Silly Political Parties (of the non-elephant-or-donkey variety)

It's only April. That means we have another six months to hear all about the upcoming U.S. presidential election. While it's obviously a very important decision that we all need to be well-informed about, I must admit, I'm getting a little tired of hearing about it. So, for something completely different, let's discuss frivolous political parties (and no, I don't mean Democrats or Republicans).

The Deadly Serious Party

The Deadly Serious Party of Australia was anything but. In the 1980s, the DSP was formed and promised to send a flock of trained, killer penguins to protect the Australian coasts from an invasion from Argentine.

Beer Lovers Party of Belarus

Yes! A party I can get behind. Apparently Beer Lovers political parties weren't that uncommon in post-Soviet states. Their platform was "cleanness and quality of the national beer, state independence and the neutrality of Belarus, freedom of economic relations, personal inviolability and inviolability of the private property".

The chairman of the party, Andrey Romashevsky, was arrested in 1995 for "hooliganism". I had no idea that was a criminal offense. After he was released, he moved out of Belarus and the Beer Lovers Party pretty dissolved. Its mascot is a drunken hedgehog, which is a stereotype from Russian jokes (maybe someone can explain that to me?)

The Rhinoceros Party

The Parti Rhinocéros, AKA the Rhinoceros Party, was registered in Canada for more than 30 years. They issued "A promise to keep none of our promises." Members of the party claimed to be the "spiritual descendants" of Cacareco, a Brazilian rhino that was elected to São Paulo's city council in the 1950s. They claimed that the rhino was the perfect symbol for a political party, because, among other things, they are "slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and have large, hairy horns growing out the middle of their faces." Promises the party made (which they had already promised not to keep) included repealing the law of gravity, paving Manitoba to make the world's largest parking lot, ending crime by abolishing all laws and that they would enforce higher education by building taller schools.

Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements

The UCWSE was a shockingly successful silly political party started in Denmark in 1979. Jacob Haugaard, the founder, was rather unexpectedly elected to the national parliament of Denmark in 1994. During his '94 campaign, he promised better weather, better Christmas presents, more pieces of Renaissance furniture in IKEA, Nutella in the army field rations and more bread for the ducks in parks. He actually accomplished the last two during his four-year term, and also had a public toilet placed in the park in Aarhus. This was especially important to him, because after each election he served beer and sausages in the Aarhus park to his voters.
Although the UCWSE was a joke, Haugaard was not expecting to actually be elected and took his duties very seriously when he was. He retired from politics in March 1998 when his first (and only) term was up. Photo from InternationalReports

The McGillicuddy Serious Party

The McGillicuddy Serious Party formed in 1984 in Hamilton, New Zealand, and had a strong Scottish theme. This seemed a little strange to me until I did some research – Hamilton is named for Captain John Charles Fane Hamilton, the Scottish commander of the HMS Esk. He was killed in Tauranga Campaign of the New Zealand Land Wars.
Anyway, Clan McGillicuddy discovered an extremely distance relationship to the Stuart pretenders of the royal family and suggested one of their own as a replacement for Queen Elizabeth II. They challenged the New Zealand army to a winner-take-all pillow fight battle for the crown. The challenge was declined.
To select political candidates, the party held a battle with newspaper swords and water balloons. Whoever lost the battle would become the candidate for that particular election. A game of musical chairs was another option.

The various policies of the party over the years included free dung, leaving beer on all of the beaches so any invading army would abandon attack and get drunk instead, a potato famine, limiting the speed of light, free castrations and putting accountants in concrete and using them as traffic barriers.

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party

Arguably the most famous frivolous party so far, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party is a registered party in the U.K. started in 1983 by David Sutch, AKA Screaming Lord Sutch. The party had some pretty solid backing in Commander Bill Boaks, a retired WWII hero who was involved in the sinking of the Bismarck.

Their platform included refusing to sign up to the euro, but inviting the rest of Europe to use the pound; letting motorists drive straight over a roundabout when no traffic was coming; and the introduction of a 99 pence coin to save on change. Despite their bizarre manifesto, some of the things the OMRLP asked for have come to pass in the U.K., including a voting age of 18, passports for pets and all-day pub openings.
Eventually, the some members of the party split off into other factions, most notably the Raving Loony Green Giant Party and the Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party. Photo from BBC News

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Pol X
You are right about votes at 18 in 1970.
The point that is not explained properly is that
it was Screaming Lord Sutch and his National
Teenage Party At the Stratford on Avon
By-election of 1964 who wanted votes at 18 when
it was obviously 21.This was the forerunner to
the party as it is today. See
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"...paving Manitoba to make the world’s largest parking lot..."

Having been to Canada and spent a couple weeks out there, I'm whole heartedly behind this idea. Not like anything else much gets done out there.

I still think we should have sent the penguins to China though.
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