Pirate Party causing problems for German politics

Big Content will be tearing at its hair and stamping on its rabbits after hearing the news that the Pirate Party is now a significant political force in Germany.

The Pirate Party managed to get 8.9 percent of votes for Berlin’s city assembly and gained a few seats in parliament. Over the last year its membership has doubled to more than 21,600 members and they now have their bottoms on seats in two state parliaments.

The Pirates outshone both the Greens and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Free Democrat (FDP) allies who crashed out of the assembly with just 1.2 percent.

Jasmin Maurer, 22, regional head of the Pirates, told German TV that people voted for the party because it was offering something new and fresh.  Party members were normal people who engage citizens.  She said people voted for the Pirates because it has a focus on more civil rights, more democracy and transparency.

Political experts are predicting that the Pirates have a good chance of getting the five-percent hurdle to win seats in state assemblies in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in a few months.

What Reuters notes as part of the Pirate’s appeal is not that they are kicking Big Content in the nadgers, but rather that they have broadened their agenda to include issues such as establishing a minimum wage and providing voters with methods of making their voices heard.

An exit poll showed that more than 85 percent of the Pirates’ voters in Saarland did so out of disillusionment with the status quo.

The Pirates voters appear to be refugees from all parties from the FDP to the left. They are replacing the Greens which seem to be losing touch with younger voters now that their leaders are in their 50s and part of the establishment.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told Reuters her party was well aware the Pirates were becoming a key player and she said that she had set up an internet group within the CDU.

It would seem then that even if they do not get elected they will have more clout than Big Content lobbying.