Not much yo-ho-ho for the Pirate Party in Brussels this time

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

You can al­ways rely on the Euro­pean elec­tions to deliver some choice nar­ra­tives. Thanks to vot­ers in Ire­land and Bri­tain, the new in­take of rep­re­sen­ta­tives head­ing to par­lia­ment will in­clude such char­ac­ters as Luke “Ming” Flana­gan and a large bunch of UKIP lads in suits clutch­ing pints of real ale and fist­fuls of ster­ling notes. Fun times ahead in Stras­bourg and Brussels for sure.

Alas, one of the sto­ries of the last Euro­pean elec­tion was not re­peated this time around. Back in 2009, the elec­tion of two Swedish Pirate Party can­di­dates en­sured a huge bump in pro­file for the Pirate Bay-af­fil­i­ated group. It was thought that the party might go on to be­come a Europe-wide force on the back of that pro­file-rais­ing vic­tory.

This time around, though, the group didn’t have much to email home about. Its brace of Swedish MEPs lost their seats and the party

The party’s per­cent­age share of the vote was note­wor­thy in coun­tries such as Slove­nia and the Czech Repub­lic, though not quite enough to win seats. It seems Euro­pean vot­ers were happy to look else­where when it came to cast­ing a protest vote.

There’s also a sense that many vot­ers don’t nec­es­sar­ily con­sider copy­right re­form as all that im­por­tant in the greater scheme of things. The Pirate Party might point to a raft of poli­cies in other ar­eas but, by and large, they were seen as an one-is­sue group and people had al­ready promised their protest vote to other par­ties and can­di­dates. Then again, un­like some failed Europe-wide po­lit­i­cal en­ti­tie, such as Lib­er­tas, they at least man­aged to get some­one elected. ended up with just one elected rep in the shape of Ger­many’s Ju­lia Reda. Mean­while, one of the Pirate Party’s can­di­dates in Fin­land, Peter Sunde, was ar­rested in Swe­den af­ter two years on the run.

Ju­lia Reda: the Pirate Party’s sole MEP

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