Unopinionated Pirates

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

One key factor affecting the entire ongoing Eurocrisis was known to cognoscenti as “NRW” – short for Nordrhein-Westfalen, the German state whose local elections on May 9 did much to influence both the nature and timing of Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel’s response to the grave threat to the euro and even the EU arising from the Greek financial problems. That is well and good, but those same NRW elections at the same time had another rather different significance for a separate voting bloc, one not necessarily so interested in the mere potential for collapse of the common European currency. These citizens are overwhelmingly young and male; they usually converse in Java and C++ as easily as in their native German; and they vote for the German Pirate Party, whose disappointing results in that same ballot saw its share of the overall vote drop to 1.5% from the full 2% share it had enjoyed during last Fall’s nationwide election.

You might recall that this political organization, like all the off-shoots of the original Pirate Party in Sweden, takes for its purpose advocacy mainly for Internet-related issues such as copyright reform, digital civil rights, and the prevention of Internet censorship. Philip Kuhn of Die Welt recently sat down with party leader Jens Seipenbusch for a brief interview in the wake of those poor electoral results. (more…)

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