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back to article Pirate Party UK sinks on maiden voyage

The Pirate Party UK put in a dismal performance at the General Election last night, after its nine candidates garnered a total of just 1,127 votes between them with one result still to come in. The party's leader, Andrew Robinson - who picked up just 173 votes in Worcester - claimed his anti-copyright outfit had a "relatively …

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No one will vote for them until there is PR

We need a PR system then it is worth voting for parties like this. That's my feelings anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong!

It is never, ever worth voting for single issue parties.

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yeah but

Many PR systems have a threshold (often 5%) before parties would get any representation in parliament. Under those circumstances, 0.3% would still equal bugger all MPs. (But obviously it depends on exactly what type of voting system was adopted).

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Re: Not worth voting single issue party

I agree.

So why did New Labour (single issue - control everyone/everything) get any votes?

Anyone? You in the back? Oh, sorry - that's a coatrack.

Anyone?...

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I agree with Joe

I agree with the first part of your title and comment:

"No one will vote for them"

"We need a PR system"

Brief is best

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Re: Not worth voting single issue party

Heh! Yes, aren't all socialist parties everywhere single issue? My guess is that the thousand odd voters who voted for Pirate Party candidates were simply voting against the incumbent. Given the record of those who supposedly represent me here in the US, simply voting against all incumbents is beginning to look like the logical choice.

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FAIL

And there we see...

... why Proportional Representation is far from the be all and end all for solving British politics!

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Anonymous Coward

they would be outnumbered...

(by my rough calculations) 6 to 1 by the BNP.

I'd like to think under those circumstances neither would have much influence on the UK

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Contrasting with the BNP

It is worth noting that the BNP spent about 30 times more on just their European Election campaign last year than the PPUK have spent in total - plus they have been around in some form since the 60s. If you can find some other brand new party that managed to get 1300+ votes with less than £15,000 in total financing (including all costs of the Party ever - you could struggle to get a decent car for that much) in an election as significant as yesterday's, then maybe we can compare.

It is also worth noting that the candidates were scattered all across the country - unlike the other "small" parties, PPUK didn't have seats where there was particularly strong support; there is a low-level of support everywhere, but no major peaks. Still, Scottish and Welsh elections coming up (and they're closer to PR) and possible another General Election soon... now PPUK was advertised on national television, and is officially down on paper, this election may seem less and less of a failure (relative to all the other parties) in time.

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@Duke

"It is also worth noting that the candidates were scattered all across the country - unlike the other "small" parties, PPUK didn't have seats where there was particularly strong support"

...so, the PP:UK chose seats it had no support in. Excellent allocation of funds! Your next point is that the party has very low levels of support everywhere. Another thing new parties should aspire to!

Recap:

PP:UK fought seats where it had virtually no support

PP:UK support is generally very low nationwide.

Onwards to victory!!

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Unhappy

Re: Chose seats without support

Actually, don't you have to be seated in the area you live? That just means there are places with more support, but no one in that area that could walk away from their (current) job to play footsie with the politicos.

Because the UK (just like the US) makes it very arduous for "normal" people to run for office, is it any wonder that the people that get voted in are usually rich professional politicians?

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@PirateSlayer

Regardless of some silly general election, file sharing will continue and there's bugger all that the music industry or blatant BPI-arselickers like you can do about it.

Feel free to rant impotently from your keyboard while I laugh in your face.

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Stop

"PPUK have low-level support everywhere"

In conclusion, there's bored people ticking "none of the above" about everywhere in the country? Thanks, I needed your analysis to realize that.

Could have been briefer though.

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FAIL

Just admit it!

The Pirate Party UK are a joke!

Even with proportional representation they would be a joke.

This 'party' managed to pole 10 times as many votes as my local NUTTER candidate, nationwide! The people have spoken. Now fuck off.

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MJI
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They had no chance.

In Worcester it was a key marginal, we wanted Brown out, so voted for Robin Walker, didn't want to risk getting Michael Foster back in.

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Go

You've got to start somewhere...

The swedes only got a fraction above Tim Dobson's share of the vote in their first elections, and now there are two Piratpartiet MEPs.

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Anonymous Coward

MEPs?

Don't make me laugh. The European Parliament have virtually no real power.

In general people don't take it seriously and don't care a jot who their MEP is. The result is that the turnout is low so there is no clear consent to be governed. Which is just as well because they don't have any real power. Quite a neat trick that.

