NOT JUST ABOUT WINNING SEATS. "What the electoral process allows us is really to consciousness raise, to bring awareness to issues," says Sex Party leader John Ince, centre with Dietrich Pajonk and Scarlett Lake.
The head of BC’s Sex Party doesn’t expect to win any seats in the May 12 election but says it’s important to inject some sex-positivity into the electoral discourse.
“There’s no possibility of getting elected. A single issue party is not an appropriate party to be elected on,” John Ince candidly acknowledges.
“We see election as a part of the political process, not the end of it,” explains Ince, who is running in Vancouver Point Grey. “What the electoral process allows us is really to consciousness raise, to bring awareness to issues.”
The Sex Party made headlines in 2006 after it launched a complaint against Canada Post for refusing to deliver one of its political pamphlets. The pamphlet outlined the party’s Politics for a Sex-Positive Future and contained a sexual IQ test and images of potentially erotic art, including a photo of a doorknob in the shape of a penis.
Despite a 2008 ruling that at least partially upheld the Sex Party’s right to freedom of expression, Canada Post says it will continue to ban “sexually explicit” material from its general delivery admail service.
Designed to challenge BC’s sex negative culture, the Sex Party’s provincial platform seeks to change the education system, repeal sex negative laws and support a sex positive community.
Among its educational aims, the Sex Party would like to institute a comprehensive program that encourages sexuality in a gradual and disciplined way.
“For the very small numbers of people who are absolutely against this, we would give them the right to opt their children out of that because we do believe in parental rights as well to some degree, I mean, obviously limited,” says Ince, who ran for the Sex Party in 2005 and owns The Art of Loving sex shop.
The Sex Party would also like to see laws prohibiting consensual adult sex work in private repealed, and the sexual rights of residents in long-term care facilities addressed.
“We have seniors that have been good tax-paying citizens for all of their lives and then when they end up in a care facility, well, they’re no longer able to have their sexual needs fulfilled,” says Dietrich Pajonk, the Sex Party’s candidate in Vancouver Hastings and a sex-positive advocate for 10 years.
“We’ve had to start the party because really important issues like the role of the provincial government in the disaster around sex workers has not been raised by anybody and the provincial government has a very significant role in the serious and ongoing %mdash; and sometimes deadly %mdash; problems pertaining to sex workers,” says Ince.
“If the mainstream parties would deal with these issues, we could just go away. We’d be happy to do that,” he adds.
The Sex Party also proposes changing Victoria Day %mdash; named to honour prudish Queen Victoria %mdash; to Eros Day to celebrate and encourage sex-positive expression.
It would also like to make Valentine’s Day a holiday.
Further, the party wants to pass legislation requiring all public parks and beaches larger than one hectare to designate areas reserved for nudists.
Ince and Pajonk will be joined in the Vancouver West End riding by Sex Party candidate Scarlett Lake, who owns an escort service.
Ince says there’s room for more candidates. “While we have three [candidates] right now, we haven’t closed the door on getting more.”