A POST-ELECTION DISCUSSION ABOUT THE “PLUS” AND “MINUS” OF A COALITION
“PP-GR’s members ran in all three battles, local, regional and Euro elections. The results in local elections may not look good at first, but “Pirates in Thessaloniki” got 1,27%, not enough to elect a Municipal Councillor, however it more than tripled our result in Thessaloniki! Having in mind that in Parliamentary elections in June 2012, the party got only 0,34% of the votes in Thessaloniki, it is very exciting to see that growth”, Spyros startedsaying .
Pirate Times: How did the coalition with Ecologists Greens arise and what were the points of agreement in case a MEP was elected?
Spyros Chrysanthopoulos: The collaboration came the moment we were getting prepared for running alone and had progressed to the internal procedures for the selection of candidate MEPs. The change of the electoral law in key points, such as the doubling of the number of candidates, had an impact in every party. On the other hand, the forming of too many new parties and the split of some others, showed that this fragmentation does not help us in our pursuit of good results. Mutual friends urged leaders of Ecologists Greens to get closer to us and chat online. Plus, the joint group Greens/EFA in which the two parties belong to in the European Parliament, was an important point to agree on an electoral cooperation and within Greece. The rest was merely procedural. If we were to elect a MEP, then the term of office would be shared equally between the first two in votes, i.e. two and a half years for each.
P.T.:Pirates and Ecologists got 0,92% (51.673 votes) ranked 14th out of 42 parties that took part in European elections. Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Spyros: The outcome was not what we had hoped for, but judging from analyses, Pirates kept their percentage which they had in the last Parliamentary elections, in 2012. The main reason our coalition missed its target was the split of Ecologists and their internal conflicts. We knew, from the start, that it would affect the overall election result of our cooperation but we didn’t know to what extent. It turned out in practice that it was largely due to that, without any want to relinquish our own responsibilities.
P.T.:Which are the positive and negative points for PP-GR?
Spyros: Positive points are that PP-GR’s logo and name appeared in the bars of the results in TV, newspapers, blogs and its spread was more than good! However in general, I think that the negative points are more than the positive ones. But we gained a lot of experience of how to conduct an election campaign. Honestly, some important details were mostly unknown to me and to other Pirates and of course that will serve us in the near future. I believe that the next elections in Greece may be very soon.
P.T.: What is your comment on the results of the European elections in Greece?
Spyros: In a word, disappointing: The maintenance of bipolarity, even smaller in percentages of the past, and the voting of parties without a program and only weapon the popularity of their head, only characterize the results as frustration! Especially, if you add the bigger problem highlighted by Euroelections, the rise of the Nazi party and its stabilization in double figures, only causes terror in the home of Democracy.
P.T.:What about the results of the Pirate Parties at the European level?
Spyros: It was lower than expected. Particularly in the countries where the Pirate movement was developed earlier than the others, we expected not only to have higher rates but to elect MEPs. The election battle was not won but Pirate Parties are always available for more activism and actions; which is why they will continue their struggle, standing next to their one and only Pirate MEP.
P.T.:What was the one thing that made it difficult for the election campaign?
Spyros: The lack of volunteers! If we had more volunteers it would be easier to manage the regular and emergency needs of the electoral period. But I am very pleased; although our members were few, they literally gave their best for over 40 days, many times with a 24-hour presence if necessary. I feel we are stronger now and we are ready to continue fighting!Featured image: CC BY-SA PPGR and Ecologists Greens composite
About Stathis Leivaditis
The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.