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|Welcome to the Party - Welcome to the Party|
|Written by Florian Faehling|
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Hungary – Two tails are better than one
In the country of kings and ancient history, the Hungarian Double-tailed Dog party competes for votes. They offer radical changes to their followers: eternal life, world peace, a one-day working week, two sunsets a day (with changing colours), weaker gravity, free beer and lower taxes. To make life in Hungary more fun, they also propose to build a mountain on the currently empty Great Hungarian Plain.
What is more, these lads might be the only visionaries who can help us out of the financial crisis! When an official from a rating agency famously described his work by saying, "We rate every deal. It could be structured by cows and we would rate it", he clearly imagined that a world governed by animals would be better off. Well, here they are, the Hungarian Double-tailed Dogs with their leader István Nagy who is, indeed, a dog.
The party is good friends with the Fourth Way Party, which is led by two birds (they profit from the partnership by being protected from a potential Cat Party). The only dispute they quarrel about is the abolition of bird flu, which Fourth Way demands and Double-tailed Dog criticises, as they consider viruses to be just another dignified life form. The party has not yet registered as an official party and instead devotes its efforts to street art all over Hungary.
Beer paradise in Eastern Europe
Alliances are more important than ever these days; and it seems the East of our continent could be birthplace to a new pan-continental political force: after the fall of the Soviet union, many ex-Soviet countries saw the rise of "beer lover parties" which today exist in countries as various as Norway, Russia, Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. They all share the common goal to further the love of good beer.
Russian Beer Lovers are probably the biggest in numbers and funds, at one point counting over 50 000 members in 60 states and receiving over 1000 million rubles in donations. Promising "protection of beer lovers regardless of racial, national or religious affiliation" the party is truly ready for the future. It wants to protect the environment to secure good beer production and tries to reach a wider audience as it "will defend interests not only of beer lovers, but also of lovers of sausage, butter, meat, tea, kvass (the fermented drink made out of rye) and of other lovers, with the exception of lovers of power." It has different factions, including the "light beer faction", the "dark beer faction" and the "kvass patriot faction". The closest they came to political power was a 0.62% result in the State Duma elections, which fell slightly short of the 5% hurdle to enter parliament. After this failure the party was dissolved, although many factions still exist today.
The Polish Beer Lovers Party (PPPP) left true political impact on European politics. Founded by satirist Janusz Revínski, their message of high quality beer transformed into an appeal to higher living standards which made many Polish vote for them. In 1991 the PPPP won 16 seats in the Polish Parliament (2.96%). In an ideological quarrel however, they split up into the Large and the Small Beer fraction despite the founders warning that "beer is neither light nor dark, it is tasty".
Loonies in Britain
The parties we have looked at so far haven't survived for long. In Britain however, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party offers the finest alternative politics since 1963 with no end in sight. Founded by David Sutch, known as Screaming Lord Sutch, it started as the "National Teenage Party", protesting against a voting age of 21. Their political position can be described as "sitting, facing forward". They have a long history of name struggles, programmatic quarrels but also electoral successes. So far they were able to win 2 mayor seats, and at one point had 16 councillors across Britain. Their most cherished hour of victory was in 1990 when Mr Sutch won more votes in the Bootle by-election then the established Social Democrats. He kindly offered the governing Labour party a coalition, which they refused. In the 2010 election the Loonies also participated, shaking up the political landscape with proposals such as introducing the 99 pence coin to save on change and turning motorways into bike paths. Plus, they wanted to abolish vaccinations, replacing them with nurses with shotguns to make fighting viruses more fun (they might get problems here with the Double-tailed Dog from Hungary).
Currently they count over 1000 Members. Membership costs £9.99 annually (not yet payable with the 99 pence coin) and for £19.99 you get a T-Shirt as well.