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Rhino runs to make people laugh at politicians

Voting Buddle in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge ‘the perfect alternative to spoiling a ballot’
Peter Buddle (right) with his daughter comedian Sophie Buddle and Rick Mercer. (Special to The News)

There is just one political party that promises to raise funds by allowing advertising in both the Senate and House of Commons, reduce workplace injuries by using bubble wrap on employees, and to make “Sorry” the new official motto of Canada.

This kind of foresight is what has brought Maple Ridge resident Peter Buddle to the Rhinoceros Party, as a candidate in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

Rhinos simply aim to make people laugh, and to laugh at politicians.

Buddle plans to whip up some of his own promises, and he will have some qualified help. His daughter is comedian Sophie Buddle, who won a 2020 Juno Award for Best Comedy Album.

Growing up in North Vancouver, he was inspired by home grown politician Richard ‘The Troll’ Schaller, who was then the western caucus chairman of the Rhino Party.

“He was very funny, and very popular,” he remembers.

So, in 1984, when he was 19 and able to vote for the first time, he cast his ballot for the Rhino Party.

He has found kindred spirits in Maple Ridge. Last month, he walked around his neighbourhood with a clipboard engaging neighbours to sign his nomination papers.

“People were very friendly and supportive. I got most of my signatures within 10 minutes of my house,” he said. “Anyone who knew what the Rhinoceros Party was couldn’t sign fast enough.”

“People are not happy with government, and haven’t been for some time,” he added.

Most of the times he has stepped in front of a microphone, it has been to play some music. Buddle has been an active musician, and if elected will be sniffing around Ottawa for funding to provide some local rehearsal space.

He plays tenor sax, keyboards, and has “a great love of synthesizers.”

His band experiences range from the local cover band Lucky Stiff to playing sax in a death metal band. Lately he plays bass with local drummer Marc Iverson in Groovecheese.

“We call ourselves ‘The Best Rhythm Section in East Haney.’”

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Buddle is not above a little name dropping – he went to high school with Bob D’Eith, and they were in school bands together. He sings the Maple Ridge-Mission MLA’s praises both as a musician and as a guy.

“He’s the only person I’ve ever voted for who got in,” Buddle said.

Buddle has a serious job – he teaches high school courses to adults in both Maple Ridge prisons. He has lived and taught in the community for 21 years.

“I love teaching, and I intend to never stop,” he said. “I won’t get elected. I’m doing this to have fun.”

“People are sick of the same old same old. They’re sick of being lied to, and politicians having no accountability,” he continued.

“Voting Rhino is the perfect alternative to spoiling a ballot. Give the finger to The Man.”

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

Neil Corbett has been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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