During the last federal elections in Germany, the liberal democrats (FDP) reached 14.6%, and the Pirate Party made its debut with 2%.

A lot has changed in the mean time in the overall political climate, as the last regional elections in the federal state of Berlin show:

  • Socialdemocrats SPD: 28.3% (-2.5)
  • Conservatives CDU: 23.4% (+0.8)
  • Ecologists GRUENE: 17.6% (+5.4)
  • Communists DIE LINKE: 11.7% (-1.7)
  • Liberaldemocrats FDP: 1.8% (-5.8)
  • Pirates PIRATEN: 8.9% (+8.9)

Even though a regional election isn’t a federal election, and we shouldn’t compare apples to oranges, the results are important nonetheless. We see a landslide fall in the FDP’s credibility and popularity — even though they’ve tried to win public support by criticizing the bailouts of Greece and other P(I)IGS states –, and a surprising raise of the Pirate Party. The ecologists won too, maybe still riding on the wave of the Fukushima nuclear incident which prompted Germany to do without nuclear energy altogether in the middle run.

So what’s to make out of this? The FDP neglected its dwindling civil rights wing, and focused itself exclusively on promising illusory tax cuts and promoting special interests groups like private insurance companies, physicians and hotels. It also elected Philip Rösler as its chief, one of their worst politicians ever. As I’ve said, the FDP is dying… and may I add: it’s about time!?

Interestingly, the current advocates of civil liberties turned out to be not in the FDP but in the German Pirate Party. Sadly, most of the Pirates’ current constituents were protest voters. Voters who are genuinely interested in pirate topics like Copyright reform and resisting Big Brother are but a tiny minority at the moment. That’s why I’m doubtful as to the Pirate movement’s long term sustainability in politics. Anyway, time will tell: right now, they are hovering around 7% in federal polls, an all-times high.

Extreme right-wing parties like NPD, “Pro Berlin” (who are said to be infiltrated by Nazis from the NPD), and “DIE FREIHEIT” (they’re something like the German branch of Geert Wilders’ PVV) fared very badly in Berlin and in other regional elections too.