German voters are rather skeptical of their political parties in terms of how savvy they are online. According to a poll conducted for ITC industry association Bitkom, only one in six voters believes that German parties have a clue about what they’re discussing and passing legislation on.
One in two voters can’t discern if any party shines for its competence regarding the internet and associated policies.
What is rather astounding is that only seven percent of voters believe Germany’s Piratenpartei (Pirates) are competent, putting the party in third place behind Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen (Green Party) and the conservative CDU / CSU. Whereas ten percent of voters believe the Greens to be competent, eight percent think the CDU / CSU know what they are talking about.
However, this isn’t the case, considering the rather dismal track record of both Germany’s conservatives and Greens.
In 2009, before this year’s general elections, the CDU / CSU came up with a scheme to blacklist and block access to child pornography sites without judicial oversight. As for the Greens, the party voted for the so-called Jugendmedien-Staatschutzvertrag, an ill-conceived law which would make age certificates compulsory for websites.
This was despite existing processes to report such sites to ISPs and web hosters, who will delete content. Former child abuse victims also criticised the proposed law as it was designed to merely block content, not delete it and prosecute the people responsible.
The Pirates profited strongly from the outrage surrounding the law, especially after conservative minister Ursula von der Leyen stated people who would use TOR and were concerned over internet filters were evil pornography mongers.
However, the surprising results can be put into perspective. Eleven percent of voters aged 65 and older believe the Greens are the best, whereas 32 percent of male voters under 30 think most of the Pirate Party – yet only two percent of female voters.
Academics deem the Greens (15 percent) and the Pirates (13 percent) to be internet savvy, whereas ony six percent would trust the CDU/ CSU in such matters. At least the conservatives fare better than Germany’s social democrats. Merely three percent of the country’s academics think the SPD is up to the task.
By contrast, nine percent of Germany’s non-academics believe the Greens are the best, followed by the conservatives, which were approved by eight percent of the country’s Joe Average. On first sight, the results seem to be rather dismal for Germany’s Pirates, yet it seems factors such as age, education and gender determine approval for the country’s various partys.
Germany’s Piratenpartei is currently trying to create a broader profile for itself. Last weekend, the Pirates held their annual convention and voted on a new programme, including demands for a citizen income, tougher laws to counter corruption and lobbyism, alongside traditional topics such as copyright reform.