Monday, 15 May 2017

Manifesto promises of note

Whatever the outcome of the 2017 General Election, the prospects for the UK look grimmer than at any time in (my) living memory and the chance that any plausible outcome will do anything to mitigate the looming crisis looks slim. But vote anyway - even voting tactically for the least worst option in support of what seems like a lost cause is less silly than abstaining and trying to smash the system by staying in bed, Russell Brand-style.

In the meanwhile, if you're desperate for a bit of light relief (and I know I am), here are a few entertaining policy positions from elections past:
  • Free access to swimming pools for everyone and free towels.
From the party platform of Iceland's Best Party (the publicly-subsidised swimming bit might well be feasible in a place the size of Iceland - it was the free towels for all pledge that made me smile).
  • Free bananas for all schoolchildren.
As promised by H'Angus the Monkey, the former football club mascot who became the first directly elected mayor of Hartlepool.
  • Free dung.
  • The abolition of money, replacing it with chocolate fish or with sand.
  • Votes for trees.
  • Replacing the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps with mounted knights.
  • Fixing accountants in concrete and using them as traffic barriers.*
  • Limiting the speed of light to 100 km/h.
  • Setting up a Frivolous Fraud Office to investigate any fraud deemed too silly for the Serious Fraud Office.
All promised by New Zealand's McGillicuddy Serious Party, which also promised, Epimenides-style, to break its own promises. The party entered a goat in a local Waiheke Island election, but their attempt to have a hedgehog stand for Parliament was unsuccessful.**
  • Repealing the law of gravity.
  • Building one nuclear power plant per household, including monthly distributions of lead underwear - indoor lighting to be provided by radioactive citizens.
  • Providing higher education by building taller schools.
  • Putting the national debt on Visa.***
  • Donating a free rhinoceros to every aspiring artist in Canada.
  • Rather than patriate the Canadian constitution by bringing it to Canada, as proposed by Pierre Trudeau, bring Great Britain home and make it Canada's eleventh province.****
The Rhinoceros Party of Canada.

Taken from the "politics and government" section of Wikipedia's trove of unusual articles (as defined and chosen by Wikipedia contributors).

*A policy which the McGillicuddy Serious Party claims to have stolen from the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

**The goat and hedgehog had less successful policical careers than Duke, a Pyrenean mountain dog who won the election for the ceremonial mayorship of Cormorant Township, Minnesota in 2014. Twelve votes were cast. Duke was re-elected in August 2016, for his third consecutive term. Since Cormorant has mayoral elections annually, he will be up for re-election again in 2017.

***Way too mainstream - this one makes just as much sense as trying to grow your way out of an economic downturn with austerity.

****Ditto - the Canada option is the nearest thing I've  yet seen to a workable post-Brexit plan although , admittedly, there hasn't been much competition.