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The Growth of Europe’s “Pirate Party” Continues

Always knew the Europeans had strange political tastes, but this is stranger than most.

On Saturday, Iceland held national parliamentary elections and the newly-formed Pirate Party of Iceland won 5.1 percent of the vote. This earned the party three seats in parliament, making the new Píratar the most successful Pirate Party in any national legislative body around the globe.

Iceland’s unicameral parliament, known in Icelandic as the Alþing (“All-thing”), has just 63 members to represent the country’s 320,000 people.

By comparison, the Czech Republic has one Pirate Party parliamentarian, Germany has 45 state-level Pirate lawmakers (plus, recent party struggles), and Sweden has two representatives of its Pirate Party in the European Parliament. As is the case anywhere Pirates hold elective office, the group still represents a tiny minority in Iceland—most of the seats in the Alþing will go to the center-right Independence Party. In the United States, the Pirate Party has had very limited success and is extremely unlikely to get elected to either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

According to its website, the Pirate Party operates in eight states — Yes, Wisconsin is one of them thanks to GAB approval — and it’s more or less a neo-liberal outfit which sounds like an off-shoot of every other group of left-wing anarchists out there.  The only thing that makes it “special” is two things: 1) It focuses on technological issues like “government transparency,” “hacker’s rights,” and 2) They’re clever with their namings; such as calling the party chairman “The Captain,” vice chairman “The First Officer,” and so on.

The only “piracy” these guys advance is online with little regard to copyright laws and creator rights.  If that’s what floats your “Jolly Roger,” by all means, climb aboard.

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