Founded in 2006, the German Pirate Party has enjoyed several successes in its relatively short life. Most notable was its win in the Berlin state parliament elections in 2011 where Pirates picked up 9% of the vote.
In April 2012 the Pirate Party polled at 13%, elevating them to the third largest party in Germany, ahead of the Green Party at 11%.
After victories in the federal states of Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland, the Pirate Party will be hoping for a good turnout among their supporters when the state of Lower Saxony goes to the polls in January 2013.
During a conference yesterday the Pirates presented their 2013 election campaign promoting free access to knowledge, education and culture.
“Public goods must be open to all citizens,” said state parliament candidate Katharina Nocun.
“Unhindered access to basic infrastructure, to public streets and squares, to schools and universities, and to the Internet plays a key role in deciding who will be able to participate actively in public life. Access free of charge to nature of our state, to the beaches and lakes, to the rivers and forests needs to be possible for all and be included into our state’s constitution as a general right,” she added.
The Pirates’ election bid also includes a rather provocative poster campaign. In line with what both supporters and detractors alike expect of the party, the poster designs are based on the colors, imagery, logos and slogans of some big consumer brands.
You’ll probably guess most if not all, but in the unlikely event that you don’t we’ve included the party’s message for each as an extra clue.
Although we don’t sell fast food, by working together we can quickly make grassroots decisions. (Text translation: I’m Voting It)
We build no Swedish furniture, but we still want to learn from the Scandinavian countries for our social policies. (Text translation: Discover your polling station)
We don’t produce any cars, but we still want seamless mobility in Lower Saxony. (Text translation: The slogan)
We don’t sell cat food, but we want to strive to ensure that every citizen can consume what they want. (Text translation: Citizens would go voting)
We may not have Alps in Lower Saxony, but we want to ensure that students continue to know that cows are not purple. (Text translation: The tenderest temptation since parties were invented)
We don’t offer a hotline, but we know how important it is to have nationwide infrastructure and keep the Internet in users’ hands. (Text translation: Vote what connects)
“We do not want to offer hollow elections messages and campaign promises,” says Torben Friedrich, a Pirate Party candidate for the State Parliament.
“Our focus is on the content, the topics were born out of dealing with the citizens’ needs which we will include in our work in parliament. We promise no gifts, we advertise for reading election programs, to obtain information and to go out and vote.”