A joke party, also known as a frivolous party or a satirical party, is a political party that is created for the point of entertainment or to make a political statement through satire. Although they do occasionally exist as a way to spread a message across, sometimes they their existence is mainly a source of humor or entertainment. The following is a list of satirical parties from around the world. Although the level of success that they have found varies, they all share one common characteristic: their party platforms are pretty hilarious.
10. Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements
The Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements, also known in Danish as Sammenslutning af Bevidst Arbejdssky Elementer, was a joke political party formed in 1979 in Aarhus, Denmark by a comedian by the name of Jacob Haugaard. In September 1994, with a total of 23,253 votes, Haugaard was elected to the Folketing (the Danish Parliament), winning one seat in parliament. This came as a big surprise to the party whose platform included promises to improve the weather and Christmas presents, more "piece of Renaissance" furniture available in Ikea, 8 hours of spare time, 8 hours of rest, and 8 hours of sleep for every citizen, and more bread to feed the ducks in parks. Despite these playful stances, Haugaard took his job seriously until he retired from politics completely in 1998.
9. Party! Party! Party!
Although the life of Party! Party! Party! was short-lived, it did end up gaining just shy of 1,000 votes in the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly election in Canberra, Australia in 1989. It was born ironically out of the founder's refusal to believe in self-government. Largely due to the existence of such parties like Party! Party! Party!, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) changed the electoral legislation in 1991 to require parties to have at least 100 members and a constitution in order to register, marking the end of joke parties in Australia.
8. Fancy Dress Party
The Fancy Dress Party was a political party formed in 1979 in England. The party's main claim to fame was a promise to use a smaller size of font as a way to reduce unemployment statistics. In a 1979 general election, a candidate for the Fancy Dress Party won a seat in Dartford, a trend that continued with general elections in 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2001. In fact, as of 2010, members of the Fancy Dress Party remain on the political party register. Other notable policies held by the party include cutting police paper work to make doilies, building new schools made of inflatable classrooms to "make it easier for delinquent pupils to let the entire school down", and the assertation that students should be entitled to full pints of beer.
7. Death, Dungeons, and Taxes Party
The Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party is an unusual named for a British joke political party which emerged in 2005. Although two candidates ran in both Edinburgh and York, neither won their seats, meaning they never achieved representative in the House of Commons. They did, however, leave some pretty interesting party mandates behind them, including a policy that would reduce the age of graduation from schooling to nine, the annexation of France, the reintroduction of hanging as a form of capital punishment (but only for "minor offences like littering"), and a tax rate of 90%. In Edinburgh, the candidate of the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party won 89 votes, while in York 93 votes were cast.
6. Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party
The Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party, known in Hungarian as Magyar Kétfarkú Kutya Párt, was founded in 2006, although it was not registered until 2014. The party still exists today. The very existence of the party is to make a mockery of the political elite, however other party promises include: a one day work week, two sunsets per day, free beer, low taxes, eternal life, and world peace. The party is known for their humorous political slogans, including "tomorrow should be yesterday!", "let everything better!", "we promise anything!", "more everything, less nothing!" and a chant that consisted of "what do we want? nothing! when do we want it? never!" In 2016, the MKKP fought back against the anti-immigration sentiment that was building amongst many of Hungary's major political parties. In lieu of voting for the joke party, the MKKP asked those who were in agreement with them to cast an invalid vote, an action which 6% of voters followed. The party is also known for their street art and graffiti.
5. Parti Citron
The Parti Citron (French for "Lemon Party") operated at both the federal level in Canada and at the provincial level in Quebec. It was founded by Denis R. Patenaude in 1987, and officially existed until 1998. Although the party did possess a platform of policies, it was said by a party spokeswoman that they were "placed in green plastic boxes and sold to industrial pig farms in Mexico." Nonetheless, the Lemon Party still had some promises that they made public, namely to repeal the law of gravity, merge the Great Lakes together, abolish the city of Toronto, and to support global warming so that lemons can be grown in Canada, which was part of a greater goal that Canada's economy be restructured around lemons.