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Dead Vulture

they weren't supposed to win

muppets. It's about PR and raising awareness.

Once they've got to the point that it's a house hold name and people understand the concepts... then they've won. Then they'll probably all quit and join lib dems ;)

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FAIL

Muppets?

Aren't the muppets the kids who set up a POLITICAL PARTY instead of an NGO/ Charity/ Pressure group and in the process wasted a lot of money on fighting an election they could only ever have been embarassed by. A friend of mine laughed last night at the name "Pirate Party" because he thought it was some tosser dressed in a hat with a parrot on his shoulder.

You have failed to get your message accross and if that was the objective, you could have done it in a far better way (look at excellent organisations like Liberty, Amnesty International). Then again they are proper causes aren't they!

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Re: Proper causes

Yes, I see. AI's priorities include "Demand Dignity" (fight against poverty and causes), "Individuals at Risk (free prisoners of conscience), "Counter Terror with Justice" (stop using the "War on Terror" as an excuse to piss on people), and "Death Penalty" (abolish). All of this on an international scale (hence their name), putting pressure and exposing from outside the issues as they see them.

Yeah, I can see the direct parallels to a internal national party that is trying, from within, to demand fair intellectual rights and common individual freedoms for all from one single government.

Yep, no idea why they didn't join on someone else's bandwagon... Why would any internal number of citizens want to fix their own house when some other group/country/political body can do it from outside, eh? Oh, wait. That's right - It would be like asking EU to come in and call UK gov to task... we see how well that has worked just last year, haven't we?

And by the way, your government doesn't believe that half of what Amnesty International is campaigning for is "proper", or at least "worth interest". Go against the current practices of the "War on Terror"? But they make UK gov SO MUCH MONEY... Sorry, they'll "stay the course".

So, obviously AI, et. al. can be ignored just as easily, eh? If you don't do it for yourself, don't cry when no one else does it for you.

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not at all

The local pirate got a ton of press in the local paper and on facebook. I think that counts as a win for them.

If it was just another pressure group like ORG, it would have just been ignored.

Your narrow mind and limited exposure to the wider reality is limiting your potential. You may not agree with them but their approach exposed a lot of people to their cause and highlighted issues like DE act that otherwise was mostly unnoticed outside of the IT industry.

The name sucks and they could never win, but that's not the point! It's about being informed.

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Hung Paliment - Has been te best result

This whole Election was run on personalities and not polices.

Any party which run for a Policies (single or multiple) didn't get a look in.

Shame

PR would change that

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Pirate

No candidate

As a paid up member of the PPUK I was dismayed not to have a candidate to vote for. Bring on PR.

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Boffin

Bye Bye, Freetards

Does this mean they've spent more on losing their deposits than they ever spent on music? 90 votes in each constituency is a Right Epic Fail.

Shame. Maybe they can give up politics and get girlfriends now.

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Heart

:D

I do hope so! Agreed on fail.

With all that pirated porn at their fingertips, it's unlikely a girlfriend is on the agenda.

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Joke

Re: Give up politics and get girlfriends

I thought that was the point of any aspirations of political office?

All the blow and hookers you could handle? Was the same under Blair as it was under Thatcher in that respect...

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Headmaster

PR

Has anyone ever claimed that PR is the be all and end all for British politics ?

While having 600+ MP's all representing some minority interests would most likely be a nightmare I suspect it's unlikely to happen and I'm sure it could be accommodated anyway. It's got to be fairer than what we have now which on results so far (E&OE) looks to be ...

Popular vote and seats if under PR -

Con 37% (241)

Lab 30% (195)

LD 23% (176)

Actual seats -

Con 291 (44%)

Lab 251 (38%)

LD 52 (8%)

That a party who gets near a quarter of votes cast ends up with less than a tenth of seats doesn't seem in anyway fair to me.

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it's not fair...

I don't want a "fair" government, I want an effective one.

PR gives you government like Italy.

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@Anonymous Coward

"PR gives you government like Italy."

Not necessarily. In Germany, weak coalitions are avoided by using a variant of "first past the post" and proportional representation that requires a party to reach a sensible threshold for the percentage of votes cast before qualifying for transferable votes. This limits the impact of extremist or single issue parties. Italy on the other hand, has used several other variants of proportional representation that doesn't limit the impact of small parties on an already fractured political party system.

