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Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 09/19/2011

Pirate Party moves from prank to political contenders

For thousands of land lubbers, Sept. 19 has become the day to indulge in some absurdist pirate speak, thanks to the ninth-annual “Talk like a Pirate Day.” In a charming coincidence, the day also marks the largest win for the Pirate Party in Germany.


A pirate figurine painted by Jim Goldsmith. (Greg Embree/National Capital Model Soldier Society)
No, the politicians in the Pirate Party are not sprinkling their speeches with “vasts” and “arrs.” What was once dismissed as a political prank, is now filling seats in the German parliament.

The International Pirate Party began in Sweden in 2006 on a platform of Internet activism. In 2009, it won one seat in the European parliament. On Monday, it saw its biggest success yet: 15 of 130 seats in the German parliament. The party won nine percent of the vote, beating out the Free Democrats party, one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners.

Rick Falkvinge, the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party praised the “Piratenpartei Berlin” for their win, saying “You are the source of inspiration for the next wave of civil liberties activists.”

The party has expanded its initial platform of online freedom and privacy rights to include positions on education and economic reform. Germany is currently struggling with a slumping economy.

The Pirate Party had previously been dismissed as a prank, particularly for its sometimes sensational way of gaining media attention. Al Jazeera notes that members of the party once showed up at an airport in underwear and bikinis to protest the security procedures. However, the win marks it as a contender in German politics. Der Spiegel writes that the support for the party was “sensational,” outdoing expectations.

For those who don’t want to get too political about their pirating, there’s always the tried-and-true method of inserting lots of “arrs” into their conversation throughout the day. Humorist Dave Barry originally kicked off the Talk like a Pirate craze with a column back in 2002. His words ring true today:

Talking like a pirate will infuse your everyday conversations with romance and danger. So join the movement! On Sept. 19, do not answer the phone with ‘hello.’ Answer the phone with ‘Ahoy me hearty!’ If the caller objects that he is not a hearty, inform him that he is a scurvy dog (or, if the caller is female, a scurvy female dog) who will be walking the plank off the poop deck and winding up in Davy Jones' locker, sleeping with the fishes. No, wait, that would be Talk Like a Pirate in The Godfather Day, which is another variation I considered (‘I'm gonna make him an offer that will shiver his timbers’).

By  |  12:09 PM ET, 09/19/2011

Tags:  World, Pirate Party, Talk like a Pirate Day, German elections, German Parliment, Angela Merkel

 
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