WANT NEW OPTIONS? Here are the Haphazardly Founded Political Parties Seeking Your Vote
by Liam Hansen (they/them)
Aotearoa’s Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system has had some mixed, maddening payoffs. MMP aims to allow diversity of political parties across the board by directly correlating the percentage of party votes to the share of seats in parliament. It also provides voters with the opportunity to elect local representatives for their area through electorate votes. We’re certainly better off than the USA’s ‘First-past-the-post’ system, which is basically “Did you win the popular vote? Yes! Are you president? Nope!”, but we already saw cracks form in MMP when Labour's majority win in 2020 undermined the entire point of having multiple parties in power.
There are currently fifteen registered parties outside of Parliament; twelve of those are basically just a cocktail of transphobia and anti-vax bullshit that tastes like piss.
The benefit of the MMP system is that anyone from anywhere in Aotearoa can form a political party. The problem is that anyone from anywhere in Aotearoa can form a political party. The notorious rate of fuckwits deciding they’re fit to govern is growing - all you need is a thesaurus of mildly motivating terms for your party name and a dart to throw at a colour wheel. There are currently fifteen registered parties outside of Parliament; twelve of those are basically just a cocktail of transphobia and anti-vax bullshit that tastes like piss. Since it seems like the electoral commission will let anyone with a dented brain get through to the polls, I figure it’s high time that we get some properly new ideologies for #nzpol Twitter to bicker about without actually trying to change anything. Sure, making up new parties could be perceived as spreading political misinformation – but the majority of registered parties outside of parliament have been doing the same thing with vaccines and trans rights for years, so why should that stop me?
1. The Robert Muldoon (Locked and Reloaded) Party
New Zealand's Prime Minister from 1975 to 1984 has had a difficult re-election campaign on account of him being fucking dead, but a lack of votes, popularity, and a soul hasn’t stopped Leighton Baker!
Leader: Robert Muldoon. That’s right baby, we’re bringing in a cheeky bit of necromancy. Or, ya know, we can just pull a Weekend at Bernies.
Colour: Greenish-grey and white representing the current colour of his skin, and the skin colour he loves most.
Ideology: MULDOONISM, BABY! Give the dead rights! Let them go to strip clubs and call their running mates gay!
Policies: Why are we giving “living people” all these rights? Muldoon will run on a pure equality-based campaign. While ACT claims it’ll end racial division by pretending inequity doesn't exist, the Robert Muldoon Party will finally end corpse division (sick band name, btw) and let zombies vote. While we’re at it, we should probably level the playing field a bit.
All living MPs must be heavily intoxicated whilst in the parliament chamber. It’s only fair.
2. The Gamer Party
Do you guys remember Kim Dotcom? The dude who got arrested in his Kumeū mansion for several white collar crimes, before proceeding to form The Internet Party? I miss that era of NZ politics. The dude was so chronically online, and decided to cyber-campaign solely on the hopes he wouldn’t get cyber-arrested again for his cyber-crimes. Based. I reckon we bring this party back with a fresh new rebrand, fighting for the rights of the most marginalised and discriminated group on the planet: Gamers.
Leader: I feel like Kim Dotcom has had his run as political leader, and he deserves a break. So naturally, the next in line should be SonicFox - an American esports legend, who also happens to be a gay, non-binary furry. Once again, based. Also, the deputy leader is Mario.
Colour: Can I make a Mountain Dew joke in 2023? No? Fine. The Gamer Party will simply use RGB LED strips.
Ideology: E-democracy. This is what Wikipedia says The Internet Party ran on, and although I have no idea what the fuck it means, I’ll just run with what The Internet Party previously wanted, and adapt it to the new system. Game piracy is now legal, and if you nark on me for hacking on Team Fortress 2 (or whatever the kids are playing these days), then you’ll be written up for a hate crime.
Policies: We’ll pretend there isn’t any homophobia in the gaming community, and let SonicFox take hold by implementing stronger LGBTQ+ and furry rights. Cabinet will be streamed via Twitch, the chat will be the speaker of the house, and the passing of bills will come down to a race in Mario Kart Wii.
3. The Lake Taupō 'Hole In One Challenge' Golf Island Independence Party
There’s always a cheeky single-issue party that pops up each election - the Legalise Cannabis Party has been floating around for nearly thirty years, and the newly founded Women's Rights Party soley exists to be TERFs. But there’s a new, referendum-worthy issue this election that’ll leave you with no choice but to vote for them. It’s high time the Lake Taupō ‘Hole in One Challenge’ receives the independence it deserves as a sovereign state.
