Opinions

Quit hatin' dem Rhinos

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"Don't run for Parliament."

According to the Rhino Party website, Brian Gardner (a Rhino Party activist) stated that "Rhinos should cycle for Parliament or walk for Parliament, because running is dangerous." This is just a taste of a myriad of party platform ideas, which unlike the mainstream parties, are letting party activists suggest parts of its political platform.

This is a far leap from what an individual would consider to be ordinary politics, but this is what the Rhinoceros Party has been famous for. Established in 1963 by Jacques Ferron and bolstered by a number of artists in 1970, the Rhinoceros Party of Canada soon developed a comedic platform advocating deMOCKracy and a variety of satirical political ideologies. According to a cbc.ca article titled "The Rhinoceros Party," some of these included banning Canadian winters, providing higher education by building taller schools, and paving the Bay of Fundy to create more parking in the Maritimes. The party also "promised not to keep any promises" and claimed that its mascot, which was a rhinoceros from a zoo east of Montreal, was actually the party leader. She was appropriately named Cornelius I. The Rhinoceros Party also believed that a rhino was an appropriate symbol for politicians because they are "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."

Unfortunately, the Rhinoceros Party was laid to rest in 1993 when the Liberal government passed Bill C-114, which stated that in order for a political party to be a registered party, it must run candidates in at least 50 ridings, at a cost of $1,000 per riding. Because the Rhino Party was created on a satirical basis that served to amuse Canadians into voting with impossibly outrageous political schemes, the party immediately died due to Bill C-114.

Democratic nations all around the world have felt the changes instigated by fascism before, but has Canada ever felt the same sting? Not only was the Rhinoceros Party affected by Bill C-114, but other small political parties like the Rhino Party would've felt financial hardships as well.

So did the Rhino Party deserve to be crushed under the political weight of the Liberals in 1993? Sure, they may have been frowned upon by just about every Canadian citizen, but this doesn't mean that Canadian Rhinos needed to be mercilessly decapitated. Chances are that there is a little bit of "Rhinoism" in everybody. Who wouldn't have entertained the idea of paving Manitoba to create the largest parking lot in the world or ending crime by abolishing all laws? The Rhinoceros Party deserved to be a part of Canadian politics just as much as the Liberals or Conservatives because they reflected an aspect of politics that no one has really thought about.

So please, bring back the Rhinos. Not only would they pledge to rename Canada Nantucket-- as from the limerick, "There once was a man from Nantucket"-- but they would also promise not to screw their voters over by promising not to keep any promises.

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