• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pirate leader says Twitter bitching divisive

The Local · 3 Dec 2011, 14:03

Published: 03 Dec 2011 14:03 GMT+01:00

Sebastian Nerz, the Pirates’ national chairman, criticized his party for its habit of bickering openly on the Internet, pleading with members to develop a new style of doing politics and to stop arguing over the social media service Twitter.

“Insults in 140 characters are not transparency. You can’t resolve a dispute over Twitter or Facebook, you only escalate them,” Nerz said.

“The first successes are also the time of the first mistakes – and these mistakes could split the party,” he said.

He was addressing the Pirates' first party conference since their unexpectedly strong performance in the Berlin state election in September.

On Saturday 1,250 members gathered in the city of Offenbach for the conference, as the party faced the challenge of building on their success in the capital, in which it won an unprecedented 8.9 percent of the vote.

“We have left behind an eventful and tough period, and we face an even more difficult one,” Nerz told the assembled pirates at the opening of the conference.

Christoph Lauer, one of the 14 Pirates elected to the Berlin state parliament in September, said he didn’t see any danger of divisions. “The fact that 1,200 people have come together here alone shows that we have an active and lively discussion culture,” he told the DPA news agency.

In his speech Nerz also criticized the German government, accusing it of pushing a process of de-democratization in its handling of the euro crisis.

When the Pirates first formed a party in 2006, their focus was on Internet issues and digital rights. They have since widened their programme to include a variety of issues, including citizen rights and more transparency in politics. However, the party has been accused of not having policies on many issues, including foreign policy and the economy.

Over the course of the two-day gathering, members are expected to expand the party programme to include more economic and social policies. One of the more controversial issues is the proposal to introduce a basic minimum income for all citizens.

The party has seen its membership soar since the Berlin elections on September 18 to almost 19,000. Every member is entitled to attend the conference as the party rejects the idea of delegates.

Story continues below…

Opinion polls indicate that the Pirate Party currently attracts around 7 percent support across Germany, which would be enough to allow it to enter the federal parliament should this popularity be reflected in votes at the 2013 general election.

DPA/DPAD/The Local/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,511
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd