Pirate party gains ground in Germany
October 11, 2011
Avast, ye German politicos! The Pirate Party is rapidly gaining support following last month's regional elections. The political group, formed back in 2006, first gained attention for their outcry for more internet freedom, but Berlin's mid-September state election saw them get 8.9 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press.
When a political party receives more than 5 percent of the vote, they are officially recognized by the German government as a legitimate group, The Guardian reports. The pirates thus became eligible to receive state financial support, and they were given a few parliamentary seats as well.
"Eight percent in a national poll is no longer one-day hype. This is the start of a fundamental political change," Sebastian Nerz, the leader of the Pirates, told the AP. "We are a social and liberal party of fundamental rights."
The Global Post reports that the 14 Pirates spent their first parliamentary meeting arguing over whether or not they should stream their meetings to the public, as this was one of the promises of radical transparency that were made during their campaign.