Sweden's Pirate Party managed to win at least one seat in the European Parliament after the elections held this past Sunday. It gained a little more than 7 percent of the Swedish votes and was placed above several established parties.
Sweden had a 43 percent turnout in the European elections and the outcome placed the Pirate Party as the fifth largest in the country, which has 20 seats in the European Parliament but only 18 voting rights for now. After the Lisbon treaty passes, ratifying the change, the Pirate Party will get 2 seats in the parliament.
Founded in 2006 as a pro file-sharing group with the main goals of reforming copyright law and the patent system, the Pirate Party only managed to get 0.63 percent of the votes for the Swedish parliamentary elections that year, but it has since gained a greater following especially in the younger demographics due in no small part to the Pirate Bay trial and its outcome
. The trial was a national event in the country and the conviction of the Pirate Bay backers made a lot of people turn to the Pirate Party making it today the third largest in Sweden by member numbers.
“We’ve felt the wind blow in our sails. We’ve seen the polls prior to the election. But to stand here, today, and see the figures coming up on that screen… What do you want me to say? I’ll say anything,” Pirate Party's leader Rick Falkvinge told Torrentfreak
after the results were in. “Together, we have today changed the landscape of European politics. No matter how this night ends, we have changed it,” Falkvinge said. “This feels wonderful. The citizens have understood it’s time to make a difference. The older politicians have taken apart young people’s lifestyle, bit by bit. We do not accept that the authorities’ mass-surveillance,” he added.