Estonian cityscape with PPEE logo superimposed

Pirates Fighting Estonian Municipal Elections

Municipal elections in Estonia started already on 10 October 2013 using e-voting and will culminate on 20 October with traditional paper ballots and the Estonian Pirate Party is taking part. Ten Pirate candidates are running in election coalitions and one Pirate is running as an independent candidate to protest unbalanced election regulations (if elected he will immediately resign). They will be standing in the cities of Tallin , Tartu  and Viljandi .

PPEE candiates for 2013 Municipal elections CC BY-SA PPEE

PPEE candiates for 2013 Municipal elections CC BY-SA PPEE

Corruption, washed-up party politics and media bias are some of the main topics concerning Estonians as they head to the polls.

“There is a large number of people in Estonia who are disappointed with Estonian political parties. According to surveys they make up to 40% of the electorate. The underlying reasons are different, but the cartel established by the parties represented in Estonian Parliament is recognized as one of the reasons,“ says Karli Lambot, chairperson of election coalition Vaba Tallinna Kodanik where four pirate candidates are involved.”

In Tartu, five pirates are involved in election coalition Vabakund which campaigns for direct democracy, individual privacy and access to information and culture electronically and in more classical outlets such as libraries. Using free software and open standards in municipalities is also a point where the pirates aim to increase democratic participation for all citizens.

“We chose to run in grassroots election coalitions instead of running directly under Pirate Party label to support movement against stalemate political situation,” says Märt Põder, member of the board of Estonian Pirate Party and a candidate for Vabakund. “This way we have wider opportunities to gain support to our ideas about free flow of information and digital participation.”

Local government has seen success for Pirates in the past and the Estonian Pirates are hopeful of electoral success as well as spreading the Pirate message to the people of Estonia. This is the first time pirates are on the election list in Estonia. The Pirate Times will bring you the results as soon as we can after the results are known.

 Featured image:  CC BY Ari Helminen

This article has been edited on 13 October 2013  – link added and minor corrections

Andrew Reitemeyer

About Andrew Reitemeyer

I joined the Pirate Party of Lower Saxony in Germany in April 2012, once I found out that non citizens were welcome to join and become active members of the Party. I joined the Pirate Times soon after it was started as a proof reader and am now an editor and author. Since then I have returned to my native New Zealand and joined the Pirate Party of New Zealand. Politically I come from the libertarian left and have, up to now, not regarded any political party as having a solution for the democratic deficit that envelops the world. With the advent of the Pirate Party, which truly embraces grass roots democracy, I have found a political home. The Pirate Times is a way I can contribute to furthering the Pirate Movement around the world. Skype: frithogar