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Swedish politics: Rascism, Scandals and Piracy, Part 3: Piracy

by A swedish kind of death Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 04:23:21 AM EST

Earlier parts:
Swedish politics: Rascism, Scandals and Piracy (Part 1: Rascism)

Swedish politics: Rascism, Scandals and Piracy, Part 2: Scandals

Finally, the last installment of my election coverage in Swedens election (it was in september). I know that you have been eager for the Piratpartiets election analysis and future plans. Well, here it is:

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob


Election campaign
Piratpartiets campaign was really "think globally, act locally". It was not one campaign but lots of local campaigns. We did raise some funds during the spring, around 130 000 kronor (14 500 euros, 18 500 USD) but we spent it all on ballots.

You can not win an election without them, so we got 3 million ballots.

So how to make an election campaign without money? Well, everybody has some money or some time to donate. We completed pamphlets and shared posters in our forum, then printed for low costs in xerox-machines or sympathetic local copyshops. And then it was just posting the posters and handing out the flyers.

Or just. It is a lot of work and a a lot of organising. But it was fun.

Very soon must of us campaigners discovered that we got much better response in youngish groups, so computer festivals and music festivals became targeted events. I have no idea how many flyers I handed out myself. Probably over a thousand. And I do not think I ever felt this hip and popular among teenagers, if fifteen year olds could vote, it would be a slam dunk. We got help with handing out flyers (and since we realised they might 'help' the flyers to the nearest trash-can we kept an eye on them and in ever single instance they did hand them out), as well as more personal appreciation in the form of candy, pancakes (!) cold beer (they would vote for us to) and home-made wine (I do not think they were old enough to vote).

Ah, the fervor of campaigning.

Of course, we dominated the web. If their was an appropriate article to comment, it was linked in our forum and a lot of polite, wellformulated comments from  members of the party, clearly identified with name, sometimes titel and always the party name. In webbased polls, we always won. Sometimes we even got some off-line results like when a local tv-station had a poll for which new party should be given some time for presentation.

In august we helped Labs2 launching a on-line privacy servise called Relakks. Or they helped us get a lot of attention (the link brings you to the alexa graph). This was very efficient in showing that either file-sharing gets legal or internet traffic will become untraceable in the long run. Unfortunately most of the publicity was outside Sweden. Piratpartiet also gets a percentage of the revenue Relakks brings in. This allowed for some nicer folders the last weeks, they even had color!

alexa-statistics
Check out that Alexa graph, blue is Piratpartiet. The spike in June is when Pirate Bay was closed and the one in august is Relakks. As comparision Daily Kos in red is shown. The green mold in the bottom is the site of the largest political party in Sweden, Socialdemokraterna.

Eventually media picked up, and we got LTEs published, interviews in papers and even some tv-time. But we never got in the real debates. Neither did any other party that did not already have seats.

Extrapolating our total monetary campaign budget from what I know, I would say somewhere around 500 000 kronor (55 000 euros, 70 000 dollars). Donated time is not included. This of course was much less then even other new parties.

Feministiskt initiativ spent around 2 million kronor (according to their website) and Sverigedemokraterna around 10 million. And if you look at the established parties they spent a lot more.

Voting results
Alas we got nowhere near the 30 votes/member that we had counted with. Perhaps there is more to election results then having members. We got 34 918 votes or 0,63%. To enter parliament we would have needed 4%.

However, we were efficient in money spent/vote. Feministiskt initiativ that spent 4 times as much got 37 954 votes or 0,68% and they have got Gudrun Schyman, one of the most skilled politicians in Sweden, as a figure head. Sverigedemokraterna got 162 463 votes or 2,93%.

We have pretty even support in the country, though pollstations in student areas reported our best results.

At the days prior to the election a mock election was held in schools. The rules not being subject to any election law, some schools decided that only votes for parties already in parliament were acceptable. This was probably to stop students from voting for Sverigedemokraterna. The schools wanted to avoid it showing how rascist students they got. Way to teach democracy! Anyway a lot of ardent supporters of ours made sure they could vote and indeed they did.

Piratpartiet received 4,5% thus beating not only the limit but also Sverigedemokraterna (4,2%) and Kristdemokraterna (who were in the parliament and now even in the government).

Political results
If I look back a year and compare the position on our issues, we have got some successes:

File-sharing
We changed the discourse to be about "filesharing" instead of "downloading", so now both up and downloading are discussed for leaglisation at the same time. We changed the public discourse in media from "the youngsters need to learn to obey the law!" to "this is a problem that must be solved, the current laws are unsustainable".

So that is a huge success.

