OK, so what's the big deal about actually maintaining it?

        Sure, government is corrupt. Most big institutions are corrupt. Not sure of a good way to fix it, but electing a single-issue bozo who no actual interest in running his city is not high on my list

        • by Anonymous Coward

          He did his apprenticeship at the local government and the former major. Afterwards he went studding and gathered some years of experience as an informatics project manager. I am pretty sure he is capable of doing this job right.

          btw: Also two major parties and the finding committee recommended him.

    • You know that are several green party mayors across Europe? Just because the national policy of a Party if focused in a theme it doesn't mean that the party hasn't other ideas in other areas and that party members don't have ideas to implement at local level.
      • by fm6 (162816)

        Let me dig into my memory bank. Oh yeah, the green party is about ecology and sustainability, right? These are things that municipal officials deal with every day. I live in a city [portlandoregon.gov] that isn't actually run by the Green Party, but might as well be, given all the effort the city puts into mass transit, bike-friendly streets, mandatory composting and recycling, and other green initiatives.

    • The citizens of Eichberg now have a mayor whose agenda has nothing to do roads, sewers, public safety, or any of the other unsexy issues that municipal officials deal with. He does care about copyright reform — an issue in which a mayor has no say at all.

      Genuine question because I don't know anything about his politics - is what you've said here based on first hand knowledge of the mayor's opinions and policies, on local news reports, on something you read on some blog on the internet, or is it something you just made up based on your imagination of how a pirate party mayor should be?

      • by fm6 (162816)

        He's a member of a party that exists solely because people are pissed off about antiquated copyright laws (as am I). Maybe the dude has more going than his interest in this one issue, but the fact that he's affiliated with a single-issue party doesn't encourage me to think so.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          He's a member of a party that exists solely because people are pissed off about antiquated copyright laws (as am I).

          I'm pissed off because they got rid of the antiquated copyright laws that said a work must be in a fixed AND TANGIBLE medium and only lasted 30 years. If we rolled copyright back to what it was in 1900, file sharing would be legal and Led Zeppelin songs would now be in the public domain.

          The DMCA and Bono act are less than 20 years old. It's not the antiquated parts that need to go, it's the ne

          • by fm6 (162816)

            Preaching to choir, dude. I'm totally on the same page with you as to retroactive copyrights. My point here is that touting the outcome of a city election as a major blow for copyright reform is just plain lame.

    • "The citizens of Eichberg now have a mayor whose agenda has nothing to do roads, sewers, public safety, or any of the other unsexy issues that municipal officials deal with. He does care about copyright reform â" an issue in which a mayor has no say at all."

      This is Switzerland, not some Third World country where a road is more pothole than concrete. So maybe the local voters don't care that much about roads and sewers because they're in a good enough condition?

      Remember that a government isn't all elect

      • by fm6 (162816)

        Hey, I don't live in a third world country either. My mayor [twitter.com] spends a lot of time talking roads and sewers.

        If the public bureaucrats have everything in hand (ha!), why even bother holding an election?

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @03:19PM (#41430107) Homepage Journal
    Running a town? That sounds... Harrrrrrd!

    Hee hee hee... Oh damn... I kill me...

  • "Talk Like a Pirate Day" was last week.

  • The pirate parties from various countries tend to be sectoral parties: they propose a lot of interesting stuff on some subject, but lack a global platform covering everything. Social or economic subjects may not be clearly included in their platform, for instance. It will be interesting how this pirate major will cope with matters that do not make consensus among pirates

    Note that the term sectoral is not negative in my point of view. The goal of a sectoral party is to influence other parties so that their i

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      The goal of a sectoral party is to influence other parties so that their ideas get adopted in global platforms. Good example are greed parties:

      The Republicans are a sectoral party??

  • If it's becoming anything like TPB website, there'll be ads everywhere.. What's happened to the site? Ever other click now brings up a full-screen ad. =(
  • Apparently they are still working on the new Mayoral regalia. Here is a sneak preview [youtube.com]
  • webhosting in Eichberg?

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