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Pirate Party claims EU booty: confirmed

Pirate Party claims EU booty: confirmed

Published: 08 Jun 2009 08:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jun 2009 08:26 GMT+02:00

Sweden's Pirate Party, on a platform of integrity issues including the legalization of internet file sharing, sensationally claimed a seat in the EU parliament as election results were confirmed on Sunday.

The other main winners in the election were the Greens and the Liberal party.

The Pirate Party won 7.1 percent of votes, taking one of Sweden's 18 seats in the EU parliament, with ballots in all but one of the country's 5,664 constituencies counted as the electoral commission halted the tally for the evening.

"Privacy issues and civil liberties are important to people and they demonstrated that clearly when they voted today," one of the Pirate Party's candidates, Anna Troberg, told Swedish television on Sunday.

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

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

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's conservative Moderates won 18.8 percent of votes and four seats, close to its score in the European election in 2004 but down sharply from the 26.1 percent it won in Sweden's 2006 general election.

Coming little more than a year ahead of Sweden's next general election in September 2010, political analyst Mats Knutson called the result a "formidable cold shower" for Reinfeldt, speaking on public television SVT.

The opposition Social Democrats, traditionally Sweden's biggest party, won 24.6 percent, also close to their result in 2004 and maintaining their five seats in the EU parliament.

The four-party Alliance coalition - made up of the Moderate, Centre, Liberal and Christian Democrat parties - won 42.6 percent of votes and nine seats, compared to 41.1 percent and eight seats for the leftist opposition comprising the Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party.

The Greens scored a strong rise in support, riding a wave of climate concern across the continent, and were credited with 10.9 percent of votes compared to 6.0 percent in 2004 and doubled their seats to two.

Jan Björklund's Liberal party claimed 13.6 percent of the vote and three seats in the parliament. The party's success was credited as confirmation of Björklund's leadership before the general elections next year.

The EU-critical Left party saw its support collapse from 12.8 percent in 2004 to 5.6 percent and one seat, a drop of one.

The far-right Sweden Democrats, who are not represented in Sweden's parliament, meanwhile tripled their score but not enough to win a seat in parliament.

Their support rose from 1.1 percent in 2004 - and 2.9 percent in the 2006 general election - to 3.3 percent.

The Feminist initiative (Feministiskt initiativ) made large gains on their 2006 general election showing of 0.7 percent, claiming 2.1 percent of the vote and attracting 65,000 votes.

The party's leader Gudrun Schyman put the success down to hard work and gave thanks to former Abba music mogul Benny Andersson for his financial support.

Voter turnout in Sweden was 43.8 percent, higher than the 37.1 percent in

the 2004 election, election officials said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:20 June 8, 2009 by byke
Benny dollars, Benny dollars ..... Forget Disney world ..... Sweden's gonna get a musical version of "the black and white menstruals"
12:14 June 8, 2009 by Gower76
Piratpartiet's surge is a sad reflection of the fact that politics, or at least many people's relationship to it, is becoming increasingly superficial, throwaway, short-termist and irrelevant.

Forget welfare, education, healthcare, climate change, defence, trade, international aid - what really matters is whether you can download films without paying for them.

Still, rather the Pirate Party than the Sweden Democrats.
14:15 June 8, 2009 by Hawking
Don't be such sheeple. Do some due diligence on your own as to what the Piratpartiet stands for and is promoting. Hint: It's NOT what the main media is feeding you as, "- what really matters is whether you can download films without paying for them."

You can start here if you'd like to educate yourself.

14:28 June 8, 2009 by nodles90210
Congrats from Prague ! Czech media covered this at the beginning as free-music-downloading party, but young people on their internet sites flamed authors of such articles quickly. Now they present PP more-or-less in correct and fair way.
14:29 June 8, 2009 by ATT
The success of parties like Pirate Party (PP) shows the lack of attention from other larger traditional parties to some of peoples concern. PP is not all about free downloads but rather (internet) privacy. I certainly find PP beneficial in short term to force other parties to clearly define their position regarding this issue.

In special case of downloading files, It seems to me that the ruling parities act as a representative of the music or film industries trying to make their failed business model to work. Any business with bad business model must fail. You can't limit peoples privacy because some companies don't make as much money as they would like to. Internet has changed many traditional business models such as providing service for free (e.g. google).
15:32 June 8, 2009 by eZee.se
Pity PP got just one seat... I really was hoping for 3... or at least 2

that would really send a clear message to the morons who dip into the pockets of big media
19:16 June 8, 2009 by nzroller
I imagine the Pirate Party is not all about privacy either. Reform of patent/copyright law is about ensuring monopolies are not created to the detriment of innovation, it's about a more effective economy and economy touches all aspects of society. For example, patents on life-saving drugs create a monopoly on such drugs -- pay the fee or you can't produce the drug and people die. Most cases may not be as dire as that but it's a drag on the economy -- people are less likely to create. Having long-term copyright (20, 50, 80 years after the author/artist dies) is silly.
20:55 June 8, 2009 by spy
Interesting comments but I don't buy that PP got 7.1% of the vote for anything other than their militancy over copyright laws.

If you voted for them then that's your choice (and fine) but don't expect me to believe that it was for any other reason than you like downloading material for free.
00:16 June 9, 2009 by Dagem Hailemariam
Spy don't ASSUME...

you are making an ASS out of U and ME!!

For me, there are a lot of reasons why I support the Pirate Party, but the "FINAL" straw was making a highlight video of my daughters birthday and being told that because I have Stevie Wonder playing in the background of one of the clips in the video, I am Infringing on the copyright! Not all of us are as lazy as you seem to make us out to be.

But I guess since accusations are usually projections of our own weaknesses, it might just be a case that you are that simple in the way you choose to vote.
01:24 June 9, 2009 by jack sprat
You can argue till the cows come home regarding the legality or otherwise of Pirate Bay.

However little is said of the massive protectionism that the greedy multinational recording companies,drug companies and the rest build around themselves, aided and abetted by the major Western Govts,(whilst feathering each others nest),in order to ensure disgustingly obscene and immoral profit margins on their products, in order to screw poor old working class Joe Soap of every last penny of his hard earned cash.

I am a great believer in fair play but only on a level playing surface,so if P.B.help to level the pitch and even the odds then the best of British to them, until such time as Joe Soap starts to get a fair deal...but I wont be holding my breath.
16:17 June 9, 2009 by dtes
16:19 June 9, 2009 by ShaneW
Contrary to the UK euro elections it was nice to see the Swedish Parties actually debate European issues.

I was delighted with Folkpartiet's vote, they fought a very positive, very pro EU campaign and were rewarded with a good increase in its vote share.
23:15 June 9, 2009 by spy
Dagem Hailemariam

If I want to 'assume' then I will! What are you the 'thought police?'

Also I 'assume' that it would be unlikely for Stevie Wonder's publishers to be too worried about your example and they might even consider you 'simple' for getting so het-up about it.
01:46 June 15, 2009 by Bettawrekonize
"don't expect me to believe that it was for any other reason than you like downloading material for free. "

Who are YOU to tell OTHERS why they voted how they did? I think those who voted are a better authority over why they voted how they did than you.
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