The Civilian Party
|Founded||7 June 2013|
|Dissolved||5 May 2015|
The Civilian Party was a frivolous political party founded by political satirist Ben Uffindell. It contested the 2014 New Zealand general election before disbanding. The party was deregistered at its own request on 5 May 2015.
Uffindell, who finished a degree in political science at University of Canterbury in 2012, started The Civilian as a satirical New Zealand online newspaper in 2013. Uffindell claimed an average of 20,000–25,000 page views per day.
On 7 June 2013, The Civilian announced its intention to register a political party and to charge fifty cents as a membership fee. Prediction market iPredict listed a contract on 21 June 2013 measuring the likelihood of the registration of The Civilian Party before the 2014 general election.
In June 2014 the party came under criticism for receiving $33,635 in political-party funding from the Electoral Commission. Prime Minister John Key commented that "the Civilian Party will be thinking the biggest joke's on us, the taxpayer", and the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union reacted negatively. However, party leader Ben Uffindell said that considering the party had asked for $1 million in funding, $33,000 was "a bad deal". He also pointed out: "There are other joke parties getting funding, like the Conservatives and ACT."
The party received 1,096 votes (0.05%) in the 2014 general election.
|Election||Candidates nominated||Seats won||Votes||Vote share %||Position||The Civilian Party|
|2014||0||8||1,096||0.05%||13th / 15||Unelected|
The Taxpayers Union is furious a joke political party has been given public money to fund its electoral campaign. [...] Online satirist Ben Uffindell persuaded the Electoral Commission to hand over $33,000 for his Civilian Party. [...] Taxpayer Union spokesman Jordan Williams says it's outrageous.