In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the German people have seen fit to vote 15 members of the German Pirate Party into Berlin's parliament. Winning almost 10% of the popular vote, German pirates will now start delivering freedom, justice, gold doubloons, privacy, saucy wenches, copyright reform and shoulder parrots to all. Yarrr!
The Pirate Party may sound like a joke, but it's most definitely not. In fact, you might agree with a lot of what they have to say. They're for personal privacy protection (including genetic privacy and data privacy), copyright and patent reform, expanding citizen's rights and free speech, unprecedented levels of government transparency, and free wireless Internet. All of these issues are becoming more and more relevant as information technology permeates our lives, and in this writer's opinion, it's high time that someone in government made them a priority. And apparently, a significant number of people in Berlin agree.
Yesterday, the German Pirate Party achieved 8.9% of the popular vote in the Berlin state parliamentary elections, securing 15 voting seats out of a total of 130. Clearly, this isn't just a fluke: people want Pirates in parliament looking out for their digital interests. What's even more remarkable is that the Pirate campaign has so far been run entirely by volunteers, and now that they've won parliamentary seats, the Pirate Party will start getting funding to expand its operations and spread its message. Rest of the world: prepare to be boarded.