An Englishman in a Pirates’ Berlin
Today I am in Berlin. Capital of Germany, and according to polls, soon to be one of the latest homes of the Pirate Party.
Almost as soon as I stepped out of the train station, I started noticing the distinct Pirate flag logo on the posters attached to lamp posts.
Unlike in Britain, where unions and rich overseas donors, apparently get to decide who hears a party’s point point of view, in Germany, the Pirate Party qualifies for state funding for attaining a minimum level of the vote in previous elections. For this federal election in Berlin, they have a “lean”, 50,000 euro budget.
A quick look over their campaign website though shows clearly that the crew haven’t lost any roots to technology. Links to social networking sites, including identi.ca bristles from the sides. Two tone posters with greyscale photos are everywhere. Indeed, this looks like the Pirates here are in their element. Soaking up every minute of being a “surprise” newcomer to this election.
Philipp Magalski, one of the parties top candidates in Berlin told Reuters:
“If we get into the Berlin parliament, it will generate a snowball effect, with people realising we are a force to be reckoned with.”
With the elections on Saturday/Sunday, the Pirates have nothing to lose. All that remains now, is a final sprint to the finish line.
Today, I will be “embedded” with the party, meeting the crew and helping out where possible, and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.