The Rhinoceros Party
The Parti Rhinocéros, commonly known as the Rhinoceros Party in English, was a registered political party in Canada from the 1960s to the 1990s. Operating within the Canadian tradition of political satire, the Rhinoceros Party's basic credo, their so-called primal promise, was "a promise to keep none of our promises." They then promised outlandishly impossible schemes designed to amuse and entertain the voting public.
The Rhinos were started in 1963 by Jacques Ferron, "Éminence de la Grande Corne du parti Rhinoceros". In the 1970s, a group of artists joined the party and created a comedic political platform to contest the federal election. Ferron (1979), poet Gaston Miron (1972) and singer Michel Rivard (1980) ran against Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in his Montreal seat.
The party claimed to be the spiritual descendants of Cacareco, a Brazilian rhinoceros who was elected member of São Paulo's city council in 1958, and listed Cornelius the First, a rhinoceros from the Granby Zoo, east of Montreal, as its leader. It declared that the rhinoceros was an appropriate symbol for a political party since politicians, by nature, 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."
Some members of the Rhino party would call themselves Marxist-Lennonist, a parody of the factional split between the Communist Party of Canada and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), although the Rhinoceros Party meant the term in reference to Groucho Marx and John Lennon.
As seen at right, the party used as its logo a woodcarving of a rhinoceros by Albrecht Dürer, with the words "D'une mare à l'autre" (a French translation of Canada's Latin motto a mari usque ad mare, playing on the word mare, which means pond in French) at the top.
Policies and politics
In addition to the national platform promises released by the party leadership, individual candidates also had considerable freedom to campaign on their own ideas and slogans. Bryan Gold of the Rhinoceros Party described the party platform as two feet high and made of wood. "My platform is the one I'm standing on." A candidate named Ted "not too" Sharp ran in Flora MacDonald's Ontario riding with the campaign slogan "Fauna, not flora", promising to give fauna equal representation. He also took a stand on capital punishment: "If it was good enough for my grandfather, then it's good enough for me." To strengthen Canada's military, Sharp planned to tow Antarctica north to the Arctic Circle. "Once we have Antarctica, we'll control all of the world's cold. If another Cold War starts, we'll be unbeatable." In the 1988 election, the Rhinoceros Party ran a candidate named John Turner in the same riding as Liberal leader John Turner, and received 760 votes. Penny Hoar, a safe sex activist, distributed condoms in Toronto while running under the slogan "Politicians screw you — protect yourself."
Other platform promises of the Rhinoceros Party included:
* Repealing the law of gravity
* Paving Manitoba to create the world's largest parking lot
* Providing higher education by building taller schools
* Instituting English, French and illiteracy as Canada's three official languages
* Tearing down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the Pacific sunset
* Making Montreal the Venice of North America by damming the St. Lawrence River
* Abolishing the environment because it's too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space
* Annexing the United States, which would take its place as the third territory, after the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (Nunavut did not yet exist) in Canada's backyard, in order to eliminate foreign control of Canada's natural resources
* Ending crime by abolishing all laws
* Paving the Bay of Fundy to create more parking in the Maritimes
* Turning Montreal's Saint Catherine Street into the world's longest bowling alley
* Amending Canada's Freedom of Information Act. "Nothing is free anymore; Canadians should have to pay for their information." 
* Making the Canadian climate more temperate by tapping into the natural resource of hot air in Ottawa. 
* Storing nuclear waste in the Senate. "After all, we've been storing political waste there for years." 
* Adopting the British system of driving on the left; this was to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks and tractors first, then buses, eventually including small cars and bicycles last
* Selling the Canadian Senate at an antique auction in California
* Putting the national debt on Visa
* Declaring war on Belgium because a Belgian cartoon character, Tintin, killed a rhinoceros in one of the cartoons
* Offering to call off the proposed Belgium-Canada war if Belgium delivered a case of mussels and a case of Belgian beer to Rhinoceros "Hindquarters" in Montréal (the Belgian Embassy in Ottawa did, in fact, do this)
* Painting Canada's coastal sea limits in watercolour so that Canadian fish would know where they were at all times
* Banning guns and butter, since both kill
* Banning lousy Canadian winters
* Renaming the country Nantucket
* Building a bridge spanning the country, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland.
