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Swedish Pirate Party headed for Brussels

Swedish Pirate Party headed for Brussels

Published: 07 Jun 2009 21:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jun 2009 21:58 GMT+02:00

Sweden's pro-file sharing Pirate Party is on its way to Brussels having secured more than 7 percent of the country's votes in the European Parliament elections, according to early exit polls.

Scenes of wild jubilation broke out at the party's election headquarters when state broadcaster SVT announced a projection likely to give the party enough votes to claim two seats in the EU parliament.

"The polls beforehand had us at between eight and nice percent, but everything over four percent is a political sensation," party leader Rick Falkvinge told news agency TT.

12 percent of men and 4 percent of women plumped for the Pirate Party, according to the SVT survey.

Among voters aged under 30, some 19 percent are believed to have cast a vote for the Pirate Party.

"They are the biggest party among young people, bigger than both the Social Democrats and the Moderates," said politics professor Sören Holmberg.

Pirate Party voters said they considered the freedom to file share by far the most important issue when deciding their party allegiance.

The party was founded in January 2006 and quickly attracted members angered by controversial laws adopted in Sweden that criminalised filesharing and authorised monitoring of emails.

Its membership shot up after a Stockholm court on April 17th sentenced four Swedes to a year in jail for running one of the world's biggest filesharing sites, The Pirate Bay.

Sunday's election attracted more voters than in 2004, the last time Europe went to the polls. With 80 percent of the votes counted, projections showed a 42.5 percent turnout this time round, up 5 percentage points on the previous European Parliament election.

Aside from the Pirates, the Greens were Sweden's other big winners, scoring a sensational 11.5 percent in exit polls and becoming the country's third largest party behind the Social Democrats (25.1 percent) and Moderates (18.5).

"It's fantastic. If this is how it ends up it is better than I dared to dream of. What's fantastic is that I don't think we got protest votes, I think we got votes based on our own programme and our own issues," Green Party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand told SVT.

There was a strong showing too from the Liberal Party, which is set to claim a projected 11.4 percent, just behind the Greens.

For the Left Party on the other hand the election proved catastrophic, with Lars Ohly's party predicted to drop to 5.7 percent, compared to 12.8 percent in 2004.

The June List too would seem to have seen better days. Rising stars last time round, with an incredible 14.6 percent, the relatively new party has come back down to earth with a bruising bump: SVT's exit poll gives the June List a 3.6 percent share of the vote, not enough to gain a parliamentary seat.

Gudrun Schyman's Feminist Initiative, buoyed by a late donation from Abba legend Benny Andersson, achieved an unexpectedly high 3.2 percent, according to SVT's polling station survey.

The survey puts the nationalist Sweden Democrat party at 2.4 percent, up from 1.1 percent in 2004.

The Centre Party (5.8) and the Christian Democrats (5.1) both appear to have performed slightly worse than in 2004 though both comfortably surpassed the 4 percent threshold necessary to qualify for a seat.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

23:40 June 7, 2009 by byke
Gudrun Schyman received approx. 60,000 votes!

We need more mental health checks in sweden.

As thats allot of menstrual women
23:49 June 7, 2009 by Yendor79
Congratulations from Malta! :-)
23:53 June 7, 2009 by Yendor
There are so many important problems that need dealing with in Sweden and we should send the right people to the EU parliament. But it seems whats most important to the Swedish people right now is to send some guys from the Pirate Party to the EU to fight for the Swedish peoples right to download music and films for FREE! We have sunk to an all-time low water mark!
00:16 June 8, 2009 by Yendor79
I beg to differ...

1 MEP out of a total of 785 in the European parliament of which 19 are Swedish... One has to come to terms whether one agrees or not that this issue needs a voice & deserves to be discussed while being given it´s importance as any other important issues as it´s been clearly shown from the exit polls.

So yes, well done Pirate Party!
00:29 June 8, 2009 by martell
Congrats to a very important European party!
01:20 June 8, 2009 by ShaneW
Shoddy reporting TheLocal I expect better than this:

'Aside from the Pirates, the Greens were Sweden's other big winners, scoring a sensational 11.5 percent in exit polls and becoming the country's third largest party behind the Social Democrats (25.1 percent) and Moderates (18.5).'

How come you just ignored the 13.6% of the country who voted for Folkpartiet?

The third largest party was in fact Jan Björklunds Liberals!!!

Tut!
01:23 June 8, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Apparently, Benny Andersson is one of them.
04:34 June 8, 2009 by Marley420
First step in many steps to come....congratulation!
05:13 June 8, 2009 by för30årseden
Sounds to me like voting for the Pirate Party is like voting for "None of the Above."

People are rejecting the established parties.
05:51 June 8, 2009 by Rap43
Perhaps the more traditional parties will take notice of the fact that the internet and is no longer a 'virtual reality'... it is real and it has a huge impact on all aspects of our lives.

Aside from some fairly static websites and the odd blog, how much have the none-Pirate Party parties done to reach 1/3 of the country's population?

As a small example of how effective the PPs online presence was (is)... they placed a text link to one of my online photos at flicker in one of their blog posts. That photo got nearly 1000 unique hits in a about 7 hours. Pretty good communication I would say.

So, from a 'traditional party' guy to the Pirate Party: Congratulations! I hope you can spread your message beyond the simple issue of file sharing.
08:26 June 8, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Stupid people should not be allowed to vote and now the election of the one dimensional Pirate Party confirms this.
09:04 June 8, 2009 by Vidyadhara
@Renfeh Hguh Indeed, democracy is a terrible idea.
09:12 June 8, 2009 by The Local
ShaneW,

This report came earlier than the official result. The exit poll on which it is based had the Greens as the third largest party.

