And now for something a little lighter.
One of the most troubling aspects of the current Canadian political scene is the almost total absence of humor.
There is no Official Monster Raving Loony Party; nor is there a Rhinoceros Party. There isn’t even a Donald Trump.
Our political views and activities have become so anal retentive that we are in danger of losing our normally friendly approach to political parties and elections.
We are so obsessed with proving that we are right and they are wrong that we frequently miss the point that we’re all in this together.
England’s Official Monster Raving Loony Party knew how to deal with pomposity and doctrinaire thought. Under leader and founder, Screaming Lord Sutch, the party adopted its official position as, “Sitting, facing forward.”
The Official Monster Raving Loony Party wanted to replace Trident missiles with tuning forks. They also wanted to make the unicorn a protected species, and to have all fast foods labeled, “May contain traces of actual food.”
And, if there is a leap year, the party suggested there should also be hop, skip and jump years.
As absurd as the party seemed, over the years, various party candidates won seats in civic elections.
Until his death by suicide in 1999, Screaming Lord Sutch ran unsuccessfully for office 40 times.
In Canada, we have had the Rhinoceros Party, so named by its founders because, like politicians, “The rhinoceros is thick-skinned, slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and they have long, hairy noses growing out of the middle of their faces.”
The official party motto was, “If elected, we promise to keep none of our promises.”
Following the election of Joe Clark as Prime Minister, the Rhinoceros Party accused the Progressive Conservatives of stealing their platform by not keeping any election promises.
The B.C. Arm of the Rhinoceros Party wanted to repeal the law of gravity. They also pledged to sell the Canadian Senate at an antique auction in California.
The B.C. arm promised, if elected, to appoint a Dominatrix as party whip. They also proposed merging with the Progressive Conservative Party to avoid splitting the silly vote.
The Rhinoceros Party created a never-ending embarrassment for the Progressive Conservatives in the Montreal riding of Laurier when the Liberal candidate won, the Rhinoceros candidate came second, the NDP candidate came third with the Progressive Conservative candidate trailing in fourth place.
As late as the 1983 Canadian federal election, we had the Natural Law Party which became better known as the Bum Bouncing Party. The candidates attempted to prove the party’s philosophy by supposedly levitating, cross-legged above a padded platform. We even had one of their candidates in this riding.
Local Natural Law Party candidate Matt Deacon said, “The first act of the Natural Law Party when it takes office will be to establish a group of 7,000 Yogic Flyers in Ottawa who will create a highly coherent national consciousness.”
The Flyers (not to be confused with the Philadelphia Flyers) would be known as the Maharishi’s Group of Government which could also act at the provincial and local levels.
I don’t recall how many people voted for Matt Deacon but he did add a few lighter moments to an otherwise drab, boring campaign. Such levity (no pun intended) is needed in today’s hate-filled world of politics.
– Sandy Macdougall is a retired journalist and former city councillor.