Two More Pirate Parties On Cusp Of Electoral Success: Iceland, Croatia

Two more Pirate Parties are approaching electoral victory scenarios. Iceland’s Píratar is polling just below the parliamentary threshold for their elections one month out, and Croatia’s Piratska Stranka is polling at levels that may give it a seat in the European Parliament in three weeks. This is a very positive sign for the movement, as it is much harder for new countries to enter the political fray than it is to defend existing positions.

The Pirate Party movement is moving at glacial speed compared to normal internet communities, and yet with lightning speed compared to previous waves of political changes. In the UK, I learned that it took the Green Party movement 18 years (?) to get their first seat; meanwhile, it took our movement three and a half years until Christian Engström took office as Member of European Parliament, and yet from our perspective, that was insanely slow: after all, we are used to changing the world considerably in a weekend of intense coding.

On each success, we learn new things, just like we learn from each failed contestation for office. Every obstacle encountered is one we circumnavigate come next election, much to the disappointment of those who like to ridicule each of our non-successes (also known as our “learning by doing”).

One month ahead of the Berlin election success in the fall of 2011, I predicted (correctly) that even though the German Piratenpartei were polling at sub-parliamentary levels at the time, they would succeed since the media had discovered them as a credible newcomer.

The first shout-out for today goes to Pirate Party of Croatia, the Piratska Stranka, who are polling at 6.4% with elections on April 14. This is well above the psychological “wasted vote” barrier, and real parliamentary numbers. However, only twelve seats are up for grabs in the election – so come the election, six point four percent would be a coin toss whether they get one of the seats or not. It’s definitely doable, and I’d bet my money on success, but it’s far from a done deal at this point.

The more interesting thing is that those twelve seats are with the European Parliament, as part of Croatia’s accession to the European Union. Thus, the Croatian Pirate Party has a real shot at being the second Pirate Party represented in the European Parliament, which would be a huge boost to the movement’s influence (and to the Croatian Pirates).

The second shout-out goes to the Pirate Party of Iceland, the Píratar, founded by (among others) the Wikileaks activist and present Member of Parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Their parliamentary election for the Icelandic parliament is on April 27, and they’re currently polling at 3.9%, with five per cent required for entry. This is one percent unit short of the barrier – but just like the German Piratenpartei started climbing one month ahead of the election once they caught the spotlights, the Icelandic Píratar can play the same scenario.

At present, only one Pirate Party has won seats at the national level: the Czech Pirate Party managed to put a Senator into office (which is a feat in itself). Having the Icelandic Píratar join the international community of election successes would be great for the movement as a whole.

As an international movement, the Pirate Parties are now present in 70 countries, contesting elections and making policy. As a movement who took its first baby steps in 2006, and had its first electoral victory in 2009, that is practically a wildfire spread of the ideas and organization. Still, the really hard thing for the movement is getting elected from more countries, generating more blueprints for success for the movement as a whole.

I’d be very happy to see Iceland and Croatia submitting such success blueprints in the coming month. While far from certain, it’s definitely within reach.

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. […] Les mer hos Falkvinge […]

  2. lilo

    and in Roma, please 🙂

    next administrative election —> partito pirata italy indipendent list

    hashtag #romapirata


  3. Anonymous

    makes no difference whether they win or lose. no one is really taking the party seriously. when party officials can be threatened individually by the USA entertainment industries, just to get a legal operation shut down that they dont like, what hope is there? i have never heard of any other party having this happen to them and there certainly wasn’t any backing, any help offered by any other political party. to me that shows that no one else is worried about the Pirate Party, they just tolerate it, treating it as a complete joke! by the time there are sufficient elected members, if that scenario ever happens, the world will be so deep in the shit, it will take more than a fight over copyright to dig it out! democracy is non-existent now, all thanks to the way the USA behaves and the fact that not one other country has got the balls to stand up to it and tell it to piss off when the threats are thrown out, preferring to give in totally, bend over and take a good shafting rather than stand up for their own citizens. we should all be ashamed of what we DONT do. as for this insistence of a minimum of 30mps broadband, what the hell is the point of that when the USA are dictating what the world can and cant do on it? China tells China, Iran tells Iran, N.Korea tells N.Korea but the USA tells everyone and everyone then craps backwards and do what we’re told!

