Having secured more than seven percent of Sweden’s votes in the recent European Parliament elections, the country’s file sharing advocacy group, the Pirate Party, is heading to Brussels to make its voice heard among EU policy makers. While it was predicted beforehand that the Pirates would take one seat in Parliament, the political party’s supporters were ecstatic when their suspicions became reality.
Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge told the TT news agency, “The polls beforehand had us at between eight and nice percent, but everything over four percent is a political sensation.” Nearly 20 percent of voters under the age of 30, the party’s biggest constituency, voted for the Pirates.
“They are the biggest party among young people, bigger than both the Social Democrats and the Moderates,” politics professor Soren Holmberg stressed. The Pirate’s platform advocating the freedom to file share via the Internet was overwhelmingly the most important issue to party members.
The party was only created in January 2006, but gained national notoriety and popularity during the recent Pirate Bay trial over copyright infringement, where four of its founders were jailed.
This round of EU elections lured more Swedish voters than in 2004, though the turnout was still rather low. The Local states that 42.5 percent of Swedes voted this time round, up five percent on the previous election in 2004.