- Francois Lenoir/Reuters
It’s election day in Canada, and candidates across the board have been busily unveiling political promises.
The 11-week campaign has seen a tight three-way race between the incumbent Conservative Party under Stephen Harper, the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau, and the New Democratic Party, or NDP, under Thomas Mulcair.
And then there’s the completely satirical Rhinoceros Party.
The original Rhinoceros Party of Canada was founded in 1963 with “a promise to keep none of our promises.”
Some of those included repealing the law of gravity and building taller schools to promote “higher” education.
The satirical party dissolved in the 1990s, and was reincarnated in 2007.
A few big policy announcements this year have included nationalizing Tim Hortons, an iconic Canadian coffee-and-donut shop, privatizing the Queen “to save on taxes, and to profit from subsidies,” and taxing the black market.
The Rhinos are not the only obscure party registered in Canada, although they may be the sole satirical one.
There’s also the the Christian Heritage Party, which aims to govern according to Biblical principles, and the Pirate Party, dedicated to intellectual property reform and open government.
There’s the Communist Party and the Marxist-Leninist Party, and of course there’s the national Marijuana Party, which was founded in 2000.
- Cannabis Culture via Flickr
Altogether there are 20 political parties registered in the country.
As for the Rhinos, we won’t pontificate on what it says about Canada to have a well-established, 50-year-old joke political movement.
But this year’s election comes at a rough time for the country.
The drop in energy prices that began more than a year ago has been hard on the oil-exporting nation. The economy was (likely) in recession earlier this year, with weak exports and a plunging currency.
Canadians could use something to laugh about.