European politics has become dull these days. Economic crisis, European crisis, environmental crisis - all these make politicians look like patchworkers trying to fix up a terribly ill patient who instead of realising his problems keeps on drinking beer and watching soccer. Especially now, when creativity and inspiration seem to be needed more than ever, Europe’s political parties fail to appeal to the voter. Manifestos sound the same across the political spectrum and people turn to TV shows instead of listening to their leaders.

But is there really no wind of change in Europe? Are there no new or unconventional ideas around? Yes there are! E&M went around the continent to discover political parties that offer alternatives to voters who want to make a difference - differently (or are simply too bored to care).

Germany – The White Obama

Photo: comatosed

A 'violence entertainment park' It's like a fairground...          for criminals!

In what seemed to be one of the most boring elections in the history of Germany, top candidates of the major parties last year seemed rather to agree on everything than to offer any clue to where they wanted the country to be going. Yet suddenly hope appeared on the horizon, personified by Horst Schlaemmer, a trench coat wearing journalist who entered the race for chancellor with his inspiring slogan "Yes Weekend!". On first sight he didn’t actually look like an inspirational leader, what with his loose brown teeth, unwashed hair and the faint odor of whiskey which always accompanied him. But his manifesto sounded promising. He stood for free cosmetic surgery, publicly funded sun beds and an incredible €2500 of unconditional pay for every German. Describing himself as "conservative, liberal, left-wing and a bit ecological" Mr. Schlaemmer appealed to a wide range of voters, with polls seeing him at up to 18% in general elections. Unfortunately, the "German Borat" (BBC) did not really participate in the ballot but confined himself to making a movie out of his attempt, which left his creator, German comedian Hape Kerkeling, with some good money.

However, there were also "alternative" parties which actually participated in the election, such as the German Anarchist Pogo Party (APPD), self declared party of the "social parasites". Sigmund Freud once pointed out that most unhappiness stems from sexual frustration – well, the APPD knows a remedy. Taking the idea of carpooling centres to a whole new area, the party suggests "fuckpooling centres" to ease social tensions. Plus, following the maxim "ignorance is bliss", they promote the "restupification" of Germany, making people happier by lowering their intelligence. However, smart ideas to make this particular dream a reality have yet to be found.

To create a world that suits everybody, the Anarchist Pogo Party plan to partition Germany into three sections: there would be a "secure-employment zone" for people who want to work, an "anti-social and parasite zone" for those who don't and a "violence entertainment park" for people who are currently sent to prison. Founded in 1981 by two high-school punks, the frequently renamed party counts 1215 members to date and has an impressive participation record in elections: they took part in two general elections (in 2008 they won 1000 votes) and many regional ones (their best result was the Elmshorn mayoral race where they got 10.3%)

Belgium – Blowjobs for votes

Not voting is not an option - this should be the dogma for every good European citizen. In Belgium this is actually the law and not voting is penalised. The NEE party (Dutch for No) found this intolerable. Contemporary politicians are mostly "antisocial and egoistical," they claimed, and wanted to offer a platform for protest. They promised voters that if they won a seat in parliament, they would leave it vacant in protest against mainstream politics.

When the largest political party (VLD) promised to create 200 000 new jobs during the 2007 general elections, and (SP.a) trumped them by promising 260 000 jobs, NEE jumped in and promised 400 000 jobs. And to emphasise their seriousness about all kind of jobs, the party's lead candidate, Tania Derveaux, promised 40 000 blow-jobs to people who would vote for them. That's what you call affirmative action! However, the offer failed to strike a blow for NEE in the elections, leaving them with 0.18% of the popular vote. After the election, the blow jobs were given out virtually by Tania's "blow job assistant" on YouTube (unfortunately the video is nolonger available).

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