The Pirate Party in Iceland seem to have booked a major victory in Iceland’s parliamentary election today, scoring 5.1% of the total vote. It’s a truly remarkable achievement for a party that’s only a few months old, and also the first time that a Pirate party anywhere in the world has been democratically chosen in a national parliament. One of the main goals of the Pirates will be to fight increased censorship and protect freedom of speech.
Founded in 2006, the Pirate party movement has scored some big and small victories over the years.
Their biggest success came in 2009 when the party won two seats at the European Parliament. During the last year this was followed by dozens more seats in German state parliaments.
Today a new milestone can be added after Iceland’s Pirate Party scored an important victory in the national parliamentary elections. With 5.1% of the total vote (95% counted) the Pirates (just) exceed the required 5% threshold, making it the first Pirate party to enter a national parliament, with 3 MPs.
Today’s success is not totally unexpected as the party has been polling very well in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the accomplishment is truly astonishing when taking into account that it was founded just five months ago.
The Icelandic Pirate Party was formed in November 2012, by activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a former Member of Parliament for ‘The Movement’.
Birgitta rose to international attention following the Wikileaks investigations when she was targeted by the U.S. Government for her association with the whistleblower organisation. Her pirate credentials were boosted when FBI agents conducting a low-key investigation into her activities were kicked out of the country in August 2011.
In just a matter of months the new Pirate Party achieved a lot of positive press and hundreds of people signed up to become a member. After today’s election win the party is expected to grow even further.
Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party, is currently in Iceland to celebrate the victory.
“I’m delighted every time another country gets pirates elected. Some old media and obsolete industries have insisted we were just a flash in the pan. I love it when those stories are exposed as wishful thinking,” Falkvinge tells TorrentFreak.
With the newly gained Parliament seats the Icelandic Pirate Party will focus on a wide range of issues, ranging from the prevention of copyright abuse, through political transparency, to protection of freedom of speech and privacy.