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Jailed Pirate Party member becomes Tunisian government minister (arstechnica.com)
92 points by mcantelon on Jan 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

Is http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=slim Hacker News' first high-level government official? :-)

The Guardian also covered this in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/18/tunisia-dissiden...

I would be cautious about celebrating this. It might be a bit of a tokenism; the former runner ups are replacing Bin-Ali and his family, and they might be trying to hijack the revolution by placating the youth.

I'm reminded of the Romanian revolution in 1989, when some of the 2nd tier of Communist leaders started calling themselves the "National Salvation Front" and stayed in power.

> Several junior ministers have already walked out after it became clear that key jobs, including interior and defense, won't be changing hands. For its part, the new government has pledged to hold a full slate of elections within the next few months, saying that current ministers were still needed to maintain stability during the transition period.

You just had a revolution, guys.

Where was the mainstream media on that one? And thank you ArsTechnica!

Where was the social media?

Seriously: most mainstream outlets I follow have devoted a reasonable amount of space to Tunisia, albeit hampered by an obvious lack of experts on the situation there. Social media? very little. Pretty much the only stuff I've seen has come via the pirate parties or the far left.

Possibly it's just my friends and contacts being unusual -- but my hunch is that if you tried to quantify online attention to Tunisia, you'd find it lower than in the mainstream press.

Note that 3 of those are links to mainstream media outlets. Of the other 2, one is torrentfreak talking about the pirate angle (which is the right angle for them, and fascinating as a reflection of the growing international seriousness of the pirate movement -- but is perhaps not the most important part of the revolution).

I kind of expect the online world to put the professionals to shame in depth and insight of coverage. Often that does happen -- here, not so much.

The NYTimes had extensive coverage of the situation in Tunisia.

It will be interesting to see just how much influence he's able to have. Even without being the leader of a major government, this could make a difference in how the party is perceived. Just having a Pirate Party member in government is pretty significant, IMO.

> It will be interesting to see just how much influence he's able to have.

The giovernemtn have said there will be democratic elections within 60 days. If they renege on this, it would probably make sense for him to resign, lest he be seen as a collaborator with the old regime.

> Just having a Pirate Party member in government is pretty significant, IMO.

He's the first Pirate in government, as far as I know.

I read that he's the "State Secretary for Youth and Sports." Not quite a minister.

That's most likely a direct transposition from French "secretaire d'etat", which is just a junior minister.

Now the question is: Is diplomatic immunity retroactive?

Oops - maybe the ruling class in Tunisia should have made the state their intellectual property.

Pirates, pirates everywhere!

Apparently you can't have a party, even a political one, without "Arrrrrr."

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