Pirates of the Swiss Confederation
A self styled political party of the digital age is hoping to make big gains in up and coming local elections in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland. With the slogan “It is Time for an Upgrade” the Swiss Pirate Party will be joining the more traditional parties in elections on April 3rd. Founded in 2009, with 150 members, the party membership has grown ten-fold and last year the Pirates experienced their first electoral victory, gaining one seat on the City Council in the industrial town of Winterthur.
The Pirates are unashamedly a party of youth – their president, Denis Simonet, a 25 year old IT student, describes the party as “neither right wing nor left wing” but as the party of “the information generation”. While the other parties battle it out over the burning issues of immigration and economic growth, the Pirate Party explain in their election manifesto that the:
“Fear of international terrorism replaces "freedom" with "security" as the greatest good--and many people fall unnecessarily silent in defense of freedom. Personal control of personal information, free access to knowledge and culture, and the protection of the private sphere are the foundation of a future information society. Only on this basis can we create a democratic, socially just, freely self-determined global order."
The Swiss Pirate Party sees itself part of a worldwide movement that wants to participate in shaping this order for the benefit of all. In other words, these young 21st century Voltarians are for Wikileaks and against body scanners in our airports; they are for the availability of culture for all and against taxing CDs, mobile telephones and iPods; they are for protecting our personal data and against governments that treat their citizens like children.