Germany's Pirate Party got 845,904 votes in yesterday's federal election in Germany. That's not enough to win any seats in the county's parliament, but still a respectable result that might help to establish the party as a permanent player in German politics. The party received two percent of all votes cast, according to official results published today, and it celebrated the tally in a press release:

"The German Pirate Party's election result is more than just decent. Mobilizing tens of thousands predominantly young people for liberties is unprecedented in Germany.

Germany's pirates more than doubled their support compared to the result of the recent European parliament election, where it only got 0.9 percent of the vote. It missed the goal of winning any seats in the country's parliament by roughly 1.2 million votes, but the result still makes it the sixth most popular party in German politics.

The pirates were also somewhat fortunate that the election wasn't a close call. Germany's conservative CDU/CSU and FDP parties won a comfortable majority, which means that nobody will be tempted to blame the Pirate Party for being a German Ralph Nader by possibly taking away votes from the Green party as well as the moderate SPD.

It's going to be interesting to see where the party will go from here. Supporters of the party have been pointing to the German Green Party as a success story to be copied. The Greens got only 1.5 percent when they took part in their first federal election contest in the early eighties, but was able to win seats during the next election. However, German politics have changed fundamentally since then, with smaller parties gaining more and more power - a fact that could ironically harm the pirate's chances, since voters have many more choices already at their disposal.

Still, the pirates could become an effective force outside of parliament, if only for the fact that other parties may want to win back their voters and in turn make their own political programs more pirate-friendly.

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