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Multiple resignations rock Pirate Party ship
Photo: DPA

Multiple resignations rock Pirate Party ship

Published: 26 Oct 2012 15:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Oct 2012 15:55 GMT+02:00

The German Pirate Party plunged into chaos on Friday when two top party members stepped down, one of whom had prevented her book from being freely distributed online, outraging her anti-copyright colleagues.

Both Julia Schramm and Matthias Schrade announced Friday they would be leaving their posts in the party leadership.

Schramm came under fire when her book "Click me. Confessions of an Internet Exhibitionist" was released in September. Not only was she slammed in the German press, but denounced by party colleagues as "arrogant," "dumb" and a "commerce slut."

She stood accused of not only accepting a reported €100,000 advance payment for a book Der Spiegel magazine described as “a disaster”, but - far worse in her party's eyes - of giving her publishing house permission to block access to an unauthorised online free copy.

Schamm's critics said her actions have directly undermined the Pirate's anti-copyright platform, indignantly pointing out that Schramm herself has in the past demanded a revision of existing copyright law.

The latest developments seem to have prompted the Pirates into open mutiny.

Schrade explained his surprise resignation on Friday with a direct attack on chief party whip Johannes Ponader, who Schrade said in his blog "paralysed" the work of the party leadership and that he "could no longer take it."

Ponader has also faced calls for him to walk the plank, but has denied rumours he will do so. His critics accused him of overplaying his time living on Harz IV unemployment benefits in interviews with the media.

Yet all the party infighting may end up sinking the Pirates' ship. A recent poll for the ZDF TV channel shows the party now below the crucial 5 percent hurdle needed to enter the Bundestag lower house of parliament in elections next year.

In an attempt to make up lost ground on Thursday, Stefan Körner, head of the Bavarian Pirate Party called publicly for the party leadership to be replaced.

"A leadership which continues to include Johannes Ponader and Julia Schramm will cause us long term damage," he told Der Spiegel.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:09 October 26, 2012 by neunElf
You thought these clowns were a serious alternative to the entrenched clowns?
17:28 October 26, 2012 by lucksi
I'd vote for the pirates (again), if they weren't utterly unfit to rule. I don't know where they found the basement dwellers to lead them, but come on, they could do better.

Someone on Hartz4 who can't put his shitty smartphone down while being interviewed on TV? Someone living in a WG? And most of them dress like they raided a dumpster. Jesus, a tie and suit isn't required to be a politician, but don't look like "Nachbars Lumpi".

I had big hopes for that party in the beginning, but then reality sank in and it's back to voting for what I think is the lesser of the evils
17:37 October 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
The people I know, who 'Pirate' intellectual property, are cheap as hell, and are completely hypocrits when it comes to disseminating anything of theirs freely.
20:15 October 26, 2012 by Englishted
Did they walk the plank?
21:23 October 26, 2012 by ziro
I should be honest here, I actively tried to dissuade friends from voting for the pirates last time out.

While they are entitled to campaign on whatever grounds they like, the initially struck me as a one policy party, then later something much worse.. incompetent.

What staggers me is so many voted for them when, by their own admission, they weren't entirely sure what they were doing. I applaud their admission and I, like many others, desperately want to see a new kind of political party develop.. but the pirates aren't it.

Unworkable pledges and naive policies on top of their inexperience is all dangerous stuff. They get in the public domain and words happen. They say things without realizing they'll have to seriously consider what they mean later.

I'm in favour of a welfare state, but the idea of giving everyone, essentially free money to 'free them to develop their potential' - while a lovely idea, would be an unmitigated disaster and abused left, right and centre.

Others I know favour free public transport - I'd dread to think what an unpleasant experience using that would become very quickly - and campaign for an extra tax on vehicles entering the city while at the same time complaining about a rise in food prices when the former would clearly only hasten the latter.

Idealism is a marvellous thing, but it has no place in modern politics because it kills pragmatism, realism and compromise which in my book are the cornerstones of running a successful, free society.
21:33 October 26, 2012 by Englishted
@ ziro,

I think you will find the reason so many voted for this party is simply because they are sick to death of the other main parties in German who sell any principles they have before a election just to join another party in power ,look at the last few governments in this country to see what I mean.
21:54 October 26, 2012 by lucksi
@Englishted

Yes, exactly. Sick to death of the parties that are. I, like many others, voted for them once (or twice depending on what state you are in). We know what CDU, SPD, Greens and FDP do when in power, we didn't know about the Pirates.

Well, now we know what is going on when you hand them a bit of power. No thanks. Lesser of the two big evils for me again until something new comes along.
23:08 October 26, 2012 by lordkorner
One political Party that should swim with the fishes.
08:50 October 27, 2012 by Englishted
One question, is Jack Sparrow still the leader?
08:21 October 28, 2012 by Enough
They really aren't much of a party anyhow.
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