Pirate Party enters European Parliament
After months of campaigning against established parties, the Swedish Pirate Party (Piratpartiet) has managed to win at least one, and perhaps two, seats in the European parliament. It gained 7.1% of the Swedish vote.
The Pirate Party was founded in 2006 with the goal of reforming copyright law, strengthening privacy and making government transparent. It's the third largest political party in Sweden, bigger than the Green Party, Christian Democrats, Liberal Party and the Centre Party.
Leader Rick Falkvinge said: Together, we have today changed the landscape of European politics. No matter how this night ends, we have changed it. This feels wonderful. The citizens have understood it’s time to make a difference. The older politicians have taken apart young peoples’ lifestyle, bit by bit. We do not accept (...) the authorities’ mass-surveillance".
The victory is undoubtedly due at least in party to the recent conviction of the defendants in the Pirate Bay lawsuit. Following the verdict, party membership more than tripled. The party gains one seat in the European parliament immediately, and one more if the Lisbon treaty passes.
In Brussels, the Pirate Party says that it hopes to reduce the "abuses of power and copyright" at the hands of the entertainment industries, and make those activities illegal, along with legalizing non-commercial filesharing.