The formation and rise of new political actors within a representative democratic system is necessarily a chaotic process marked by internal contradictions. In Europe, the best example is the recent rise of the Pirate Party in several countries, and especially in Germany. The German party is an interesting case (from which Pirate politicians in other countries should draw several lessons) because it succeeded in attracting public interest before it even constituted itself as a proper political party, and because it scored political victories before voters had fully formed an impression of the party’s potential and its role within the multi-party system. The true birth of the Pirate Party as a political actor is proceeding in full view of the public. It is still too early to determine whether the infant will live and prosper, whether it will be a stillborn child, or whether the birth will spawn two radically different twins.