Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pirates! Prepare to Board

In Germany, state elections are coming up in Schleswig-Holstein on May 6, 2012, and in Northrhein-Westphalia one week later. For two reasons these elections are called Schicksalswahlen (Does not any election determine the fate or future of politicians or governments?):

Will Red-Green* (for the color-coding of Germany's political parties read my earlier blog) majorities seize power in those States and therefore take the majority in the Bundesrat (Germany's Senate) giving a decisive blow to Angela Merkel's Black-Yellow Federal Government?

Will the (Orange) Pirates replace the Free Democrats (Yellow) as the new liberal force in those state parliaments?

Cover of  Der Spiegel No 17
The Pirates are the result of a post-democratic movement where particularly young people are fed up with the aging caste of politicians and their entanglement in financial and/or sexual affairs. In fact, the classical liberal topics of freedom of the press, voting rights for women, and free trade are no longer anything to write home about, whereas freedom of the net with urgent questions like how much YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook people need polarizes the modern world. Still learning the political trade the Pirates were already elected into the state parliaments of Berlin and the Saar and with the wind in their sails they boom and thrive: Avanti Dilettanti as Der Spiegel titled a week ago. They demand free internet and free public transport for everybody. With their request the young Pirates honor some Ur-German heritage. Many old people over here still expect free services while for citizens in the States it is normal that all services used must be paid. The Pirates' first demand may be financially possible, the second one is utopia.

With intentions to vote Orange of up to ten percent the established political parties are irritated particularly the Green Party that the young generation had been in love with up to now . Desperately but somehow maladroit the established political parties try climbing the bandwagon or rather boarding the pirate ship. A good example is Bavaria's Ministerpräsident (governor) Horst Seehofer an avowed Christian politician who has fathered an illegitimate child in Berlin while away from his family in Munich. He wants to beat the Pirates at their own game in inviting his friends on Facebook to a party at a noble disco in Munich. Somehow, Horst must have misunderstood the Pirates' quest for liquid democracy when he offered the first drink free. Will one drink be sufficient to convince the party-goers to vote for Bavaria's Christian party?

Practicing liquid democracy in Bavaria (Photo FAZ)

Marina Weisband (Photo Wikipedia)
Presently the Pirates hold their party convention way in the north in Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein. The party's secretary Marina Weisband urged the assembled deputies: „Lasst uns einen geilen Vorstand wählen” ("Let us elect an awsome party committee" or do you think her demand should be translated differently?).

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