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WTF?

Oi knockers!

At least they're interested in something of interest to themselves and others, not just feathering their own nests with local back-handers and seats on company boards, like half the Labour/Tory shower we have now voted in!

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Anonymous Coward

feathering their own nests...

....with lots of lovely nicked films and music.

and not very interested in much else. (ok: some blather about rights, privacy and freedom. but only when it gets in the way of nicking films and music. You can join a regular party and campaign about that privacy and justice stuff.)

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Re: nicked films and music

Uh, no. [Note: The following is (mostly) opinion. You are free to disagree. I do not claim to represent PPUK, but I believe in them and do support them.]

Consumer rights: Why is it illegal for a consumer to use the global market to buy a CD from a location where it is less expensive than from the local shop?

Innovation: Why are software patents being filed for existing ideas and methods of business (which by charter should not be patentable in the first place)?

Culture: Why are laws being passed that continually extend copyright when (even now) the legal intention is to allow a *limited* time for works to be exclusively controlled? We don't know what would happen if a UK movie were to escape copyright because it hasn't been allowed to happen yet - they keep moving the bar from what was (the most previous time) considered "well and fair". If all the _others_ before *LAST ONE* were "well and fair", what the heck is the *LAST ONE*? What about the *NEXT ONE* (because you know they are going to yell when _this one_ expires, too, eh?)?!

Nicking? WE WANT TO PAY FOR THEM! A fair price for a decent product, that's all anyone respectably asks. Like it or not, every audio or video recording is a slice of British (and world) culture, true as tea and crumpets (or jaffa cakes and Hobnobs, yum). Obviously there is a market demand (iPlayer's success, anyone?). Don't sit on it because you are worried about "diluting" a "market". Are they not really worried about the comparisons between previous stellar works drawing revenue away from collection sets of "Big Brother 56"? No? PROVE IT!

Freedom (and the freedom of privacy): What happened to the straight and tall Briton? The one that refused to be bullied by extremists? The one that called their government to task for attempting to control them or force them to live against the ideals of freedom and common rights? Obviously, they were the remaining population from the 40's, who knew first hand the results of the current course of government. They were used to fighting for what was right, and telling people in "power" to shove off if they got too big for their bonnet. It must have been them, because as they died off, Britian became a lot of whining, sniveling children waiting for Nanny to coddle you.

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Anonymous Coward

missed point

Pirate party (whether you like it or not) is automatically linked by most people with pirate bay and all that stuff. Which was and is all about nicking films and music. If you wanted to start a serious political campaign about all that noble stuff the very worst thing you could have done was get associated with the pirate bay and their branding/imagery because it always was and is just about nicking stuff. Especially difficult to understand your support of them as you profess a dislike for "whining snivelling children".

So if someone wants to approach these important things from a grown up point if view then fine. Anything calling itself Pirate party is all about nicking films and music I'm afraid. Whining and snivelling because you don't want to pay £20 for a DVD? Hardly Wat Tyler, is it?

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Pirate Party - stupid name

Okay I don't expect these people would have been voted in under any circumstances, but ffs change the name. People looking a "Pirate Party" on the ballot probably thought it was some stupid joke party with no serious agenda.

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Megaphone

Hum.

They are a stupid joke party.

I am guessing that people who DID vote for them thought it was a joke too...hence the unexpected high number of votes for these sanctimonious cretins.

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Dead Vulture

Disagree

PPUK had no illusions going in and this is the end of anything, it's merely a first attempt. How long did the Lib Dems or Green Party have to keep pugging away before they got to the position they are at now?

Regroup, learn, adapt and above all persevere. This is not over, not by a long shot. As long as there are people in power who will fight against things like the DEA, it is all worthwhile, even if they're not PPUK members

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Pirates are always crooks and steal...

...i think they should find the votes from those 1127 people, identify them, and go search their computers.

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Pirate

Re: Pirates are always crooks and steal

Yep, sure enough. Just like Sir Francis Drake, William Hill (of the ship "Liverpool"), et. al. All were considered the most dastardly and vicious pirates... by other countries.

However, since the Declaration of Paris in 1856, we call them "governmental private contractors" now, and like their mercenary forbearers during the 100 years war, are allowed to work for both sides again.

"...i think they should find the votes from those 1127 people, identify them, and go search their computers."

