Image for Piratenpartei
Photo by Anna Achon

Christopher Lauer, 27, Candidate for Pankow and Felix Just, 29, District Candidate for Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

Why ‘Piraten’?

CL: It gets media attention. If we were called the ‘German Internet Party’, nobody would care. But at the same time people often don’t realise we are not just a single-issue party.

What are the first three things you’ll do if you’re elected?

CL: 1.) More transparency. Contracts need to be transparent and accessible, so the people can decide whether it’s a good decision or not. 2.) Empower the people. There should be greater knowledge of what’s happening in the districts and at meetings.

FJ: 3.) Hartz IV is a big problem. People have to do this striptease to prove and re-prove job applications, etc.

CL: It’s an inhumane situation. Our proposal is called ‘ReSET’. We believe in a guaranteed income for every citizen, without the bureaucracy.

I download music. Does that make me a criminal?

FJ: Well, yes, but we don’t think you should go to jail for it.

What is your approach to integration? Is there a Turkish problem?

CL: There are also large Chinese populations, etc. No one talks about them because they stick to themselves. The German model of integrating is, “Don’t get on our nerves, just shut up, work and pay your taxes.”

FJ: We believe in the Kiez character; Berlin doesn’t have to have the same face everywhere.

How would you deal with the Mediaspree issue?

CL: We believe that open spaces should be secured and created for everyone. It should be easy for people to do something with them.

FJ: We should be able to say, “Sorry, that’s our river.”

Wowi or Renate?

CL: It’s a decision between plague and cholera.


Number of members:. 12,000.

Typical supporter: Male, 35, wearing glasses and drinking Club Mate, heavy internet users, if not hackers or programmers.

Party leader: Sebastian Nerz.

Founded: September 2006, Berlin.

Stronghold: Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain (6.7 percent, federal election 2009).

Claim to fame: Last year’s naked “fleshmob” at Tegel Airport to protest new full-body security scanners.

Slogan: “Civil rights in the information age.”

Likely results: 4.5 percent, though they hope to reach 5.