Warsaw

The Polish Friends of Beer Party

26 Sep 2020
Sure, it started out as a joke: In 1990 satirist Janusz Rewinski formed the Polish Friends of Beer Party (Polska Partia Przyjaciol Piwa or PPPP in Polish) to promote the country’s second most beloved beverage during the new shift in government. The concept was popular enough, in fact, to inspire a similar party in Russia as well. And thanks to some disillusionment with Poland’s democratic transition after the end of communism a number of Poles voted for the prank party, and in the 1991 parliamentary elections 16 seats were nabbed by the PPPP, accounting for 3.27% of the votes!
Members of the Polish Friends of Beer Party (PL: Polska Partia Przyjacioł Piwa or PPPP) including founder Janusz Rewinski (right with beard) and later successor Leszek Bubel (left).

What started out as a joke – their slogan regarding the party running Poland: "It wouldn't be better but for sure it would be funnier" – evolved into a semi-serious platform thanks to the newly acquired seats. As part of their manifesto reveals, this was an attempt at culturally-reforming Polish society's view of alcohol and introducing some level of decency of behaviour in bars and pubs:  

 
The very-retro logo of the PPPP!
We have no illusions that all Poles will become abstinent. Just don't let them drink vodka! Tasty, cool, aromatic beer can also be used to make toasts (...) You can exchange views with beer, with beer it is easier to come to an agreement and get along. Let's get along, let's be tolerant, understanding and compliant."

Of course, the divided cannot conquer, so when a Bolshevik/Menshevik-style split occurred, resulting in the Large Beer and Small Beer factions, it signalled the end of the jokey era, and eventually, the Large Beer faction transformed into the far less-humorous Polish Economic Program. From 1993, the party had virtually disintegrated. In 2007, Leszek Bubel, who had functioned as the party leader in its last iteration, made an attempt to re-register the PPPP without success.

Today little remains of the group except for well-earned entries in top ten lists of most ridiculous political parties, a few Polish memes and a number of Facebook groups celebrating the original idea: that consuming quality beer is a symbol of freedom and a better standard of living.
Same party... later on...

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