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Swedish Voters Keelhaul Pirate Party 299

Billosaur writes "Apparently the 'scurvy dawgs' are still in control. Results from Sunday's Swedish national election were not favorable for the Pirate Party, according to Wired News. According to the article, 'The Pirate Party not only failed to score the 4 percent required for a seat in Sweden's Parliament, but appears to have missed the 1 percent that would have afforded the party state assistance with printing ballots and funding staff in the next election.' However, the party sees this as a learning experience and morale is still good."
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Swedish Voters Keelhaul Pirate Party

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  • by Xamedes ( 843781 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:27AM (#16137986)
    A political party for illegal actions? come on!
  • by TheWoozle ( 984500 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:28AM (#16138004)
    Something is "illegal" if there is a law against it, by definition. No law, no problem. Hence, I see it as an entirely practical way to tackle the issue.
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:30AM (#16138021) Homepage
    Obviously the point of the party is to use the power of democracy to ensure that such actions are no longer illegal. Do you think Marxist parties should be shut down just because the state ownership of industry they advocate is not permitted under current laws? I thought America was supposed to be better than other countries since it allows any ideas to participate in the democratic process.
  • by Tweekster ( 949766 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:31AM (#16138025)
    Well considering those actions are not against the law, they are not illegal (please try and remember, different countries have different laws...)

    This wasnt all that suprising, they had a lot of interest, but they failed at getting it together into votes. This was their first attempt and a lot of the probs were related to learning how to do political party things.
  • Serious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] []> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:35AM (#16138056) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps if they have a serious name, and carried themselves in a more serious manner, people would have voted for them. I agree that someone needs to look into privacy and intellectual property laws who understands them. But I wouldn't seriously vote for a "Pirate" party.
  • It Is Necessary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:40AM (#16138107) Journal
    They seemed to advocate that anyone could copy anyone elses intellectrual property without permission. Best summed up as the abolition of conventional capitalism. If they had just been honest and renamed themselves the 'communist party' they might have done a bit better. Hopefully now people will see them for the freeloading jokes that they are.
    I would like to first begin by saying that nowhere have I read the Pirate Party will abolish all rights to personal property (as Socialism aims to achieve). Secondly, conventional capitalism can function fine under the engine of providing a service or a good in exchange for money.

    Yes, intellectual property is free for anyone to copy but these are just ideas. Capitalism can function just fine if everyone can use anyone's idea for free -- you just suffer less incentive to come up with innovative ideas since copying someone else's is easier.

    Freeloading, maybe ... but not the whole way. And it's nowhere close to the extremes of socialism, only in one aspect of it. Most people on /. hate IP laws anyways, let the party run and see what happens. Stop calling them names and let Democracy take it's course!
  • by Xamedes ( 843781 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:42AM (#16138122)
    As valid as your point is regarding the marxist party, there are other parties, too. there is a northern country (forgot which) who has a party, which wants to legalize sex with children. so there is the question: is the "pirate party" nearer to marxism than to a fellony?
  • oh well, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:42AM (#16138134) Journal
    It's important that they've learnt things from this and it's interesting to note that they did get quite a few votes. I know people will see less than the 1% limit for government help with adverts etc as a loss, but consider that this is a party which has been around for what... a year? It is so new, it is taking such a radical idea, and it got over 0.5% of the national vote?
    That is fantastic!

    Don't forget that this is people's vote in a general election. Any are a big deal and most people won't make a choice lightly. They might see votes as a waste because they might not even get anyone in parliament which puts people off voting for them as they want their vote "to count". Also a lot of people in the country will already have aligences to parties and even though they might really agree with the message they might be reluctant to turn against the party which represents what they want overall better. Its hard to have a successful "single issue" party, I'm not sure what their other policies are but they will be important and you need to tell people what these are to let them know that your not just a one trick horse.

    Overall though, it's a good effort, don't get too down on them.
  • by Xiph ( 723935 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:43AM (#16138139)
    But that it's scope is way too limit to warrent a political party.

