The state of Saarland in Germany got an unexpected re-election in 2012, which takes place tomorrow, the 25th of March. The German Piratenpartei needs five percent to enter another state parliament, and will get them, according to polls.
This is enormously significant for the pirate party movement, for several reasons.
First and most obviously, it shows that Sweden’s and Berlin’s successes in elections can be controllably repeated – that we have learned how to change the policymaking game in favor of the net generation, and that we have moved from a trial-and-error game to applying accumulated experience in a much more predictable fashion today than when we started out on brittle sails.
Second, Saarland is a completely different demographic than the progressive, urban, politically vanguard Berlin. Being able to get parliamentary seats from elections in Sweden and Berlin could still be dismissed as extreme demographic outliers – but Saarland is a very, very different place. It is the smallest state of Germany, with just over a million people, and has a more traditionally industrious population. (As we remember, the Pirate Party has its strongest support in university cities, and particularly technical university cities.) Therefore, being able to sustain the pattern in Saarland sends a very strong message – not just internally, and not just to Germany, but to the world.
Third, even the normal election cycle – four or five years – takes an enormous amount of planning as you approach different phases leading up to a planned election. This was an unexpected re-election, which is the hardest situation an activist challenger party can be faced with; in a runner’s equivalent, it would be something like having the final race dropped in your lap while you’re in the middle of your fat-growing phase for the later hard training to turn it into muscles before the qualifier races. It’s a “they did WHAT?” moment. If the Piratenpartei can succeed despite this, it’s a very, very strong indication of the organization’s operative and political capability.
So, the money question – will the Pirate Party make into Saarland’s parliament? While nothing is determined before election night, five per cent of the votes are needed to gain entry, and the Piratenpartei has been polling at six per cent all month. Things are looking good, very good.
Fair winds and good speed, brothers and sisters. Tomorrow, we are all Saarlanders. Klarmachen zum Ändern!