The success last year of the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament elections was considered a bit of a fluke by some. However when the votes were in, Christian Engström and Amelia Andersdotter were elected MEPs after the party collected over 7% of the vote.
While Ms Andersdotter isn’t seated yet (as one of the new MEP’s created when the Lisbon Treaty passed in November 2009), Mr Engström has been working up a frenzy in office, covering topics like an Internet Bill of Rights and privacy.
The Party may be lambasted in many places – including one flat-out lie in the UK House of Commons during a debate that led to the passage of the Digital Economy Act – but it seems their detractors are a vocal minority, rather than the majority, if itsyourparliament.eu is anything to go by.
They list Mr Engström as the most popular MEP (120 for, and 9 against or 93%) with a clear lead over his nearest rivals, British Liberal Democrat George Lyon (25 for and 5 against, or 83%), and Jill Evans of the Welsh party Plaid Cymru (22 for, 4 against or 84%).
Mr Engström is playing down this show of popularity. “It feels great,” he told Freakbits, “..but to be honest it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am in fact the most liked. Just that my supporters know their way around the internet better, and are familiar with political resources like itsyourparliament.eu”
“But that’s pretty great too,” he added with a smile.
Christian also holds another record – the Greenest voting record. Hit votes are 100% in compliance with Green Party policy, beating not only the Swedish MEPs from the Green Party, but even the European Parliament’s Green group leaders.
He notes on his blog that’s it’s not that the party has turned into the Green Party, but “It just means that I have done exactly what the Pirate Party promised before the election. I put all my energy on information policy, and follow the group I am with in all matters outside our election platform.”
This integrity and honesty is certain to be a key point in their campaign for September’s election.