    I mean, i support a lot of what they lobby for, but I'd much rather vote for a party which also supports my ideas on a whole range of other issues.
    This goes in particular in an election that's been running so close as the swedish one did this time.

    Single issue parties, should really stop being parties, and start doing some serious lobbying instead. I do understand that they're doing it, since i realize it can be very hard for young people to be heard by politicians on new and controversial ideas on an old subject.

    I hope noone ever gets voted into parliament anywhere based on such a narrow issue, I really feel it would be a double loss for democracy, the first because it should never be the only way to be taken serious, and the second, because once they get in, you'll have no clue on how they vote for issues that are very important to all of us.
  • by bentcd ( 690786 ) <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:46AM (#16138158) Homepage
    Copyright laws institute monopolies on cultural goods and as such represent the antithesis of capitalism. In a capitalist system, anyone would be entitled to manufacture and offer the goods for sale. Supply would then fluctuate with general interest in the goods and the profit that could be made from providing them, unlike the fixed pricing schemes we are seeing with today's monopolistic situation.
    Of course, part of the point of a capitalist system would be that we'd get affordable items - it isn't difficult to understand why the entertainment industry would rather maintain the status quo.
  • by InfinityWpi ( 175421 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:51AM (#16138204)
    Between this and the whole 'Snakes on a Plane" fiasco, I think it's time for us to accept that the Internet is not the 'force to be reckoned with' that we all would like it to be, and that 'net geeks, as a whole, aren't cohesive enough to have that much pull when compared to the mundanes.

    There's got to be a better way to enact the changes we want.
  • Calm Down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:56AM (#16138246) Journal
    Thankfully they got the electoral ass-kick they deserved.
    Ok, first calm down. This is (supposed to be) a level headed discussion (no, I'm not new here).

    Second, learn to use the <br> tags. They are your friends and do wonders for your readability.

    Third, they ran and lost. That's how Democracy works. Maybe they'll do better next year, maybe they won't even be around, who knows? But one thing is for sure, when you outright say they shouldn't even exist, you're starting to hinder the goal of Democracy. Sounds like you have a pretty closed mind, my friend.

    Also, thanks for writing me off as a hippie. I'm glad you took 2.5 seconds and one post to know me and I highly value your (fairly incorrect) stereotype. I was only trying to point out where they're coming from, not advocating it. You either need to do more reading or stop talking because you really don't understand the goals of this party.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:58AM (#16138268) Homepage
    Very insightful. In fact, there's hardly a point to having a political party that is advocating legal actions, unless those legal actions are under threat. An "anti-theft" party, which thinks it should be illegal to steal car stereos, for example, would be downright stupid. The only reason I can think to start a political party is when you're unhappy with the current laws, or to combat laws that you're afraid might be passed in the future...
  • there is a northern country (forgot which) who has a party, which wants to legalize sex with children. so there is the question: is the "pirate party" nearer to marxism than to a fellony?

    And to put it quite bluntly, this is perfectly fine. The point of a democracy is that it responds to the will and wishes of its citizens; if they want a law changed, then they have the right (and, I would argue, the responsibility) to attempt to change it within the structure of the system, if possible.

    The only difference between the Pirate Party and NAMBLA (I think that's the 'sex with children' thing you're talking about) is how personally offensive you find the behavior they want to legalize. As long as they're not doing the behavior in question while it's still illegal, they're perfectly within their rights to campaign for a change in the laws. This is why political speech is protected by the First Amendment in the United States, and why we tolerate things like the Nazi Party and the Stalinists and any number of other kooks.

    For a less extreme example, consider the people who advocated for the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s; history has shown that they were probably doing the right thing, but at the time they could have easily been accused of "advocating illegal behavior."

    If you didn't allow people this freedom, then democracy would be nothing but an irreversible march into an oblivion of illegality.
  • by brandor ( 714744 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:24PM (#16138475)
    Bleh. I modded this flamebait on accident. The mod system needs to have an undo button. :/
  • by TamMan2000 ( 578899 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:50PM (#16138692) Journal
    I have never smoked marijauna, but I can see that it's illigality is stupid, anti-freedom, and causes far more problems than it solves. Don't you think there were those like me in the 1930's advocating the repeal of alchohol prohibition?
  • by trewornan ( 608722 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:51PM (#16138702)
    If you believe in free speech then you have to put up with people saying things you don't like.

