Last week 129 people put their X next to the Pirate Party logo (and my name) on the ballot paper in Lambeth's local elections. That's 129 people that wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to Vote Pirate.
More than that 129 though, are the thousands of people in the area who now know about the party, even if only a little. Thousands of people who are more aware of some of the things that we are passionate about and are campaigning for. People more aware of the need for transparent and open government at all levels, with open access to government data. More aware of the democratic deficit where turnout is low and there is no effective opposition. More aware of the need for digital rights and individual privacy requirements.
In order to change minds, and so change society, we need to spread the Pirate message, and one of the best ways of doing that is through the democratic process. That's why we need many more people to stand as candidates at all levels of government.
By standing, not only do we give people the opportunity to vote for us - to say 'Yes, I believe in what you are saying, I believe that it is important and I agree with you' - but almost more importantly it gives us the opportunity to talk to them about the things that we think matter. To give us the microphone of publicity to speak to people.