Back in 2006....the German Pirate Party went into operation.
If you asked anyone about the central theme of the political party....it was mostly around the areas of: information privacy, copyright reforms, patent reform, drug reform (marijuana approval), education reforms, limited electronic inspection or monitoring of citizens, direct democracy (e-voting on serious topics) and an unconditional basic income for citizens.
That's it. If you looked at the typical list of topics for the CDU, SPD or Linke Party.....the top twenty so to speak.....then the German Pirate Party doesn't really inject itself into this territory.
So success? Well....in 2009, they got around 850,000 votes in the national election. That's roughly two percent of the national vote. If you quizzed the polling folks.....most of the votes come from the 18-to-25 year old folks, or the over-30 group with geeky tendencies.
In regional elections....it's been more or less the same story.....roughly two percent of the vote. In the Berlin state vote of 2011....they took nine percent of the state's votes. For the Saarland of 2012.....they took around seven percent of the state vote.
Leading up to the 2013 national election....the national leadership of the party went through some rough episodes (internal arguments and disputes....some puffed up talk of scandals although it wasn't stuff that you'd typically see from the bigger parties). At some peak point....they were running almost near 13-percent across all of Germany for a brief time. Then....crap hit the fan, and the Pirate Party lost a significant amount of favor.
The best that people can say is that a fair number of the participants of the Pirate Party drifted back to the SPD, the Greens, and the Linke Party.
What went wrong? Journalists and intellectuals don't chat much about the Pirate Party or their stumbling points. I think they consider the party to be a weak device and limited to just a dozen-odd topics...things that get the under-25 crowd hyped up.
For this period of the March state elections (3 x states).....most people give them a 2-percent polling position in each state.
The odd factor is that none of the big parties in Germany really pick up any of these topics that the Pirate Party specializes in and hypes.....so their membership can't find a better platform or a better candidate. Presently, the Pirates and Green Party are the only ones advocating for marijuana approval and open sales......both topics that ten to twenty percent of society would like to see occur.
If you bring up internet privacy concerns, and hype it as your top priority.....then the Pirates are the only ones with that topic in every conversation.
The sad thing is that they really need a couple of tough political minds to come in, and organize the party.....with central themes that are easily sold to the under-25 crowd. They need a platform on the economy, immigration, pension reform, medical insurance reform, etc. They could easily go to a 12-percent point.....if they just recruited some brighter party leadership and reformed their message.