    Personally I regard it as a test of integrity, when I find someone claims to support free speech except when it's racist/sexist/whatever/else/they/don't/like I know they're a hypocrite and I needn't give much weight to their opinions.

    Revolting as the idea of a polical party campaigning to legalise child abuse may be, I'd campaign to support it's right to exist.
  • by indifferent children ( 842621 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @01:26PM (#16138978)
    when I find someone claims to support free speech except when it's racist/sexist/whatever/else/they/don't/like I know they're a hypocrite

    If they call for the government to arrest someone for speech that is racist/sexist/whatever/else/they/don't/like, then they are a hypocrite, and they don't support free speech. If they merely call the 'offending' speaker a dickwad, then not only are they not hypocrites, they are demonstrating the power of free speech.

  • by pedalman ( 958492 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @01:47PM (#16139133)
    I thought America was supposed to be better than other countries since it allows any ideas to participate in the democratic process.
    You must be new here.
  • Not a failure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wootest ( 694923 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @05:04PM (#16140975)
    The Pirate Party (henceforth TPP, since PP has some interesting connotations in English) did not get into the Riksdag, no. To get in, you need 4% of the votes. Last time around, in 2002, there was no TPP, and they got 0% of the votes. How is anything above 0% "being keelhauled"?

    TPP said "this is going to be a close election, there are about a million people in Sweden sharing files, we can become a tiebreaker by gaining 4%". Making file sharing legal is the best-understood point of their political tenets (as few "intellectual property" institutions as possible, better privacy, reforming the copyright system). I don't fault them for picking exactly what they did to run on, or by the issue they made themselves known by (legalize file sharing). Which isn't the same as saying there weren't problems.

    The other day I visited a page listing some Swedish political parties. The one line that described TPP was "They want to make downloading music and movies legal". Depending on how you look on it, it may be technically correct, however it's vastly oversimplified: The TPP reform of copyright includes perpetual and unlimited rights to *private* copies of anything, and shortens the exclusivity of selling the work to a five year duration instead of the author's-life + 70 + whatever-Disney-can-coax-international-law-into years of the current system, which effectively legalizes a lot of file sharing, which by necessity includes both uploading *and* downloading. These issues are hard and complicated. The Man on The Street won't be able to detail copyright law beyond perhaps author's-life + 70, and I don't think a tenth of the population have even heard of the continuous lengthening of the copyright period.

    The "regular" parties run using a platter of promises - hundreds of them - where at least two are presented in a reasonable way. The Green Party (once a similar tiebreaker running using a similar philosophy) runs using more advanced stuff like TPP, but the few-words summary here, as expressed by The Man on The Street - "be nice to the environment and give us more family time" - is infinitely more agreeable to, well, most people, than "make downloading music and movies legal", which reeks of "omg plz make everything free kthx!1" rather than the well-thought out proposals behind TPP. This is one factor why TPP didn't make it all the way.

    The other factor, then, is that more people found it more rewarding to vote for one of the two blocs (who mostly carry full political agendas on *all* issues, even the aforementioned Green Party) or on other small parties.

    You could argue that the pie-in-the-sky chance that they would ever reach 4% was abysmal, but if they hadn't been so optimistic about it, I am positive that a lot of supporters would just have given up, saying "we're not going to make it anyway, why bother?". TPP didn't get its way, but I find it hard to deem them a failure. From 0 to sub-1% of above five million votes in less than 10 months is astounding work.
  • by kayditty ( 641006 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @09:04PM (#16142803)
    Uhh, I'm sure he knew that... thus the reason he replied in the thread the way he did?? Unfortunately, he got "modded down" for it. Fortunately, most people probably don't give a shit about stupid Slashdot moderations.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe