Pirate Party headed to European Parliament

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The Swedish Pirate Party (Piratpartiet), which is not affiliated with the Pirate Bay (according to WIkipedia) has managed to secure at least one seat in the European Parliament out of a possible 18 seats (or 20, once the Lisbon Treaty is ratified) – winning 7.1 percent of the vote, above the 4 percent needed to win a seat.

However, because the European Parliament has 783 members – which is set to increase one the Lisbon Treaty is ratified in all member states – one seat does not make much of a difference, but as a party that has been established only a few years ago does show some confidence – especially after it beat the more established Christian Democrats and the Centre Party.

The Pirate Party in Sweden gained a membership boost after the Pirate Bay verdict in April, which saw the four people related to the site’s administration given a year in jail and a hefty fine, and is getting appealed. Before the verdict, it was under 20,000 members, but as of today – it is nearing the 50,000 mark.

In Germany, where it also was represented, it managed to secure only 0.9 percent, which is not enough to qualify for a seat, but it does entitled them to get government funding.

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The makeup of the European Parliament sees the EPP-ED with 36.3 percent (down slightly from 36.7 percent last election), PES with 21.6 percent (down from 27.6 percent), ALDE with 11 percent (down from 12.7 percent), the Greens on 6.9 percent (up from 5.5 percent), UEN with 4.8 percent (down from 5.6 percent), GUE/NGL with 4.5 percent (down from 5.2 percent) and the IND/DEM with 2.7 percent (down from 2.8 percent).

However, the other parties not in a European group, which includes the Pirate Party, managed to collectively get 12.2 percent of seats in the house – a massive leap from 3.8 percent. While in the chart, this means that they are the third largest “group”, they are most likely not going to partner up with each other as they all have different views.

Because turnout to vote is not mandatory is some countries, the turnout for the European elections was 43.09 percent of all eligible voters in the European Union. However, because of a larger population count, this is expected.

Image by: perfectsound/Flickr (CC)