Paul O'Mahony

Editor
09:15 June 8, 2009 by Octover
I haven't been following Swedish or European politics enough to know if this is how it works. However in the US we have a history of single issue parties coming out, taking a chunk of the vote. This gets the bigger established parties to take notice, and usually by the next election cycle or two that issue has been given enough attention that the special party falls out as the bigger parties take notice and take the issue seriously and maybe not to the extreme of the special party, but enough to get their votes.

Hopefully that is what will happen with this. The EU, or at least Sweden will start to not be so antiquated in their thinking about the internet and we can get representatives willing to have opinions on all matters facing Sweden and the EU.
09:59 June 8, 2009 by aulin
With two recently passed laws that allow the government spy on innocent people, and industry to get personal information without authority involvement, I'd say the Pirate Party is pretty relevant. I'm pretty sure the big response is a kind of backlash from the people - a way to "punish" the established parties if you will.
10:00 June 8, 2009 by hilt_m
I think it is good that the Pirate Party gained a seat, it is an important issue that needs to be addressed and it also makes the current Swedish government understand that in general Swedes are unhappy with the way laws about internet security and authorised monitoring of emails. It's a good step in the right direction. Congrats to them.
10:03 June 8, 2009 by Princess P
They'll be in good company when they get to Brussels. The UK has voted to have 2 BNP MEPs. Way to go Britain!
10:09 June 8, 2009 by Jasoncarter
Plus a heck of a lot of UKIP, which is like a junior version of the BNP for people who are too shy to actually say they are recist.
10:52 June 8, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Mmm, wonder how it's going to work out when it's time for them to go to a foreign destination that isn't The Costa Del Sol or Miami?
10:54 June 8, 2009 by Jasoncarter
They should just stop them at the airport when they move to Brussels and send them back saying 'sorry, no immigrants'.
12:13 June 8, 2009 by "green Swede"
for för30års...(previous topic)

I definitely don't equate to the demographic you so glibly described as supporting the pp,quite the opposite in fact and I happily voted yesterday for said party,actually it would seem that these "KIDS" who never leave their parent's basements seem to have a lot more foresight than yourself.while the file sharing issue is a completely valid gripe(and i'm sure we could find some kipplin verse,"copyrighted" or otherwise to support it)there are much larger issues at stake, that of complete access to all aspects of the internet,privacy issues including access to private e mails, all forms of phone tapping etc etc.Whats down the road,the end of freedom of speech? From little acorns to "great" oak trees grow!You really need to be more open minded in your views,that is unless you work in a video store???
13:49 June 8, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
Three words "Turkeys, Vote & Christmas".

Of course they're going to get the vote of a party who promises not to curtail their illegal file sharing. Politicians have always played to the biggest gallery in terms of demographics (look at tomorrow's elections in Iran where 25% of the population is less than 15 years old, or Berlusconi's Centre-Right popularity with Italy's pensioners ).

Moreover, if the PP want a platform, the EU Parliament is not the best choice. They will completely trampled by the bigger parties who are governed by whips. They should have tried something smaller like the Swedish National Parliament where 7% of the vote actually means something in terms of elected members.

In terms posters on this forum claiming the the PP will stand up for their internet privacy. Sure, of course they will but only because it poses a threat to constituents' file sharing. In any other situation, the PP wouldn't give two farts for your internet rights.

If you're really concerned about "big brother" watching you (and I for one include myself), don't put a vote in for the PP who ironically have been responsible for most of the current legislation (terrorism aside) by rankling the music and movie copyright holders into convincing legislators to push through poorly thought out laws with no one's interest at heart.

What is needed for our internet rights is a cool head, a return to law & order (in terms of file sharing) and a party that doesn't attract fringe groups.
15:53 June 8, 2009 by Hawking
@Renfeh Hguh, @Yendor, etc. ....... Get yourself educated as to the Pirate Party first. Then if you still believe it was the stupid people that voted for them, so be it.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2541736281918823479

H.
02:43 June 9, 2009 by för30årseden
Green Swede - Give me a break! You demand the right to use other people's private property: Things that only exist because of their labor. You want them for free and then claim that you are concerned about privacy rights. Then, and only then, are you worried about civil rights -- but only your own. Taking other people's private stuff for your own benefit is a violation of THEIR privacy. You are a parasite. The state invades your privacy for all sorts of reasons, but you only care if they violate your right to steal someone else's work.

If you think that the world would be better off without copyrighted material, show the world that you can live without copyrighted material. Boycott it! Don't read it and don't listen to it! Only listen to and read things in the public domain. But if you don't want to do that -- then you have proven that copyrights are necessary!
14:12 June 9, 2009 by ATT
Pirate Party is not about stealing other peoples work. As Hawking suggested, please have a look at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2541736281918823479

The copyright protects the right of the distributors not the authors. Authors can actually make much more money if they use other business models. These are lies spread by copyright lovers. Just spend 1 hour and watch the above video.
14:45 June 9, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
The copyright laws of today does not serve their initial purpose. Instead they have, like patents, become a way to create market monopolies and not a way to protect the creators. Also, to enforce the current copyright laws means that we will take steps towards a society where personal privacy means nothing. It is great that the people now have told the politicians that we do not accept further intrusion of our private lives in order to satisfy corporate monopolies.
08:17 June 10, 2009 by Stockholmer
I heard from the exit poll that 31% of PP-voters found unlimited and free downloadning being the reason for their choise.

Then, why did the other 69% vote for PP? The PP has, as I understand, no opinion in ANY other area, so more than two out of three PP-voters voted for - nothing?
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