Swedish Pirates salute German success

Sweden's Pirate Party has lauded the electoral success of its German sister party in the Berlin state parliament, calling it as a "major step forward" and a boost for the movement across the world.

Swedish Pirates salute German success
Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge in a file photo

“A victory for one is a victory for all,” said Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge to The Local on Monday morning.

Falkvinge described the German PiratenPartei winning its first seats in a state parliament as the movement’s greatest success since Sweden’s Pirate Party claimed seats in the European Parliament in 2009.

While parties within the movement have previously won seats in local and regional assemblies in various countries across Europe, this is the first time that they have claimed seats in a national law-making body.

“This is a major step upwards. We usually win a few percent in elections. But to get over the threshold in a law-making body in an area with the population of around half of Sweden is a big leap,” Rick Falkvinge said.

The party clinched around nine percent of the vote in Sunday’s regional poll in Berlin on a platform including free wireless internet and public transport, and voting rights for over-14s.

Rick Falvinge expressed a hope that the movement could use the success to build a push for representation in national parliaments in Sweden and across Europe and explained his view on why the movement’s issues remained relevant.

“We are where the Green parties were in the 1970s and 1980s. We pose the relevant questions; the questions that a great many current politicians do not even understand,” he said.

The Pirate Party grew out of a youth movement with origins in Scandinavia and were founded amidst the intense debate around file-sharing, the anti-piracy Ipred and the FRA wire-tapping laws.

They have been in Germany for around five years and are currently active in around 20 countries.

Sweden’s Pirate Party first stood in a Riksdag election in 2006, claiming 0.63 percent of the vote.

In the 2009 elections to the European Parliament in the party won one seat with 7.1 percent of the Swedish vote. The party’s electoral success was short-lived however, with the party only registering 0.65 percent in Sweden’s 2010 Riksdag elections.

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