The Swedish Pirate Party has been the big winner of the European election, if only by headlines: The party got more than 7% of the votes in Sweden, which is enough for at least one seat in the European parliament.

However, Sweden wasn't the only country where pirates were on the ballot. Germany also had its own Pirate Party competing in the election, albeit with slightly less success. The German pirates got support of 0.9 percent of the country's voters, which is enough to get state funding but less than the neo-fascist Republikaner party as well as the Animal Rights Party.

These results are especially remarkable because Germany's major political parties are about to pass major Internet censorship legislation this week which has led to a massive wave of online activism, including an online petition that attracted more than 130,000 signatures.

Germany has also been the country that has seen by far the most aggressive lawsuit campaigns against file sharers, with some estimating that more than 100,000 file shares have received threats of lawsuits and costly settlement offers by record labels, software makers and porn producers.

One would imagine that this is enough to motivate people to vote for a party that wants to legalize file sharing and keep the Internet uncensored. So why didn't the German Pirates get any more support? A few German bloggers have spend the days since the election with analyzing the situation, and in turn unearthed a few interesting clues.

Alexander Svensson of took a look at the statistics published by election officials. Turns out that the Pirate party was most successful in cities with Universities where the general electorate tends to be higher educated and younger, but less likely to have kids.

piratepartei vs gruene
(Img courtesy of

However, only about two percent of the voters supported the Pirate Party even the most popular pirate hot spots. one reason for this may be that there's strong competition: The Green Party got an average of 16.2 percent of the vote in the 64 districts that netted the Pirates the most votes. The Greens did lose 0.3 percent to the Pirates, but that wasn't enough to make a dent.

Of course, those statistics may not completely explain why the German Pirates couldn't repeat the Swedish success story. Some German bloggers believe that this may have to do with the lack of a distinct profile. Torsten Kleinz put it this way:

"Reading the party's political program is unfortunately disappointing. There's not much more in there than free downloads on the subject of intellectual property rights (...). Sure, it mentions nice things like 'supporting culture' - but the Pirates don't really have a clue how this is supposed to work."

Svensson seems to agree, and adds that the Pirate Party is not only lacking coherent positions:

"It is one of only two parties (the other one being the Senior's Party) that didn't have a single female candidate for the European Election."

Wait, even the Party of Bible-Devoted Christians had a more diverse list of candidates than the Pirate party? Oups. I guess the German pirates really have some work to do if they want to be more successful in the coming federal election.

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