The Civilian Party

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The Civilian Party
Founder Ben Uffindell
Founded 7 June 2013 (2013-06-07)
Dissolved 5 May 2015 (2015-05-05)
Website
thecivilianparty.org.nz

The Civilian Party was a frivolous political party founded by political satirist Ben Uffindell. It contested the 2014 New Zealand general election before disbanding. The party was deregistered at its own request on 5 May 2015.[1][2]

History

Uffindell, who finished a degree in political science at University of Canterbury in 2012,[3][4] started The Civilian as a satirical New Zealand online newspaper in 2013. Uffindell claimed an average of 20,000–25,000 page views per day.[5]

On 7 June 2013, The Civilian announced its intention to register a political party and to charge fifty cents as a membership fee.[6][7] Prediction market iPredict listed a contract on 21 June 2013 measuring the likelihood of the registration of The Civilian Party before the 2014 general election.[8]

Uffindell gave an interview as party leader on TV3's current-affairs television programme The Nation and outlined some of the party's policies, including:[9]

  • increased taxes for the poor and decreased taxes for the wealthy to disincentivise poverty
  • giving a llama to every child living in poverty
  • one free tub of ice cream for every citizen
  • declaring national independence from the city of Hamilton

In June 2014 the party came under criticism for receiving $33,635 in political-party funding from the Electoral Commission. Prime Minister John Key commented that "the Civilian Party will be thinking the biggest joke's on us, the taxpayer", and the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union reacted negatively.[10] However, party leader Ben Uffindell said that considering the party had asked for $1 million in funding, $33,000 was "a bad deal". He also pointed out: "There are other joke parties getting funding, like the Conservatives and ACT."[11][12][13]

On 23 July 2014 the party applied to the Electoral Commission for registration.[14] The party was formally registered on 11 August 2014.[15]

The party received 1,096 votes (0.05%) in the 2014 general election.

The party was deregistered at its own request on 5 May 2015.[16][17]

Electoral results

Election Candidates nominated Seats won Votes Vote share % Position The Civilian Party
in government?
Electorate List
2014 0 8
0 / 121
1,096 0.05% 13th / 15 Unelected

References

  1. ^ "Amendments to the Register of Political Parties". Electoral Commission. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Satirical party that promised to ban satire deregistered". Stuff. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ Manhire, Toby (25 March 2013). "The Civilian: a new NZ satire site". New Zealand Listener. APN News & Media. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  4. ^ Gates, Charlie (1 April 2013). "Satirical spoofs spread word for The Civilian". The Press. Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  5. ^ Bookman, Sam (20 May 2013). "From the Blogosphere – The Civilian". Craccum. Auckland University Students' Association (10). Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Editorial: Why we're registering a political party". The Civilian. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Joining The Civilian Party". The Civilian. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  8. ^ "The Civilian Party to Register before next General Election". iPredict (Victoria University of Wellington). Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Party calls for free ice-cream and llamas". 3 News. MediaWorks New Zealand. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Taxpayers Union angered over Civilian Party funding". National. The New Zealand Herald. Auckland: APN New Zealand Limited. The Radio Network. 2014-06-08. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2014-08-27. The Taxpayers Union is furious a joke political party has been given public money to fund its electoral campaign. [...] Online satirist Ben Uffindell persuaded the Electoral Commission to hand over $33,000 for his Civilian Party. [...] Taxpayer Union spokesman Jordan Williams says it's outrageous.
  11. ^ "Taxpayers Union angered over Civilian Party funding". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. ^ Kirk, Stacey (9 June 2014). "Civilian Party 'a joke on taxpayers'". Stuff.co.nz. Fairfax New Zealand. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014.
  13. ^ Whelan, Megan (9 June 2014). "Shots fired in election satire". The Wireless. Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Registration of The Civilian Party and logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Registration of The Civilian Party and Logo". Electoral Commission. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Amendments to the Register of Political Parties". Electoral Commission. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Satirical party that promised to ban satire deregistered". Stuff. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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