Leader: The Lake Taupō ‘Hole In One Challenge’ Golf Island Independence Party is surprisingly anarcho-capitalist, and the leadership rotates based on who’s working the tourist attraction that day. The kids working there can scoff and laugh at the punter's failure to hit the hole in one – exactly the skill needed to be a greatest politician.
Colour: A slightly murky green/blue, dotted with faint white spots.
Ideology: I mean, it’s in the name. It’s basically the same size as Vatican City.
Policies: Making the Lake Taupō ‘Hole In One Challenge’ Golf Island independent from the rest of Aotearoa would mean our economy would go WILD. Imagine how easy international trade would be! Of course, everything needs to be transported via golf club and ball. But other than that, we could set a standard of speed and efficiency that would make the rest of the world fawn. That’s assuming there isn’t a Lake Taupō ‘Hole In One Challenge’ civil war. Or a Lake Taupō ‘Hole In One Challenge’ Watergate.
4. The Sith Order
In the 2001 Aotearoa census, over 53,000 people listed their religion as Jediism – the highest per capita in a wave of worldwide census based shitposting. The 2023 census has been and gone, but don’t fret - there’s one more national opportunity to be a bit of a dick this year. Besides, voting for the New Conservatives is basically a vote for The Sith Order from Star Wars, but without the cool capes - so the preferable option is clear.
Leader: There’s an overwhelming number of options here – Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Darth Vader again but played by a whiny Hayden Christensen or the guy who fucking died immediately in The Last Jedi after he was introduced as the most terrifying threat on the world. But I’m going to go with my alternate universe version of Yoda, where he never died and became evil. I mean, he already speaks like Joe Biden.
Colour: Red is the obvious choice here, but that’s a bit boring and already taken by Labour – we don’t want Chippy to get bummed out :( So instead we’re going to do the same red, but all of the flags, billboards, and posters are held on double-sided lightsabers so my dad can wield the party colours like he’s Darth Maul.
Ideology: Straight up, just a bunch of cultists.
Policies: The Sith Order will campaign on bringing back the good old days of hedonistic dictatorship, where instead of being horrible leaders to protect your citizens or gain power, they just kill people out of boredom. They’re kinda like the ACT Party, but more extreme. Freedom of weapons, believing that another lane will fix hyperspace traffic, having an insufferable leader – really, Seymour, I think you’d get more votes if you just took a lightsaber with you while door-knocking in Epsom.
5. The Orange Guy is Sick of Your Shit Party
In a recent press release, the Orange Guy came out swinging at every politician under the sun for not getting their shit together. He directly lambasted the Greens for being the equivalent of a dysfunctional queer high school friend group, Labour for avoiding all conversation about Māori land rights, National for not understanding how maths works, and ACT for just about everything. It ended with a ceremonious “Fuck y’all, my dog and I ARE the election now.”
Leader: The choice is obvious, but there are more draws to having an orange blob as our PM than you might think. Firstly, he’s basically genderless despite using he/him pronouns. I reckon it’s more like he/they – you’ll never see them referred to as orange MAN, They’re just a guy – the ideal, lightly masculine term that’s ultimately gender neutral. Also, he’s smooth down there. He has no sex, no race, no sexuality, and no time left for any other parties.
Ideology: You know how The Opportunities Party’s whole schtick is that they’re radical centrists? Or, let’s be honest… white male lefties, who study business. Orange Guy is running a campaign of anti-centrism. If you’re an insufferable piece of shit like me, you’ll understand anti-centrism as the mantra of YouTuber and failed Ottawa mayoral candidate, Jreg – but otherwise imagine taking the best bits from all the parties and mashing them together.
Policies: Honestly, the only thing Orange Guy really wants is electoral reform. Yes, we should extend term limits. Yes, we should maybe be a little more careful about letting twelve alt-right conspiracy parties run for government. But the main point of his campaign is clear cut: let the dog vote. By proxy, he’ll also lower the voting age to 16 in dog years. Otherwise, he’ll run a caretaker government all by himself – giving the other parties three years to get their shit together before ultimately conceding all of their political power, will and possessions to Orange Guy.