A new political party in Germany has surprised skeptics by garnering nearly 10 percent of the vote in the country's preliminary election round of state voting.
The Piratenpartei or Pirate Party won a respectable 8.2 percent of the votes in the Northern State of Schleswig-Holstein. While the party may not have a firm hold on the upcoming elections they were able to put more than their foot through the door.
Joachim Paul, one of the party's leaders, is a biochemical engineer-turned-politician. He addressed the crowd after the election results were in.
"The Pirates in North Rhine-Westphalia are in the state parliament! Tomorrow it's on to the federal parliament!" he exclaimed.
The Pirate Party's recent strong showing in North Rhine-Westphalia is building on the recent victories in Schleswig-Holstein which is a small state on the border to Denmark.
The movement also overtook Saarland, Germany's smallest state in the southwest near France, and even had a strong showing last year in Berlin, which not only is the country's capital, but also a city-state with its own parliament.
While the recent election results go a long way to bring legitimacy to the Pirate Party, one of the larger concerns for the party going forward is the ability to state positions on issues outside the of the party's platform.
The Pirate Party states that it is focused to "fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected."
But it is the party's base which may be its biggest liability. Comprised mainly of 20-somethings, they see the internet as a tool that should be left for all people and should not be regulated. It has developed a reputation of being the protest party, with comparisons to the "99 Percent" and the Occupy movement in the United States and the "Indignados" in Spain.