But they are also the ones that will still fight for you when *your* computer is searched under the latest Nanny "laws". Its not a matter what is on any computer; just a question of what the gov can find to control *you* with. And if you simply spout off what gov/Murdoch tells you to say, they already own you.

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Everything starts somewhere

Forming a new party, and standing candidates, was an achievement in itself. I know that a year ago when I was first seriously talking about Pirate politics in the UK, it wasn't hard to find people who said "why bother?" and "you won't ever get anywhere".

But we did get somewhere, we formed a party and stood candidates, and this is our first election not our last. It has of course been a tremendous learning experience for a group of volunteers who have never before "done politics", in a very short time.

That we stood 9 candidates and took well over 1,000 votes, is down to the hard work of our candidates, volunteers, and most of all we thank all those who voted for us.

Everything starts somewhere, and this is just the beginning.

John Barron - PPUK

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Good effort guys

Don't agree 100% with everything you stand for but it's cool that even a small party can make some headway.

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Megaphone

Web2.0 vs Murdoch's machine

nuff said.

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Pirate

good on them

I wouldn't have voted for them if they had stood in my constituency. My name was on the nomination form of the local Liberal Democrat candidate, the party I've been a member of and supported for a few decades now. But any political movement has to start somewhere and I see no harm in a few young people learning about politics the hard way.

Their arguments have also influenced the stance my own party took on the dogs' dinner known as the Digital Economy Bill. We were in favour of it to start with but ended up against. Yes, single issue parties are for a season: either they develop into something with a useful philosophical input into more areas of life, or they influence others to adopt their specific policies (e.g. as the Monster Raving Loony Party influenced reducing the voting age to 18), or they fail to persuade anyone about anything.

Besides, someone has to try to replace the benign and comedic influence of Screaming Lord Sutch on UK politics. There's a great need for a bit of harmless fun here, even though Sutch himself could never be replaced.

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Unhappy

Huh?

Sorry for not forming the next government, I'll be sure to give El Reg a heads up next time we fail to do so. I was supporting our candidate in Bethan Green and Bow all night, they only declared some time this afternoon, that's a lot of not sleeping! Very sad to see attacks from El Reg on a strategy we're not even pursuing.

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FAIL

Petulant till the last!

Is said strategy being a political party and gaining votes? Sort of why people form political parties isn't it?

Wouldn't it have been better to spend money setting up an NGO to influence government and issue press releases rather than a political party? I see Liberty on the news a lot and they don't have a party. The same goes for other single issue organisations.

Wasn't this just a massive exercise in vanity by a couple of deluded school children and a paultry rabble of followers?

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WTF?

Independent

I can't get over the guy who got just 19 votes in Brighton.

Anybody with a Facebook account would get more than that!

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FAIL

'Proportional Representation'

Covers a plethora of systems, some constituency based (like Northern Ireland) some covering the whole country (like Israel). The man is a fool.

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Happy

Let me understand this....

"...the party argued in a statement this morning that had its poorly-funded band of men stood for seats across the country, it would have secured 90,000 votes nationally.

0.3% swing to Pirates - pretty amazing for a party less than a year old, well done all! Under PR that would be 2 MPs.."

So they have reflected their figures nationally to arrive at 2 Mps? That's nothing!

At home yesterday I suggested that the family vote for me. Out of a family of 5, I got three votes (myself, the wife and youngest daughter). If I were to reflect that across my constituency, I would have been in with a wide margin. And across the country, it would be a landslide. But why stop there? Reflect it across the world, and you're reading the a message from the first King of the entire Earth....

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Not that bad an assumption

Whereas your house is not representative of the country, taking the few constituencies that they stood in might well be...

Sampling: you've not heard of it.

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@Dodgy Geezer

>> At home yesterday I suggested that the family vote for me. Out of a family of 5, I got three votes (myself, the wife and youngest daughter). If I were to reflect that across my constituency, I would have been in with a wide margin.

That's true, however if you were to reflect that figure nationally and factor in the 'Lib. Dem. Effect' (TM), then 60% of the vote would only give you about 150 seats.

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Linux

Have they not made people think?

Surely the real purpose of a single issue party is not to try and form a government, or even get MPs elected, but simply to encourage folk to think about their issue. On that basis they seem to have done quite well; thirteen articles on just the Reg, that I know of.

It is a shame Screaming Lord Sutch couldn't have fronted them.

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