Civilian Party struggling for numbers

The Civilian Party is struggling to get the number of members needed to register as a party in time for the election. Newstalk ZB reports.

Civilian Party short of members for general election

In a Facebook post this morning, party leader Ben Uffindell confirmed his party is 55 members short of the 500 it needs to register with the Electoral Commission.

A political party must be registered by the 20th of August to be eligible for the election, and with processing time taking six to eight weeks, time is short.

The Civilian Party Facebook post:

ATTENTION FANS AND CONSTITUENTS: THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS (AND PEOPLE):

Good morning, nation. Over the last week, the Civilian Party has been hard at work putting together our final application for registration with the New Zealand Electoral Commission, a process that will allow us to contest the party vote nationally, and restore this country to its former sort-of-alrightness.

This has been a strenuous task, one that involved countless hours of sleep, and even more staring at the television while groaning and occasionally punching a few numbers into a spreadsheet. Indeed, after being pushed to such limits, we are now more than certain we are prepared for the colossal workload that will be entrusted to us as the future Government of this realm.

The bulk of our task these last couple of weeks has consisted of tallying and vetting every one of the hundreds of membership forms that we received from around the country. It is my wish that I could personally thank each and every one of you – from the elderly who braved the use of an electronics payment system, to the man who very generously sent us oral lubricant – and it is my hope that, when this workload has blown over, I will be able to.

But alas, there is also a downside to this story. The final tally of our membership has been significantly reduced by a large number of erroneous applications; perhaps quite a few more than expected.

Being a joke party makes them more of a target for joke applications.

While some membership applications seemed perfectly legitimate at first, as was the case with one Mr. Cock Balls, they began to show signs of difficulty upon further inspection. Mr. Balls, for example, claimed that he was born next year, which leads us to only one conclusion: he is too young to be eligible to join our party.

It is with a heavy heart that we decided we could not accept these applications, nor could we accept any of the 62 separate applications from Mr. Donghau Liu, with whom we have no relationship that we presently remember*.

Our final tally of paid-up members comes to 445, just 55 short of the 500 we need to register with the Commission. This is where you come in.

You will have to forgive our lack of eloquence on this Thursday morning, in part because we have a cold, but also in part because this message is urgent enough that we need to get it out there as quickly as possible.

We need any of you – any of you – who support the causes this movement represents, and who have not yet joined the party, to sign up today at www.thecivilianparty.org.nz/join-us/.

If we cannot secure the remaining 55 members we need, the future of our political movement is in serious jeopardy, and not the kind where we get to go on TV and give Alex Trebek fun answers in the form of questions.

But this isn’t merely a one-sided deal. As a political party thoroughly committed to your interests and ideals, we want to make you the following promises if we are successfully registered with the Commission.

If it reaches 500 financial members, the Civilian Party will:

– Stand in national elections, and field multiple candidates.

– Run advertisements on television, radio and small, obnoxious portable billboards.

– Hold an annual AGM, the first of which will take place in August, where members can attend and have their say on party finances, the party platform and candidates.

– Attend any and all televised minor party debates, whether invited or not.

– Ice cream.

Nation, we have come so far, and gotten so close. All that we need now is one final push; just a few more. This is your chance to make a real difference; your choice to become a member will literally help decide the political landscape going into this year’s election.

If you’ve already joined, we love you, but we ask you just one more thing: find just one person you know, and sign them up today. If a mere eighth of you did this, we would already be there.

To those of you who’ve sent us messages and inquiries, and haven’t yet received a response, hang in there. We’re getting to you, and once this application is over and done with, we intend to respond to everyone we can; which should, theoretically, be everyone.

The moment that we can verify that we have the numbers, we will inform you all immediately that New Zealand is moving confidently towards a brighter future, like a moth to a flame. Thank you once again for bringing us this far.

NewstalkZB followed up yesterday:

Civilian Party still a chance for Election 2014

The Electoral Commission says it’s still possible for the satirical Civilian Party to register for the election, should it get past 500 member threshold.

Despite there being fewer than eight weeks until the deadline – the upper end of the expected processing time – the commission’s not closing the doors just yet.

Civilian Party leader Ben Uffindell is confident they’ll make up the remaining numbers and successfully register.

There’s still time, but not much.

The Civilian satirical website was a big hit last year and this led to the launch of the party. Despite getting significant media attention and being a buzz on social media getting membership then obviously proved a battle. Satirical posts then dried up, as did attention.

They launched a membership drive again  last month with several posts, and they scored interviews on both The Nation and Q & A – attention any small start-up party would love to get, but most get ignored.

Despite this coverage they are obviously still struggling to attract enough members. The reality is that party administration can be a hard slog.

Actually joining a party may be a joke to far for many people.

In the meantime the satire has continued at a modest rate:

Internet Party warns that new leader Laila Harré
has gained ‘a lot of weight’ and is now German