Democratic Deficit: Is Germany's Parliamentary Hurdle Obsolete?

Democratic Deficit: Is Germany's Parliamentary Hurdle Obsolete?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 04, 2013

Last month's election saw nearly 7 million Germans voting for parties that ultimately fell short of the 5 percent hurdle required to win seats in parliament. Political scientists are arguing for the threshold to be lowered or eliminated to ensure democratic legitimacy. By Melanie Amann, Thomas Darnstädt and Dietmar Hipp more... Comment ]

Mini-Drone Incident Shows Security Failings

Mini-Drone Incident Shows Security Failings

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 20, 2013

Last week, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which is responsible for Chancellor Angela Merkel's security during the run-up to the election on Sept. 22, cemented its already muddied reputation by failing to take action at a campaign event in Dresden when a miniature drone circled above the audience. By Friederike Heine more... Comment ]

Sinking Ship: Germany's Struggling Pirate Party

Sinking Ship: Germany's Struggling Pirate Party

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 19, 2013

The Pirate Party is very unlikely to win the vote share required to enter the German parliament. It faces a future of returning to its humble beginnings -- as a splinter party with little influence. By Annett Meiritz and Fabian Reinbold more... Comment ]

Under-18 Election: Merkel Scores Big Among German Youth

Under-18 Election: Merkel Scores Big Among German Youth

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 12, 2013

A recent poll suggests German youngsters are surprisingly conservative, with more than a third giving their vote to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. But the overall majority would still belong to the center-left, if the youth were old enough to vote. more... Comment ]

Pirate Party Passes into Irrelevance

Pirate Party Passes into Irrelevance

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 10, 2013

Vast Internet surveillance. A cross-border network of state-sponsored digital snoopery. Governments shrugging their shoulders at widespread protest against the omnipresence of Big Brother. The NSA spying scandal has taught us a lot in recent weeks. One lesson in Germany, however, has gone largely unnoticed. The Pirate Party, hailed only recently as a new kind of political activism, is dead. By Charles Hawley more...

Ditching Transparency: Germany's Pirates Batten Down Hatches

Ditching Transparency: Germany's Pirates Batten Down Hatches

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 07, 2013

Germany's Pirate Party gained unexpected popularity by championing transparency, but then it was used to expose scandals and wage war within the party. Now it has opted for hard-nosed media handlers and internal muzzles. By Markus Feldenkirchen more... Comment ]

Embattled Pirates Looking for Rapid Reboot

Embattled Pirates Looking for Rapid Reboot

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 13, 2013

"We will definitely be voted into federal parliament. I can do nothing to change that." Thus spoke Johannes Ponader, a top member of Germany's Pirate Party one year ago. It turns out, he may have been mistaken. In the last 12 months, the party has seen its support plummet -- to below the 5 percent necessary for seats in the Bundestag. And this weekend, the Pirates tried to finally turn their ship around. By Charles Hawley more...

Net Politics: Report Calls for German Internet Commissioner

Net Politics: Report Calls for German Internet Commissioner

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 19, 2013

A special Internet and Digital Society Commission convened by parliament has released several hundred recommendations for addressing data protection and other Internet-related issues in Germany. Chief among them: establishing a permanent Internet commissioner. more...

Up a Creek, Pirate Party Looks for a Paddle

Up a Creek, Pirate Party Looks for a Paddle

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 07, 2013

What a difference a year makes. In April 2012, Germany's Pirate Party was the new darling of the political scene, the center of attention in Berlin and the object of adulation among (male) twenty-somethings. Now, however, the Pirates look as though they have lost their treasure map, having become , backstabbing and a lack of direction. And on Wednesday evening, the party's chief policymaker, Johannes Ponader, resigned as a result. consumed with internal bickering By Charles Hawley more...

'Liquid Democrazy': Pirate Party Sinks amid Chaos and Bickering

'Liquid Democrazy': Pirate Party Sinks amid Chaos and Bickering

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 21, 2013

Germany's Pirate Party is falling apart. Instead of finally beginning work on their election platform, leaders of the Internet-freedom party are fighting among themselves instead. By SPIEGEL Staff more...