If you’re a citizen of Finland, this weekend presents you a chance to vote in favor of the Pirate Party of Finland (Piraattipuolue) in the Finnish Parliament election, which occurs on Sunday. The party is a member of Pirate Parties International and has long accepted Bitcoin donations.
Last month, the party received more than 10,000 euro in bitcoins (the party received 4,000 euro in donations through all channels in 2014.)
The Pirate Party has included cryptocurrencies in their party program, and, in spite of its incipience, has grown to become the biggest party outside of Parliament at the moment.
While pre-election date votes have already been cast, there’s still time to place votes before the actual election date, April 19, when approximately 50% of the votes will be cast.
“The Pirate Party is a young party, we’re seven years old now and the parliamentary elections next year will be our second chance to get someone in. We almost got a candidate elected the first time with an almost non-existing budget and a lot of enthusiasm,” wrote the party member and political blogger, Sebastian Maki.
In June 2009, the party collected the 5,000 supporter cards needed to officially register in Finland as a political party. The party was officially registered on 13 August 2009, and, in October 2009, participated in the special municipal election of Loviisa with 1 candidate, winning no seats.
The first major election in which the Party took part was the Finnish Parliamentary election in 2011, with 127 candidates in 11 constituencies, gathering 0.5% of the votes, becoming the largest party without a single seat in Parliament. The 2014 European Parliament election saw the party gather 12,378 votes (0.7%).
The party aims to develop democracy, safeguard civil rights, and promote transparency in politics. Wishing to free information and culture from government restrictions, the party pledges to review the usefulness of the patent system, as well as increase privacy and freedom of speech. The party supports a basic income and wants to abolish daylight savings time.
In terms of Bitcoin promotion, the party will have to wait for broader acceptance of the nascent cryptocurrency before making it a central part of the party’s operations and platform.
“Sadly we’re not yet at the point where almost anything can be paid with Bitcoin in Finland. Namely ads and rent,” Sebastian Maki stated in answer to a Reddit user.
Finnish Parliament announced that value-added tax (VAT) does not apply to Bitcoin, an atypical stance on Bitcoin from a European government.
Finland has also warned the Pirate Party of the pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin transactions.
Authorities have informed The Pirate Party that “they have little idea on how bitcoin donations should be handled.” Finnish law states that a party can collect up to 1,500 (PPFI) euros annually in anonymous donations.
If you are from Finland or are ideologically aligned with the Pirate Party yet internationally located, you can donate here. Finland’s 2015 parliamentary election takes place Sunday, April 19. Advanced voting ends April 14.
Sweden is also home to the Bitcoinparty.