Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Satire in Politics: The Rhino Party

The Rhinoceros Party was a Canadian political party operating Canada from the 1960's to the 1990's. It was a satirical absurdist sort of guerilla political theatre operating in real life politics. Their listed party leader was a Rhino from a zoo in Montreal.

The movement was not just limited to Canada and former Boston Red Sox pitcher and goofball Bill "Spaceman" Lee actually ran for U.S. President under this ticket. And more recently, the absurdist principles of this political party have been revived under the tickets of "Absolutely Absurd Party" and the "Neo Rhinos".

The Rhinoceros party had a weak record in Canada. They never won a seat, though they grossed over 100,000 votes in 1980!!

Some of their platforms included peculiar promises such as:

  • Selling the Canadian Senate at an antique auction in California

  • Abolishing the environment because it's too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space

  • Repealing the law of gravity

  • Paving Manitoba to create the world's largest parking lot

  • Providing higher education by building taller schools

  • Making bubble gum the national currency, so that it could be inflated or deflated at will

  • Instituting English, French and illiteracy as Canada's three official languages

  • Ofering to retrain those constituents who want to become illiterate by enrolling them in a state educational institution

  • Running more than one candidate per riding as an MP's salary is certainly enough to support more than one person

The Rhino Party is also said to have claimed that if they got to the point of victory, they would dissolve and force a second election. And for further entertainment, you can check out a tentative list of frivolous political parties. The "Prince Edward Island Draft Beer Party" looks like they had an interesting platform in the 1979 provincial election.

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Blogger BBS said...

The Rhinos were classic

9:07 AM  

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