Pirates from Luxembourg

One of the smallest countries in Europe - Luxembourg - held its national elections yesterday. Pirate Party of Luxembourg, one of the successful Pirate parties in Europe, tried to make it to the national Chamber of Deputies. I've been to Luxembourg for the whole weekend to see what was going on; to have chance to speak with Pirates, to see what outcome might be there and what future is rising for the Pirate Movent in the country of Luxembourg.

First of all - Luxembourg is unlike most of the countries in Europe. It is a tiny nation, hard to find on maps. Yet, it is very developed country, with well-known banking system and strong economy. The GDP per capita surpasses 250 % of the average of European Union, making Luxembourg the most developed country in EU. The people of Luxembourg speak 3 languages - German, French and Luxembourgish. 

They also have a very unique political system too. One might say that a small nation can have only one electoral district. However, the opposite is the truth. Luxembourg is divided into four districts (North, Central, South and East) and in order to get a seat, there is no distinct treshold that has to be crossed (like the 5 % in the Czech Republic etc).

Elections in Luxembourg were seen by the media as a referendum about Jean-Claude Juncker, a politician who had to resign due to the wiretapping scandals that took place this spring. His party, CSV, however, won in the election (33,68 % of votes). Luxembourgish Chamber of Deputees however has only 60 members, so getting a seat is much harder than in many other parliaments in Europe. 

Despite honest political campaign that instead of stupid slogans encouraged voters to get informed themselves, Luxembourgish Pirates had a very difficult position. Main media were focused mostly on the big parties (DP, CSV, LSAP and the Greens). The RTL television however made it to the Pirate headquarters in Sunday night and made an interview with Sven Clement, president of the party. After that, first estimates of the results were coming in. After several quite positive ones, the main results could be seen - and they were not favourable indeed. In most of the districts Pirates got about 3 % of votes (North: 3,37 %, Center: 2,72 %, South: 3,03 %, East: 2,69 %). The official results, that came late at night stopped at 2,94 %. The biggest chance for Luxembourgish Pirates was in the Southern district, where the treshold needed was 3,5 % - yet it was not reached.

The Luxembourgish Pirates made a good job; as a new party, party campaigning for the first time, they showed what they can do - to address the voters and get support. In the political competition this is not an easy task. Next year there will be European Elections (in Luxembourg the people are going to choose 6 new members of the European Parliament).



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