The political parties also changed positions. The greens that had been pro downloading only released a new manifest with a de-facto legalisation of uploading. They also made it a campaign issue. In one of the final debates between the two candidates for prime minister Göran Persson and Fredrik Reinfeldt they were asked if filesharing should be legalised and both essentially answered that it should. Now getting results after the election is harder, but we never expected anything else.

Surveilliance society
We did not get as much traction on this question, but we did raise status of the question and several newspapers has changed their position to a clear "against". Probably very important effect in the long run.

Patents
Not much traction here.

Impact on other parties election results
If you run a splinter party there is always the question if you will just bring down the parties that are closest to your positions. Miljöpartiet (the environmentalist party, the greens) and Centerpartiet (traditionally the party of farmers and other rural population (also green as party color)) would be the ones bearing such an effect in that case. But both of them gained votes and seats. Miljöpartiet advanced though the left bloc lost and actually made their best election ever. So if we had an impact it would be to gain those parties more votes as we were quite open with them being the next best thing.

Future plans
So the election is over and a lot of steam has gone out of the pirate machine.

So where do we go from here?

Young pirate
We will pretty soon found over youth organisation. Why a youth organisation considering how young the average age is in the party? Well see, youth organisations get governmental funding, and gets it in proportion to the amount of members. If we just move everyone under 25 from the mother party to the youth organisation it becomes the fourth largest political youth organisation in Sweden and would get something around 2 million kronor/year. Compare that to what we spent this election year...

Popular education ("Folkbildning")
In Sweden you get money from the state for learning stuff. If you organise your activities as study sessions you can as an organisation rake in some sweet money (this is no secret, this is how a lot of organisations get some of their financing). It is also a good way of reaching more people. We should get a course "Filesharing for beginner" going next year in different places.

European Parliament elections 2009
We have probably a better chance in the EP elections as fewer vote, and those voting are not as rigidly tied to right or left blocs. In practice we need to get around 5% to get one seat of Swedens 20.

Hopefully we will have a common Pirate Party running in a lot of countries (seperate organisations but common platform). Because it would be nice to have a Pirate party group in the EP.

Does your country have a Pirate Party yet?

Swedish parliament elections 2010
Better prepared, actually having a treasure chest with fighting money we will get into parliament. Anyway that is the plan.

Previous articles on Piratpartiet (by me, on ET):
The Pirates of Sweden (7th of March 2006)
Newsalert - The Pirate Bay has been raided by police (31:st of May 2006)
The Pirate Bay is back up and demonstrations in Sweden (3:rd of June 2006)

Display:
Finally got this one written.

Comments, questions?

(Is it normal that sympathisers give propagandists pancakes or beer?)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:25:07 PM EST
Pancakes and beer for pirates, me hearty? Avast there!

(Ship's biscuit and watery grog, more like!)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 05:28:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent diary, mate!

Here are some pancakes...(well, they're crepes.)

(Choose your own topping..)

And here's some beer.

And here's a pirate ship!




Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 09:14:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't know you were involved in the Pirate party, that is very awesome! The Pirate party is one of the many things that makes me wish I could live in Sweden.
by Jett on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 01:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this diary! Just wrote an article on my blog with a link to it.

French Pirate Party still seems a bit too secret, but free software associations and other progressive have now some access to politicians and medias.

by Laurent GUERBY on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 07:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Un excellent article...

Merci, merci. Francais et une language trés elegant, so it is a delight to see my text in a french surrounding.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 10:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully we will have a common Pirate Party running in a lot of countries (seperate organisations but common platform). Because it would be nice to have a Pirate party group in the EP.

So the Dutch pirate party you linked to during the Dutch elections thread is an affiliate?

Commendable undertaking. Just by changing the debate in tone the Pirate party has already levelled its influence... That's brilliant. Let's see whether the same can be done for Europe...

Thanks for this!

by Nomad on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 05:36:30 AM EST
So the Dutch pirate party you linked to during the Dutch elections thread is an affiliate?

Exactly. Apparently they formed to late to register for the election or something to that effect. Piratpartiet is the oldest and is less then a year old, so all our sisterparties around the world are younger then that.

Their are right now esisting or forming Pirate parties in:

 Australia
 Austria
 Belgium
 Brazil
 Canada
 France
 Germany
 Italy
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Peru
 Poland
 Russia
 South Africa
 Spain
 Switzerland
 Sweden
 United Kingdom
 United States

So 10 EU states and 9 in the rest of the world. Of course how evolved the parties are differ (some are registered and have started marketing themselves, some are not officially founded yet), but these are the ones with their own homepages, which more or less is the criteria. Then we have a few without their own pages that are in the country forums at the pirate parties international collective, where links can be found to all Pirate parties.

Commendable undertaking. Just by changing the debate in tone the Pirate party has already levelled its influence... That's brilliant. Let's see whether the same can be done for Europe...

