The UK Electoral Commission has agreed to the registration of the MP3 Party, which aims to radically simplify British government and civil administration.
The Electoral Commission had initially refused the registration on the belief that the party's name constituted a trademark violation, Ciaran Buckley writes.
The inspiration for the party's name is drawn from the MP3 community, who swap digital media files on-line. "The downloading of music is not an economic phenomenon, it is cultural and political," Party Leader Ruslan G. Fedorovsky told ElectricNews.Net. "MP3 collectors aren't just people who want to listen to music for free, they are part of a community."
Fedorovsky, who is the managing director of audiobooksforfree.com, said the party's philosophy is based on the mathematical theory of complex systems, which states that complex systems of any kind are inherently dysfunctional. Therefore when social, legal and administrative systems reach a certain level of complexity they cease functioning, he said. The MP3 Party wants to apply this mathematical theory to politics and government.
The rebellious nature of the party is inspired by the rebellious, sometimes illegal, practice of downloading MP3s, the Russian-born Fedorovsky said. "It's funky to be a geek and MP3 allows you to be an outlaw without knowing anything about technology," he said. "With MP3 you can become an outlaw just by clicking on a button."
In addition to its constituency among the MP3 community, the party hopes to attract young voters who are apathetic with regard to old-fashioned political processes and systems, Fedorovsky said.
The party aims to implement its simplification policy into all aspects of life in the UK, including taxation, law, economics, foreign policy, immigration and the monarchy. Fedorovsky said that the MP3 Party's simplification platform transcends traditional party lines, and politicians who introduce flat taxes, or governments that implement paperwork-reduction programmes, are already providing examples of the MP3 Party's philosophy in action.
One of the proposed slogans for the party reads "Elect us and we will delete one regulation per day, one law per week, one subsidy per month and one tax per year."
Recent research does indicate the emergence of on-line communities whose lifestyles are significantly shaped by the ability to swap content across the Internet. A report released at the end of June by the US-based Pew Internet and American Life Project identified what it called a "broadband lifestyle" in the US.
The report, entitled "The Broadband Difference - How Online Americans' Behavior Changes with High-Speed Internet Connections at Home," found that 39 percent of broadband users have created content such as Web sites, that 43 percent have swapped files and displayed photos on-line and nearly two-thirds have downloaded games, video or pictures. In all categories, at least 14 percent of these users said they performed these activities every day.