It was back in January of this year when Julia Gillard announced the date of the next federal election here in Australia. As we are not going to the polls until September 14, we are currently in the midst of the longest (I think) election campaign in Australian political history.
A couple of weeks ago was the deadline for any new political party to lodge their application if they wanted to take part in this one. Quite a few did, and one guy is still wrangling with the paperwork. Billionaire Clive Palmer is getting ever closer to registering his new party which he hopes will be called the Palmer United Party and it wasn’t long ago that Bob Katter formed his Katter’s Australian Party.
I say good on ya guys for starting your own political parties, but the names, not too exciting are they? They are a bit “look at me”. Why can’t we have some fun names?
Made me think though, we used to have some pretty wacky political parties back in the UK, the like of which I don’t think we’ve got here in Australia.
Or have we? I decided to do some research.
Political parties UK versus Australia
This is a rough guide only; I’ll add my sources at the foot of this post for those who want to go into this in far greater detail.
The UK first:
There are currently 17 different political parties with elected representation, but easily the three at the top of the pile with something like 95% of the support are…
Australia has six different political parties that have been elected in one way or another, but just two parties have around 95% of the seats in the House of Representatives…
- Labor (ALP)
If you want to know more about politics down under, please read Australian Politics Explained.
Now the fun stuff.
As well as the above, both of our countries have other minor parties and also defunct parties, quite a lot actually. The UK has over 100 minor parties and a similar number of defunct parties. Here in Australia we have something like 37 other registered parties and over 130 defunct parties.
Altogether, that’s quite a lot of political parties to look through, but that’s exactly what I decided to do and not only that, I’m going to pick a top 10.
Better than that, I’m picking a top five for each of our countries and I’ll not just pick on them by name, I’m also interested in exciting and revolutionary policies.
With two top fives though, that means there is no ultimate winner, doesn’t it? Not today, because one party stands head and shoulders above the others, so stick with me until the end when I will announce the winner of the Bobinoz Best All Time Minor Political Party Award.
The UK’s top 5 minor parties and their policies
5 – No Candidate Deserves My Vote! – They want the option of a “none” box above all the candidates in the ballot, so people can vote for nobody.
4 – Boston Bypass Independents – Incredibly, this party took overall control of their local council when they won 25/32 seats just because they wanted a road built.
3 – Idle Toad – This party had no specific political ideology.
2 – Miss Great Britain Party – Most of their candidates had entered the Miss Great Britain contest and their mission was to make Westminster sexy instead of sleazy.
1 – Church of the Militant Elvis – Policies included introducing moats around houses, Bono for Pope and turning public schools into pound shops.
Australia’s top 5 minor parties and their policies
5 – Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party – Opposing conservation, they want people to leave their fishing, four-wheel driving, horse riding, trail biking, camping and kayaking alone!
4 – Party! Party! Party! – Had no policies whatsoever but still got 979 votes.
3 – Australian Sex Party – Apart from the obvious, they support legalised abortion, gay rights, voluntary euthanasia and the decriminalisation of all drugs for recreational use.
2 – Deadly Serious Party – They wanted to use killer penguins to protect Australia’s coastline from Argentine invasion.
1 – No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics – No explanation needed.
And now… It’s…..The….
Bobinoz Best All Time Minor Political Party Award
Formed in 1983, the party was established by the late David Such, also known as Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow. This particular political party may well have been the first and are almost certainly the longest running joke party of all time. They thoroughly deserve this victory. From the UK it is, of course…
- The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Politics; it’s never been so much fun.
As promised earlier, you can read the details of these political parties in much greater detail including their full names and all sorts of other information by visiting a couple of Wikipedia pages, the first is the List of political parties in the United Kingdom and, amazingly, the second is a List of political parties in Australia.