4. Best Party
The Best Party, also known in Icelandic as Besti flokkurinn, was founded by Jon Gnarr in 2009. Although it is a satirical party, the party ran in the 2010 city council election in the nation's capital of Reykjavik and received an astonishing 34.7% of the vote. This success is at least partly attributed to the citizen backlash follow the financial criss of 2008-2011 in Iceland. Many of the Best Party's policies were embellished and presented in an overstated manner, such as "take those responsible for the economic collapse to court" where they add that they "felt we had to include this." On democracy, the party said "democracy is pretty good, but an effective democracy is best, that's why we want it." They also claimed that they wanted to "improve the quality of life of those less fortunate: we want the best of everything for this bunch and therefore offer free access to buses and swimming pools so you can travel around Reykjavik and be clean even if you're poor or there's something wrong with you." Other policies included free towels in all city swimming pools, a polar bear for the city zoo, and the construction of Disneyland in Iceland.
3. Polish Beer-Lovers Party
Founded (or brewed, if you will) in 1990 by a Polish satirist by the name of Janusz Rewińsk, the Polish Beer-Lovers Party (also known as PPPP or Polska Partia Przyjaciół Piwa in Polish) existed with a very noble goal: to promote beer drinking. Actually, according to the party, this stance was all for the betting of the community, as they claimed that through promoting the drinking of beer, intake of harder alcohol such as vodka could go down and in turn so would alcoholism. However facetious these original intentions may have been, disenchantment with the political climate in Poland led to the PPPP gaining support and followers. In the 1991 parliamentary elections, the PPPP managed to win 16 seats in the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament), which translated into 2.97% of the entire vote. Not bad for a political party dedicated to a beverage.
2. Die PARTEI
"Die PARTEI" is German for "The PARTY", and also an acronym for its full German name Partei für Arbeit, Rechtstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative (English: Party for Labor, Rule of Law, Animal Protection, Promotion of Elites and Grassroots Democratic). It was founded in 2014 by editors of a satirical magazine, who apparently also had a penchant for long titles as well as satire. Die PARTEI is notable for being the first satirical party to be elected into European Parliament, a feat they achieved in 2014.
Die PARTEI takes its role as a satirical party to the next level, proclaiming itself a "haven for voters disappointed by other parties". Some of its mandates include rebuilding the Berlin Wall and resurrecting the Iron Curtain between East and West Germany, reforming the health insurance system and drawing up a new constitution, giving the reason that it is "better that we get those votes than some sort of Neo-Nazis". Part of the belief system of Die PARTEI is that political goals are "overrated", anyway, as they promise to listen to the vote of the popular opinion and do the opposite.
Despite this alarming campaign promise, Die PARTEI has proven itself to be one of the most successful satirical political parties of all time. In the German federal election of 2005, they won 10,379 votes. In 2009, Die PARTEI was refused participation in the German federal election, a ruling that was met with the production of protest t-shirts and a documentary film released about the party. In the federal election of 2013, Die PARTEI received 0.2% of the vote.
1. Rhinoserous Party
The Rhinoceros Party of Canada (also known in French as the Parti Rhinocéros) first existed in its original form beginning in the 1960s and continuing until the 1990s. Like most joke parties, the Rhinoceros Party's slogan was rather tongue in cheek, stating that their promise was "a promise to keep none of our promises". The party's name derives from their claim to be descended by spirit from a black rhinoceros named Cacareco, who lived in zoos in Brazil in the 1950s and 60s and was famous for having been a candidate for city council elections in the city of Sao Paulo.
The party's platform was varied. One leader of the party described their "platform" as being "about two feet high and made of wood". Other party promises included the proposal for the Queen of Canada to be seated in Buckingham, Quebec, to eliminate small businesses and replace them with "very small businesses" of fewer than one employee, to repeal the law of gravity, provide higher education by "building higher schools", eliminating unemployment by discontinuing the measuring of unemployment, ending crime by abolishing all laws, turning a major street in Montreal into the world's longest bowling alley, putting the national debt on Visa, banning winter, and counting the Thousand Islands to see if the neighboring Americans had "stolen any". The Rhinoceros Party even declared war on Belgium because the Belgian cartoon character Tintin once killed a rhinoceros, although they did say the war would be called off if Belgium delivered a case of mussels and Belgian beer to the party's headquarters in Montreal, a demand that Belgium actually responded to by sending these items to its Embassy in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
The original Rhinoceros Party stopped running in 1988, when they garnered 1.47% of the vote. A modern day "Rhinoceros Party" lives on in Canada today, sometimes referred to as the "Second Rhinoceros Party". It too promises to keep non of its promises if ever elected.