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The Rhinoceros Party : The Strangest Political Party in North America

Updated on December 20, 2016
Gary Gusep profile image

Gary writes articles about movies, tv shows, entertainment, politics, and rants. He loves watching movies and writing articles about stuff.

The current Rhinoceros Party Logo. Parti Rhinoceros is french for Rhinoceros Party.
The current Rhinoceros Party Logo. Parti Rhinoceros is french for Rhinoceros Party.

Introduction

We have many great political parties in North America such as the Democrats and Republicans in U.S and the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada. However in Canada, (I am Canadian) one of the strangest political parties there is The Rhinoceros Party. However what makes the party strange is not the name but its "promises" Since the party is a satirical party or a frivolous party; a political party created for entertainment purposes or political satire, their primary promise is to "to keep no promises.". To know more, we have to go back to the year 1963.

Jacques Ferron, the founder of the original Rhinoceros Party.
Jacques Ferron, the founder of the original Rhinoceros Party.

Origin

The Rhinoceros Party or Parti Rhinocéros (in French) originated from Quebec, Canada in 1963. It was started by a man named Jacques Ferron. He was a Canadian Physician and Author. He described the party as an "intellectual guerrilla party." The party claimed to be descendants of a rhinoceros from Brazil named Cacareco who was elected to city council. Their political leader was Cornelius the first who was not a person but was a rhinoceros from a zoo in Montreal.

Promises

Here is a list of some promises made by the Rhinoceros party:

  • Revoking the law of gravity.
  • Appointment to the senate if you win the lottery
  • The queen would stay in Buckingham, Quebec
  • Removing the environment because it takes too much space and takes too long to clean
  • Selling the Canadian Senate at an auction
  • Building a powerplant for each house
  • Starting a war with Belgium because Tintin killed a rhino
  • A ban on guns and butter because they both kill
  • Ban on bad winters
  • Building a bridge from the west coast of Canada to the East
  • Free rhinoes for aspiring artists

They chose a rhino as their symbol because they believed that politicians by nature was "thick-skinned, slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and have large, hairy horns growing out of the middle of their faces". Some members of the party call themselves Marxist-Lennonist, a parody of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Canada referring to Groucho Marx and John Lennon.

The elective map of the 1979 federal election.
The elective map of the 1979 federal election.

Federal Elections

The Rhinoceros Party ran in the 1965 and 1968 federal election with only one candidate and got 321 votes (1965) and 354 votes (1968). In the 1972 federal election, 12 candidates ran in the party; but because it was not recognized as a political party, each candidate was listed as an independent getting 1,565 votes. Then in the 1979 federal election, 63 candidates ran and got 62,601 votes. In 1980, 129 candidates ran and received 110,286 votes. However in the 1984 and 1988 federal election, the number of candidates running shrank. In the 1984 election, 88 candidates ran and received 98,171 votes. Then in the 1988 election, 66 candidates ran and got 52,173 votes.

Brian "Godzilla" Salmi or today known as Sa Tan in his infamous Godzilla costume.
Brian "Godzilla" Salmi or today known as Sa Tan in his infamous Godzilla costume.

Dissolution

In the 1993 election, a new rule passed down that each party had to have candidates running in at least 50 ridings (electoral districts) and a cost of $1000 per candidate. The party abstained causing Canada's Chief Electoral Officer to eliminate the party from the political system. Later, candidate members tried to revive the party but failed. One candidate of the Party, Brian Salmi, nicknamed Godzilla because he campaigned in a Godzilla costume, changed his name to Sa Tan. He later filed a law suit against the government for $50 million dollars out of compensation.

Current members of the Rhinoceros Party.
Current members of the Rhinoceros Party.

Rebirth

On May 21st ,2006 the "Second Rhinoceros Party" was created. It was founded by François "Yo" Gourd. François was originally involved with the first Rhinoceros party. The party was also known as neorhino.ca, named after the Matrix Character Neo and the original party. Their website was then changed recently to eatgoogle.com (no joke). The party is still an active federal party and the party leader is currently Sébastien Corriveau.

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Writer's Conclusion

Whether you like the Rhinoceros Party or not, they have shown us that politics is not all boring or complicated. Even though they have not won any election (Obviously), I believe they are one of the most interesting political parties in Canada or in North America. This is my first article on hubpages, so please comment and give me your feedback.

Thank You for Reading!

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    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 4 months ago from the USA

      As a resident of South Dakota, I support the ban on bad winters!

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 4 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Funny stuff! Thanks.

      Questions:

      -Is this why your avatar sports a Groucho Marx- style moustache and glasses?

      -Would the bridge from the West to East coasts go across Canada, or across the Pacific, over Asia, Europe, the Atlantic, and back to Canada?

    • Gary Gusep profile image
      Author

      Gary Gusep 4 months ago from Canada

      Thanks for the feedback!

      @Carolyn- Since I live in Canada, I agree with you!

      @Jennifer- Thanks for your feedback! The bridge would go across Canada. As for my avatar, I chose it because represents my character.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 months ago from Arkansas USA

      It's nice to be able to laugh about politics from time to time. This year (alas, I guess it's "last" year now), far too many people took themselves way too seriously. Fun article!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 months ago from Northern California, USA

      This is very entertaining. Every country should have a political party like this, just for the fun of it. It is so funny that the party is actually on the ballot and that people actually ran for a position. Hilarious! Excellent writing. I look forward to reading more of your articles.

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