Introduction of the Norwegian Pirate Party
Piratpartiet, the Norwegian Pirate Party, started up this July, after years as an inofficial group. They have already released a political platform, and are getting ready for next year’s national election. The Pirate Times had a sit-down with party spokesman Sturla Ellingvåg. We discussed the challenges so far, the future, and thoughts about broadening their Pirate Party platform.
Pirate Times: What are the most important topics for the Norwegian Pirate Party? What do you focus on, and where do you find you are most needed?
Sturla Ellingvåg: We only started up this July and for now we have drafted eleven topics close to our core values. I say it’s a draft, because we are currently only a few pirates and it is important for us that many are able to take part in the democratic process of establishing our program. (editor’s note: the draft can be read in Norwegian here) At the moment, we are building our organisation and it is going very good. It’s great to be a part of it!
Pirate Times: What has been the greatest challenge so far? Has the beginning been easy enough or have you had to face any big problems?
Sturla Ellingvåg: Our first challenge now is to gather 5 000 signatures in order to be registered in the general elections next year. This has to be done by 1 January 2013 and we are making good progress. We have been fortunate to get many resourceful and good people aboard up until now. But we do need more people who can help in gathering signatures around the country, so this is a challenge that we are working on at the moment.
Pirate Times: What is the next big challenge for the party?
Sturla Ellingvåg: The election next year will be a thriller. The red-green coalition, headed by the Labour Party for the past seven years, has been under much criticism but it will be a close race and hopefully Piratpartiet will play a part.
Pirate Times: What do you realistically think lies in your future? Where will the party be in five years?
Sturla Ellingvåg: We are aiming for the elections next year and are working hard on building a party at the moment. It is of course difficult to predict the future, so we’re comfortable aiming for these two goals at the moment. However, it is clear that Norway really needs a party like Piratpartiet, and there are many, many voters all around Norway who are very tired of our political “establishment”. So if chance favours us and we work good and hard together, well then we might just end up giving Norway and Norwegians a much brighter future.
Pirate Times: While most Pirate Parties started out with only a handful of issues to tackle, several – including the German Piratenpartei and the Swedish Piratpartiet – have started broadening their platforms. Are there any plans in the Norwegian party to do the same? What are the thoughts within the party?
Sturla Ellingvåg: We have discussed this issue quite much and I for one believe we will follow Sweden and Germany here. But we are a flat organisation with full transparency, so this is certainly not only up to me.
Pirate Times: How do you manage economically? Are you getting any state support, are you accepting donations? How can any interested readers help you?
Sturla Ellingvåg: We are in need of more financial support. So far we have received some support from good helpers, which has been important. For those interested in helping, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured picture: Screenshot of piratpartietnorge.org.