Parties with a comical agenda are increasingly being viewed as the alternative in nations where politics has become a joke.
Jaspal Bhatti was way ahead of his time. In 1995, when India was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and black money was the leitmotif of our political discourse, Bhatti saab announced the formation of the Hawala Party. With all the gravitas he could muster, the satirist declared that his party membership was open only to those honourable men with a dishonesty certificate! Had Hawala Party been around today, half of our country would have been eligible for membership. Alas, it was meant as a joke!
Elsewhere in the world, some enterprising comedians have actually gone ahead and launched prank parties with nutty manifestoes to amuse and enlighten the voter. We’ve elected and selected the cream of the crop for you.
Miss Great Britain Party: Beautiful politicians guaranteed. If politics is ugly business, Robert de Keyser’s ‘Miss Great Britain Party’ was the first ever outfit to attempt a total makeover by persuading former beauty queens to run for elections. Powered by the ideology to make Westminster sexier and not sleazier, the party promised a more glamorous looking parliament. ‘Better Miss Nip & Tuck than elect some schmuck’ was their proposition. Sadly, the beauties lost out to the beasts in the 2008 election. And that was the end of the most beautiful chapter in British polity.
Anarchistic Pogo Party: Ban police, legalise drugs. In the very orderly Germany, it’s almost blasphemous to talk of anarchy. The Anarchistic Pogo Party couldn’t be too bothered about hurting sensibilities as they fervently believe in the ‘restupidification’ of the fatherland. Their grand plan for achieving the goal includes steps like abolition of compulsory education, creation of love making centers, legalisation of weed, dismantling of police, and retirement pension for youth. If you kind of liked their punk rock agenda, may be you should wear a t-shirt that reads: ‘I am for Pogo as the system is a no-go’.
Best Party: More freebies than others. We sorely need the services of Best Party in Tamil Nadu. This Reykjavik-based political party is legendary for offering free bus rides for students, free car rides for the rural masses, free flights for women, free dental services for children, free access to swimming pools, free towels for all, free Disneyland for Iceland, free polar bears for the zoo and any other freebie you can think of, as they have no plans of keeping their word! Openly corrupt and famously farcical, Best Party is best at taking the voters for a free ride.
Two-Tailed Dog Party: Promise of eternal life. It’s easily the most original political party in Europe. Surrounded by unscrupulous politicos offering the sun, the earth, and the moon, the Hungarian Dog Party hogged all attention when it swore to deliver eternal life to all citizens, one work day per week, free beer, a restaurant in Mars, a mountain on a plain, and a 93 per cent guarantee that the party will not steal funds from the coffers! The founders hoped to win the voter’s favour by dangling one more carrot: ‘We’ll be shipping economists off the planet’. Since every dog has its day, the double-tailed one is optimistic of translating their bark to bite soon.
Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements: All for zero exertion. Founded in 1979, in Denmark, UCWSE was the pioneer who posed the question, ‘If work is healthy, then why not give it to the sick?’ Rabidly anti-work, the party topped the lazy man’s popularity chart by arguing for eight hours of leisure, eight hours of rest, and eight hours of sleep, every day. One political slogan that comes closest to capturing their philosophy: Labour isn’t working!