Pirates win in Germany; governments and leaders falling

The Pirate Party won 9% of the vote in Berlin this weekend. The Pirate Party is modeled after the electorally successful Swedish Pirate Party. Their main position is reform of copyright laws to allow the free flow of information. They get their name from the government and media description of file-sharing, which declares those who illegally share as pirates. This is an interesting development to watch because these parties are now pulling close to 10% in elections. This may be important for the U.S. as well. Rick Perry's description of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" has exposed a large young-old split. The Pirate parties are mainly pulling young voters as well and while they may favor ideological purity, politics makes strange bedfellows. Thus, I would not view this development as a joke. Even without the factor of declining social mood which will tend to support fringe parties, the Pirates are in a good position to at least have their ideas co-opted by a major party and a similar party or at least their ideas, could easily appear in the U.S.
Berlin pirates force FDP to walk the plank

At this point, finding evidence for the social mood is like shooting fish in a barrel. I haven't posted some news items because there's a steady stream of them. Pick a country, read the political news, and you'll probably find a leader in jeopardy. From August 29: Yoshihiko Noda wins Japan leadership race
Japan's governing Democratic Party (DPJ) has chosen Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as its leader, lining him up to become the country's sixth prime minister in five years. Mr Noda secured victory in a run-off against Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, after a first-round vote in which no candidate won a clear majority. Prime Minister Naoto Kan later formally resigned with his entire cabinet. He has been criticised for his handling of the quake aftermath.
Correspondents say the new prime minister will face a daunting agenda, including trying to unify a divided party.
Japan’s hunt for new leaders
Japan has had 15 prime ministers in 20 years. Few have managed to sell the public on a vision about how post-bubble Japan should adapt as its population shrinks and workforce declines. The five prime ministers since 2006 who preceded Noda lasted, on average, 360 days. Four were either the sons or grandsons of former prime ministers. A poll conducted last month by the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, suggests that both major parties have support ratings of less than 25%. That dissatisfaction points to a broader problem, said Gerald Curtis, a political scientist.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard defiant in face of mounting pressure
Speculation that Julia Gillard's days as Australian Prime Minister were numbered intensified this week, after a series of perceived gaffs and missteps that make the first-term leader about as popular as Barack Obama at a jobs fair.

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