TLP: Can Rick Perry Talk Like a Pirate?
The rebellious American colonists who pulled off the Boston Tea Party — inspiring the political rebels of today — fooled the British by dressing up as Indians. The present-day Tea Partiers have had some success, but just think where they'd be if the colonists had worn eye patches and puffy shirts instead of war paint and buckskins.
Works in Germany, according to an NYT report:
With laptops open like shields against the encroaching cameramen, the young men resembled Peter Pan’s Lost Boys more than Captain Hook’s buccaneers when they were introduced Monday as Berlin’s newest legislators: They are the members of the Pirate Party. ...The campaign has just gotten started. Plenty of sword-fighting to come.
By winning 8.9 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election in this city-state, these political pirates surpassed — blew away, really — every expectation for what was supposed to be a fringe, one-issue party promoting Internet freedom. The Pirates so outstripped expectations that all 15 candidates on their list won seats — seats are doled out based in part on votes for a party rather than for an individual. Normally parties list far more candidates than could ever make it, because if they win more than they nominate, the seat must remain unfilled.
These men in their 20s and 30s, who turned up at the imposing former Prussian state parliament building, some wearing hooded sweatshirts, and one a T-shirt of the comic book hero Captain America, were no longer merely madcap campaigners and gadflies. They had become the people’s elected representatives.
The question that members of Germany’s political establishment are now asking after the insurgent party stormed the statehouse is this: Are the Pirates merely the punch line to a joke, a focus of protest, a reflection of electoral disgust with all established political parties — or an exciting experiment in a new form of online democracy?
“They are absolutely not a joke party,” said Christoph Bieber, a professor of political science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. While there was certainly an element of protest in the unexpectedly large share of the votes the Pirates won, they were filling a real need for voters outside the political mainstream who felt unrepresented. “In the Internet, they have really found an underexploited theme that the other political parties are not dealing with,” Mr. Bieber said.