Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Are There Lessons Here For The UK?



As a watcher of German politics it's no surprise to learn that 40% of Germans would vote for a Eurosceptic party. I would have thought the figure would be higher considering the festering resentment many feel about their leaders continually bailing out other countries which they consider to have been less than honest from their initial application to be admitted into the wonderful world of the European Union.

During the past few years the Greens have been Germany's protest party but they have now been sidelined by new rebels - the Pirate party.This past weekend elections took place in Berlin and the results stunned the Greens who lost 17,000 of their supporters to the Pirates, more than came from any other party. The SPD lost 14,000 voters and the far-left Left Party 13,000. However, its biggest coup was in its ability to attract 23,000 people to the polls who had never voted before.

Who are the new rebels on the German political scene?  The Pirate party was founded in 2006. They've been described as a protest party, a group of computer nerd misfits and perhaps even a joke and it's been asked how could a single-issue party, made up largely of 20-something men, really be serious about politics. The Pirates campaigned on issues concerning internet freedoms and digital privacy along with demands for free urban transportation, a guaranteed minimum income for all and a student-teacher ratio in public schools of 15:1.  Teacher/pupil ratios in many German schools are much lower than the UK but I can find no evidence which shows that this issue is of particular priority to many Germans.

Now 15 Pirates are set to enter Berlin's regional parliament after receiving an astonishing 8.9% of the vote and is being hailed as the most surprising political success stories Germany has seen in recent years.

Are there lessons here for the UK?

source

12 comments:

Joe Public said...

I'm sure Screaming Lord Sutch could replicate that success now, if he were alive today.

John Page said...

In your poll, could we have a "don't care" option?

subrosa said...

Very possibly Joe.

subrosa said...

John, I will remember to put a don't care response on future polls. :)

petem130 said...

The LibDems obviously really, truly think that they will be okay come an election. The Tories do too and so does Labour.

They may well be in for a surprise. Let's hope so.

subrosa said...

Where is our Pirate party petem? I don't necessarily mean a party with similar policies but one which can inspire and put faith back into general politics.

Sandy said...

Arent the Lib Dims our pirate party ?

Biggest joke in British electoral history....

Its just a shame because they could have done something really worthwhile with it all.

banned said...

If thre Pirate Party were more clearly Eursceptic I could vote for them.

subrosa said...

It is a shame they've thrown away their few months of glory Sandy. However it shows the level of skill they have doesn't it.

subrosa said...

I looked hard to see their EU policies banned but,as you've perhaps noticed too, it's a woolly area.

It does go to show a party can go from creation to government in 5 years though doesn't it?

cabalamat said...

Are there lessons here for the UK?

Yes, that Pirate Party UK can and will replicate the success of the Berlin Pirates.

Next May, Edinburgh will elect its council. I intend to stand as a Pirate candidate in that election. Will Scotland's capital go the way of Germany's capital?

subrosa said...

Jings cabalamat, I'm delighted to hear it. First I've heard of you but good luck.

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