    1. EvenSG

      You just described why it makes a difference whether they win or lose… 🙂

    2. harveyed

      Well US just seems to take bitcoin seriously. I think entertainment industries will reshape soon. It’s not just “US vs the world” in any sens, also different businesses within the US “vs” each other… Electronic hardware and IT is really big. Just look at the “commercials” in TV series already. Apple laptops in every other popular TV series. As far as I know the US has a big leap in advance when comes to hardware, compared to most other nations in the world, so bitcoin will probably reinforce the IT and hardare industries in US whilst the “pirating” of entertainment will be “free commercials” for the IT and hard wares developed in the United States. If people invest dollars or bitcoin or whatever in bit coin mining equipment the hardware industries will be enriched. The entertainment will keep up their “theatre of drama” “oh nooo you pirates are hurting us!!” for as long as it seems realistic. Well.. that’s what they are PROs at alright? 😉

  4. Not pessimist, realist.

    To us geeks this is indeed slow, but even if it is lightning speed in political measurements, we need something along the lines of a warp drive. Every month, often many times a month, there are more steps towards totalitarian fascism. There will be no democracy left in the Swedish elections 2018. After 2014 there is no hope.

    This sounds dark and pessimistic, I even stopped myself mid-sentence thinking “what on Earth am I writing?”, but after thinking about it for a little while I am pretty certain it is so.
    Because, there is not just more laws, treaties, proposals etc. every month, they are also coming faster and faster. Extrapolating that tells me that by 2018 almost every detail of our lives is controlled either by governments, companies or both. And by then, there will be nothing we can do about it.

  5. Henry Rouhivuori

    If there are no threshold and Croatia counts seats as Sweden do there be 70/12, but 50/12 can be enough if first divisor is 1.

  6. GretarEir

    Nice to hear about Croatia 🙂
    and yes i sayd 2 months ago (1.8%) that Icelandic Pirate gets 4-6 seats (approx 10%) and i still say we will, but today is most crusiual momment in Iceland’s revelution cos of New constitution that nation sayid yes to, and parlament has to vote for before election 26 april, and next parlament also and new constitution is THE law !
    the “old politic” are gona delay it until “later”, and steal for first time the Voted Will of our Nation, of 63 in parlament 3 are still fighting, and that are Citizens-Movement voted, a “party” that was created 1,5 months befor last election’s here, Birgitta “leader” of Pirate, Margret and Thor who are in another “new age” party !

    Shit they made it ! Today Parlament rapped our Democrozy, our new constitution has been put on “hold”
    BUT atleast The Prime Minister Johanna did not vote, but she has been a spokesman on this matter for 32 years in parlament and this is her last day in Parlament, new “Boss” of her Party thanks her by Killing her no 1 passion for 32 years as a politician !!!!! aint some “human’s” nice ?

    1. Henry Rouhivuori

      Yes, Pirate Party of Iceland today, April 15, polled 9.0%. I hope for election results at 10-15% and third (#3) party.

  7. Henry Rouhivuori

    PIRATSKA STRANKA da se sutra održavaju izbori osvojila bi 6,4 posto glasova, više nego dovoljno za ulazak u Sabor. No, pod nju bi moralo potpasti više različitih ideja da bi okupila dovoljan broj birača.

    Google translate:

    Pirate Party to hold elections tomorrow would have gained 6.4 percent, more than enough to enter the parliament. But under it would have to fall within a number of different ideas that would bring together a sufficient number of voters.

  8. […] om mina tankar om hur Ung Pirat kan utvecklas organisatoriskt (bl.a. inför kampanjen inför valrörelse) och hur jag konkret kan påverka förbundet genom en eventuell styrelseplats. Kommentera gärna […]

  9. […] Two More Pirate Parties On Cusp Of Electoral Success: Iceland … Go to this article […]

  10. Anon

    Yay : )
    Here we go!
    Regardless of if the Pirate Party can reform itself to a broad based knowledge-society party including all aspects of society or not it is absolutely fundamental that the Pirate Party reach a degree of success in each country to gain access to documents, form parts of coalitions and protect our rights whether it is the right or the left (both obscure terms today) want to damage them.

  11. […] kako do sada, tako, još snažnije u budućnosti. Piratska stranka Hrvatske za sada se kotira na 6, 4 % mogućih glasova, imajući u vidu da se izlaznost na ovom tipu izbora kreće oko 30%.  Izbori za Evropski parlament […]

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