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PP Now #3 in SE, Target 2 Seats in EU
Recent survey shows even more support for Sweden's Pirate Party.
STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- The Pirate Party are now officially the third biggest political party in Sweden. Only the conservative Moderaterna and the Social Democrats have more members. They're still gaining 500-1000 new members each day.
A recent survey also shows the party set to take two seats in the European parliament elections.
A recent survey by predict.eu places the Pirate Party with 8.5% of the vote in the coming EU elections which should give them two seats in the coming EU parliament.
Following are the full survey results.
'We're Needed Right Now'
The Pirate Party's #2 and first candidate to the EU parliament Christian Engström was interviewed recently by Fokus.
Q: The EU parliament voted down the telecoms package which the Pirate Party were highly critical of - does this mean you're not needed in Brussels?
A: It was good news but of course we're still needed. We've won isolated victories before but there is no overall Internet vision in Brussels.
Q: Do you even have an organisation to get out the ballots for the EU elections on 7 June?
A: Yes we do. This is a rough job but we know we can do it because we did it already in 2006. That time we had ballots in 93% of all polling places. This time we hope to get even higher.
Q: It seems you want to be associated with The Pirate Bay more than they want to be associated with you. What do you say about that?
A: We're a political party and we support the principle of The Pirate Bay - free file sharing. They have a fantastic search engine but we don't demand they run around and say things about us one way or the other.
Q: You're from the Liberal Party and your chairman Rick Falkvinge came from the conservatives (Moderaterna). Why should young leftists vote for you?
A: Because these issues are not left-wing or right-wing. And it so happens that Rick and I have a background on that side but others in our party come from the other side. And we have a membership evenly spread over the entire left/right scale.
Q: What party group would you join if you got in the European parliament?
A: Those who are closest to us on the core issues. Either the greens or the liberals.
Q: But voters won't know which group before the election?
A: No. We decide that after the election. It would be dishonest to promise voters which group we'll belong to. Because that would give the impression we're also behind other issues the group supports - and we're not in either case. It's therefore a clearer message to convey the fact that a vote for the Pirate Party is a vote only for the Pirate Party and our issues.
Q: So someone voting for you can't know in advance how you'll vote in most questions in the EU parliament?
A: This is true. But they can know which issues we'll be actively involved in. I think the other parties are very unclear - they seem to have opinions on everything between heaven and earth. But practically speaking there's no way you can support all issues between heaven and earth. That's really buying a pig in the poke.
Q: Are there issues that are more important than freedom on the Internet?
A: Freedom on the Internet is a part of our fundamental human rights in the European convention - as freedom of information and the right to privacy. But the politicians think these rights don't apply to the Internet. The Internet is the absolutely most important means of communication we have and it will only grow to be more important. The risk is we'll end up in a completely absurd situation where human rights apply everywhere except on the Internet - at the same time the Internet is practically speaking the only forum we use to search for information and express our opinions. And we think protecting our democracies is more important than the other issues.
Q: So you don't care about the climate or the economy?
A: Of course we do. But the old parties are already taking care of those issues and we wouldn't make things any better. But the old parties have completely missed the boat when it comes to the Internet issues. Clearly we have something to do there.
Q: One issue parties usually either broaden or die out - but you're not prepared to take a stand on other issues?
A: We have no plans and no ambitions to become a 'full service' party. If the other parties start taking the Internet issues seriously - which they'll surely do sooner or later - then we'll see if Sweden still needs the Pirate Party. We're needed right now; we'll see what happens with the future.
Swedish Pirate Party: Website