Joke election candidates are such a lark, aren’t they? Original political prankster Screaming Lord Sutch — before he committed suicide — enlivened many a UK general election with his Monster Raving Loony Party contesting seats. Here in Australia, the Deadly Serious Party did their best to bring a little colour to proceedings before being deregistered in 1988 by those pedantic killjoys at the Australian Electoral Commission.

So it was just like old times when ex-Sydney Swans footy player/wannabe porn star/botox faced (hey, if it’s good enough for Qld Premier Anna Bligh) Warwick Capper’s declared this week he’d be contesting the seat of Beaudesert in the 21 March Queensland election. Who says politics is boring? Especially when there are bikini-clad pole dancing girls to ogle, as our esteemed Prime Minister would testify. Hardly surprising, the media lapped it up, giving Capper ample opportunity to spruik his political agenda on Monday, such as it was. And it wasn’t a shock when Capper subsequently failed to lodge his registration for the election.

It would have been amusing if only Capper’s candidacy wasn’t an obvious marketing push for struggling lads’ mag ZOO Weekly , who funded the short-lived bid. Channels 7, 9 and 10 gave good coverage to Capper, clad in a ZOO T-shirt.

It’s not the first time self-promoter Capper has erroneously claimed he’s entering politics. In 2007, he announced he’d run for mayor of the Gold Coast. So the media should have been prewarned all was not as it seemed. Especially since agent to “the stars” Max Markson was representing Capper.

Credit where credit’s due, though. One media outlet didn’t give Capper any airtime on Monday evening: Today Tonight –– of all places — preferred to focus on the other joke candidate on Markson’s books for the seat of Beaudesert — Pauline Hanson. And they actually asked some hard questions about possible misuse of electoral campaign funds. Hanson wasn’t happy, storming out of the interview (watch here). Last night, Today Tonight revealed Queensland Police were taking an interest in the case, requesting tapes of Monday night’s interview.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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