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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 thedrunkensailor ( 992824 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:28AM (#16138005) Homepage
    I just ran for president of Sweden for the pirate party. Obviously the "DrunkenSailor" was a write-in and I lost. But it's for the better; who wants to lead a country that houses dirty war and drug money and is known only for neutrality (not of the net) and watches and knives. oh wait. there are hot chicks there, write me in damnit
    • by LSD-OBS ( 183415 )
      I think you mean Switzerland. As in, Swiss knives, Swiss chocolate, Swiss borders that are a whole lot less anal than most other European countries, etc.

      Sweden is where the good pr0n and cheap furniture comes from.
    • Sweden has the bikini team. Switzerland has the watches, knives, chocolate, and cuckoo clocks. Two different countries.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:36AM (#16138070)
      I think you've mistaken Switzerland for Sweden. Sweden is in Africa.
    • Erm it's the Swiss with the banks, watches and knives...
  • by geckosan ( 78687 ) <ewalle@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:29AM (#16138011) Homepage
    Arrr, 'tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day! What a fell blow to pirates everywhere! Let's keel-haul the negative vibes by keepin' the parlance circa 1700's, me hearties!
  • A shame (Score:4, Funny)

    by riffzifnab ( 449869 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:30AM (#16138016) Journal
    Tis grievous black news this most sacred of days to pirates round the globe: Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrr, it does bring a tear to my eye. Pas me grog and this one be fer ye, pirate party.
  • WHAT! (Score:3, Funny)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ ( 415866 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:31AM (#16138030)
    THey did this on Talk Like A Pirate Day?! [talklikeapirate.com]

    Shiver me timbers!!!!!!!!!!
  • Serious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 )
    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.
    • Perhaps a Ninja Party instead?
    • At least they're not trying to hide their intentions. Liberal parties who aren't liberal seem to come to mind. Democratic parties that fix elections. I would applaud them for letting people know their intentions, and stop trying to have a hidden agenda.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:39AM (#16138096)
    That's most likely what they tipped over: It's a "lost vote" 'cause they won't make it anyway and so on.

    In fact, if you do the math, you'll see that in the long run, it does usually not matter. Coalitions are rarely formed with a single vote majority, usually the majorities are held with substancially more seats than the one or two that MIGHT have been to their favor if you just didn't vote for the "underdog" party instead.

    In fact, though, they want that seat, if for no other reason than to sit on of their guys there and cash in more for their party from the governmental pot. So, if you vote for a party that furthers your agendas, even if they don't make it into parlament, the parties that are in there will try to get that odd 2 percent of voters by adding that agenda to their portfolio.

    In short, your vote will move more with the underdog party than with the one that you could vote for instead. When you're already in, 2% is not a significant change when it comes to coalition talks. But it's usually one or two seats in parlament, and boy, they want that seats!
  • are at least as bad as single issue voters.

    Now get on that position paper to describe why IP freedom will improve government services, shrink the cost of healthcare, decrease taxes all while creating both long and short term job growth and increasing global competitiveness.
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by joe 155 ( 937621 )
      replying to myself... I might be insane :S

      In the Swedish elections there were issues of massive importance going on. The right of centre party actually won on a promise to cut down on what has been the jewel in the crown of the worlds welfare states, a social democratic state (to use the terms of Esping-Anderson) and one with a high degree of decomodification. This was a big deal to a lot of people. If you look at pretty much any of the literature on the subject of welfare states then you'll see that m
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hpa ( 7948 )
        As a side note I would say that it is quite shocking that they have voted out the social democratic party, especially when their conventional wisdom says that the two track tax burden (high personal tax but low corporate tax) was working and the welfare state was doing them the world of good.

        It's worth noting that the Centre-Right coalition (for the first time ever campaigning together as a single ticket under the name Alliance for Sweden) did very much announce that they are not going to lower taxes or rad
  • 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.
    • Single-issue parties can work quite well under some systems of government. In fact, from what I've seen, in a system that supports them they are as good or better than lobbying is in other systems.

      But you have to have a coalition-style ruling government for them to have any useful effect. I don't know how Sweden's government is set up, and whether it can support single-issue parties as part of the government.
  • Well that city seems to love the losers named Pirates. Even the stadium threatened to leave the city [theonion.com] if better team is not found. Still they keep the Pirates. So the city is sending a clear message to the world. Are you a loser? Are you named Pirates? Welcome. You are now a honorory Pittsburgher
    • The Pirates aren't as bad as their record. They'll be half-way decent int he next year or two. They got some young studs like Jason Bay, Jose Bautista, Freddy Sanchez, Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Chris Duffy, Mike Gonzalez, and Ryan Doumit. They just need a few veterans in their pitching rotation, and they need to get rid of the following anchors: Jack Wilson and Jeromy Burnitz.
  • Given the outright comedy*, cynicism, back-stabbing in the pre-elections, and the political parties going from scandal to scandal, I'd assume that the minors would be in a really good position to pick up a lot of stray votes.

