OPINION: Whether it's Good, Bad or Ugly, you gotta fight for your right to party
The name of Patricia de Lille's new party is not that unique. Turkey has the Iyi Party (Good Party), although Iceland's Best Party probably best shows up De Lille's modesty or lack of ambition, writes Glenn Bownes.
With Patricia de Lille forming a new political party called Good, and a group called Gatvol Capetonians also wanting to compete in next year's elections, a battle between the Good and the Gatvol is now a real prospect.
Social media responded with a combination of wit and incredulity when the Good ex-Cape Town mayor announced the new party's name. Some felt she should have gone with Better, while others suggested that someone start a party called Enough and that a Good Enough alliance be formed. Further alliances could be formed with parties called Riddance, To Go, or God.
Maybe De Lille could form a broader alliance with a number of smaller parties. They could call it All Good.
Or perhaps the National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA, which recently promised to help former president Jacob Zuma with his mounting legal bills, could form an alliance with De Lille. They could go with the catchy Good Grief.
The name of De Lille's new party is not that unique. Turkey has the Iyi Party (Good Party), although Iceland's Best Party probably best shows up De Lille's modesty or lack of ambition.
This got me thinking about some of the more eccentric political party names around the world.
The UK famously had the Monster Raving Loony Party, led by Screaming Lord Sutch. They even won some seats. Even these nutters weren't immune to factionalism though, with breakaways like the Raving Loony Green Giant Party and the Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party.
Then there are those who really like putting the party in party (Beer Lovers Party – Belarus; Friends of Beer Party – Czech Republic; Beer Unity Party – Norway; Polish Beer Lovers' Party – Poland; the Beer Lovers' Party – Russia; and the Ukrainian Beer Lovers' Party – Ukraine).
But Australia's now defunct Party! Party! Party! probably captured this sentiment best.
In 1979, Danish comedian Jacob Haugaard started The Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements and, in 1994, won a parliamentary seat.
According to Wikipedia, Haugaard made the following promises in the 1994 election campaign:
• Tail winds on all cycle paths;
• Better weather;
• Better Christmas presents;
• Less sex in school staff rooms (withdrawn during the campaign – he said it had been brought to his attention that sex in the staff room was a long-established privilege for teachers and as such could not be abolished);
• More whales in the fjord of Randers;
• The right to impotency;
• More Renaissance furniture in IKEA;
• Eight hours of spare time, eight hours of rest, eight hours of sleep;
• Nutella in army field rations;
• The placing of a public toilet in the park in Aarhus, where he spent his state party funding on serving beer and sausages to his voters after each election;
• More bread for the ducks in parks.
Amazingly, he managed to deliver on his last three election promises during his term in office.
Come to think of it, actually fulfilling some election promises is probably the most eccentric thing about Haugaard's party.
A couple of years ago, in Japan, Hidemitsu Sano perhaps hit the nail on the head by forming Shiji Seito Nashi (No Party to Support).
According to Wikipedia, the party managed to win 104 854 votes, easily beating the Social Democratic Party, which got 53 604 votes, but failed to win a seat.
"I wanted to offer eligible voters a choice to express their honest opinion: that they have no party to support in the election," Sano told The Japan Times.
The way I feel about most political parties in this country right now, I must admit that I (and possibly many other South Africans) would be very tempted to give my vote to such a party next year.
Or maybe I should just start my own party. But forget Good or Better. I'm going with Beastie, because we all have to fight for the right to party!
- Bownes is the chief sub-editor at News24.
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