Thursday, 27 October 2011

aaaargh , mateys. the voting box is over thaaaargh

we be taking over the parliaments of the world!

these are not your garden-variety Somali pirates, they're anti-politicians
with a message of free speech and against the coprighting. Companies have been trying to copyright everything up to and including oxygen and human body parts.

Their name is a sarcastic stab at the way the rich copyright holders (particularly of music) are calling anybody who transgresses against them. These dick-holders are trying to push ever-stronger copyright theft penalties in the US and beyond, and
stifling democratic dialogue in the process.

If we're gonna be guilty until proven innocent, it's better to be a pirate
than a music-buying fool.

if you want to join the Pirate Party, you need to learn to speak with a
pirate accent. Get your behind to Bristol.

As German Pirate Party Hits 10%, Some Thoughts On The Next Five Years

This morning, the German Pirate Party hit double digits in a nationwide poll. That was a landmark event, no matter how you look at it. As the first double-digit poll reverbs in the five-year-old Pirate Party community, I’d like to take some time to reflect on these and the next five years.

Not only is the German Piratenpartei polling at double digits, by the way: they are also in Kingmaker Position, holding the balance of power between the German political blocks. If this was the next election result, that means that they can ask for basically anything and make it happen in Germany and Europe. Next German elections are two years out, but this is already turning a lot of policymaking around.

(Side note: with polls around these numbers, it is imperative that the party leader with support is available to be visible faces of the party on all available media time. While completely not my decision, I would therefore suggest that some of the Berlin money for assistants go to hiring the PPDE federal party leader and one admin person at the federal level. That’s how we did it in PPSE and it has worked well: after all, a Pirate Member of Parliament don’t need an assistant to print their e-mails and tell them what’s happening on Twitter. Same goes for any other PPxx in the same situation. But anyway, that’s beside the point of this article.)


After founding the first Pirate Party, I had expected the PPSE [Pirate Party Sweden] to be alone in the world for the first couple of years, until we had had our first major success (which happened in 2009, in my fourth year as party leader, when we took two seats in the European Parliament and became the largest party for voters under 30). Instead, four sister parties sprung up just in the first week as news of the party’s foundation hit social media — then, meaning mostly Slashdot. Most of the ones in place now already existed by our 2009 success. Today, the Pirate Parties International lists 61 Pirate Parties that have started or are starting — we exist in practically all corners of Europe and the Americas, and with a scattered presence in Asia, too.

At the set-sail, I imagined that five percent in an election would be all that we needed to convert our narrow agenda into actual policy. But as five years have passed, I have realized three connected things:

■The old parties are not just assaulting free speech and exchange of opinion in general. They are assaulting the entire lifestyle and outlook of success of the entire young generation, turning free market mechanisms into mercantilism and corruption. The venerable kings of the hill are locking their privileges into law, and this goes way beyond copyright and patent monopolies.
■This means that we are not just a party for the free exchange of TICKS (tools, ideas, culture, knowledge, and sentiments). We are a lifestyle party for the entire younger generation, starting somewhere at 35-40 years of age. This lifestyle — digital natives, as some have called it, or the connected generation which I prefer — is being actively condemned and demonized by the old parties.
■As a result, the young generation today is feeling completely disenfranchised. (We once had a poster with a girl alone at a laptop, using the same image twice. Under the first, we wrote “ANTISOCIAL” over the image, signed with all the oldparties’ logos. Under the second, we wrote “SOCIAL” and ours.) All of this taken together means that we are not primarily a five-percent party for technical people, but closer to a twenty-percent party for a connected generation, including the technical people. The first sign of this materializing was PPDE’s strong breakout of the five-percent area.
One example of the Hindenburgean policymaking of oldparties is when one of the major Swedish parties left Twitter yesterday, citing “lack of manpower”. One can’t help but wonder if they have manpower to read the news? It’s not lack of manpower, it’s lack of a basic knowledge of today’s conversational landscape. (Translation by Google; not perfect but good enough:)