Spy - Rachel Glucina

Herald on Sunday gossip queen Rachel Glucina reports on the latest parties, fashions and celebrity events around town

Putting the party back into political party

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Sadly hundreds of wannabe MPs are set to lose next week. They will be sitting at home next Saturday with long faces. As well as the 682 electorate candidates, there's a sea of people on 19 registered party lists. I struggle to comprehend why most even bother. Wouldn't they be better to dispense their money and energy into projects where they could actually make a difference?

It seems not. What's worse is some of them are so deluded that their lists are as long as your arm, on the off chance that suddenly the country may fall in love with them. For example the Libertarianz have 36 on their list, with only three being women - the Lib is obviously not women's lib!

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has a list of 20 who no doubt will be riddled with paranoia on election night that the worm might turn and they could find themselves actually elected, freaky (after all it happened to Nandor!).

The Democrats for Social Credit have 31 on their list. Who are these people? What does it take to get on one of these lists? Do you have to make a speech or just live on the same street? Surely you'd have to be disappointed if you missed the cut.

My favourite, though, is the Bill and Ben Party, and I love the fact that on the Elections New Zealand official website the party's two candidates are named as "Jamie Linehan (Bill) and Ben Boyce (Ben)". Why would Ben Boyce also need a bracketed Ben alongside his name on the ballot paper? The Electoral Office must have tossed and turned over this one for months. Can't you hear them saying "if we allow Jamie to be bracketed Bill then we must allow Ben to be bracketed Ben."

In reality Bill and Ben hail from TV3's satirical sports show Pulp Sport. They fill a much needed void left when the McGillicuddy Serious Party exited in the late 90s. Given the other 18 political parties are so earnest and this election is so boring, they are welcome relief.

Wikipedia reports that the "The Bill and Ben Party promise to promise nothing. However, by promising no promises they are making a promise, but that's the only promise that they have made. They promise."

Ben says, "It's easy to make promises in the heat of the election moment, but from what we can tell, it's even easier to break them once you're in. We don't want to disappoint our loyal public, so we're not going to set them up for possible heartbreak if we get in and find out that giving everyone free petrol is harder than sending a really nice letter to BP."

Apparently New Zealand First is not impressed with Bill and Ben's strap-line on their hoardings which reads, "C'mon, you voted Winston in". However, ironically, this could be the one party that should have had more than two guys on their list. Their ‘no promises' policy might just strike a chord with voters.

Their catchphrase: "We're putting the party back in political party" is sure to win the hearts of the young and social. Promo girls and their clubbing beaus would be dead keen to vote for like-minds, no doubt. The boys should be hitting up Owen Glenn and his bevy of beautiful women who follow him from house party to boat party. They'd be up for election fun, especially after the recent sagas.

At least Bill and Ben tell it like it is, or at least how they'd like to experience it. "I mean sure, the main motivation behind out political aspirations might be the free Air New Zealand flights and own motorcade to Eden Park on a Friday night," Bill says, "but we think we have quite a lot to offer to the public of New Zealand." Too right.

Rachel Glucina

Pictured above: TV3's Pulp Sport show stars Bill and Ben, (from left) Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce who have formed a new political party called the Bill & Ben Party for the upcoming elections. Photo / Brett Phibbs

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