Voters Growing Disillusioned with Germany’s Pirate Party

As national elections approach next year, Germany’s Pirate Party can’t explain what its positions really are. Its representatives in state parliaments prefer to focus on technical issues and themselves, while party leaders are withdrawing from the forefront. Voters, in the meantime, are turning away from the party.Martin Delius knows now what a thin line separates power from powerlessness. Last Friday Delius, a member of the Berlin state parliament for the Pirate Party, made his first appearance as chair of a fact-finding committee tasked with investigating the fiasco surrounding the delayed opening of Berlin’s new airport. “We need to restore people’s confidence in politics,” Delius said, sounding very much the responsible statesman.Unfortunately for Delius, he was not the only focus of attention that particular day. The same morning, stories about the Pirate Party’s political director Johannes Ponader were once again splashed all over the German press, after a talk show appearance in which he had his feet massaged, threw his arms around the show’s host and explained his polyamorous lifestyle, meaning that he engages in multiple relationships at once.The Pirate Party was triumphant in Berlin state elections a little over a year ago, emerging as a protest movement against the establishment, promising transparency instead of backroom politics. This spring the party was polling at 13 percent. Since then, though, it seems voters have come to recognize that the Pirate Party often offers little more than a spectacle.More recent polls show that Germany’s newest political party has fallen back nearly to the “five-percent hurdle,” the percentage of votes a party needs in order to take seats in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag. The Pirate Party is now at risk of failing to meet that hurdle in national elections next year.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-voters-grow-disillusioned-with-pirate-party-a-863234.html

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