Tomorrow March 25, Germany Votes Pirate Again

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!

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Rob8urcakes

    All the best to PP Saarland from Scotland. We could do with news of another WIN for the movement so I have my fingers, legs and eyes crossed in hope you prevail.

    I trust you’ll send us an update of the final result via twitter, etc?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I’ll do my best to post news as the election results tick in.

    2. Squig

      You may want to follow #ppint and #eupirates where we (international coordinating pirates) dump all news that may be interesting for international pirates as soon as we have them.

      1. rob8urcakes

        Duly done, thanks Squig – got a twitter account yourself?
        I’m @Rob8urcakes and will gladly ‘follow’ you.

        Rick and I already follow each other 🙂

    3. Finlay


      We could use a win in Scotland too 🙁

  2. AeliusBlythe

    Will be anxiously awaiting the results!
    After the sustained flood of wrath from lobbyists & legislators & courts over the last couple months (the TPB decision, the TV shack guy decision, the secret negotiations in Australia, the ISPs becoming copyright police in US……) it seems like pirates around the world could use a morale booster. I know I could. Fingers crossed for good news!

  3. DannyUfonek

    This is great!
    Even though the Pirate Party isn’t too popular here in the Czech Republic (but I guess it isn’t really their fault), this is a great move forward even for us. Germany is the most powerful country in the EU, so if PP gains some influence there, it will spread and will be able to speak to all of the EU.

    1. Squig

      The Czech Pirates are doing great work, and are probably on a level with those of Catalonia, Switzerland and Luxembourg when it comes to media attention, behind Germany or Sweden, but way ahead of the Netherlands, Denmark or France for example. I am optimistic they will get noticeable election results soon, not just because of the succes in Germany, but through their own great work. Na shledanou v Praze for the PPI conference!

  4. Judith Meyer

    The future is looking very bright for the Pirate Party in Germany. This year there are two more state elections – including another totally unexpected election in the populous Nordrhein-Westfalen on May 13th – and the Pirate Party is set to enter all parliaments. This also means that they have been getting a lot more attention on the national level, more so than other regional parties. Politicians of all colours are wondering what they did wrong and how they can seem more internet-savvy. It’s usually a short-lived effort though, for example the SPD (social party) already closed their blog again, something about it being too dangerous, considering they could get sued for any site they link to (who passed that law anyway?).

    If you read German, follow @PiratenRT on Twitter, they retweet the most important infos from German state-level Pirate Parties, the national party and party magazines.

  5. […] Fuente blog de Rick Falkvinge […]

  6. Tommy

    Does anyone know if it will be possible to follow the election live online somewhere?
    It would be nice to participate in the exciting election moment. 🙂

    1. Vik1ng

      German TV Stations:

      The German Pirate Party has which will stream the election party beginning 17:00 according to their schedule. Then there is also but according to the schedule they won’t stream anything tomorrow.

    2. Squig

      Deutsche Welle is the public German broadcaster for people living abroad, they also publish a bit in English. If you have a hard time following stuff written in German this may be a very good start.

      Results will be in from 18:00 CET on.

      1. Squig

        Other than that google for ‘the Local’ (a general newsblog) and ‘Toytown Germany’ (a forum for expats in Germany) for other English-speaking media that sorta covers German afairs. Spiegel Online has a good section on German news, too, but they are not the fastest source.

  7. Aleksandar Blagojević

    Today, my pirate bits are with Saarland pirates! We are winning!!!

  8. Henry

    While it is good to see, that Pirates getting so popular here in Germany, the Pirate Party Saarland has some strange views. The Free Software Foundation Europe asked them, what they want to do against proprietary software monopolies, the Pirate Party Saarland answered:

    “Producers of non-free software have the right to own a monopoly and protect their product from manipulation. It can’t be the goal to suppress non-free software by putting political pressure on it”

    On the question “Do you plan to aid small and mid-range free software companies” they answered, that they want to interfere in internal issues of private companies.

    Source: (both in german)

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  10. Kai

    They did it. 8% according to the first forecast by the tv station ARD. Conservatives win And will make a Grand Coalition with the Social democrats. Liberals are out, Greens are probably in.

  11. Judith Meyer

    7.4% according to the official preliminary results. Now the votes just need to be re-counted and there may be a few vote-by-letters that still need to be counted, but nobody is expecting any changes. The Greens made it by only 186 votes, they got 5.0%.

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