    * ie: the "hacking" scandal , involving a user with same username and password, which from no usefull information was found. A couple of corruption charges (all ridiciously minor compared to what's legal over in the US) and general aggresive debating.

  • 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.
    • The "Snakes on a Plane" hype stemmed from a fundamental misunderstanding of what was driving people to pay attention to the hype. The studios and critics thought that it all came from genuine excitement about the movie, while the Intarweb-using public actually was wondering how the hell anybody could name a movie something so dumb.

      Maybe there's something similar going on concerning the Pirate Party, but one big difference between the two is that the Pirate Party will get another bite at the apple in future
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:52AM (#16138211)
    The Social Democrats just got ousted from power by a moderate coallition that is seeking to introduce some market reforms into Sweden. Gee, you think that might have something to do with a fledgling party whose property rights philosophy is probably left of the Social Democrats not getting any attention?

    Nah, couldn't be that...
    • by Alef ( 605149 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @02:41PM (#16139570)
      The Social Democrats just got ousted from power by a moderate coallition that is seeking to introduce some market reforms into Sweden. Gee, you think that might have something to do with a fledgling party whose property rights philosophy is probably left of the Social Democrats not getting any attention?

      I wouldn't categorize the Pirate Party as a left wing party. For instance, the founder Rickard Falkvinge [wikipedia.org] is a former member of Moderate Youth League [wikipedia.org] the youth organization of the Swedish Moderate Party (conservative).

      Besides, the election results had more to do with people wanting new faces in politics (especially the prime minister), and an incredibly lacking campaign by the Social Democrats, basically just repeating how "things are great", neglecting every concern expressed by the people and saying nothing about what they want to do in the future. At the same time, the moderates described themselves as "the new working class party" (calling themselves "the New Moderate Party") and lauded the welfare state. So people switched.

  • Exact figures (Score:3, Informative)

    by hweimer ( 709734 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:12PM (#16138368) Homepage
    The Swedish election authority currently lists [www.val.se] them at 0.64%, with about half of the districts being processed.
  • Despite needing a much higher % of votes to get an MP for the EU Parliament, it might be easier to get in there. Scandinavians consider the EU Parliament a joke anyway, so why not just vote for a "less-serious" party? Voter turnout is much lower, so any party that can mobilize its core constituency can do well. Once inside the EU Parliament, there is a lot that can be done, it will mean lots of publicity, and lots of money will pour into the party coffers.

    Also, getting 1% in the first election so fast after
  • 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.

    Yet again showing that those of us who care about this stuff are in an extreme minority. We delude ourselves every time we believe that our concerns are going to be taken up by the general populace. It makes me wonder. Will the Wii actually be successful

  • The Pirate Party are currently at 0.64% with around 60% of the votes counted. Given the party is less than a year old and the issues involved (how many non-geeks care about file sharing and privacy?) I would consider this a remarkable success. Especially considered this election was the first in 12 years where the previously ruling Social Democrats were challanged by a strong center-right coalition (note, btw, Swedish center-right is more leftist than the US left). When both the center-right bloc and the ce
    • But all four of the center-right parties now in power have promised to give the police more resources to deal with copyright infingements. So this might not be such a victory for the pirates.
  • by abelsson ( 21706 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:37PM (#16138590) Homepage
    The Pirate party may not reached the Riksdag, but they have already caused ALL parties to reconsider their position on file sharing.
    • The Greens just published a policy document named "Free the files" which is basically a copy of the Pirate partys program.
    • The leaders of the Moderates and the Social Democrates (the two largest parties) have stated that the the much critizied law from last year that outlawed file sharing should be reconsidered.
    • ALL youth leagues of all parties are pro-filesharing.
    In the school elections the party got 4.5% of the votes, even without preprinted ballots. In short, the pirate party has shown that a large portion of the youth are interested in these issues, and no party can afford to alienate entire generations. So while it didn't get into parliment, the pirates did already influency policy and debate- much more than any of the other small parties.
  • 33,000 votes, so there are at least 33,000 Slashdotters/Pirates in Sweden. Let's round them up and sue them for copyright infrignment.
  • The Pirate Party is a global movement! It started in Sweden but is becoming the first global party ever! The goal is to have an official Pirate Party in each EU country when the EU election takes place in 2009. It's not limited to Europe though, parties are forming in Brazil, Australia, USA, Canada and many other countries outside of Europe.

    This is a list of the current Pirate Parties that have their own homepage:

    Pirate Party Inte [pp-international.net]

  • I propose to those honest folks to rename their party to NinjaParty. I would give it a shot. Who knows, may be Swedes prefer Ninjas... Who knows, who knows...
  • 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.

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