Will Catalonia go Pirate?

There are local elections in Catalonia tomorrow (Sunday). The Catalan pirate party, Pirates de Catalunya, are standing and hope to win 5% of the vote, which is the threshold they need to win any seats.

The background to this is a series of protests by Spanish youth:

Some 25,000 Spanish protesters have defied a government ban and camped out overnight in a square in the capital, Madrid. The protesters are angry with the government’s economic policies and have occupied the square for the past week.

Spain’s electoral commission had ordered them to leave ahead of local elections on Sunday. But as the ban came into effect at midnight, the crowds started cheering and police did not move in. The protest began six days ago in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol as a spontaneous sit-in by young Spaniards frustrated at 45% youth unemployment.

Catalan Pirates are taking part:

I was camping last night at Barcelona until 05:15AM, and then back home to write the act of the 4AM organization Assembly…

Last sunday we had protests for a true Democracy all across Spain (58 cities). More than 100.000 young people claimed for transparency, citizen participation, no more social cuts, etc.

After Sunday’s protest, 50 people camped in a square in the heart of Madrid. Yesterday, Monday 12 other cities were added to the camping protest.

The peak hour was 11:00PM, when there were 2.000 people in Madrid and other 200 in Barcelona.

In Barcelona there were 80 people camping in Plaça Catalunya (Barcelona’s central square) last night, and lots more are expected today. We have organized people in different teams to make this work smoothly.

There are Catalan pirates in all these social movements (from malestar.org, DemocraciaRealYA#nolesvotes) and the camping protest itself. I could also see one ofPartido Pirata Madrid’s candidates, second on row, in one of the protest videos and looks like I appear in two out of the three biggest newspapers (I am the 2nd candidate in Barcelona as well :) ).

There is clearly a spirit among young Spaniards that change is necessary — like the protestors in Tunisia and Egypt, they think the government has stolen their future. Will Catalan Pirates  capture this spirit and sweep to victory in the elections? They might: when the Swedish Pirate Party won 2 MEPs in the European election in 2009, they gained the votes of over half of all male votes under 25.

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3 Responses to Will Catalonia go Pirate?

  1. David Arcos says:

    We hope so!

    But the threeshold is to high (5%), let’s see how it happens.

    • Phil Hunt says:

      5% is high, but Pirates have exceeded it before.

      I’m coming round to thinking that a 5% threshold is too big and it makes a country undemocratic, or at least less democratic than it ought to be.

      The solution is that there should either be no threshold, so that in an n-seat assembly you get one seat fro each 1/n of the vote, or a transferrable vote system such as STV, so that votes for parties that don’t win can be transferred.

  2. Phil,

    Agreed about the threshold thing. It’s totally arbitrary.

    As for transferable vote systems, Reweighted Range Voting and Asset Voting are simpler proportional systems than STV, and satisfy a “theorem of proportionality” that STV does not.


    They’re “novel”, but worth serious consideration. Most election methods in use today (well, all of them really) were devised with a relatively archaic understanding of social choice theory. Most of the big advances in that field have only come about in the past decade or so.

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