* Making the Trans-Canada Highway one way only.
* Changing Canada's currency to bubble gum, so it could be inflated or deflated at will.
* Donate a free rhinoceros to every aspiring artist in Canada
* Counting the Thousand Islands to see if the Americans have stolen any
The Rhino Party also declared that, should they somehow actually win an election, they would immediately dissolve and force a second election. "We Rhinos think that elections are so much fun, we want to hold them all the time." 
Michel Rivard once went on TV (during free air time given to political parties) and stated: "I have but two things to say to you: Celery and Sidewalk. Thank you, good night."
A British Columbia splinter group proposed running a professional dominatrix for the position of party whip, renaming "British Columbia" to "La La Land", moving the provincial capital, and merging with the Progressive Conservative Party so as "not to split the silly vote."
The Rhinoceros Party never succeeded in winning a seat in Parliament. In the 1984 federal election, however, the party won the fourth-largest number of votes, after the three main political parties, but ahead of several well-established minor parties. Rhino candidates sometimes came in second in certain ridings, humiliating traditional Canadian parties in the process. In the 1980 federal election, for instance, the Rhinoceros party nominated a professional clown/comedian named Sonia "chatouille" Côté ('chatouille' means tickles in French) in the Laurier riding in Montréal. Côté came in second place, after the successful Liberal candidate, but ahead of both other major parties: the third place New Democrat, and the fourth-place Progressive Conservative candidate. Chatouille received almost twice as many votes as the PC candidate.
Early in the party's history, when it was mainly composed of French-speaking Québécois, they chose as their official translator a party member who was the only unilingual anglophone party member at the time.
Although not recognized in the United States, former baseball pitcher Bill Lee ran for President of the United States in 1988 on the Rhinoceros Party ticket. 
 Political successors
The party abstained from the 1993 federal election while they questioned the constitutionality of new rules that required the party to run candidates in at least 50 ridings at a cost of $1,000 per candidature. On September 23, 1993, Canada's Chief Electoral Officer, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, refused to accept the party's abstention and ordered the removal of the Rhinoceros Party from the Registry of Canadian Political Parties, effectively eliminating them from the Canadian political system. Kingsley also directed the party's official agent, Charlie (le Concierge) McKenzie, to liquidate all party assets and return any revenues to the Receiver General of Canada. On instructions from the party, McKenzie refused. After two years of threatening letters, Ottawa refused to prosecute McKenzie, who now claims to hold the distinction of being Canada's "least-wanted fugitive".
François Gourd, a prominent Rhino, later started another political movement, the entartistes. The entartistes attracted attention in the 1990s by planting cream pies in the faces of various Canadian politicians. In 2006, he led a group that set up Neorhino.ca in an attempt to recapture the Rhinoceros Party spirit , and ran as a Neorhino candidate in the 2007 Outremont by-election.
Other Rhinoceros Party members founded the Parti citron (Lemon Party), which attempted to bring a similar perspective to provincial politics in Quebec.
Since the party's dissolution, a number of independent election candidates have informally claimed the Rhinoceros Party label even though the party itself no longer existed. There have also been a number of unsuccessful attempts to revive the Rhinos as a legally incorporated political party. In 2001, Brian "Godzilla" Salmi, who received his nickname because of the Godzilla suit he wore while campaigning, tried to revive the Rhinoceros Party to contest the British Columbia provincial election. While they pulled some pranks that earned some media coverage, only two of their candidates (Liar Liar in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Helvis in Vancouver-Burrard) appeared on the ballots, as the party claimed the $1000 candidate registration fee was a financial hardship. Unregistered candidates included Geoff Berner, who received national wire service coverage for promising "cocaine and whores to potential investors." The party disbanded shortly thereafter. Salmi later legally changed his name to Satan. In 2007, Salmi filed a lawsuit against the federal government of the election rules that led to the disbanding of the Rhinoceros party, demanding $50 million compensation. As Salmi's name is now legally "Satan", the lawsuit was filed under the name Satan versus Her Majesty The Queen.