The Swedish Piratpartiet (Pirate Party) seemed almost fated to win. Sweden's national elections took place yesterday, September 19—which just so happens to be "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." And the party had already sent two MEPs to Brussels to represent Sweden in the European Parliament. The 2010 national elections looked like they might be the time when the party, founded back in 2005, finally became a part of the Swedish establishment.
It was not to be (see Sweden's electoral results). MEP elections are generally low-turnout affairs, making it easy for a motivated party to secure a seat or two with a small number of votes. National elections, on the other hand, have tremendous turnouts (this one had an 82 percent turnout), and Piratpartiet was not able to cross the mandatory four percent national threshold in order to secure a seat in the national Riksdag.
Eight parties did manage to clear the bar, including the Greens and the nationalist Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna). But all other parties, including the pirates, together rang out only 1.4 percent of the total votes.
The Pirate Party was by far the largest of these small parties, but with only 0.74 percent of the vote in unofficial totals so far, it's running just about where it did in its first election back in 2006. (It did beat the Feminist Initiative, the Donald Duck Party, and the Legalize Marijuana Party.) Getting to four percent looks increasingly difficult, given that the party presumably benefited from all the publicity surrounding The Pirate Bay trial last year and yet didn't increase its vote percentage. Pirates, it appears, are a fickle lot.
The result is bad news for The Pirate Bay; had the pirates picked up any seats, they had pledged to host the Bay from servers physically located within the Swedish Parliament building. (The goal, of course, is obtaining parliamentary immunity from prosecution.)
When we interviewed Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge last year, he said that pirates "want to change Sweden, Europe, and the rest of the world, in that order." But he's got four more years before he can take another crack at winning some national seats.
Source: ars technica