One of the great demonstrations of success and failure of the multi-party system, especially in Germany, would be the Pirate Party.
About a decade ago, it was obvious that technology was stepping all over the political establishment, and the top five political parties were not grasping at the changes occurring or the frustration with the general public.
So in 2006, the German Pirate Party was created. It can be said that it was mostly youth-orientated...mostly computer geeks....and having a strong bond with university students.
They were mostly about the computer revolution, social liberalism, and anti-corruption. The general problem in the first year was that they had a very limited platform. They could talk a lot about privacy, government regulations, or data protection. Beyond that....it was limited.
In the 2009 national election....they got around 2-percent (845,000 votes). For a start-up party, it was a lot.
Over the next two years.....they had the same trend in state and city elections. They were able to show between one and two percent of the vote.
Then in 2011....an odd thing happened in the Berlin-state election....the Pirates got almost 9-percent of the vote. Even the Pirate members in Berlin were shocked. The one noticeable problem with the incoming Pirate members within the Berlin state system? It was almost all guys....very few women were associated with the party.
A couple of months passed and in the Saarland election....roughly 7-percent of the vote went to the Pirate Party. A lot of this success could be connected to the local university and it's population.
Two other states held elections in 2012, and the same trend was shown....roughly 7-to-8 percent of the vote went their way. It was remarkable success.
Since 2012? There's nothing to brag about and most election results have stayed below 2-percent. The hay-day of the Pirates....may have come and gone.
I would go toward three basic issues. First, the other parties finally realized the value of some policies or changes on the internet, data protection, and data privacy. As they got smart and talked about changes....it lessened the message of the Pirate Party.
Second, the Pirates couldn't find enough four-star performers throughout the sixteen states to really make a continual challenge. Some of the earlier members have jumped ship and left.
Third, I tend to see the Pirates as a frustration maneuver for some voters. If you are angered over corruption or fake talk from the five chief parties....there was not place prior to 2009 to send a signal about your unhappy nature.
So are the Pirates dying off? I tend to think so. They've peaked out on official members at 13,000 roughly. They might be around for the 2017 national election but I doubt if they continue to exist by 2021 (the next election).