Berlin's local election saw a big backlash against mainstream parties, with the Pirate Party capturing a jaw-dropping 8.9 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results.

The Pirate Party claims to represent digital rights, civil liberties and politics fit for the 21st century – and boasts 12,000 members since its creation in 2006.

"We will get right to work," top Pirate candidate, Andreas Baum, told ZDF television according to the Washington Post. "This is all new for us."

Reforms

Chief among the Pirate Party's policies is the opposition of European data retention laws and information privacy as well as calling for major reforms to copyright law.

German chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition party – the Free Democrats – suffered badly, with only two per cent of the vote.

With the controversial Digital Economy Act a major topic of conversation at the UK Liberal Democrat party conference – part of the coalition government, of course – it is clear that political parties are being forced into being more savvy about digital legislation.

With the internet a major part of our everyday lives, and increased fears over our personal data in a digital world, ignorance and ad hoc legislation is clearly no longer cutting it in politics.