Thanks. It is somewhat of a daunting task, but hey someones gotta do it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 06:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster the official religion of the party ?
by oldfrog on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 08:22:54 PM EST
We do not no official ties to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, though pastafarians are numerous amongst us. Environmentally freindly pastafarians realise that not only is piracy good in that it uses less of the planets finite resources in shipping plastic pieces all over the world, but also that a spread in piracy will bring down global warming in and of itself:

However in the party we also have some followers of Jesus who believes that copying fish and bread and hand it out to the masses was a good thing. Hence copying other stuff and handing it out should also be considered a good thing. Ironically the Christian democrats do not agree with Jesus actions in this respect.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 09:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to add something a bit OT. In the scandals diary I wrote this:

I have nothing against public service television, as a matter of fact I support it, unlike those neoliberals. I made a political test yesterday and was branded "social democrat". Not a Swedish test obviously, but then a Swedish social democrat would have been branded "communist".

Anyway, there are five reasons I refuse to pay my television license.

[...]

   3. All the people in charge of the public service television are socialist politicians or sympatisers. The head honcho is former social democrat party secretary Lars Stjernkvist. I am not kidding.

   4. All the journalists are commies, more or less. Combine this with #3 and you get a public service as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

   5. In spite of this they spend vast amounts of taxpayer money to make PR about themselves being "Free television" free from any outside power, airing clips with the guy and the tanks on Tiananmen Square and such. It's absolutely sickening.

This evenings tv-programs quoted from the state television web page.

20.00     
Theme: Fidel Castro

The 2 December Cuba has a double celebration: Fidel Castro's delayed 80th anniversary and the 50th anniversay of the revolution. Fidel Castro has been at power since 1959. Rumors about his health has started specualtions about what will happen with Cuba when he dies. Who is whe, the man who has survived against all odds and seen 10 American presidents enter and leave?

Guest: Anja Karlsson Franck, debater, René René Vázquez Díaz, writer and Dick Idestam-Almquist, tv-producer. [all known Castro lovers and democracy haters]

20.01    
History will judge me innocent

[...]

21.00
-21.15    
News

21.30    
Fidel Castro and Cuba

[More commie-commentary]

21.35    
Comandante

[Oliver Stone interviews his idol Fidel Castro]

23.10 - 00.10    
Dear Fidel

"Fidel ruined my life, but it was wonderful".

[...]

Now, hoe does this sound?

20.00     
Theme: Saddam Hussein

The 2 December Iraq has a double celebration: Saddam Hussein's delayed 80th anniversary and the 50th anniversay of the revolution. Saddam Hussein has been at power since 1959. Rumors about his health has started specualtions about what will happen with Iraq when he dies. Who is whe, the man who has survived against all odds and seen 10 American presidents enter and leave?

Guest: Anja Karlsson Franck, debater, René René Vázquez Díaz, writer and Dick Idestam-Almquist, tv-producer. [all known Saddam lovers and democracy haters]

20.01    
History will judge me innocent

[...]

21.00
-21.15    
News

21.30    
Saddam Hussein and Iraq

[More fascist-commentary]

21.35    
Comandante

[Oliver Stone interviews his idol Saddam Hussein]

23.10 - 00.10    
Dear Saddam

"Saddam ruined my life, but it was wonderful".

[...]

Replace with Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet or your favourite dictator.

This has of course thrown all the rightwing papers into a furor. When the state (commie) radio reported about it, through out the show they called Castro "Cuba's leader" or at worst "Cuba's controversial leader". The word "dictator" was not mentioned once, and I don't think it was out of respect for Julius Caesar.

Saddam Hussein, Iraq's controversial leader?

Welcome to Sweden. Maybe now you see why I don't pay my TV-license?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 11:31:06 AM EST
100 USD of that total was mine.  I was really, really, really upset that TPB servers were seized on order of a US official.  Not that I pirate anything, no...

But it BURNS me that our corporate machines here think they have the fucking RIGHT to enforce their version of the law in OTHER COUNTRIES.  Damn, that makes me mad.  Almost as mad as Cisco making a killing building the Great Firewall of China.  Time was no REAL American conservative would truck with letting a US company HELP a repressive regime, much less help with suppression of their people.

No real Pirate Party here, but we keep the flags flying for you.  Seriously, I have had Calico Jack's Jolly Roger flying on my flagpole for 3 years now, ever since I moved in.  Looks better than everyone else's American flags.  Variety is a good thing.  That, and we run our house like a REAL Democracy, a pirate ship!

"How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?" -de Gaulle. We have one, American, and I don't think it comes from the same place on the cow.

by palladiate (palladiate@gmail.com) on Sat Dec 2nd, 2006 at 11:14:11 PM EST


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