Pirate Party: one to watch in 2010
Written by Editor on 27 December, 2009 - 00:00
JWT, one of the world's largest advertising companies, every year publishes a list of upcoming trends. This year's 100 things to watch in 2010 includes the Pirate Party:
While critics dismiss them as just a bunch of kids proclaiming their right to free file-sharing, this grassroots movement is broadening to embrace issues of the digital age: censorship, privacy rights and civil liberties on the Web. The Pirate Party, active in 28 countries in Europe and North America, is already the third-largest in Sweden (home of Pirate Bay, the controversial file-sharing site), where one member was elected to the European Parliament last June.
JWT's analysis is right. Last June, over half of male Swedish voters under 25 voted for the Pirate Party. These people are digital natives: they've never known a time when the net wasn't there, and they see it as a fundamental part of their lives. Threatening to cut off people's net access is therefore seen as a vastly disproportionate punishment, almost akin to cutting someone's tongue off. While young female voters also tend to vote Pirate Party, compared to older voters, they do so less than male voters. The Pirate movement's task, therefore is twofold: to get women to vote for us in the same numbers that men do (which should be doable, since women use the internet as much as men), and to make sure that each years' intake of new 18 year old voters supports us, while existing supporters continue to support us. If we do that across Europe, we'll win.
Incidently, the Swedish Pirate Party have 2 MEPs, not just one. Both were elected in the June 2009 election, but the second one, Amelia Andersdotter, was only able to take her seat after the Lisbon Treaty was passed.