Pirateparty experiences from Germany
In Germany we have had the pirate party (PP) for the European elections as well as the general elections at the end of September coming.
In the European elections, the PP got .9%, not bad for a first timer. Oddly enough, the mainstream media kept mum about that result as long as possible. When we got the exit polls and projections during the evening, only the major parties where listed not as usual the "other parties". News only told us that the feared "move to the right" - that is neonazi parties gaining votes - had not happened.
The PP was mentioned in the mainstream newsmedia a few days later as a party of fools and freetards wishing to download media for free. No mention of privacy rights, transparent government, internet censorship or citizen's rights at all.
Then our dear family minister and Mutterkreuzträgerin Ursula von der Leyen started her project for internet censorship which got a massive backlash, first from the "internet community" and then from parts of the general public and some mainstream media. Of course, all experts' opinions were discounted and those petitioning against the law where termed sympathetic to child pornographers by our minister of commerce. The law has been passed with some last millisecond amendments but will not come into force before the general election as said minister of commerce has arranged for it to be held up by the EU. It is expected that our constitutional court will demolish this law once they have finished with a few others currently in the pipeline, for instance the Federal trojan and secret home search powers for police.
The PP are still displayed as a bunch of ridiculous incompetent freetards by print and tv media.
However both the reigning grand coalition and opposition have picked up the theme of the internet.
The coalition says: The internet is a lawless place and needs to be regulated for your own good. German laws apply to people on the internet as well as offline and this has been mentioned to our politicians but neither they nor our German equivalent of the Daily Fail (Bild) have so far acknowledged the fact. Every week or so some politician or interested group demands extension of the anti-pedo censorship to their own pet peeve. Of course this is what von der Leyen distinctly said would not happen and anyone who says so is just a doomsayer.
The opposition says: if we are elected, we will do away with this at once. Unfortunately, nobody takes them serious as they are small parties who have been known to fall over whenever the big dogs bark. After all, a cushy position for an old party solider is much more important than the rights of the great unwashed, be reasonable now.
Some surveys - at least those taken on the internet give the PP a chance to get past the 5% hurdle and so into the Federal diet. They might end up somewhere near 6% if all their vocal supporters actually do vote.
Support for the PP is also increased by the fact that both the conservative and the socialdemocratic parties have abandoned all pretence of acting for the citizen, preferring instead to ridicule any democratic movement and pump money into failed banks. We are in a similar situation as in 1933 - every established party is equally corrupt and people would like to vote for something new, whatever it is. This is even used as an argument against voting for a party that the voter thinks represents him best, as in: you must vote for a big party or we will get the same mess of multiple little parties in the federal diet that got the nazis into power in '34.
There is a German saying that you hear during each election for several years now: You've only got the choice between the plague and cholera. Voting decisions have been made on the logic of: Vote for the lesser evil. The PP might actually change that.
So, yes. Even as a small party and constantly ridiculed by the press the PP got the powers to pick up some of their themes. Unfortunately the ruling powers get it dead wrong and the rest can't be trusted to keep their words. One thing is clear though, since the coming of the PP German politicians have become dead scared of the internet and are busy passing laws to regulate it. We are waiting for a law saying you cannot write content without a licence like a radio station or ham. Something like this may appear after the general elections.
I'd like to close with a quote that appears quite regularly on German internet boards these days wherever our politicians' attitude towards the internet and citizens' rights are discussed:
"Disinterested in politics? You will wish we were." (Ihr werdet Euch noch wünschen wir wären Politikverdrossen.)