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Contrarian Party

Gives voters choice. No it doesn't. Yes. It. Does.
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

A political philosophy, perhaps smearing into choate form as a political party to be applied in a two-horse, non-PR electoral area, based upon the single principle of contrarianism. The view of the party will be formed by basis to the prevailing political attitudes of the time, as espoused by either the party in Power or the Opposition, depending on whatever the Contrarian Party isn't. The Contrarian Party automatically takes the opposite stance on any and every issue, creating a perfect inverse manifesto, making it easier for tabloid reading troglodytes to grasp the differences between the pols.

Furthemore, the lack of pretensions of consistency will lead to high levels of voter confidence, as the Contrarian Party will never have broken a promise, unless the opposition says they didn't.

calum, Feb 24 2004

"Happy Cuddle Club" aka Nazi Reform Party http://www.halfbake...zi_20Reform_20Party
by L a z y m a n. Similar, though somewhat limited in scope. [calum, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Reminds me of Brewster's Millions to a certain extent... http://www.halfbake...f_20promotion_20ban
As said by our own Mr. [RayfordSteele]:
<Brewster's Millions>"Don't vote for me! Vote for 'None of the above!'" [Jinbish, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I simply cannot agree more. Or is it less?
PeterSilly, Feb 25 2004

       [The following was in response to a now deleted annotation, the gist of which should be obvious.]   

       It is indeed true that in real life issues are usually poleless but politics has never reflected real life, despite constant claims to the contrary. I suppose, the content of the perfect negative depends more on the level of detail at which contrariness is set. The best level appears to be that of Banner Headline Manifesto promises - the kind that often involve spurious numbers:   

       "4000 more police on the beat!" v "4000 fewer police on the beat!"
"No to tuition fees!" v "Yes to tuition fees!"
"Ban the burkha!" v "Keep the Burkha!"
"No more sleaze and spin!" v "Loads more sleaze and spin!"
and so on and so forth.

       The biggest problem the Contrarian Party will have is if their opposition make a populist lunge for the centre, leaving hardline contrarians to flee like oil from soap, in all directions, creating a perfectly politically diverse party, albiet an unelectable one. Still, it's probably worth the risk, considering the standard of checks and balances currently on offer in two-party Western democracies.
calum, Feb 25 2004

       The Contrarians would be completely undermined though, if the opposition refused to make any statements about policy at all, just like they secretly want to. In order to maintain their Contrarian credentials they could only respond to a lack of policy on any subject by having a definite policy in response.
DrBob, Feb 25 2004

       But now you are totally at the mercy of whatever position the opposition takes. What about viewpoints that are universally accepted? You risk ultimate lack of control if you define yourself by just being the opposite of any other viewpoint. I have the same criticism of the "alternative" style of anything. Defining as acceptable only those choices that are not mainstream means you are totally beholden to the mainstream for your list of acceptable choices, which sort of undermines your goal in the first place.
oxen crossing, Feb 25 2004

       Defining 'contrarian' might lead to splintering along semantic lines -- you'd have a gainsaying faction, a 'generally oppositional but prepared to be reasonable about it' faction, an absurdist 'the opposite of everything is cheese' faction, a few postmodernist wankers, etc.   

       Either that or some opposing party will make a 'the Contrarian Party will disagree with this sentence'-type statement and the CP bosses' heads will explode in consternation.
Monkfish, Feb 25 2004

       //Either that or some opposing party will make a 'the Contrarian Party will disagree with this sentence'-type statement and the CP bosses' heads will explode in consternation.//   

       You're forgetting that these are politicians. They are entirely unfazed by logical absurdities.
Detly, Feb 25 2004

       In 2008, the American Contrarian Party will nominate ex-senator John Kerry to run for President.
Guncrazy, Feb 25 2004

       //But now you are totally at the mercy of whatever position the opposition takes//
Indeed. That is rather the point. The Contrarian party is nothing more than Not Party A. Without Party A, or subsequent replacement Parties B to n, the Contrarian Party cannot exist. And as far as lack of control is concerned, well, control schmontrol, I say. The CP is committed to debunking the illusion of independent political thought. In much the same way as populist parties are beholden to the press-induced whims of the great unwashed, so too the CP is beholden, though more honestly.

       //which sort of undermines your goal in the first place.//
The goal of the Contrarian Party is not to be different, or separate from the mainstream. No, the goal of the Contrarian Party, aside from levering me into a position of ultimate power, power which I will be as free to wield as carelessly as a vomit-chinned baby wields his Moo Cow rattle, is to finally bring a transparency to the policy selection process. Remaining hidebound to the policies of The Other Side does not undermine this goal, rather it advances it.

       But it is an interesting point that Monkfish raises about splintering. This is a characteristic of all poltical parties as they are merely umbrellas under which people of different shades of red or blue or elephant or etc can mix metaphors to get them some of that wonderful, intoxicating power. So, to avoid this fragmetary factionalism, the CP will need a strong and charismatic leader. In the absence of any such candidates, I nominate me.
calum, Feb 26 2004

       It's Bizarro politics! Me am so happy, me cry!   

       If their policies are defined as opposing those of the incumbent party, what happens when they get into power? Come re-election time, will they run on a platform entirely contrary to the one that got them in originally, or will they run in circles, yelling, "Does not compute!" until their heads explode?   

       I hope it's the second one, because that would be cool, huhn, huhn.
friendlyfire, Feb 26 2004

       One low-numbered party membership card and one comfortable but low-profile appointment, please. I'll forward my list of enemies.
Monkfish, Feb 26 2004

       An excellent question, [friendlyfire]. When the Contrarian Party gets power, the Opposition are faced with a dilemma. Do they reveal their abiding belief in their policies by reverting to the opposite of their political system, thereby forcing the CP into applying the traditional policies of the New Opposition or do they stick to their guns, in the name of political certainty?   

       The Contrarian Party, dowsing for zealots.   

       [Monkfish], here's CP membership card #2. How does "Minister Without Portfolio" grab you?
calum, Feb 26 2004

       have a fish. +
jonthegeologist, Feb 26 2004

       Thanks for the clarification. Like so many before you, your beef is not that those in power are corrupt or wrong or bought off, but only that _you_ are not in power. You may actually provide some degree of transparency to the debate you create, but as you bring nothing to the debate that is not already there, the view through the window will be forever incomplete. Who will shine the light of debate into shadows that the mainstream will not broach? Not this party. Fishbone.
oxen crossing, Feb 26 2004

       Hm. If I'm coming clean, my beef is really with the problems inherent in the two party first-past-the-post system. Where there are only ever two voices straining to be heard and when both voices are saying essentially the same thing, it is the voice with the most newspapers that gets heard. Which leaves the "quieter" of the two voices to make arbitrary shifts in stance and policy so as to put what I believe is called "clear blue water" between them and The Other Side - shifts motivated by collective personal political survival rather than any notions of what might be best for the country.   

       But yeah, a whole heap of power would be sweet, too. And if I can't get to be PM, I'll be gunning for Pope.
calum, Feb 26 2004


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