Two-tailed dog livens up Hungary's election

Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:46am EDT
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By Marton Dunai

BUDAPEST (Reuters Life!) - A two-tailed cartoon dog offering free beer and eternal life has galvanized Hungary's latest election campaign.

The dog is the symbol of a party that has grown out of Hungary's rock-bottom regard for its politicians as the country lurches from one crisis to another.

"We just elect these people to represent the gangsters and the rich," said Gergely Kovacs, chairman of the Two-Tailed Dog Party (TTDP). "This kind of democracy is ridiculous."

Founded as a street-art spoof in 2004, the TTDP has mocked campaigns before. Now it has entered the political arena for real as the public mood has sinks even further.

A government scandal ignited bloody street violence in 2006. In 2008, the country faced financial meltdown and the global crisis caused a deep recession last year, toppling the government.

Now, with municipal elections due in October, Hungary is facing its third election campaign in 18 months.

Disgusted, the Two-Tailed Dog Party decided to run for office in Budapest and the southern Hungarian town of Szeged with the slogan: "Eternal life! Free beer! Tax cuts!" "Money without work!" is another popular cry as are: "We will promise anything," "There's a 93 percent chance we won't steal" and "You will be happy!"

The point is to run for, not to win office -- unlike Iceland's Best Party, which used satire to win the mayoral post in the capital Reykjavik earlier this year, and actually took the job.   Continued...