The Man Who Was Elected To Parliament As A Joke

Samuel Reason | May 31st, 2018

Some people take politics very seriously and some people, well they just don’t really read the news at all. This was the approach of Danish-Faroese comedian Daniel Jacob Haugaard, who actually became a politician in 1994 completely by accident: in fact, it was a joke.

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Haugaard was born in 1952 in the Faroe Islands and is a well-known musician, comedian, and actor. And also a political joker, he created a political group in 1979 called Sammenslutningen of Bevidst Arbejdssky Elementer which translated would be the Confederation Of Intentionally Work-Shy Elements. His manifesto was that everyone should have the right to laziness, and made great speeches that asked if work was really healthy why not give it to the sick people. He predicted that everyone would become work zombies in the future.

His manifesto was actually very popular, though it has to be noted he also made everyone in the country a member automatically unless you stated otherwise. Sounds like a pretty great tactic, of course, everyone can see that Haugaard was doing this as part of his act. A comedian rising up against the traditional political parties.

Every year he ran for parliament, as a joke, not really campaigning but promoting his movement through his art and sketches. Funnily though, in 1994 he reigned in enough support and was elected into the parliament. During his time in the office, he abolished headwind in bicycle lanes and demanded shorter queues for supermarkets. He also campaigned for bigger Christmas presents and that impotency was a right. One thing he did well though, was garner support from the army by demanding Nutella was added to their field rations.

His mission was to show the country and the world that there is room for humor in politics, that it does not have to always be doom and gloom. So where did he go? After his four years in the office, he decided his job was done and did not try to be reelected.

We can probably assume he may have been an inspiration for Beppe Grille, an Italian comedian who has been a candidate in recent Italian general elections. However, Grille’s campaign is not as absurd as Haugaard’s.

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