Lower Saxony Elections

Fellow-Pirate and newest intern at Amelia’s office (Hello world, nice meeting you!) reporting on Hannover weekend.

On Sunday the 20st of January there were the local state parliament elections in Lower Saxony, Germany. Aim:  5% of votes in order to get a parliament seat. Stake: entering the federal parliament in the next national election in September.

The local Pirate Party called in international troops to help out during the last day of campaigning in the run up to the final voting day on Sunday. Belgians, Czechs, Swedes, Dutch and Germans gathered in the cold Hannover for the weekend to discuss, share ideas, campaign and socialize.

Cozily gathered at the Pirate Headquarters, the weekend workshop started with an introductory welcoming briefing by host Justus Römeth of Pirate Party Niedersachsen. Next to coffee and muffins we also enjoyed the cleverly designed promotional material alongside a brief presentation on the past campaigning weeks.  Skilfully organized, the Germans are skilfully organized. They have eye-catching posters, billboards, various insightful leaflets structured by topic and purpose, and sword-shaped orange balloons.

The workshop continued with a more practical exercise: the pirates wrapped head to toe in warm clothes and armed with leaflets and optimism have stepped out in the cold to make a last campaigning effort in a trip around town to several of the five Pirate Party Info stands. What an experimental idea it was, to have the international Pirates approach the Hanoverians on a politically-orientated topic. Interesting reactions were generated among passers; none of which however foreign to Pirates that are used to being prompted with surprised and intrigued faces.  We always have a wicked smiled prepared to offer in return.

Later in the day when all Pirates declared themselves frozen to the marrow, the group migrated to a conference where Bruno Kramm and Laura Dornheim graced us, among others, with their presence in a discussion (in German) on Copyright and its follow-up implications. Day one gloriously ended with dinner and drinks.

On Sunday, while everyone in Lower Saxony was busy voting, the Pirates were once again grouped at the headquarters to discuss ideas and opinions on the election campaign and on future improvements. International input suggested leaflets glued to give-away books (courtesy of Sweden) and promises of campaign material sharing. Importing international pirates for campaigning was decided to be a good idea and also perhaps helpful to share available resources.

By 18:00 when the election polls were set to be announced, Pirates moved venue and were impatiently watching the huge screens that were due to show the results.  Shortly however the room was filled with disappointment sighs as the poll showed lower results than expected.  These were disturbing results as they may jeopardise the fall’s federal elections.

Nevertheless, a pirate is a pirate and will not be intimidated by a slippery slope.  Lesson learned - assets will be maximised in the future.



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