Jacquelin Lara

Jacquelin Lara

Modified & Updated: 31 Dec 2023

19-fun-facts-about-politics
Source: Undp.org

Politics, with all its nuances and complexities, is an integral part of our society. Whether it’s the thrill of elections, the debates that ensue, or the impact policies have on the world, politics never fails to captivate our attention. But aside from the serious business, there are also some interesting and even entertaining aspects to politics that often go unnoticed. In this article, we will uncover 19 fun facts about politics that will surprise and amuse you. From unusual political traditions to quirky political figures, get ready to discover a side of politics you never knew existed. So, buckle up and get ready for a journey through the intriguing and sometimes hilarious world of politics!

Table of Contents

The word “politics” comes from the Greek word “polis,” which means city.

Politics, as we know it today, traces its roots back to ancient Greece, where the city-state or “polis” was the basic unit of political organization.

Cleisthenes is often referred to as the father of democracy.

Cleisthenes, an ancient Athenian statesman, is credited with introducing democratic reforms that laid the foundation for the democratic system we see in many countries today.

The shortest serving president in U.S. history, William Henry Harrison, delivered the longest inaugural speech.

In 1841, Harrison spoke for a whopping 8,445 words during his inauguration speech, despite the cold and rainy weather. Unfortunately, he caught pneumonia and died just 32 days later.

Politics has its fair share of strange traditions.

In the United Kingdom, for example, the Speaker of the House of Commons is dragged to their chair by fellow Members of Parliament when they are first appointed. This tradition dates back to a time when the Speaker’s role was seen as potentially dangerous.

The world’s youngest ever prime minister was Sutan Sjahrir of Indonesia.

Sutan Sjahrir became the prime minister of Indonesia at the age of 27 in He played a crucial role in the country’s fight for independence.

The President of the United States earns a salary of $400,000 per year.

However, the salary has remained the same since 2001, as presidents are not allowed to receive pay raises during their time in office.

Iceland is known for its high political participation.

Iceland holds the record for the highest percentage of women in their national parliament, with 48% of the seats being held by women.

Australia has had the most number of leadership changes in its history.

Since 2007, Australia has had seven changes in prime ministership, earning it a reputation for political instability.

Politics can be rough, quite literally!

In Taiwanese politics, members of opposing parties sometimes engage in physical altercations during debates or meetings.

Politics and Hollywood often collide.

There have been numerous instances where politicians have turned to Hollywood for inspiration, with many movies and TV shows being centered around politics, such as “House of Cards” and “The West Wing.”

The longest continuously running political party in the world is the Democratic Party of the United States.

The Democratic Party was founded in 1828 and has been a major force in American politics ever since.

Some countries have compulsory voting laws.

For example, in Australia, citizens above the age of 18 are required by law to vote in federal elections, with failure to do so resulting in a fine.

Politics can be a family affair.

In some countries, it is not uncommon to see multiple members of the same family holding political positions. This is often referred to as political dynasties.

The concept of political parties originated in the United States.

The formation of political parties, with different groups rallying around specific ideologies and candidates, became prominent in the early years of the United States, with the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties being the first.

Politics can be a dangerous profession.

Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of politicians being assassinated or facing assassination attempts due to their political views or actions.

Switzerland has a unique system of governance.

Switzerland operates under a system called “direct democracy,” where citizens have the power to vote on major policy decisions and initiatives.

The concept of lobbying dates back centuries.

The practice of lobbying, where individuals or groups try to influence government decisions, can be traced back to ancient Rome and Greece.

Campaign spending can be astronomical.

In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the total campaign spending reached a record-breaking $14 billion, making it the most expensive election in history.

Political satire has been a powerful tool throughout history.

From ancient Greece’s comedies to modern-day late-night shows, political satire has been used to criticize and bring attention to the flaws and absurdities within the political system.

So there you have it – 19 fun facts about politics! From its ancient roots to present-day quirks, politics continues to shape our world and ignite passionate debates. Whether it’s the drama surrounding leadership changes or the impact of political ideologies, the realm of politics is truly fascinating.

Next time you find yourself engaged in a political discussion, impress your friends with these interesting facts. Politics may be serious business, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun along the way!

Conclusion

In conclusion, politics can be a complex and serious subject, but it also has its fair share of interesting and entertaining aspects. These 19 fun facts about politics highlight the quirky side of political life, showcasing the diversity, humor, and sometimes unusual occurrences that can happen in the world of politics.

From politicians with unusual hobbies to surprising electoral outcomes, there’s no shortage of intriguing tidbits to discover. Whether you’re a political enthusiast looking to deepen your knowledge or simply someone interested in learning some fascinating facts, this collection offers a glimpse into the lighter side of politics.

So the next time you engage in a political discussion, impress your friends with these fun facts and add a touch of lightheartedness to the conversation. After all, politics doesn’t have to be all serious and somber; it can be fun too!

FAQs

1. Which country has the oldest parliament?

The Althing, established in Iceland in 930 AD, is the oldest existing parliament in the world.

2. Has any non-human ever held political office?

Yes, a cat named Stubbs was the honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 20 years!

3. Are there any presidents who were also accomplished musicians?

Yes, Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, is a skilled saxophonist.

4. Are there any interesting political traditions around the world?

Indeed, the Prime Minister of Finland participates in a “clean-up day” where they lead the nation in cleaning public spaces.

5. Has the world seen any unusual political campaigns?

Yes, in 1967, a pig named Pigasus was nominated as a presidential candidate by the Youth International Party in order to protest the Vietnam War.

6. Can politicians be humorous?

Absolutely! Many politicians use humor and wit to engage with their audiences and lighten the mood during speeches and debates.

7. Are there any interesting political scandals in history?

Yes, the Watergate scandal in the United States during the 1970s resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

8. Did any famous actors become politicians?

Yes, Ronald Reagan, who was a successful actor in his earlier career, served as the 40th President of the United States.

9. Are there any peculiar political titles?

Indeed, the President of Turkmenistan is unofficially referred to as “Arkadag,” which means “protector” or “ruler.”

10. Can politicians have interesting hobbies?

Absolutely! Former US President Jimmy Carter is known for his passion for carpentry and has even built houses for charity.