German Pirate Party Scores Third Election Win

The Pirates want to radically reform or abolish current copyright law.

COLOGNE, Germany - Germany's Pirate Party, which calls for copyright law to be radically reformed or abolished, has won a third victory in state elections. The Pirates took 6 seats with 8.2 per cent of the popular vote in state elections in the small Northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on Sunday.

The result marks the third straight election win for the Pirates, which have moved from fringe party to mainstream movement in less than a year. The Pirates won four seats in state elections in the Saarland in March and took 15 parliamentary seats in Berlin's state elections last year.

Baring a last-minute collapse, the Pirates will secure seats in a fourth state parliament next Sunday, when elections are held in Germany's most populous state, North-Rhein Westphalia. Some polls there give the Pirates 11 per cent of the vote, making them the third strongest party behind the conservatives and social democrats. 

The Pirates caught the attention of Hollywood with their radical attack on copyright law but copyright issues have not played a large roll in their successful election campaigns. Instead, the neophyte party has attracted voters with their message of greater political transparency and better protection of individual rights, particularly online.

The Pirates continue to poll well nationwide and are expected to enter Germany's Bundestag, the national parliament, in federal elections next year.